Oh, hello, didn’t hear you come in. It’s nice to see you again…been a while.
Why don’t you come over here and sit with me? What? Oh, I’ve been okay I guess but…well now, I er…I don’t want the others to know about this – it’s just between you and me, you understand – but ever since you started talking to me, I’ve come to realise that you’re the only true friend I have. The others are unreliable, not to be trusted, if you know what I mean. In fact there are even some who make my life a misery.
The worst is the one who comes in the night and won’t let me sleep. I just have to put my head on the pillow and he’s there, whispering in my ear, telling me all about what I did wrong during the day, accusing me over and over of this and that and how I’ll have to pay for it eventually. He won’t give me a moment’s peace.
“You forgot to lock the door when you went out, didn’t you? Imagine what the police would say if the house were burgled – just because some stupid person didn’t lock the door!”
“And what about the cat? You didn’t feed the poor thing a morsel all day, no wonder she’s looking like a bag of bones. You should be reported to the RSPCA, you should, then you’d know what it’s like to be accused of neglect.”
“Go away, leave me alone!”
“Oh, yes you’d like that wouldn’t you but if I didn’t bring you to task, who would? You’d get away scot free and that’s not going to happen. You need to learn a bit of responsibility instead of just cruising through life without a care in the world.”
Mind you, the one who stands behind me every morning when I’m shaving, stands and watches me without saying a word, is just as bad. I can see him in the mirror, of course, but he pretends not to be there…his lips don’t move but I hear every word he’s saying.
“Careful with that razor, Hector! We don’t want any nasty accidents now, do we?” and then he’ll give my elbow a nudge and grins when the blood starts to trickle down my face. I hate that evil grin and the way he seems to relish my silent terror as he peers over my shoulder, watching every stroke of the blade. Why can’t he just go away and leave me alone!
I wish they’d all go away and just leave me in peace. All except you, of course. You’re the only one I can confide in; I know you don’t wish me any harm.
Unlike that bitch in the pantry with the dirty apron all smeared with blood and chocolate – “What a delicious combination,” she cackled when I told her that she should at least wash it before wearing it into my kitchen.
“This is MY kitchen” she screamed.
What a nerve, fancy her taking over the preparation of my meals! And she’s only doing it because she knows I hate having anyone else in the kitchen when I’m cooking. I see her slipping that powdered stuff into my coffee. She thinks I don’t know what she’s up to but I’m awake to her! I tried switching coffee cups once but the bitch saw me and poured it down the sink. And I know for a fact she’s put bleach in my apple juice – I could taste it! I have to be careful with the knives too, of course. I never turn my back on her when she’s carving the meat. Don’t want to end up on the tip of her blade! You have no idea the stress I’m under trying to keep myself safe from this lot of tormenters.
Now, just between you and me, I’m planning a move so that I can be rid of all the lot of them. Don’t tell anyone otherwise they’ll follow me and then I’ll never be free of them. I have you to thank for the idea, actually. Remember when you said the other day about taking a holiday? You agreed that I need a break but you said I have to earn it by completing a difficult task. It’s true; nothing comes for free these days.
So I’m going to do as you suggested and take a walk along the balcony railing to prove that I deserve it. I’ve always been a bit nervous of heights but you said I need to face my fears and act like a man. Anyway, it’s only four floors up so if I do lose my balance I’ll probably be able to just glide down to the courtyard below, you know, the way the pelicans do when they come down to the jetty. Mmmm…I love watching the pelicans glide in to land…they’re so graceful.
Then, when I get to the end of the balcony railing I might even hop across to next door’s balcony, just for the hell of it. Ha-ha, can you imagine the look of surprise on old Mrs. Stinson’s face when she sees me leaping over to her balcony? Maybe she’ll offer me a nice cup of tea for a task well done and I’ll say, “Thank you, dear. I don’t mind if I do.”
Of course the big reward will be that holiday I’ve been planning – my escape to Sufferers Paradise! I purposely didn’t mention it to Doctor Weismann because he’d probably think of some excuse to stop me going. I can just hear him now.
“Do you think that’s a good idea, Hector? I really don’t think you’re in any condition to travel at this stage of your treatment. Maybe leave it for a later date…” and so on.
But I know this will be good for me, I need to get away. I need complete rest. And I really can’t stand those, those ‘others’ any longer.
Oh, my god, I can’t wait! I’m just going to lie in the sun and let all the cares of the world float away. I’ll just swallow these pills and lie there soaking up the sun until I drift into a peaceful sleep and pray that it will last, last for ever… and ever… and ever…
I enjoy writing flash fiction, short stories and some poetry and have been a member of a local writers' group for a few years. Have only recently begun submitting my work for publication online. I'm originally from UK but have called Australia home for more than 50 years.