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What Jack Needs

Jack stares at Piggy and Piggy stares back at Jack. So, what do you want me to do, asks Piggy? But Jack doesn’t answer.

Jack opens his eyes so wide, he looks up and the light above him hurts his eyes. Despite that, he strains to see her. He wants to see her. He needs to see her. He needs to know she is there. The light is too bright and whichever direction he looks in, it burns him. Where is she? He closes his eyes to refresh the view, and looks again. The light doesn't hurt this time. Where is she? He sees only his hands in front of him, knarled and pink, and he wriggles both, temporarily distracted by them. Where is she though?

Instinctively he makes a sound, one of the few he knows. He doesn’t know what the sound means, other than that it means ‘I need’. Need what? Something. Anything. Her. He makes the sound again.

Where is she? He needs her. He wants her. He is lost without her. Then, he sees the door open, and a smiling face appears: her smiling face.

She wipes his tears and kisses his cheek.

‘Oh darling,’ she says, ‘I was only gone five minutes. I needed a wee. I can't be with you every second of every day’. He knows that. He has always known that.

Ever since his body let him down with this total paralysis, and shut him in to himself.

Ever since she transformed from lover to nurse. Ever since then. But selfishly, he wants her with him: always and forever. Because without her he is nothing. She is his mouthpiece, his maintenance, his motherly love, and hospital matron. And without her he is fearful, neglected, cold...

He wants to scream and shout and tell you all what he needs.

He needs… just her.

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