Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

50 GONE, 50 TO GO.

<a href=””>Fifty</a&gt;

                                                                   cheering up the over 50’s.


50 GONE, 50 TO GO.

When I was very young, you know a few centuries ago, male life expectancy was around 72 years on average. When I reached 35 it had risen to about 79 and when I was 50 it was an incredible 85. So imagine how I feel now when 50 is only half, or 50%, of the life probability of any healthy normal man in the developed world. Thinking back, I am already two years past my original deadline – a former girl friend’s awful joke not mine!

But apparently for every terminally life threatening illness, accident or injury in your life after 50 you can knock five years off your maximum forecastable life span. This would mean I am running at minus 30 at the moment and actually died 4 years ago. Well I don’t think I did, at least nobody told me if I did. So I shall stick with my own love of showing how meaningless all statistics really are, and say that whatever my actual age I will probably last at least 50 per cent of the adjusted time left to me.

This is great fun because it makes me immortal. Do you see it? Well, if I’ve reached 74 and should have died at 70, then my age is easily proven to be expectancy +4 . But all 74 year olds of normal health are still only aged forecasted death – 26. But as my forecasted age is now plus 4 then on a 50% average I can hope to reach (70 + 4 ) – (26- 13) all of which equals 61. But As you can see I am 13 years past that so on the 50% probability rule I should last another 6.5 years at least, or 80 odd. And the great thing is that exponentially that figure can never go down, only decrease in relation to my state of health or due to fatal injury or accident.

I’m getting quite animated and beginning to wonder who will be hired to assassinate me when I’m 100 and still categorised as unperishable goods! Boy, being hopeless at maths is great fun. Especially for the over 50’s.



<a href=””>Youth</a&gt;

we’re only young once, thank heavens.


I am often accused of wasting blogging space reflecting so much on my often boring or dreary youth.

Well it’s not my fault if Clive was both boring and dreary. I mean, he just was! What a plonker. From the age of thirteen to seventeen he could have won the world ultra anti-charismatic championships every year. Easily! What do you do to help a bloke who behaves like that?

Carrie was quite a cute girl and she actually felt sorry for the slouching, shambling rather over weight wreck whom she so often saw left to his own devices at school. We would all have let him join the team – if he’d wanted to. We would all have drawn him into fun parties and let him take part in occasional amusing pranks. But he couldn’t have cared less. It was not even as if he smiled when he declined our advances, he just shrugged and shuffled off in his ill-fitting unfashionable clothes. And his hair was a positive mess, front to back and ear to ear. And he wore glasses. Okay lots of us do, but not that shape.

As I say, Carrie was fourteen and a half to Clive’s just fifteen when she made a really kind effort to cheer him up. She really thought he was getting badly depressed, or maybe worse.

“Clive, I’m not doing anything after school today. What say we go for a walk across the common and you can have tea at our place. Mum will love to meet you and it might just get that terribly fed up, sad look out of your eyes?” He just stared at her. He looked as though he thought she was mad, but Carrie wasn’t accepting this. “Come on Clive, for heaven’s sake. Has it never struck you you might be cheering me up?” His expression made it clear it was the last thing that had occurred to him. Carrie started to get cross.

“Well, okay then, loser, be a sulking oaf if you like but at least be nice enough to tell me why. I hate to see people give up on life, and boy Clive have you given up!” She had struck a chord at last. Clive had taken his self-imposed unattractive personality just one step too far. He had to speak to someone. It was making him ill and Carrie seemed as likely to know what he was talking about as anyone. After all he had no brothers or sisters so his natural loneliness was not totally inexplicable. Carrie jumped back in surprise when at last he mumbled

“Sorry. I know I’m a pain to everyone, but Carrie I don’t understand something and all the other boys seem to. They just never talk about it.” Her eyes widened.

”Talk about what, Clive? What’s getting at you?” He blushed furiously, stood on one leg and then the other and finally said,

“I think it’s called puberty. I think that’s what dad said. Something sounding like that. What is it Carrie?” I can’t think of any other boy I’ve ever known at that age who would have made a remark like that to a girl. And a pleasant, attractive one too. She was literally lost for words. How the hell would she know how it was screwing him up. In what way, for crying out loud? Her brother had never mentioned any problems concerning it and he was sixteen. She hadn’t a clue what to say. So she picked up the only thing he’d said that she could sensibly ask him about.

“What do you mean, ‘you think that’s what your dad said?’ What were you talking about, and why didn’t you ask him to explain what he was saying to you?”

“Oh, Carrie it’s so hard. It was three and a half years ago and dad came into my room one afternoon and said he’d like a chat with me. Quite an important one , he said. And he’d just got to what seemed a difficult bit, I hadn’t a clue what he was on about, when he clasped his chest, passed out and died of a heart attack right there in front of me. Mum had left us when I was four, so I only had one aunt left alive of any close relations. But she was petrified of me and barely spoke to me. She fed me and gave me money for clothes occasionally, but otherwise nobody cared about me at all.

“You see, I know lots of you all here think me odd, I do myself, but I don’t know what to do. This shy silent world I’ve built round me is killing me. Carrie. I’m only telling you this much because I really do feel like killing myself. But I wouldn’t do that to you all, you’re all too nice to me.”

As you’ve guessed Carrie and I were good friends and she almost dragged Clive over to me in the school playground. “You’re good at this sort of thing”, she said to me, “please help him all you can and let me join in if you think I’m needed. I may be.”

It took the pair of us a month to straighten out Clive’s total misunderstanding of his physical development and mental confusion. But Carrie was the real heroine, making him feel just like all the rest of us fairly quickly. But on his insistence we promised not to mention his troubles to any other people at all. We knew that trust and confidence were now the most important things he needed in his life. And we gave them to him.

I saw Carrie yesterday and she happened to mention that day, nine years ago. “God knows how we said the right things,” she laughed, “but Clive’s so normal and happy now we must have done something right. And Sarah is really very good for him. But I know one thing. I’ll never take up counselling as a career. One lucky shot in the dark was enough to last me a lifetime.” I grinned back as we walked arm in arm towards the house we were going to have a look at, we desperately wanted to buy it.



<a href=””>Eyes</a>&gt;

                                                                  Look only at me , I wish no more


As I grew up I always knew

that everything I wanted in the girl I loved would have to be

exactly what I imagined I would see

in the eyes

of my wife. From early, wondering years of innocence,

yes even then

when I was only ten,

for my life-long lover to mean to me

and I to she

everything I desired, I knew I could only love a girl

who had at least one following quality.

For a start I was certain I could not live

with someone whose eyes never laughed

and, being vain, especially laughed at me

I mean of course in the sense that she

should share my sense of humour and fun

so that everything we enjoyed

we might enjoy as one;

I had only a tiny space for shared virtues,

in my world there could never be more than two

at once. Well not for a second lover anyway

because of my ideal lover’s second requisite quality.

She had to be somebody, and this I think I knew

beyond doubt when only fifteen,

to whom I would want to be

always faithful

and she always true to me;

I wanted someone I could place upon a pedestal

and to whom my wedding vows of love

would be the sincerest feelings I had ever felt,

promises that, were I to break them,

I might as well have taken a cleaver to my heart

almost smote it in twain with all the strength I had.

The third adjunct to her humanity

would have had to be

the depth of her love for me;

how selfish can a man become

when all he can see

throughout his life

is being worshipped and adored by his wife?

but I also had a safety valve for this emotion,

this common fault in the object of my devotion,

it was this; if ever I let her see me trip or fall

and for a few moments gaze upon another girl.

Then should the wife that I had chosen

out of despair, sadness or for whatever reason,

take her revenge by similarly deceiving me

I would totally and unconditionally forgive her,

providing she never asked me

to confront the object of her brief and physical desire;

I would absolve her

never query question ask or threaten her

Just forgive

I could live

with such a normal human thing.

I could forgive

but only if I realised I too had been capable

of setting her aside for the same reason,

the same very short season,

and one that I knew would never last

indeed that I would have to know had already passed;

her fourth quality? I am surprised you have not wondered

well you have not have you?

why I have not included the beauty

of her looks, her personality, or her physical attributes;

you know they would mean nothing to me.

I firmly believed this from my late teen years

as so many girls of beauty,

normality, shyness or vivacity

had all seemed so alike to me;

the other thing I would have to see in her

would be

a deep and gentle love for her fellow men;

she would have to come to me

unburdened with any type of prejudice

arising out of unreasonable hatred

or dislike of others.

I would place that quality

above any fair features

in her face or figure;

I could only hold her really close

and really love her

if I knew

that she too

loved all humanity

as much as I also do;

so did I ever find her,

this paragon?

Or was she just a fairy dream?

oh I found her once, then twice, then thrice

and am settled now with my fourth wife;

but every time the severance I had to undergo

was due to the ending of her human life,

and each widowing hurt me unbearably;

but did they all have those qualities

I so innocently was certain

I could not live without?

yes of course

they each predominantly had one.

My first, brief, Italian love

loved me so much

she would have given me up

rather than fail in her duty

to help her suffering family;

indeed of the four Lucia

was the closest to a saint in her love of others;

my second, my deepest love, was in Vietnam

Anh gave her life to nursing the destitute

and, in her way,

gave me the strongest reason, daily, to pray.

She and my baby daughter

were killed, before my eyes,

in a war,

that tore

the very heart out of me;

of all my loves it was she

who selflessly

devoted every second of her life to me;

she left me the softest smile I ever knew;

my third wife died suddenly of a cardiac disease,

ours was the briefest, oddest joining of two people.

She was the cause of total forgiveness between

two normal, morally fragile human beings;

her parting present in atonement,

one for one,

was my eldest son;

Lucia ‘s gift was twin daughters and they are still,

and will always be

a part of me,

though living many lands away;

Anh offers herself to me every day

 as I see her and Gemma, our lovely little baby girl.

And finally my fourth,

my longest,

my most enduring love

is still the one

that daily cheers

me, shares our laughter

and loves

how much she loves loving me;

her lasting present is my youngest son,

the greatest gift

of any happy union with anyone.



<a href=””>Carry&lt;

Some burdens are a joy to carry


I am often at a loss when faced with choices of moral rectitude which concern not merely my own behaviour but especially how my actions might impact upon others who perhaps may not share my ethical standards or opinions for reasons of culture or nationality. In short I do not always know how to carry myself appropriately. Let me illustrate such a dilemma which once confronted me when observing some extra mural Mongolian tribesmen on the other side of the bricks to China. This was some twenty odd years after Mao had just collapsed from exhaustion after his rather long walk.

For a start I was not supposed to be in China at all at the time as one of my journalist colleagues was under house arrest in Peking. I was on a flight between Seoul in South Korea and Ulan Batur in Mongolia. We had had to make an emergency stop while the local secret police carried out some local politically secret mission. It was honestly as easy as that. The plane stopped in the apparent middle of nowhere and a few of us, Western and Eastern passengers, just got off and stretched our legs. I simply left the DC6 and went for a stroll in the sunshine. No customs, no soldiers, no nothing. Barely a landing strip and this odd looking wall right next to us. Noticing the wall, and having no idea whether it was the Great Wall of China or just a boundary marker between two countries – absolutely crammed full of miles and miles of sod all – I asked a cute little Asian girl who alighted with me if she knew where we were.

She didn’t even know what I was saying. By 1969 I thought anyone who boarded a jet in Seoul would have a few words of English. They all spoke pidgin American when I had visited the country aged 13 some sixteen years earlier. But no such luck. Her French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese were worse, although the last tongue did elicit a raised eyebrow and the one word “Macao?”. I just slipped my arm in hers, she seemed to like this, or it may just have been the Savile Row hand made sleeve of my three piece, dark blue London suit, but she smiled brightly up at me and dragged me towards the edge of the weird wall. Then she pointed at a group of people who took my breath away. Smiling she jumped up in a little skip and exclaimed,

보기. 그들은 몽골이다. 무료 사람들. 중국어 공산주의하지 않습니다”.

– Now be fair, I never said I didn’t speak Korean, it was just that she had no English. In fact she nearly passed out when I replied

그들은 유목민 부족민해야합니다. 그들은 우리에게 뭔가를 판매 할 것.”

Okay this is showing off. What she said was, roughly, ‘they are Mongolians . They are free , not communists like the Chinese this side of the wall’. And I said something like, ‘yes and they seem to be trying to sell us something too’. She found this very funny and we both delved into pocket and purse to find the odd dollar bill to offer them as she looked as sorry for them as I felt. But boy did we get a shock. The soi-disant chief of the tribe came right up to the parapet, bowed and held out a beautiful ream of silk cloth in green and purple. And clearly it was for her. Indeed his gestures and deportment said more, they said, “And this is for the very beautiful lady who has visited out glorious country!”

Sadly, at this point, the secret policemen stopped playing James Bond and instead rather obviously rounded up their posse of passengers and herded them back onto the plane. But in fairness there were only fourteen of us so the Asian girl, whom I now took to be South Korean, came and sat next to me. She was clutching her huge roll of Mongolian silk and, in very deliberate Korean, – I must have slipped up somewhere in mine – said

나는이 무엇을 할 것인가? 너무 크고 아름답습니다. 하지만 내가 할 수있는, 나와 함께 세계 일주를받을 수 없어? 당신은 그것을 선생님을 하시겠습니까? “

She was offering it to me as she had a long way to travel and could not carry it with her. I felt so touched and honoured that I hardly knew what to do. I could not insult her by refusing, but would I insult her more by offering to buy it or pay for it in some way? Then an idea struck me. I fished in my waistcoat pocket and took out a small pair of nail scissors – English suits are so useful! – and cut out two perfectly shaped hearts, each about the size of a blazer pocket badge. Then I carefully pinned one on the lapel of her flower patterned jacket and the other to my own jacket lapel. She burst into tears.

The secret policemen did not know what to make of us for the last eighty minutes of the flight. But the cabin crew did. A hostess and the chief steward came up to us ten minutes later, as we sat with arms round each others’ necks, and offered us an ice cold bottle of champagne and two glasses. The head steward bowed and added, in Korean of course,

당신이 함께 행복한 결혼 생활을 가질 수있다!”

We couldn’t stop giggling in adorable confusion as we carried on for the rest of that hopelessly happy and wonderful flight which was to carry us so much further than we ever dreamed.



<a href=””>Complicated</a&gt;

nothing is as complicated as the easiest, most obvious truth.


This is a classic example of the bleeding obvious being so complicated  that no sane child can ever master algebra, geometry or trigonometry. Even if they think they have.

Watch . As we all know that in a quadratic equation ;

x = −b ± √(b2 − 4ac) 2a. When the Discriminant (b2−4ac) is: positive, there are 2 real solutions for the value of x.

Well everyone says so, all our teachers did, even my wife who has a double first in pure maths at London University says so, so I’m not arguing. But don’t you see something?

All this means is that there is always a value for x that can be equal to two different things. Ergo if x equals 1, then 1 can equal 1, – wow!! – or it can equal something both different and negative!

Now if that isn’t gibberish and wrong, and very, very complicated, I don’t know what is. And I have doctorates in pure logic and hagiography!! I’m also hopeless at maths taken to this level of lunacy.

Ciao, ciao, enjoy the olympics.

Bon soir.




<a href=””>Apology</a&gt;

what a perfect prompt. I am sorry for deserting you all so long


I was going to tag this interlude in my life “ I’m sorry, thank you all,” but why should I? It wasn’t my fault. It was the cat pushing my wife right over my side of our large oak bed. You see I fell out. Honestly, a straight three and a half foot drop, landing on my hip and the base of my spine and cracking my head on the bedside table as I passed it. Just like Alice down the rabbit hole.

It made a helluva racket and brought my son and his wife running to see if I was alright. The blood and screams woke my wife and she muttered, “Oh God, not again,” before rolling over and doing the same to the cat. Well he deserved it and was out the room in a trice. But then they woke her properly and she was very concerned as she knew I already had four metal pins in my spine and could never again have lumbar surgery. My son got a face cloth and dabbed the blood, his wife told me to stay quite still until I was sure nothing was broken – as if I could’ve moved anyway! – and after some twenty minutes I was restored to the relative safety of the middle of the bed, but in terrible pain.

“Do you want any pain killers, Dad?” my son asked solicitously. Then he remembered I was already on the maximum amount of morphine patches permitted and couldn’t have anything else. I politely declined and finally swore several oaths in three foreign languages. They all understood me, of course, but I felt a lot better for it. I needed an ambulance at once, they decided, as I might have broken my right hip, well it certainly hurt enough. I declined as I had spent enough time in hospital this year. They all knew better than to insist. Then came the real horror.

“Have a nice sweet cup of tea, darling. It’s very good for shock!” My wife must have been mentally disturbed by the incident. She knew perfectly well my latest stroke had left me almost incapable of swallowing, and hot tea through a straw would have choked me. I think she realised her mistake because my son brought me a nutrient supplement drink instead which was foul. But at least it took my mind off the fall it tasted so terrible.

I think the cat must have felt guilty because he slowly peeped round the door to see if I was alright. “Oh I must feed the poor cat, he’ll be starving!” cried my wife and hurried to the kitchen to do just that. I couldn’t work this out because we don’t usually feed him at half past four in the morning. Why would he be starving? She worries too much about that animal.

As my aches got worse, and my moaning quieter, everyone slowly went back to bed. Well, yes, the cat did come too but my wife very considerately kept him well away from me. I was seeing the doctor later that day, not because the whole of my right side was aching like hell, but I was going anyway for a review of my stroke induced eating problems, and to hear what the pain control consultant had said about my treatment after reporting to my doctor on a recent consultation. I supposed it would mean more scans and x-rays and things as well as having to have a monthly injection for my cancer that day. Oh God, and it was on the right side of my stomach as well! I hoped the doctor would realise the fall might have seriously hurt me and stick the needle in the left.

“I shouldn’t think so,” said my wife, she hasn’t got that much time, and anyway you’re too ill to go bothering her with things like falling out of bed. She’s very busy”.



<a href=””>Storm</a&gt;

talk about causing a storm!


When Britain voted  to leave the EU on June 23/24 I was gutted. All my European friends were betrayed and left in penury because they could no longer rely on Britain financially sustaining them. I have changed my mind after today. Why?

It was rigged. Yes, we all know the campaign for the leave  referendum were rigged, but nobody, absolutely nobody, knew how well or by how much. David Cameron wanted to retire for personal and family reasons so he got some buddies together and did this. Or something like it.

“Hey, Teresa you want to be Prime Mistress darling?”

“Who, me. David. How? You’re mad.”

“Listen darling it goes like this. I get Boris, the most brilliant politician in the Western world, to follow up his eight years as Mayor of London by pretending to lead a ludicrous Brexit campaign. He sees the plot, loves it, chuckles and agrees. Not only that, he’s so convincing he wins!”

“But why me. David?”

“Darling, don’t you see? You know my  mate George, the one who’s had a royal baby named after him and been running the country’s finances for six years, wants a rest. Then it’s easy. I ask my mate Phil Hammond if he’d like to be  the Chancellor of the Exchquer and he says ‘when’. Not why but when! He’s gagging for it, he’s fed up with being Foreign minister. Then it’s easy. Brexit wins, I resign,  the party immediately sees it has to elect my successor at once. All the nasty Brexiteers get the bullet, and you as Home Secretary are the best choice for PM because I’ve told you it’s a doddle, and you love the idea. But you’ll have to agree to this. Phil gets finance, two people I can’t stand are given the jobs of negotiating any Brexit deals we might pretend to start and the financing of them, so they’ll be out in no time too.

“Then, after the stool pigeon woman no one wants, resigns from the leadership race and leaves you unchallenged, I must slip her  something for that by the way, everything is Hunky Dory. We have a Tory government for four  more years, a token woman PM, Phil gets the exchequer, you get the glory and the genius Boris becomes chief diplomatic negotiator with the rest of the world.

“Luvvy, we went to school together. Believe me, he’s the cleverest man in the country. And of course it will cause an awful storm in the Labour party!”




<a href=””>Glass

How the other other half quaffs


A Duke stood posing, glass in hand,

Glass fashioned out of burning sand

Yet able to hold cubes of freezing ice

And ice cold drinks chilled in a trice


In champagne flutes, oh purest gems

Of the glass blowers’ skill, their stems

So thin yet still so strong and glowing

Filled full of wine sparklingly flowing


From hands to throats for the idle rich

To toast their host and his young witch,

Who knew why each guest gave a wish,

Champagne can herald any gourmet dish


And would be served on plates of glass

In a marquee pitched on the ducal grass

Of their Graces’ beautifully mown lawn

Where the guests would revel until dawn


Then, caring for neither him nor his wife,

Glasses were refilled, silver fork and knife

Sought morsels only eaten but once a year

While enjoying upper classes glasses’ cheer.



<a href=””>False</a&gt;

False of heart and of love, does your heart beat at all? – Swinburne



His words were mellifluous, sweet coated in honey

His kisses treasured by her at a stream where he lay

His image, reflected, echoed his own love for Echo

Yet his love was false but why so she could not say


Because Juno struck her dumb for false revelations

And fairest Echo to stone was turned that sorry day

So be never like false Narcissus, egocentric, adoring

Only your own false self image as it fades each day



<a href=””>Darkness</a&gt;

Let’s get really morbid!


When our minds totally lose control and everything around us seems hopeless, horrifying, sad beyond belief and frankly tempts us to commit the ultimate act of despair – suicide – we have only one avenue of salvation left. The unexpected kind word of a friend.

To fight the demons of hopelessness that plague those so unfortunate that they can see no chance of anything ever going right again in life a kind word is often all that they have left to hang on to. Take the case of Theresa, for example. Imagine this. She was aged twenty two and had finished her degree exams at university despite overcoming several obstacles. Firstly she fell in love with another student a year earlier and married him. Both of them were very happy, but all too soon she became pregnant and had to study as she went through the problems of pre-natal life while trying to work as well.

She was lucky that her husband understood and helped all he could, but finding a first home, looking after a newly born son just before her final exams and trying to begin a proper family life at the same time was all starting to prove too much for her. True, it eased as the studying and exams finished. Her husband was offered a junior lectureship while carrying on for a doctorate and things were looking up at last. Then Theresa went into Uni one morning to hear her results  and was shattered to discover she had failed to gain a pass. They said she could do her third year again, but with a child it might be too much. She texted the news to her husband who said he and their baby son would pick her up at the college and cheer her up. Imagine what went through her head as his car rounded a bend approaching her and was crushed by a huge lorry that killed their baby son and his father on the spot.

Theresa was quickly taken to the nearest hospital, unable to take in what had happened. As an orphan, a happy family of her own had been something she always craved and she had been given it. But her mind could not accept a new world in which such ultimate happiness had been snatched away from her. She found she could not speak.

Weeks in a psychiatric ward being cared for by so many well meaning people never restored this ability to articulate a single sound of grief, of pity, of anger or of despair. She was mentally empty and her mouth said nothing for there was nothing left inside her heart to say. Her world was one dark, black hole with no top and no bottom. And the darkness started to choke all hope and life out of Theresa as she could see less and less. All she could cry were dry tears  because nothing liquid remained in her soul to sustain her or even to assuage the final thirst she cried out for to end the misery which was now the sum of all that her life had become.

Jack was a rising star in the football world and at twenty one was a genuinely talented prospect. His family and mates saw him making the big time and playing in a premiership league team for ten or fifteen years. In short he was on the fast track to wealthy stardom and he loved it. A pleasant young man he was quite good looking and several girls soon tried to win him over. But his good humour and popular personality did not allow his level head  to turn him away from training hard and putting his club and team first. Then came that awful day.

His side were two up and playing well in the third round of the cup, not least thanks to his fine performance. He had scored one goal and made another. The fans were chanting “Nice one Jack, never let them back”, his signature tune on the pitch, when it happened. A crunching brute of a tackle from behind brought him crashing to the turf and he felt his ankle go. He was stretchered off, but worse was to come. After two operations it was feared a double fracture would never heal properly and then the ultimate fear of every sportsman. The fractures went septic and do what they might the doctors had no option but to remove half of his right foot. His career was finished.

Fickle girlfriends drifted away. His parents tried to cheer him up but he shrugged them off. He had a large amount of money in the bank but this seemed to get at him more. He would not touch or spend it, save for the occasional small gift to a relative in need. He started to shun his mates and retired into his shell. Soon everyone was worried for his sanity as he withdrew into himself and eventually he was talked into seeking psychiatric treatment. But the hospital only made the darkness of his world seem blacker and lonelier than before. He too was a victim of cruel fate and he blamed nobody but himself. He could not understand why he felt guilty, he had not injured himself after all. But he had this awful, stifling feeling that he had let everyone down. Soon he even stopped talking. He just sat on the sunny lawn outside his ward and drew his legs up to his forehead and clutched his knees in a vice like grip. His eyes never moved from the remains of his useless foot.

For several days Theresa had noticed this silent, brooding lost young man who always kept to himself much as she did herself. Then for the first time in a couple of months, just as she was wondering how many more of her pills she needed to save instead of taking them, so she would have enough to take the lot at once and end everything, she felt a tiny twinge of pity and sorrow for another person who was so obviously suffering as she was. She calculated she had enough pills now and could end it all whenever she wished. But first she had to do something for the poor boy, so lost on the lawn, so lonely and forlorn. She slowly walked up to him and sat down a few feet away.

There they sat, mute and depressed beyond endurance for twenty minutes until at last Jack summoned up the courage to say something for the first time in five weeks. He looked pleadingly at Theresa and somehow managed to say, a little more loudly than he intended and with tears in his sunken eyes,

“Help.” This one word, crying out for a kind response, was enough to make Theresa forget her own mental agony for a moment and turn to him,  

“I can wait a few more weeks, here take these,” she said as she watched Jack down all her pills in two swallows with water from the plastic bottle which she gave him. She smiled, so pleased with herself for being able to release another person from a darkness she imagined to be even blacker than her own. 














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