Home » Current Issue » Angels » Page 3


Page 3

Bernard Peasley

But it was the hand gripping his arm that saved him, never releasing its hold on his life. It stayed with him as they careened down corridors and slammed through doors – all the time with a muffled murmuring close to his face.

‘I’m with you soldier, just hang on. Feel my grip? I’m not going anywhere. Believe that. You need anything, if it all gets too much, just scream, Parker! – that’s me. And I’m here for you, OK?’

He woke up on an airlift to Germany with all the others. The first thing he noticed was the pressure of her fingers and the sound of her voice.

‘Special hospitals and doctors at Landstuhl, soldier. Only the best for you,’ said Parker. She sat by his side, reading her book out loud and holding his hand.  There, in the dark, in the drumming interior of the transport, it was only the grip of her hand and the certainty in her voice that stopped him disconnecting from the world. Parker brought him relief, her hand cupping his arm as the morphine seeped in along the vein – the caress of an angel’s breath.

With the constant presence of her fingers, she was showing him how important touch would become – how he would have to learn to map his lover’s body with his own fingers and hold its contours in his mind from one black night to the next. He would have to rely on his old memories of Jessie on those precious nights where her velvet curves were lit by stray neon leaking through a gap in the bedroom curtains. Jessie, who was waiting for him to come home to start a family.

In those few days in her care, with her whispered words and gentle touch, Parker lifted him from his deepest despair. Of all the nurses he could hear around him, it was only Parker who could stop him giving up – his ministering angel, whom he would never see, but who knew the horror of his face, and had not turned away.

She could have told him what she had learned through her own bitter experience, but she knew that words would never help him. Words had failed her in the worst possible way. She never spoke of herself, nor how she came to be there. 


Page 3

This edition