Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock! Went the clock, one hour then two then three. Amy sat there staring at the screen looking at the blinking cursor, she had no idea where to pick up from where she had left off. Sleep evaded her, which has been the case since she heard the news; she was paralyzed; numbed by her rude reality.
Her puffy and red eyes were now stinging from all the crying. She had wailed and questioned God enough. Now she was completely blank; motionless – zombie like. Within the past 18 months Amy had buried her father and two sisters and now her only living sibling, her brother was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer. Amy no longer had anything to look forward to, no more lunches with her brother, road trips, and fooling around. He was weak. He was frail, it was almost over.
He had fought hospitalization and now Amy was sobbing outside his bedroom door, not sure if he would wake to see another day. Amy only had more dread and bile rewing in her belly occasionally emerging to the tip of her tongue. Amy would spit, snort and grit her teeth when that bile overwhelmed her.
Rocking herself, arms clasped around her shoulders on the cold hard floor, she felt madness inch into her spirit. Her sanity fled hours ago when her brother broke the news at dinner.
“Why? Why? Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?’ Amy yelled when he broke the news. Tears streaming down his cheeks, her brother, Herman, sobbed as he had his tear soaked meal. Amy lifted her plate and went to the kitchen where she ripped several tea towels and threw the remainder of her meal in the bin. She went to her room, gently closing the door behind her. Her brother increased the TV volume, turned off the lights and sobbed in the illumination of the TV screen. Herman’s favourite TV show was on, he didn’t burst in laughter as he always did when the Jeffersons was on. He barely noticed what was on. He couldn’t fathom that this would happen to him.
Amy and Herman’s thoughts synchronized; they both asked each other subconsciously what was going on. Was there a silent hit list that they were part of that they were unaware of? Mum walked in through the front door red eyed and dress unusually wrinkled. She was hunched over and dragged her legs across the concrete living room floor like logs of wood. She plunked on the couch next to Herman. Herman uttered nothing; he had no control of the floodgate that painted his face. Arm in arm Mum wept with her son on that couch several months ago.
Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock! Amy stares at the clock from the cold floor outside Herman’s room, Mum is in her room, probably fighting sleep. The house is tense; hearts are heavy time slips away with every inching Tick! Tock!