I had been warned before I went. But I was unprepared for what I saw.

I glanced at her and looked away, pretending to be talking to someone else, so that she would not see the shock in my eyes.
God knows how many times she must have seen it – and how it must have scared her.
She had deteriorated so much in the few months since I last saw her.
Last time, I thought she was just skin and bones. Now it seems like she was much healthier then.

She sat up to talk to us. I could not allow my eyes to stay on her face for long… I was afraid I would not be able to hide the disbelief, the pain, the memory – the memory of her ten years ago at a wedding, her face healthy and glowing and bright with happiness.
Who would have known.

We talked, smiled, enquired generally about each other. I kept skipping over topics, almost with no break. Silence could be dangerous, silence could bring back unpleasant thoughts. The distraction might do her good.

If the sight terrified me so, how much more would it be for her – to feel every day, the fear, the knowledge, the dread of the inevitable.

She went back to bed because she was tired. I said it was okay, she didn’t have to get up when we left.

I try to keep it away but the thought continues to return to mind.
It is only a matter of time…