John McCullagh July 31, 2007
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[We must emphasise that the following is a fictional story that will be serialised during the next fortnight while Mr & Mrs Editor are on holiday!] 

Calm After The Storm

 

She died at 3 pm on the third day of the third month of the year that had marked her twenty-fifth birthday.

That fatal day will remain with me forever. Though twenty brief years have passed, I can recall as if it were only yesterday the twists and turns of those emotional final hours.

A brilliant yellow sun peeped through the clouds that morning, a sublime benchmark for the passing of a young woman in the prime of her life. I had been at her bedside for three solid days; according to the medical staff I was a physical and a mental wreck, a human Titanic floating towards the inevitable iceberg.

I recall agonising for hours about whether to remain with her as the ticking hands of her body clock slowed to a stop. I couldn’t stay in the hospital and watch her frail body gasping deep and morbid sounds.

The smell of death shrouded the ward. Her impending demise took me by the lapels and dragged me to the sanctuary of the hospital car-park where I indulged in the ultimate hypocrisy of smoking a cigarette whilst my sister lay dying of cancer. 

 

……… More of ‘Calm After the Storm’ to follow …

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