Blinds were closed. Lights off. He sat in darkness waiting in the front room. Eyes open. A growl in his stomach. Wanting someone to talk to at five in the morning. A friend. His son. The wife who slept down the hall. Too early for the rest of humanity. He was late.

Normally he awoke at three in the morning. Sometimes four. God had granted him an hour more of sleep. The old man felt refreshed. Yet, he sat there in the dark. Not wanting any light nor sound. He could just make out his fingers; long. Like sticks on a branch.

And he’d shake one hand with the other. Asked himself, how do you do? he snickered, wasn’t quite sure if he wasn’t losing his mind. Then he heard voices. Women talking and laughing. He turned to see if someone was there. No-one. Just voices inside his head. He smiled. Said, I am losing my mind.

He remembered how his son used to roll up and down the hall on his tricycle. Tooting his horn. Laughing. And now he didn’t know where that boy was. Where he’d gone to. Where are you? he cried out. Where are you? No one answered back. There were no more voices. No one to talk to. Except himself. He mumbled a bit. Got up from his chair and walked down the hall.

There were several doors to choose from. Rooms on both sides. He chose the one with the Christmas wreath hanging on it. The door was slightly opened. Silvia, he called out. Silvia. I’m hungry, he said. No one answered. A body laid there in bed. Stiff. No life to it. He strolled over to the bed and saw that her eyes looked up at God. This isn’t Silvia, he whispered. This ain’t Silvia. Where’s Silvia? he asked himself.

Lights were turned on in the room. A nurse put her hands on her thick hips. Mr Donald you not supposed to be in here, she said. Come on now. Let’s get you your medicine.

That wasn’t Silvia, he told her. That was not Silvia.


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