I owe it to him. At least I think I do. It’s hard to recall everything now, to remember what happened, to see things as they must have been, then. But he was my friend. I remember that much. And so I owe him something.
It’s hard being like this, unable to do much, unable to talk. People ignore me most of the time. He doesn’t though. He still talks to me, at night, when everyone else is asleep. I listen to him sometimes, talking to me, and I want to reply, but I can’t.
Oh, I can get around, and make myself heard if I really want to, but it’s a lonely existence when all is said and done. Perhaps helping him will make things easier for me.
It wasn’t his fault. Even though he blames himself, I know the truth. And the truth is that it wasn’t his fault. It was mine. I was greedy. Greedy for power, for control.
They knew that and they inveigled their way into my life, into my mind. They offered me all those things that I wanted, that every normal person wants, wealth, power, influence, women. And so I took it. I took what they had to offer and went willingly with them.
He didn’t. He didn’t need their help. He has the money, the influence, the power. And even if he didn’t he would still never have done what I did. No. I was weak. And I regret it. I gave up everything for their empty promises. Everything. I did what they asked and they left me to die, alone, unloved.
So here I am, late at night, meeting him once more, in the still dark of his silent room. He doesn’t know I am here yet. Perhaps this time he will welcome me, will listen to what I have to say. I can help him if he will listen to me. I want him to listen. I want him to hear me. I owe him this much, for what he did for me.
He’s asleep now. Well, not really asleep. I wouldn’t call it sleeping. I haven’t slept for ….. I don’t know how long now. To sleep, perchance to dream. Was it Shakespeare who wrote that? I’d like to dream again. Dream of warm sun and bright skies, of women and love. To be able to dream and wake up, feeling the warmth of a woman lying next to me, her hand across my chest, her head asleep on my shoulder.
But I don’t dream now. And I miss it. I miss a lot of things. The taste of butter on hot toast, that first sip of whisky after a long day, the tingling delight of a hot shower on tired skin, the coolness of my pillow under my head. Friends. Lovers.
I miss them all.
There’s no one else around now. Just me. And him. I lean over him, watching him sleep, his breaths slow and even at first. Then it starts. The nightmare. And I know what it is he sees. Dear God, I know. And there is only one thing I can do to help him.
I owe him this much. This man who killed me , who set me free from my torment, who dreams about me every night. My friend.
Ed. It’s me. Craig. I say to him. I lean over him, closer and closer. I forgive you. Do you hear me? I forgive you. Thank you Ed, I say to him. You saved me. Sleep well.
And he hears me. At last. And sleeps. Peacefully.