We finally reached her bedroom. It was covered in dust because I had stopped cleaning it long ago; I saw no point: there was no appreciation coming from her anyway. As I helped her get into bed, I saw a picture of the man who was behind this disaster. In the corner of the room was a portrait of my late father. We were once a happy family, full of dreams for their only son. But then, about nine years ago, he got into drinking and gambling and ended up getting stabbed in a bar downtown. The incident threw my mother into a deep state of depression that took a full two years to come out of, only to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after that. I cursed my father for the day he took his first pint; for that was the day he had ruined my mother’s life. And now she was ruining mine.
Once she was settled, I got down to tying the ropes around her arms and legs. I had started doing this a few months back because she kept rolling off the side of the bed. There she would lie, on the cold, hard floor the entire night because she couldn’t remember how to lift herself up. In the morning I would find her running up a high fever, necessitating another expensive visit to hospital. It was hard for me to tie her up like that and I often cried in the process. Yet, somehow, I never wanted to untie her. I was tempted to keep her tied up like that forever so that she would be less of a burden, but I never did it.
Once I was done, I sat beside her, looking at her eyes. I wanted answers. Why was it that while she had forgotten everything, she never forgot me? Why was she fighting such a hopeless battle with the disease, trying to protect her last memories of her son? Why couldn’t she just give up, go away, leave us all in peace? Why was she destroying my life like this? As usual, I got no answers. She just kept staring up at the roof, her eyes cold, her face expressionless. I wonder if the disease had destroyed her heart too.
Soon, she began to doze off. I left the room and made my way down to clean up the table. I picked up the cutlery, the soup bowl and the newly-opened bottle of sleeping pills, emptied into the soup, and set them aside to take care of later. I felt light-headed, for I knew that tomorrow, I could finally live my dreams. I went to the balcony to stare at the stars, just as we used to do all those years ago when I was unable to sleep well.
As she fell into her infinite sleep, I hope she was dreaming of me. I, for one, was unable to sleep well. I don’t think I ever will.(Series Concluded)