Maggie Hitchin. I told you I’d write about you.

‘You are only 25 once.’

Those were the last words she spoke and then she died.

She released my hand, exhaled loudly and her head fell softly on to the pillow.

It was not as romantic as I am making it sound.

I shit myself.

I have never seen anyone die and it was a Tuesday at 5pm.

People aren’t meant to die on Tuesday at 5 pm.

I was only at the hospital to visit a welsh friend who had broken his hip after drinking too much and falling down the stairs at the Chinese karaoke while impersonating Mariah Carey, and now somehow I had ended up with the last dying wisdom of a woman I had never seen before in my life.

And it was 10 years too late!

I had been walking past and she had shouted me.

‘Please talk to me,’ she had said all forlorn ‘I am so lonely.’

And she had looked so old and lonely.

She looked like Bambi right after her mother was shot.

All Dow eyed and pathetic.

I couldn’t keep walking, in the same way I can’t walk past a homeless person.

Her leg was all propped up in hanging basket type contraption, her hair was everywhere, she looked frail, there were no flowers on her nightstand, or grapes, the room just seemed so bare.

‘OK’ I had thought. ‘5 minutes with this old bird won’t kill me.’

No but it’ll kill her.

For GODS SAKE and FML and all those other acronyms the youth of today use.

I picked the wrong week to give up smoking!

I let go of her hand and ran back in to the hallway.

‘Help!’ I shouted at a clearly over tired, over worked and underpaid nurse dragging a huge medical bin behind her with a heave and huff ‘help! The woman in there just died!!!’

‘She is not dead’ came the exhausted reply as she carried on dragging her waste up the corridor ‘She does it to everyone who walks in to the ward. If you are looking for B ward it’s down the end on the right. Next time you visit I suggest you ignore her pleas…’

‘No, she is dead I’m sure of it. She literally just died.’

The nurse stopped walking and turned around with a sigh, ‘Margaret?’ she shouted.

‘Sorry!’ came the reply from a most definitely still alive Margaret in the room behind me. ‘Couldn’t resist!’

I am still shaking now.

Mad old bitch.

‘Will you come back and visit me tomorrow?’ she asked with an evil grin, as I stood there clutching my heart, trying to get my breath back and wondering if I had a spare pair of pants in my bag.

‘Definitely.’ I laughed. ‘You just made a friend for life.’


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