I stormed out of my house to get a newspaper and milk only. I couldn’t imagine winter evenings without my favorite magazine and my favorite cocoa. Anyway, I was in a hurry, because my favorite TV series was about to start. And if I were late for an opening episode my colleagues would spoil all the fun, by summarizing the story in detail. So I did my shopping in less than no time and dashed out of the shop like a madman. I was running so fast that I staggered heavily on a slippy surface at the first turn. My small shopping spilled on the ground. I bent over to pick them quickly and resumed my run for the show.
„Jesus, Son of Mary!” I screamed seeing a man laying in a building recess.
I had no idea what to do. Maybe the man was intoxicated and I shouldn’t have come over to him at all. But wait a minute, we have winter! The guy can freeze to death. I took out my mobile and dialed an emergency number to call a rescue service.
„Hallo?! I found an unconscious man at the corner of Węgierska and Łowicka Streets. I don’t have a slightest idea what had happened to him. Please send someone over as soon as possible.” I recited excitedly. For the first time I called help.
„We will be there in 15 minutes. Please stay where you are!” I heard a cracking voice in my earpiece.
So I stayed there, looking around. I have completely forgotten about my TV show. I drew closer to the lying man and shook his arm.
„Do you hear me, sir? Hey! Are you ok?” I said with my voice raised.
He was not intending to answer. He didn’t look like a homeless bump and didn’t smell of alcohol. Perhaps he fainted? I measured his pulse and checked if he’s still breathing. I felt like an action movie heroine.
„Sir! I’ve called an ambulance, rescue is coming!” I screamed again, which didn’t make any sense, as the man clearly laid there unconscious.
„Train.” Muttered the man. „There’s no time maybe no, plse.” He whimpered silently.
I did not understand a word of what he had just said.
„Could you say that again? What train? You wanted to take a train?” I kept asking. Only to keep the conversation going.
„Maria, do not leave me, the train.” The man shuddered lightly.
„Maria, who is Maria?” I asked.
„My wife, my dear… Mary, you won’t make it. Stay, noooo, don’t go or you’ll die!!! The guy was evidently recalling something.
„What happened? Are you sick or something?” I felt seriously alarmed. I was scarred that the man will start to wrestle and will run away in panic. I am not sure what I would do in such case.
„I want to see my Mary. Please, take me to my Mary. I want to go to heaven…” Old man cried.
„But you are here for now. The ambulance will be here in a moment. Everything will be fine. You’ll be safe in a moment.” I said, holding his hand. He squeezed it.
„Mary? You are here! You are here my dear. I knew you will come back. I knew they were lying. You are alive!” The man stroked my chick.
I squatted next to him, confused.
„But I am not…” I wanted to explain that he confused me with his wife.
„Mary, do not leave me. Do not ever leave me. Stay with me.” Old man became pale, he was trembling restlessly.
Where is that ambulance?! I screamed, not knowing who is this yell’s addressee.
„Mary, this whiteness is so beautiful. We will spend Christmas together. Look at this beautiful Christmas Tree. It is reaching to heavens. I can see our daughter. She was under the Christmas tree all the time” – I didn’t comprehend a word of what the man was muttering.
Fortunately, I have heard an ambulance siren wailing in the distance.
„Sir. The doctor is coming. Stay with me, please!” I said loudly.
Suddenly, I sprang back from him to make a room for the doctor.
„Mr Henry? Do you hear me? There’s no pulse. Our patient is not breathing.” The doctor ordered reanimation.
„You found him?” Asked the doctor who turned to me after several minutes.
„Yes, how is he?” I asked.
„We came too late, unfortunately. He must have laid here too long. I knew this man. He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.” Said the doctor sadly
„He died? How is that possible? He kept talking something about his wife Mary, his daughter, Christmas tree.” I couldn’t believe it.
„Yes, his wife and daughter died in a terrible accident ten years ago. They were driving through the railroad crossing. The linesman failed to close the barrier and the wife forgot to look around to check if the train is coming. My friend was there to identify their remains. He never saw anything like this. Their death almost killed Mr Henry. And this horrible Alzheimer appeared later. Sad thing, but now his suffering came to an end”. He looked sympathetically at Mr Henry’s body.
„Ok, but I will not hold you longer than necessary here. You must have other business. Thank you for your emergency call.” Said the doctor and turned to go.
I was about to leave also, but something stopped me.
„Doctor, did Mr Henry have any family?” I felt as if a large dumpling was clogging my throat.
„He was completely alone, as far as I know.” Said the doctor, nodding.
I came back home in a completely different mood. I stopped worrying that I may be late for my favorite TV show. The time has stopped for me…