The bird is singing again. On and on and on. Impossibly sweet and musical. She wishes it would stop.
She does not know it is not a bird at all, and that the view from the window of blue sky and the tops of trees are as enchanted as the birdsong. She does not really know anything.
If the bird stopped she might… She has forgotten what she might. Perhaps she could… No, it is gone again.
He comes with the old lady. He is tall and looks like someone she thinks she might have known. A little boy used to come with the old lady? Maybe not. She dreamed it. She is dreaming the tall boy now. He smiles, but does not say anything.
The old lady chatters on. She wishes she would stop. Then she might just remember… Remember what? She cannot remember.
She gives the boy the paper she finds in her pocket. She likes him she thinks, she wants him to know that. He smiles again and calls her a name that she is sure is not hers. She remembers – or did she dream that too? - using the same name herself a long time ago when she was a little girl. There was a lady with a round smiley face and a green robe; she thinks of the taste of fresh bread and butter and cold cold milk.
She likes that dream.
She does not like the dream that comes sometimes when the bird is quiet and the sky is dark. Harsh voices; someone crying out; pain, pain, pain.
When she wakes screaming, the fat lady with the kind eyes comes, or sometimes it is the tall one with the long chin. The fat one is gentle and the noises she makes are soothing. The tall one is spikier, sharp. She does not like her.
When they are gone, she lies quiet and tries to…
But she can't…She just can't.
There is a man in the bed nearby.
He is there in the night when the pain dreams come. She thinks the little boy (or is it the tall boy?) and the old lady talk to him as well as to her.
He sings sometimes under his breath. She likes that better than the bird. Sometimes, when he sings she can almost…
But never quite.
He is always there in the morning when she wakes up and the sky outside the window is bright again.
He smiles at her, and she does not know why.
But she likes the man. She smiles back.