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Mats a great guy lived his life.
Independently of others.
People liked him.
Can be because he was friendly, greeted everyone and even smiled at strangers.
It was not that he had no family but they didn't live nearby.
Nothing to worry about since they called frequently and each one of them had an enriched life. No moment of boredom.
Days, weeks, months even years passed by.
Satisfied he was and it showed.
He enjoyed himself even as an epidemic knocked at the doors.
It will pass, be patient, stay inside, keep your windows closed and everything will be alright soon enough the news reporter announced.
It wasn't a message of doom for Mats. Born after the second world war he was aware of the fact that nothing would ever stay the same. The normal back then had come to an end long ago.
There was no need to watch the same old show and listen to the news day and night. Plenty of things he had to do plus he could always have a look outside.
The streets looked empty and he wondered where did all people go. Not a single voice of the neighbours he heard through the walls.
The cupboard and fridge became empty and worse of all he didn't feel too well.
"It doesn't matter," he told to himself, "after all these years there's no need to wake up early. I'll stay in bed."
He curled up and coughed and fell into a restless sleep. Time no longer play a role for those who are sick and need to recover.
For a second he woke up. Did the phone ring, did his brother try to call?
His bed felt warm and comfortable. Later he would see, later was early enough.
How many days had passed by? It's hard to say but a knock at the door woke him up. Still, not well he let his visitors inside.
"We received an alarming call. Sir, are you alright?"
He didn't really know what to say and tried not to cough.
"Pneumonia," one said to the other who answered "all cupboards are empty. There's indeed no piece of bread in the house."
"I'm so sorry I cannot offer you a cup of tea," Mats stammered ashamed about his lack of hospitality.
"Don't worry Sir, we are here to come to your aid. We'll fill out some papers and guarantee your food will be here soon. Just go back to bed we'll let ourselves out."
Relieved that's how Mats felt. He couldn't remember the last time he ate. His stomach no longer ached. The heartbeat down there was clearly felt through his ski, all body mass had left him.
Hope kept him for 21 more days alive. At least that's what they said. Twenty-one day's Mats were spent mainly in bed saving his energy, trying to hang in, keep warm. Not once during all these days, his front doorbell rang, not a single person cared about him or brought him some food. No doctor visited the seriously ill man. They all forgot about him.
A friendly, independent man, once liked, died alone because no one gave a damn.
"It was pneumonia the city said," instead of admitting he died of starvation, ignorance and bureaucracy.