By Gemma Sidney
I like the night. In the darkness of my bedroom anything is possible. I visualise you, here with me in the night. You casually walk into the room and shut the door behind you without a word. You approach the bed, smile, brush the hair from my eyes and take me in your arms. We float down into the bed together…
That’s generally the track my thoughts take at nighttime. The familiarity of it feels so good and when I’m with you, time pours gentle like honey. The timeless images of my imagination are kind on the wrinkles; we don’t age.
It’s nothing like real life, who would want it to be? Real life drags on, too fast, too slow, always too something. In the unforgiving light of day I can see the ruins of my life, the wrinkles, when all I want is to escape into the night with you, dearest. If I had things my way, some days I wouldn’t even bother opening the curtains. That way, we could be together in the shadows all day long. But my nurse comes bustling in, as she does every morning like clockwork. She opens the curtains wide, letting the blaring light in, which she says can only help the healing process. What of the healing process if I can’t have you, my love?
Time has passed and my superficial wounds have healed. I know that I will never be able to leave this bed, not of my own accord in any case. Sometimes my nurse will take me to the park nearby for some so-called much-needed sunlight. I play along with the mindless chatter and the cooing at passing babies and puppies as I impatiently wait for the daylight hours to trickle away.
It was just us and that was all I’d needed. My youth had passed without incident and my twenties were spent aimlessly chasing a career that didn’t interest me. My thirties were already half over when we met and fell in love. With you, I discovered a purpose that got me out of bed in the morning and into the light. At your side, the sun shone brighter and us along with it. Soon enough our love had blossomed so that we had outgrown our backward little town and had convinced ourselves that we could better thrive elsewhere. And so we moved here to make a new life.
We hadn’t long arrived when one morning you were taken from my side, and my mobility was taken from me. The weight of the past and the expectation of our future came crashing down at us all at once and we were crushed under its burden. The inevitability of it all sickens me still.
And so I am now a prisoner of my own body, although even that is not enough to shackle my mind. Be patient, my love.
As night falls, I am preparing my escape.