Manny was a known face. An erstwhile actor and avid philanthropist. Recently he had turned critic and activist. He had taken up to protesting against racial bias and supporting Universal Basic Income. For all this, Manny was not a very extrovert. And he had reduced his social outings after his wife's demise.
The Critical Care Room-Two at the Green Valley County Hospital was abuzz when Manny was brought there. As with the other two patients in the room, he was terminal. The excitement disappeared after the first day, as routine took over. Though the nurses and doctors took their time around Manny. His familiar baritone and the 'hacky' chuckle was heard at all times of the day. Manny was propped up on one side as a couple of tubes were inserted on the other.
Soon Manny was friends with his roommates. And when the attendants were not around to overhear, he would tell them what he could see from the window-now that he was propped up. Manny described the swimming pool facility and how different people, from tubby babies to senior citizens with bent backs enjoyed the pool. He described the bullying life guards and even a fight that gave one of them a huge black eye and a couple of bruises. The roommates joined in his chuckling as the lifeguard got what he deserved.
After eleven days of his admission, Manny died. The bed was empty. The other two patients requested one of the attendants to tell them what was happening at the pool next door. Had the bullying lifeguard returned?
"What are you saying mister? There's no pool out there. The window looks to the hospital wing on the opposite side. Just some pipes and windows."