She’s leaving home

My name is David, and I am a friend to Clarice Corrigan.

Two weeks ago she came to visit me, and was not herself. Please understand that I know Clarice well, and she is the finest person I have ever met. She was more quiet than usual, and would not eat or drink anything, even tea. She didn’t appear to be ill or in distress, but she lay down on the sofa. This was odd, as she always used to sit primly on one of the wooden dining chairs.

I knew not to make small talk, as she would not suffer it. With her arms folded behind her head, she said “David, you must call an ambulance. You must tell me when it has arrived. You will say to the operator that I am in delirium. That I have a rapid heartbeat of one hundred fifty and am saying things that are not intelligible. That my breathing is shallow. Say just that.”

“David, I am leaving here for a time. You know where I am going. It will be all right. Tell no one.”

I did as she asked, because I know her. During the fifteen minutes it took the ambulance to arrive, she appeared calm and conscious, and spoke to me at intervals. When I told her of their presence, there appeared to be no change in her. Until they came into the room. It began with the rapid onset of a body blush. Her limbs seemed to twitch and tremble, and I could notice a more shallow respiration. The medics recorded her pulse as 175, and put her in an oxygen mask. They tried to ask her questions, but she lost consciousness.

In less than ten minutes, Clarice was secured in the van on was on her way to hospital.

In distress, I followed them, remembering her words. “It will be all right. Tell no one”.

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