Read Part 2 HERE.
The ICU was cold. Really cold. I crossed my arms and squashed my boobs to retain some heat.
When I arrived, papa was sitting next to mama’s bed, holding her hand.
Mama’s condition was critical. Her lungs were failing her, and her oxygen levels were dangerously low.
Apparently, we need lungs to survive.
“Breathe, darling. Breathe,” papa said gently.
And then I saw Him, standing across the bed from papa. It was Jesus. He had a vacant look on his face.
I studied mama, and at the screen where her vitals were numericalised. The ECG beeped, a direct representation of her beating heart.
Then, I looked at Jesus and mouthed “please”. “Please save mama,” I whispered.
“I love you, darling,” papa choked as he stroked mama’s face. I saw 30 years of their marriage condensed into that single moment. 5 children, mortgages, lazy Sunday afternoons; reduced to this devastating anecdote.
For a little while, mama’s oxygen levels did a real cock-tease. Like a cruel joke, they rose, dropped, rose again, dropped again.
But then, they dropped and dropped and dropped. And stagnated.
I felt desperation well up inside of me. “Don’t give up,” papa said quietly.
“Jesus!” I called out loud. “Jesus! Save mama!”
“JESUS!” I screamed. “Please save mama!”
Jesus looked at me, then at mama, and back at me. He shrugged slightly.
I dropped to my knees, the loud sound audible against the beeping ECG. I think I cracked my kneecaps, but my kneecaps be damned; the agony that hijacked my body could numb even a bullet wound.
I crawled towards Jesus, grabbed his nail-pierced hands, and looked up at his placid expression. He narrowed his eyes slowly, and his lips remained sealed. “Please!” I begged. “Please save mama!” Giant teardrops rolled down my cheeks, swiftly dampening the two moles on my left cheek. Soon, I could barely see Jesus’ face through the mist over my eyes, but that didn’t matter because I’d traded his hands for his sandalled feet.
“PLEASE!!” My fingers wrapped around Jesus’ ankle where bare flesh transitioned into a forest of leg hair. “JESUS! SAVE MAMA!” I kissed his right foot, planting my determined lips at that spot between his middle and ring toe. My long hair fanned out as I bent over, sweeping the ICU floor. My tears rained violently, covering Jesus’ feet and the floor with enough moisture to flood the Sahara.
“Please save mama,” I begged with zero dignity through my stuffy nose. “PLEASE, Jesus, PLEASEE!!” I peered up at Jesus through my overworked tear glands.
He just stood there. Silent. Blank.
I would’ve felt ignored, except it took too much energy to be beg and feel ignored at the same time.
“Thank you, darling, for marrying me. Goodbye.” I heard papa’s voice behind me. “Release yourself to Jesus.”
“NO! JESUS, NOO!!!”
Beeeeepppp. The ECG flatlined.
An army of nurses rushed into the ward and ushered us out. The curtains were drawn. I heard urgent pacing and low voices.
I saw a doctor speed walk into the ward.
Moments later, he came out with a solemn look on his face.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
Darkness engulfed me. Like a demented octopus, it wrapped its poisonous tentacles around me, one by one. The first tentacle slashed my wounded heart, and the next one must’ve went right through my eye sockets, because despite the bright hospital lights, all I saw was blackness.
That night, I said two goodbyes. One was to my precious mama.
The other was to…
P.S.: It took me (a tad bit too much) gin to finally realise that I’m far from over mama’s death that happened a few months ago. I usually categorise my Chasing Imaginary Jesus stories as “Fiction”, but I’m leaving this one as “Uncategorised”.