Cash

The sedative began to wear off. William woke up attached to a machine that had yet to be turned on. There was movement all around: metal clanging, people talking, the PA requesting for a certain ‘Doctor Gonz’ who was wanted in the auditorium. William realized he was in the infirmary.

William, however, was still a bit catatonic from the sedative the doctors gave him. Despite the bustling scene in front of him, he stared into the nothingness of the spaces between the activity and movement. The nurse approached the machine and turned some knobs. It lit up and began whirring. The nurse looked away and began talking to a colleague.

Meanwhile, as the machine came to life, William began writhing in pain. The pain was unlike anything William had ever felt. He has had all sorts injuries: broken bones, cuts, trauma to different parts of his body. But this was different. When asked to recall how it felt, William would simply state “It felt like fornicating the entrance to hell.”

And there he was, standing across the room.. Mr. Cash. Mr. Cash pulled out a pack of cigarettes and fed a stick between his lips. William watched him light the cigarette, still with the pain coursing through his body. William, of course knew who he was, just as Mr. Cash knew who William was, perhaps moreso than William himself. Mr. Cash looked at William’s eyes which were begging for the end.

The nurse realized that he had made a mistake with his his calibrations and quickly adjusted the machine’s settings. William settled down as the pain subsided, after which he passed out. Mr. Cash simply walked away.

-0-

The bus began swerving. William woke up being tussleed left to right by the inertia. People were screaming, holding on their armrests; the bus driver struggled to take control of the vehicle. It’s been years since that visit to the infirmary. This time, however, there was no pain, only the feeling of the end.

It was then that William, who was seated on one side of the aisle, looked to his right and saw the collected Mr. Cash, who was smoking a cigarette. William wanted to utter a question, but the situation rendered him speechless. After taking another drag, Mr. Cash spoke to William “I’m not here for anyone’s convenience.”

William looked away feeling helpless, unable to do anything but stare at the eternity of the moment unfolding in front of him.

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