Last Words

Submitted by Stefano M. Stefano
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Saturday, 6 June 2009

Two old brothers are in a private hospital room, Alfred, age 98 and a patient with a fatal illness, and his younger brother, Lawrence, age 93.

Lawrence always looked up to his older brother and tries to comfort his ill sibling, dabbing his forehead with a cool cloth and tucking his covers in better.

Alfred disliked his younger brother for years, believing he was only being nice to get at his vast fortune. His illness had robbed him of his power of speech months ealier, and he had resorted to scribbling messages on a notepad when he wanted to communicate with someone.

As Lawrence fusses over Alfred, Alfred begins to gasp, his eyes bulging, and hand shakily grasping for his notepad. Believing that this might be the end for his dear brother, Lawrence just watches Alfred as he writes something on the pad, and falls back into his pillow, dead.

Distraught, Lawrence can't bear to read his dear brother's last words, so he shoves the note into his pants pocket, and forgets about it until the day of the funeral.

Wearing the same pants as he did when he saw his beloved brother pass on, Lawrence waits for the service to finish, until he can tell the assembled friends and family his story.

"Dear, dear, Alfred..." Lawrence sniffles, choking back tears. "So full of life one moment and *sniff!* gone the next! He wrote this note to me. *Sniff!*. I haven't read it yet, but now I wish to share my dear older brother's last words with all of you gathered today."

With sad, teary-faced expectation, the crowd of friends and family listens intently for the last words of wisdom from Alfred.

Lawrence slips on his glasses, and with a shakey hand, he reads out loud,

"The note reads; 'Get off my air hose, you idiot!'"

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