Anne's diary: 27th December - last night
It was a cold night and I was cozily tucked into my boyfriend's arms. He was half-asleep and was mumbling intermittently. I was staring at the white ceiling trying to find dark spots in the seemingly spotless white.
“You are the quiet types, aren’t you?” he whispered drowsily.
“Hmm,” I said.
“You hardly speak, honey. Sometimes your silence is scary!”
“I’m scared of words.”
The words hit his impenetrable sleep and spiraled upwards carrying my thoughts.
I saw my Dad’s hand emerging from the bathroom and asking my Mom for a towel.
“Get ready soon, Daddy, I’ll be late for school,” I yelled with a mouth full of oranges.
“Chew your food properly, Anne, and don’t talk with food in your mouth,” ordered my Mom. She came to the table and meticulously packed my lunch box. I chewed the oranges opening my mouth, now and then, displaying my efforts to my Mom.
“Anne, don’t do that. How many times do I have to tell you that?”
I ran into Daddy’s room and saw him sitting silently on the bed, facing the wall. He was still in his towel. I heard a strange humming sound. I got scared. I had never seen Daddy sit so silently before. I ran back to my Mom and cried, “Mamma...”
“What happened dear?”
“He’s getting ready, isn’t he?”
“He’s not moving…”
“What?” a look of concern flashed on her face and we both ran into the bedroom.
Daddy was there - immobile.
We crossed the bed and saw him. His face was peaceful, almost numb. He was still. Dead calm. But his lips were quivering and he was softly muttering something incoherent. My mom yelled and shook him. But his body was lifeless. His mouth didn’t stop. It was muttering non-stop – “car happy talk office book is was am I a the rat year father anne mother room parrot sand water pavement rain help man stomach dates palm copy sheets snow train battery pencil gas…”
I was petrified. Both my Mom and I were crying.
An ambulance came and took him to the hospital.
A few hours later I saw him in the hospital, unconscious but his mouth moving slowly. When he regained consciousness, there was an incessant stream of words from his mouth.
I never saw him again after that day.
“You are sweating,” said my boyfriend as he hugged me again, “Oh baby, must have had a bad dream. Sleep tight dear.”