Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Today she would show them. Today was the day she would get out of the chair and demonstrate to the ladies who made her swallow the awful pills how she could dance. Dance like the days back in Roma, when she was a young girl and the boys would wait for hours to have a dance with her, and there was champagne and beautiful flowers.

Yes today she would show them. Show them that she was not just an old lady who wet herself and needed help eating and getting dressed in the morning. Once she had beautiful dresses and she loved to go out and dance and sing and laugh, oh how she loved to laugh. She began pulling herself out of her wheelchair but her arms were simply too weak and she collapsed back into her seat. She tried again, this time getting to her feet and standing up, when she felt a firm hand on her shoulder, “Sit down Isabella!” the one with the pills shouted angrily, and again she collapsed back into the chair. Then it began to happen again, “No, not again!” she thought, but it was happening again, where the picture in her mind began to fade and she was left with nothing but silence in her head.

Isabella was in fact a great beauty at one time, and many men sought her company, but finally she found her beloved Niko, and her heart found what it truly had been looking for. Their life together was wonderful, and the only disappointment was then she was unable to have children due to an infection she had suffered during the Great War. She had in fact nearly died during the war, but God had spared her, and now at the age of 94 she had outlived almost everyone she had ever known.

Isabella had always heard that long life was a blessing, and the part of her that wanted to dance still believed this very much. But it was just that she felt so helpless sometimes, when the ladies would come and change her, and when she would be lying there with no clothes on and men would walk by and not even notice or care. She thought of the time, the first time in Roma, when Niko had kissed her. She had wanted to go further with him, but her mother said she must make men wait, and so that’s what she did.

She and Niko had waited until they had gotten married and then she gave herself to him totally and completely. He was the only man that had ever seen all of her, and now men walked by her all of the time and could see her and look at her, and she felt very ashamed. Why don’t they shut the door or cover me, she thought angrily, am I not still a woman who wants that part of her to remain private? Many men back in Italy had wanted to see her, but she was a Catholic girl and this was strictly forbidden. “Don’t they know?” she thought to herself, “Don’t they know that her father used to chase the boys away when they would come to see her too late at night?” These thoughts suddenly made her mind very tired and she put her head down and gave way to sleep.

When she awoke she was in the dining room, and someone had placed a big white bib on her so she wouldn’t spill. She looked to one side and saw a man, a handsome man, but very old, who simply stared straight ahead and paid no attention to her at all. She looked further and saw the one with pills, and decided that the time was now. She pushed herself up in the chair and got to her feet, and for a second she felt like a young girl again. She placed her arms around her imaginary partner’s neck and began shuffling her feet back and forth, imagining the grand ballrooms of Roma as she swayed back and forth. But then a hand came crashing onto her shoulder and she snapped back into the present. “Sit down before you break your neck,” the one with the pills shouted angrily. And she complied, but finally, at last she had a secret. She knew that at least for a moment she could go to a place in her mind that they couldn’t touch or take away from her. She slumped back into the chair, and soon these wonderful memories faded into silence, and Isabella’s mind grew quiet until the next time.

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