Just when Eb thought things couldn’t get any worse for her, it did. She stood with her back against the corridor wall watching as if a fly as the two nurses wheeled Hillary’s body from her room. The one person she’d gotten close to in that God-forsaken nursing home. The one person who made it feel like home, if Eb even had a home.
‘Is anyone coming for her?’ She couldn’t help but ask as the nurses went about the gruesome business. ‘I mean her family?’
The nurse shook her head. ‘We’ve informed but no one has confirmed yet.’
‘So what happens now? To her, I mean?’
‘Ebony. You shouldn’t be watching this.’ There was a note of deep concern.
‘She was all I knew…’ Both the nurses gave her such a pained look that Ebony couldn’t stand any longer without crying. ‘Excuse me.’
She walked and walked till she was outside the compound all together. She had never really stepped out of the compound alone before but she had no idea what it was that she wanted to do. Was she going to cry? For a woman she barely knew? Or was she going to cry because she felt once more so alone. Instead, Eb sat on the brick wall and just stared as the occasional traffic whizzed by. Hillary was gone. There was no one left for her to read a story to and pretend she was the daughter visiting her mother at a home. The day dragged. Or it felt like it anyway. It was towards the evening that Eb walked back into the compound. She hadn’t cried. There had been no tears left since her own sleepless nights and mourning over whoever the hell she had been in a previous lifetime. But there was immense sadness she couldn’t quite express.
As she dragged her feet on the concrete driveway, behind her a black car pulled up. It’s black tinted windows drawn all the way up. People piled out of it in no rush as all. As if they routinely did that. Eb didn’t recognize them. In the last 4 months that she’d been here, she’d never seen this particular suited family. There was an air about them that got on her nerves. Perhaps another family eager to dump someone they love here. She thought bitterly following them into the admin area. When she heard who they were there for, Eb could only say she felt a physical pain in her heart. Even the way they were asking for Hillary’s body and her belongings, Eb couldn’t see how they were ever related to the woman who only treated her like a daughter. One time, Hillary had even swiped an extra bread roll and kept it hidden underneath her pillow for Eb just out of love.
Eb sniffles at the thought. Could almost still see Hillary’s child-like smile when she’d brought out the bread to show Eb. ‘So you’re Hillary’s family?’ She couldn’t help but ask.
The woman in her late 40s turned with a sour look. ‘I’m her daughter and this is my husband.’
Eb nodded. ‘Then you might like to know that the last two months, she didn’t wait around for you to turn up.’
‘Excuse me?’ The woman’s voice went tight and ridged. ‘What the hell do you mean by that?’
‘Just that. She didn’t care. She knew you wouldn’t come so she stopped waiting around.’ Eb hit back. The blind rage suddenly rearing itself inside her.
‘Who the hell are you to talk about my mother like that?’ The voice rose higher and higher and if it wasn’t for the night staff intervening, Eb got the feel that she was about to embrol herself in a car fight. Bring it on, she thought. She needed to vent somehow and not just about losing Hillary.
‘Excuse her, she’s one of our patients here.’ The nurse quickly walked Eb out of the building and pushed her towards the dinning hall. ‘Enough Ebony. We handle this, not you. Go!’
Eb huffed and puffed but didn’t protest. ‘They should have visited her.’
‘Yes, they should have.’
‘She died waiting for them.’
‘And I’ll be sure to let them know. Now go and get yourself fed. Go.’
Eb walked away, barely able to hold her composure. ‘She wasn’t alone like me…’
… to be continued….
Ebony and Frank: what would you do if you woke up in a nursing home with no memory of who you are and your story?
(Bear with me. I’m still writing this particular post but I’m struggling at the moment with a nasty flu and couldn’t keep going for tonight. Will try my best to add to it tmw. Hope you are enjoying Ebony and Frank. Looks like this is the start to my fourth novel or my 2nd spec feature. Haven’t decided yet.) 🙂