The room is dark and silent. I take a gasping breath only to find the unbearable smell. I’ve been cocooning for the past seventy four days, maybe one more day to go. I know this room like the back of my hand, nine paces to the bathroom, twelve to the kitchen, journeys I will never take again.
Completely oblivious to time, I distinguish between night and day using the one ray of light that beams through the hole in the silk curtain onto my parents hideous painting like a spotlight. A spotlight they never deserved. Staring deep into my father’s black eyes. I want to scream at him, ask him why he was never there for me? Ask him if he ever loved me at all? My Mother stood next to him, her sternness, her unrelenting need for me to succeed, constantly beside me like a shadow always watching and pushing me to achieve, to be successful, to be the best. How I longed to simply kick a ball and play with the friends I never had.
There is that cough again. Dr. Holohan was right, it feels as if you are drowning. A normal person only drowns once this is like drowning every thirty seconds.
I begin to feel sorry for my carer Olivia. A kind girl, to say the least. It’s not right she is the one who will find me in the morning. But it is the other Olivia I’m thinking of now. The one I dwell on each day for hours upon end. That one phone call forty years ago, the night before her sisters’ wedding. The tears and sobs is all I can remember. To me it was obvious why I couldn’t attend, I had an urgent meeting in London, but she refused to understand. I simply told her to grow up. The last words I ever spoke to her were “You don’t understand how the real world works”.
In business, I was Mr. Mulchahy, that was the name that shot fear into people’s minds. The name that made people straighten their backs. I loved my work, the meetings, the lunches, the make or break decisions, but the ultimate sensation was the power. Sitting across a desk looking down on people and feeding from the fear in their eyes.
As, for now, I’m just John, the neighbour they meet on the street, the neighbour they simply agree with no matter what I say, just to walk away.
I only have one thing now to show for the years of power I lived, the pension in the top drawer of my mahogany press. The pension that has more zeros than the lottery jackpot. The dreams families have for such a sum of money. But did I ever have a dream?
Ryan Tubridy’s speech about the sadness of only ten people allowed to go to funerals was very moving. Where will they find ten people for my funeral?
There is that cough again……….Hopefully my last.
I am 15 years of age and I am going into Junior Cert year in September. I am from Wexford and I really enjoy writing as a pastime.