I can hear the voices. Snickering, raging and screaming. Their slimy fingers are meshed with my brain, wringing out every iota of sanity. I feel so drained.
My lips form the words, my voice obeys. “Make it stop.”
Tiny pink pills promise paradise, taunting me from their station on the nightstand. I want the pain to stop-but it seems intent on killing me. Death must be a state between reality and insanity, I have been there so many times. I wish I could kill this sickness the way it is killing me. Slowly and painfully.
Fiery darts, throbbing aches and horrible twinges between muscles. It is a nightmare I can't snap out of.
Red numbers on the clock remind me this torture will only last for another ten minutes-and then a new kind will begin.
Maybe ten minutes won't matter. It takes a superhuman effort to stretch one cotton-clad arm towards my peace. Neon pink nails flash briefly before me and then the unthinkable happens.
My clumsy fingers fumble with the bottle...and knock it to the ground. Tears of frustration pool in my eyes as my teeth clench to stem the pain that overcomes my anger.
The outstretched hand curls into a fist as I draw it back, burying it within the cool sheets. My fingers brush against something hard.
Anger and frustration give away to puzzlement. The mystery fades as I realize it is my bible. I had originally fallen asleep, reading.
The bookmark is missing and the pages are turned to James. I skim through the first verses of the first chapter.
For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.
Two tears leak out. I turn away from the open book, curling into the soft pillows. I know what I've been doing, but I don't want to stop. My character is fine the way it is, my heart is a different story.
It's breaking in two tonight. I feel so alone, so forgotten.
Oh Daddy, why are you doing this to me? You can take the pain away, why won't you? Don't you care anymore?
I can feel His answer almost instantly. It sounds like a patient sigh from a parent to a young child.
Tears begin to flow freely, as I sob into the mounds of pillows. Today has been a horrible, terrible, very bad sort of day.
It hurts so much...please take it away.
My stomach churns, I haven't eaten anything today. It takes too much effort call for someone.
I feel His answer to this as a cool touch, feathering across my hot forehead. Now I feel foolish.
The pang in my head has moved to my soul.
Father...I'm sorry. If the pain must stay, please help me to survive it.
The clock beeps, reminding me it is time for the next dose. The tears threaten to turn into sobs again, as I struggle to sit up. I will have to call for help and I don't want to.
I am so new to this, Father...Daddy, send someone, please.
Shame stains my cheeks, hot tears trickle out, mixing with the metal reality of my wedding ring. The roughness of it reminds me that I am not really alone. Not emotionally, physically or spiritually.
I twist the ring, willing the pain to stem and my head to clear. Each twist is a promise that I will live up the vows that come with this token.
There is a knock on the door, it echoes through the shadows of this room. I close my eyes, knowing what will come next.
Light floods the patient cell, the brightness is a hope that creeps through my eyelids and spills into this tired body.
“Nioa?” Jehan's warm voice sends a thrill up my arms.
I open my eyes, taking in the white lab coat, tousled dark hair and sterile gloves that make up my husband.
“Are you all right?” He turns the alarm clock off and his gaze sweeps around the room, noting any changes from his last visit. His mouth twitches as he sees the fallen medicine bottle. “Time for your medicine.” Picking up the bottle, he rations out the prescribed three, pouring a glass of water from the pitcher on the table across the room. “You didn't get up today. The aides were worried.”
I don't want to talk about me, but my mouth is dry and burning.
“Open wide.” Jehan's latex-cased fingers brushed my lips, coaxing the pills in. I am given the water. “Any better?” He dipped a napkin in the water, sponging my face.
I nodded. Just his presence, makes my world better.
“You have to eat something.” He murmured, setting the glass on the nightstand and gathering me in his arms. “Did you read James?”
“Mmhmm.” I basked in the simple pleasure of his hug.
“I hope you don't mind that I moved the bookmark...you were sleeping, so I didn't wake you.” His arms tightened. “We're going to beat this you know...whatever it is.” A kiss is pressed to my brow. “Trials are to make us stronger...I don't know about you, but my heart is getting quite a workout.”
My giggle is smothered in his shoulder, the pain is far away. I feel the tension drain away from him.
“I love you, Niota.” He whispered in my ear. “And God loves you too, forever and always.”
Great story. Isn't it amazing how the human touch from one we love can soothe the pain we feel, whether physical or emotional? I realize this is a short-story but there is much truth in it. Thanks for sharing it. GOD BLESS YOU