Bodyguard

I asked her what her last wish was. And she gave me the words ’32 swords’. I then had an impression of women dressed in yellow moving slowly together in the morning breeze as if in some sort of dance. I had no idea what Sesame, the chihuahua, meant. Madam Chow quickly signalled to her son-in-law, Gerald, to get the car. Sesame was old and very very tired. She had rejected food for three days and all she had was a little bit of water and pork meat grounded down into paste. I was hurried into the family car and we were making our way down to the East Coast Park. Sesame had been Madam Chow’s daughter’s dog and on one occasion when she left on a holiday, Madam Chow offered to care for Sesame. They have been inseparable since. It has been eight years. Madam Chow had lived near to the sea and every morning a walk with Sesame was mandatory. Sesame had run up to a group of women practising the 32 steps Tai Chi sword form of exercise. That was after Sesame took a liking to one of the women. Madam Chow joined the group and eventually became the group leader till she had a fall and became wheelchair bound. We quickened our pace through the winding paths towards the beach point. A group of women had gathered. They were Madam Chow’s regulars in the exercise group. Sesame made eye contact with me once again. She said “I am her bodyguard. I am not ready to leave yet”. Madam Chow quickly stood up. Made the effort to leave her wheelchair and joined the group. In one hand she held the wooden sword and in the other, Sesame. Pressed against her bosom. Then the women moved in synchronized steps in the evening breeze. She became teary and said that this exercise was dedication to Sesame’s devotion to her. Not a single group member had a dry eye. That included me. Before the exercise was over Sesame had moved on to the light. Names have been changed for privacy reasons.