The visitor

“Hi mom!”

Jennifer stroked her mother’s head and left the bag of oranges on the bedside table. Waving back to the nurse who’d led her in, she slumped on the chair next to her mother’s at the centre for the aged and helpless.

“Hello,” her mother replied in a small voice, unable to muster enough energy to speak or extend a smile beyond centimetres. She remained silent for the rest of the hour. With all hope of seeing the outside world gone now, she often took short walks only within the corridors or, on certain good days, the garden. Years had weakened her Parkinson’s-riddled body, and her once-bulletproof memory was now letting go.

Jennifer couldn’t have cared for her on her own. But alas, the world knows only to blame.

“See you tomorrow, mom.” Sighing, Jennifer kissed her mother’s forehead.

“Bye, Laura.”

Laura was one of the three nurses who took shifts to provide her round the clock care.

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