kick in the head

I felt guilty and came every day.

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Copyright © 2007, Michael M Wayman

Frankly, I had had enough of him. I mean, he is all a girl could want. He's charming, never argues, always friendly, quite handsome, always has time for me. Just one thing though, he won't. It's not that he can't, no, he was really good when we did.

Funny, I'm the one who wants it, not him. Not that he says that he has a headache or “That's the only thing you girls want!” No, he somehow says no and changes the subject. I decided to give Paul one last chance; I would push him, provoke him, shove him one more time, and as hard as I could, to give us what I wanted or to leave me: a test to make or break.

We were walking around the fields, my mind on the test, when a horse came slowly over to us and started to touch my arm with its muzzle. It seemed to like me and I had an awful idea. “See, even the horse likes me more than you do! You can see that it wants me!” I continued to mock him in this way and he did lose his temper. I had never seen this before.

We were shouting at one another and getting very excited, and so was the horse. I tripped over something and fell. Paul made a big mistake, he tried to pick me up, but came between me and the horse. The horse kicked him in the head.

Paul was in a bad way and unconscious. I tried to stop the bleeding with my scarf and used my mobile telephone. Soon two men in red were running across the field with a stretcher.

I visited him every day. He was very happy sitting in his hospital bed with a big bandage round his head. He was just the same as ever but I wasn't. He was charming to everyone, the nurses all adored him and visited him every few minutes; he loved it.

I had changed though. I hadn't been hit hard on the head with a hoof but I could see everything very clearly now. Paul was a big piece of cardboard. He was empty. I felt guilty and came every day. He remembered nothing and I did not tell him about the shouting match we had in the field. This made me feel more guilty.

The hospital wanted to keep him for a long time (the patient has trauma) and then send him to a rest home for weeks. Paul thought that was wonderful, groan! I decided to visit him every day until he went to the home; he would meet new people and then I WOULD DROP HIM!

But still it was awful visiting him, because of her. I sat on one side, the piece of cardboard in the middle, and her on the other side. The piece of cardboard talked to the nurses and we were working very hard at silence. The first time we met, she said “Oh, you're the girlfriend!” Very friendly! She was his mother or aunt or older sister, not really old enough to be his mother.

Families hit one another at weddings and funerals, so I'm told. Working as a nurse at a hospital, I can tell you, they hit each other when visiting the patients. Some times the poor patients get hit too.
Last week I went into Paul's room (he's such a lovely patient, poor thing he needs rest and quiet, trauma you know) and these two women, relatives or girlfriends I suppose, were shouting as loud as they could.
Suddenly one of them punched the other in the face, she staggered backwards, she looked at us so surprised, she hit the wall and slid down into a heap on the floor. Paul was asleep, so all right then.

When I woke up, I could not see anything, where was I? A kindly voice told me that I was in hospital. I had had a big blow to the head, but I would be alright, just a black eye for two weeks. That's why both eyes are bandaged shut; to keep them both quiet. “You know they work together. I'll be back tomorrow and tell you more.”

She kissed me on the cheek and left. I could not remember what had happened to my head, but I did remember that voice, not from a nurse, no, it was from her.

The nurses removed the bandages from my eyes, I could see, two of everything. The hospital wanted to keep me for a long time (the patient has trauma) and then send me to a rest home for weeks. She came.

“My name is Eileen. I'm Paul's elder sister. After our parents died, when Paul was very young, his grandparents were supposed to bring him up, but I did it. I'm Paul's ersatz mother and I'm the one who punched you in the eye and landed you in this hospital.”

She bent down to me and whispered “I did want to hurt you. I did hit you. I did hurt you. But it made me see everything very clearly. I should never have done it. I was jealous. Why? I can see now what Paul really is, and who you really are. It was very wrong of me to hit you. Please forgive me!” I looked her in the eyes and she kissed me.

She visited me every day and told me what Paul was doing: being charming to the nurses. “This hospital is crazy!” I said, “they want to keep me here for years. I want to go home, I can rest another week at home and then I can go back to my job. I'm leaving tomorrow.” “Yes, it is very odd. Paul loves it. But I'll take you home tomorrow.”

The next day I demanded my clothes from the head nurse. “Oh, no, you cannot go yet. The doctor decides when you are well enough to be discharged and then the hospital almoner will bring you your things.” And she left the room. “I can't go without clothes; this is a trap!”

“Oh, no, it isn't! I expected this. I've brought you some clothes.” The clothes were not my choice, but “you look good in them. Here's a comb and a pair of dark glasses.” We marched to the almoner and collected my things. I got into her car, pulled down the sun blind with a mirror, BIG SHOCK!

We drove to her place. I kept her clothes on. Oh, it was so good to eat real food and have a glass of wine. “I'm sorry about your face. Your eye is really a shocker. I can see everything more clearly now, but why did I have to hit you? I should have hit Paul, he deserved it. Oh, I'm so sorry. It's all my fault. And you have forgiven me. You are so good to...” I rushed over to Eileen, put my hand over her mouth and hugged her.

“Sit down and say nothing! I will tell you the truth.” I told her what really happened in the field with the horse, that it was my fault and that I was dumping Paul, the piece of cardboard, the emptiness.

She said “I will tell you the truth. I realise now that I have done enough for Paul, too much. I must get out of his life now, so that he can grow up and become a human being."

"I have bought him a one way ticket. As soon as he leaves the rest home, he will fly to the other side of the planet. No need to ask, he will do what I tell him to do. He can work at a fast food place and earn his fare back if he wants to. I feel still very sorry about your eye.”

I took Eileen's hands in mine. “I looked after him as a son and not a brother. I really wanted a daughter or a sister.” She paused, “I want you.” We sat there with her hands in mine for some time. I knew that she was trembling inside. We became lovers.

There was a tearful scene at the airport. Paul said that he loved me and would soon be back. I said that I loved him and wanted him back soon, and so did Eileen.

It was all lies.

If he really loved me, why was he going? I certainly didn't love him, I hoped that he would never come back. I knew that he had a one way ticket too. Eileen did not tell him that the two of us were in love. We all lied.

Two weeks later Eileen and I flew to one of those holiday islands and had a great time together. We both got pregnant, Eileen had a girl and I a boy. We were very happy, we still are. Eileen got a letter from Paul with a picture of his farm, his wife, and their children.



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