LXV | Something Between Us

You think
I’m a hallucination.


I don’t.


Then why won’t you
open your eyes.


I can’t.


You haven’t changed at all,


I haven’t?


Even when we were best friends,
you were always cursing me.


I’m sorry.




I open my eyes
and I’m still

sitting in my armchair.

Tammie’s seat is empty.

The pretty nurse
is holding my hand.

Moonlight Sonata plays in the background.

It’s still
medicine time.

Nina’s chair

is also empty.

The one who emerges
from the medicine room

is Li Wen—

escorted by the angmoh nurse.

My throat is raw.

I open my mouth
to ask for water.

A hoarse groan

comes out instead.

The pretty nurse

lets go of my hand.

The nurses

and I realise

Moonlight Sonata

has stopped


Have I taken my medicine?




The one who hands me
a cup of water

is Asher.

The one who asks
if I’m okay

is Asher.

The one who waits outside
while I shower

is Asher.




show up.


Only when I’m
about to panic
just before bedtime

does the door creak open

and the vile stench
that accompanies her

fills the room.

White light from the hallway
also streams in.

I sit up.

Tammie, I say.

Her grey eyes
glitter menacingly

in the half light.

She doesn’t speak.

She stands
beside my bed,


I scoot over,

make space for her.
But she just

stares down

at me.

Please, sleep with me,
I whisper.

She winces


Our eyes meet
but she doesn’t move.

I lie back down

and wait
for her to relent

and lie down.


I fall asleep waiting.




Early in the morning
I wake with a start

to find her still

staring down at me.

Not having

even a little bit.

It’s creepy—
her grey eyes

in the dim light.

A cold shiver
runs down

my sweaty back.

I sit up suddenly.

Tammie doesn’t

What if…

what if…

Nina is right?

As if she can hear my thoughts,
a tear slides down Tammie’s face.

She’s reacting

to what
I’m thinking?

More tears

A hallucination.
A hallucination.

Tammie’s not real.

I bunch up the blanket
in my hands.

Is she really

a figment
of my imagination?

I throw

the blanket

at her.

She makes
no move

to dodge it.

The impact knocks her

She lands

(even though the floor’s carpeted)
with a painfully distinct


Her hair

her face.

I stand up,
reaching out my hands,

before I can think.

She shrinks away
from me.


Forget it.


I hear her voice clearly.


If you think I’m not real,
then continue to ignore me.

It’s better like this

after all.

Sorry for appearing
in your life again.


No! Tammie!
I cry out like a baby.

Come back!

With grey eyes

as wet concrete,

she runs

from my room.

I kick the blanket
I threw

and bend over, sobbing.

Tears fall
even though

I don’t feel

very much.

It shouldn’t hurt to lose a figment
of your imagination.

So perhaps she is


a hallucination.

But I’m remembering
all sorts of simple memories.

Both of us
wearing our secondary school uniform.

Both of us
watching Naruto and eating cup noodles.

I threw—

not a blanket but—

at her.

She’s real.

There was blood.
Her eyes were darker


I remember visiting her

in a hospital,
(not a psych ward, a general one)

and her telling me,


You’ve done nothing
but insult me and give me pain.




error: Content is protected!!