The space between those two heartbeats – where my heart tried to follow Cid’s – were broken – no shattered – by a sudden wailing that filled the room. I lifted my head off Cid’s hand to discover his mother’s mouth wide open and a keening noise blasting out of it.
My astonishment at this noise was interrupted by Cid’s uncle who pushed me aside with one hand as he grasped the intravenous lines with another and yanked them out of Cid’s arm and then his wrist. He then grabbed Cid under the armpits and began shaking him up and down – as if he could shake him back to life.
My hands flew to my mouth and I watched in horror as his uncle flung Cid about and his mother began to beat on herself. Recovering from the shove his uncle had given me, I backed against the wall to keep myself out of the uncle’s way in case his insanity swept him completely away and I got sucked in to the vortex. I also wanted to put as much distance between myself and the noise coming from his mother. It was loud enough to hurt my ears. I was torn between covering my mouth in shock or plugging my eardrums.
Fluid pumped from the intravenous lines and started forming puddles and I watched helplessly as his uncle slipped on the floor as he tried to bring Cid back to life. The IV machines rocked dangerously on their wheeled bases as he jostled them in his macabre dance with Cid. It truly was a comedy of horrors.
The noise from his mother eventually brought the nurse and she burst into the room and came to an abrupt halt while she tried to understand what was occurring. Rushing forward, she wrestled with the uncle in an attempt to free Cid from his grasp and she had to yell into his face to get him to stop. With one hand restraining the uncle, she turned to the mother and tried to calm her as well.
I still stood against the wall, my mind unwilling to take in what these two were doing in their grief. Every time the nurse let go of the uncle, he would grab at Cid again and begin to shake him once more. Once she got through to him, he turned his grief against himself and turning his back, he began pulling at his hair. His mother still wailed and the nurse spent the next couple of minutes trying to get her to take a breath and to quiet down so as not to disturb other patients.
It was some time before they were both composed enough to gather themselves so we could leave the hospital. His mother wept on her brother’s shoulder as we walked through the doors of the hospital and I was surprised to see that another day had dawned. Behind me I knew that Cid lay under a sheet somewhere in the bowels of the hospital. In front of me lay the upcoming funeral and I didn’t know what to expect.
Arriving back at Cid’s condo, I placed a call to my mother to tell her the news. Then I called D. His soft voice broke and I listened to his quiet sobs when I told him that our dearest friend was gone. Both Mom and D told me the same thing. Come home.