NOWPart 1: 'all is not well'
"One moment changes everything, just one moment" – Tash
"Sometimes not even that," – Rhys
" Sometimes, a moment is too long, and everything has already changed" – Tash
"Often it is out of our control" – Rhys
"Yet still we have to deal with the consequences,"– Tash
"Regardless of the outcome" - Rhys
"It leaves you wondering" – Tash
"what could have been?" – Rhys
"What should have been?" – Tash
" What Would have been?" – Rhys
" But ultimately the real question that remains is..." – Tash
"why me?"- Rhys
Sometimes he just sits there, phased out, lost in his own thoughts, not really connecting with anyone and anything, as the world continues with its ongoing commotion and ponders: what if things were different. What if he had left work five minutes earlier or later or what if he had stayed on? What if he had been sick that day, what if there had been road works, what if he had broken down? What if he didn't stop off on the way to pick up Vanessa's request? What if?
But it doesn't matter how long he sits and thinks up different scenarios, the reality never changes. No single what if becomes a what has. The reality remains: No surgery. All that hard work, all that dedication, all that pain, all the desire, all of it, everything, gone. Just like that. At the snap of a finger, all is taken from him. The mere thought brings back that all too familiar sharp pain- the one that lingers, pricking his heart, like a slow constant stabbing of an icicle. The process always ends with him asking himself: Why? Why him? Why did it all have to happen to him and now? Of all times now? It hurts too much. But more than that, it's not pain that engulfs him but rather anger, the frustration, the annoyance of being out of control. Of being constantly told "patience"- all in good time. The constant enraging irritation of the sympathetic looks he receives. He isn't a charity case; he doesn't want anyone's pity. He never did growing up and he most certainly doesn't now.
He knows he's wasting his time, that it is futile to sit and think about the 'ifs, the could's, the should's and the would's.' He does know it. Deep down he does, but that doesn't change anything. He can't help but feel the anger boil all over and the frustration takes control once again. He can lie to the world, but deep down he can't lie to himself. He hates what has happened. He hates it.
And nobody gets it; nobody understands what surgery meant to him. It wasn't just a career, a job or the fruit of his labour-even the fact that he worked so hard to get to where he was; ultimately doesn't even matter. What really pains him and hurts every time is the thought of looking into her tired, honest eyes and telling her that her son has failed. Failed in his promise. The promise of making things right, of taking care of her, of giving her the years of happiness she lost, whatever it takes. He just can't bare it. Then the stabbing starts all over again.
He is liar, he can't help her. Not now at-least. Flowers, visits, and affection he can still give them in abundance. But they are all commodities, they don't really help. Yeah temporarily they allow her forget her reality. But the one thing that she needs, the one thing he could have been close to giving her, he failed at. He can't bring back time he knows that. He's not idiot, but he could have bought her some more. Even if little but some sure, real, time. The years she lost in heartbreak and in physical pain may just have subsided then, somewhat. But he's a liar now, he can't help her.
Of course he knows what her reaction would be, if she knew what he was thinking. She will tell him to stop- with all the force she has in her. She may be ill but he knows that when his mother is serious about something, nothing will stop her from letting it be known. She'll tell him to stop and that he's being childish, none of that matters to her. What will she do with time if most is spent with her son feeling like he owes his mother something. She would tell him that all that matters is now. All that matters is the present, of him being with her now, of them being together and being able to spend all the glorious moments together which would then transform into cherished memories. His happiness is all that matter to her, nothing else matters.
But that just makes it all worse. How can he be happy when the only true happiness he has is going to slip away from him and he will be able to do nothing about it. He'll be just like every other person standing back, not being able to do anything. This kills him. And he feels the stabbing pain all over. He doesn't want to live his life n the basis that tomorrow she may not be here. Everyone is going to die, that is certain. Death is certain. What is not to say that she would outlive him and tomorrow he may not be hit by a bus? He doesn't want her to live her life counting down the moments she spends with her son, thinking each time they say goodbye, it might be the last. She shouldn't have to. Then he thinks back to the day his world came crumbling round him. Like a complete circle and he goes back to his 'what if's, the coulds the shoulds and the woulds.'