CII | Some Delusion

The smell of vomit
engulfs me.

I breathe it in,

and whimper into her bony chest.

What if I forget you?
I whisper

when the panic
in my chest dissipates.

run down

my back

when Tammie’s fingers
brush across my throat.

I give in to the

comforting sensation.

A shudder
of pleasure.

She smiles at me.

Her apologetic smile.


You always forget.


I open my mouth
to argue

but I can’t.

I forgot her, didn’t I?

When I first arrived.

She breathes onto me again,
her foul rotting breath

making her

the centre of my universe.


But I’ll always come back.
I’ll make you remember.


What if they kill you?

There’s a new patient
to replace Benny.

A girl this time.

The nurse behind her

taps her shoulder, calls her name.


Usually a guy
is replaced with another guy.

This girl is plump,
lifeless wispy hair.

Her hands are wrapped around herself
as if to keep her guts from falling out.

She walks with a limp.

Her eyes unseeing.


They won’t.
I won’t die unless you kill me again.


I’ll never kill you, I tell her.

She smiles at me.
An apologetic smile.

She’s said this


I’m still thinking
when a hand taps my shoulder.

My name has been called.

It’s my turn.

Tammie lets me go
with no hesitation.

I feel cold

without her arms around me.

I really
cannot live





I count the pills
given to me.

It’s the correct number.

I swallow them all.

Even the one
that’ll make me forget.

I make eye contact
with the masked nurses
one at a time.

Telling them quietly
it doesn’t matter

if I can’t figure out

what’s their conspiracy.

As long as I have

I’ll let them be.

The masked nurse on the left
takes out a drink packet

and slides it over to me.

I examine it.
Some protein drink.

The packet
is familiar to me.

The nurse gestures

for me
to take it.

‘You haven’t eaten for 72 hours.’


She hasn’t eaten for 72 hours.

She’s malnourished,


I blink at the nurse.

My hands are shaking
so I put the packet down.

The angmoh nurse

pokes the straw in for me.

Hands it back.

I don’t take it.
I can’t take it.

I remember another nurse
doing the same.

Holding it out to Tammie,
poking the straw for her.

She refused to take it.

She cried instead.

Smiling that apologetic smile,
shaking her bald head,

begging the nurse,
‘I can’t! I can’t!
‘Please don’t make me drink this anymore!’

Even the brand
of it

is the same.

And I know
the doctor asked the nurse
to do this

on purpose.

Tammie saw me watching her
and she glared at me.

‘I can’t eat without puking.
‘I have nightmares every time it’s dark.

‘You’ve ruined my life.
‘Are you happy now?’

I still didn’t know what I’d done.

Watching her throw up

solid food,
liquid food,

She didn’t follow me home
because she liked me.

She didn’t do homework with me
because she liked me.

She didn’t skip class with me
because she liked me.

I had been living in a dream
about the two of us


The nurse forced it

her throat.

‘Drink! Tamara, please.’

She was crying.
The nurse held her chin,

forced the straw between her teeth,

squeezed the packet

The angmoh nurse
holds my chin the same way,

he forces

the liquid

down my throat.

The masked nurses

They trap my arms,
keep me from struggling.

And I feel
what Tammie felt

back then.

It’s for your own good,
they say.
They said.

She was shaking so much.
Then, she vomited again.


That day,
when Tammie brought me home,
telling me her dreams for

the future.

A future that doesn’t have me.

A light flashed.

She took my picture.
She sent it to my mother.

Proof that she brought me home

The walls started
closing in.

‘I can’t stay,’ she said
when I gripped her arm.

‘Today is the last day.
‘Now, I’m free.

‘All the best for O Levels.’

And I learnt the truth.

She didn’t love me.

She just found me interesting.
Different from everyone else.

She was curious.

I trapped her against the wall,
not letting her go.

I asked her why she hugged me,
held me to sleep,
why she taught me pleasure.

It was

just for fun.

It was

a normal people thing.

‘Don’t take it
‘so seriously.’

‘Let me go.’


She screamed at me.
Fear made her whole body shake.

She scrambled out of bed,

her bandaged head
bleeding again.


I had hit her
until she stopped resisting me.

‘I thought we were friends,’
she had said.

‘No. We’re more than that,’
I had replied.

She laughed at me.
Grey eyes bright.

Tammie bit down on my hand,
severed my little finger.

I threw her inside my cupboard
so she couldn’t leave me.

She became quiet then.

She stopped
          trying to leave.

But I was shaking all over.

They had brainwashed her.
I had to get Tammie back.

So I called the police
and went looking for them.


Tammie looks up
at me when I return

to the main hall.

Her apologetic smile

turns triumphant.


I don’t know
what’s real anymore.




error: Content is protected!!