I was stubbourn as ever. Some call it stupid.
“No” I said. “This is my home. This is it.”
Aint got nothing else. “Let me be” I said.
Thought I'd sit it out and it'd all be over before long. Not like it was my fault. Them upstairs, like, goin and startin a fire.
Careless that's what that is.
Anyhow, as I said “It don't matter now. Let it all go. Just let me be.”
“I'm not afraid to go. Just take the cat. Next door'll ave er.”
“I plan on goin with the flames” Wasn't havin none of it.
“You'll av to carry me out feet first.”
Layin ere in me bed I listens to the voices in the hall.
The visitors. Them nurses.
That woman in the room along. Callin out, cryin.
She don't know where she is. Sad that is.
I wonders if she got family comin in to see er, comin in to hold er hand.
Sounds frightened, she does. A little girl but er body's gone. What a place. Never thought this'd happen to me. Fought for me own space, me own mind. Me own right to do this, do that, do nothin all day, if that's what I wanted.
You can fight all you want but you don't win when it's fire you fightin, that's for sure.
Wasn't copin they say. They say it's for the best, for me own good.
They say it like they got hold of what's good in their hands, dolin it out to who's lucky.
They say a lot, them social workers, then they say it again in their notebooks.
Course, don't get to see that do I?
Sometimes I hears them young girls. Just startin, just finishin their shift. Gossipin an laughin, carefree.
Then I hears this voice and I knows this one.
Now I aint heard this voice for some years, but I knows it's er.
Definitely er. Thinks she's come for me.
Tries to sit up in me bed quick, but she fades down the hall. Thought I'd played this story in me head a thousand times.
Us lookin at each other.
Was sure it was er.
Later, that dumpy one comes in. Good I thinks. I know she likes a good gossip. She reckons it's goin to do me good to talk, be social with the others. Never ad much success with me though. So now I makes er day.
I seys, “Oh nurse, ave you got a spare minute?” Once I gets er past the chit-chat, I asks does she know a Mrs Roberts? Happens she does, happens she was only ere this afternoon.
“Friend of yours?” She asks.
I don't answer that, but I seys “You could just tell er Dora was askin after er. Dora Fields. She'll know me.”
That gets me thinkin, gets meself in a right old state.
Nurse tries talkin me into watchin a film in that dayroom. It's Fred and Ginger she seys. “No thanks.” I seys. I'm stayin put.
They don't want to see me, a daft old girl sittin there with tears on er face.