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Rated: E · Short Story · Death · #2245567
When mom arrived home from hospital by ambulance, there was another quiet person with her.
I am a caregiver for my eighty-five-year-old mother. She is a sweet old lady who loves a chat, but one of the problems for me is I have heard every story multiple times. I usually smile and let her finish, depending on how long the story is, but today, she had one I hadn't heard before, and I thought it was write-worthy.

About four years ago, she developed pneumonia, and in the morning, when she awoke, she was struggling to breathe. I had left for the gym, and it was only her and my twin daughters at home. They were around eleven at the time, and looking back, I'm not sure who I was thinking was looking after whom. They were typical girls at that age...more mature than boys of the same age, which I am glad of in hindsight. They managed to summon an ambulance between the three of them, which was there with my mom in the back when I arrived home from my workout.

She spent a week recovering and was discharged from the hospital, almost back to her old self. An ambulance was used to bring her home because my car is impractical with her arthritic knees. Now, four years on, she asks me if they would transport a dead body with a living person. My answer was probably not, but why was she asking.

She then recalls the conversation she had with the other person, who was in the ambulance with her on the return trip from the hospital. First off, how could she not know if this person was dead or alive? Well, she said it was dark back there, and the person was covered, so she didn't see him (she knew the person was male because he was very tall). She remarked about the shape of his feet, which appeared to be wrapped together under the blanket.

After entering the ambulance, she said hello to the other passenger but received no reply, which she thought was odd...although it didn't stop her from chatting away to the unfortunate man. I suggested perhaps he knew her type and was pretending to be dead, so he didn't have to talk to her. There are times when I have to check on my mom's status, and this was one of those times, as the terse look told me she was very much alive and well.

Further investigation has proved inconclusive...the fact that he made no sound whatsoever didn't move, and his feet appeared wrapped together, is, in my opinion, purely circumstantial. Although if it were me in the back of that ambulance, and they put a lady like my mom in with me, I would pretend to be dead too.
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