It's been ten years since he died a long and difficult death. Ten years since she cared for him. Today, the dresser still contains his clothes, she still sleeps on her side of their bed. Ten years later and sometimes she asks me where is Charlie?
She says she wants to die as I comb her washed hair. She says she hates this place and I should go to Hell as she methodically swallows each pill with a sip of ice water and a bite of cracker. Ironic for an Atheist, but I understand her meaning. They tell me the strokes changed her, I wouldn't know I have only know her as this.
She would lie in their bed drenched in her own urine, rashes oozing under her ample skin folds, teeth browning and unbrushed, dirty hair matted. She would sleep herself to death, if I let her. Or maybe she would get up, eventually, without me encouraging, moving and pulling her from her bed, without me washing and combing the matted hair, brushing the brown teeth and washing and tending to her skin. Maybe.
Maybe her anger is at living for the last 10 years, at her heart beats, at her lung's breath, or maybe it simply lands on the closest breathing person. Maybe somewhere locked inside is the woman she once was, the woman I never knew.