The rest of that day was spent monitoring Cid’s oxygen levels and sharing the space beside him with his mother. Personally I was still having trouble with my life because of the mental breakdown, and dealing with antagonism was not something I could manage - so I tried to ignore the looks and comments that were coming from his mother.
When supper-time rolled around his mother again took over the kitchen and I changed the oxygen tanks while keeping an eye on his oxygen levels. His mother asked Cid where he got his new microwave oven and Cid told her that it had been a present from D and I. She stood looking at me while she wrapped potatoes in aluminum foil before she put them all in the microwave and turned them on. When they started arcing she screamed and ran out of the kitchen and Cid’s uncle raced in and flung open the door. Her claims that she didn’t know that would happen made me realize this woman really resented me. I knew she had owned a microwave for years. I bit my lip and busied myself in the bedroom for a bit.
Cid’s condo was really small. Too small for 4 people. The kitchen overlooked the living room which held a small table where we sat and ate. The one bedroom was taken up with a huge desk and queen-size bed. There was just room enough to edge around the bed if you wanted to get in. Everything could be heard in the whole condo when you used the bathroom. To escape I would go into the bedroom and sit on the edge of the bed and look out the window. It was the only place for me to go and I would try to shut out the sound of them talking amongst themselves in Italian as I searched the view for something to quiet my mind.
I was sitting in there staring out at the streetlights when I heard Cid starting to gasp and choke. Racing into the living room I found him lying on the couch, unable to breathe.
“You have to sit up Cid,” I said as calmly as I could and I got his uncle to hoist him into a sitting position. I had a look at the oxygen tanks we had been supplied with and I somehow managed to link two of them together and I got Cid more oxygen than he had been getting. Then I gave him a nebulizer to inhale – even though it wasn’t time for one. In a few minutes his breathing returned to as normal as it could and I could see how exhausted he was from the ordeal.
“Thanks Aims. I think you just saved my life.”
I wrapped my arms around him gently and kissed his sweet lips. I wanted to tell him how much I didn’t want his life to be in my hands - and I couldn’t. I wanted to tell him that I wanted his life to go on forever and ever – far past mine – and I couldn’t. I wanted to tell him how precious his life was to me and how it had always been that way – and I couldn’t. All I could do was let a tear drop from my cheek onto his and rub it in.
That night I made Cid sit up in bed against as many pillows as we could find. I didn’t want another episode like that to happen in the middle of the night. I perched again on the foot of the bed and watched him as he slept.
It was a long night.