I don't dream of anything anymore, I used to. Once upon a time I used to dream of what I could make my future, but eventually it dwindled and all I saw was a deafening darkness.
When I wake up, I feel groggy. Everything is almost louder.
Shaking my head, I try to break away from the sad thoughts and as I do, I come to notice I am far too hot, which results in making me look down with a blurred vision to find myself still in the clothes I wore yesterday. Gross.
I sit myself up and look at my clock, finding it's pretty early, only just after 9.
I shrug myself out of my clothes, dropping them carelessly to the floor as I grab my towel from the cupboard and stalk to the bathroom. I brush my teeth, and then jump in the shower, not staying in there too long to save water but still coming out smelling as fresh as can be.
Walking to the wardrobe, I picked some tight stonewashed jeans to wear, and a long sleeved crop top. I look in the mirror and stare begrudgingly. Honestly I didn't want to see myself but since John is coming over-hopefully- I'll have to at least look presentable. Just because I'm dying does not mean I can't look good right? Not that I want to look good, I just don't want people to notice that anything is wrong.
I don't have much time to argue with myself before a knock at the door sounds and I'm left with only thoughts of who could possibly be at my door this early in the morning. After all it is a Sunday; no one is up this early on a Sunday.
I walk slowly from my room, and quickly flick the kettle on, before sliding over to the door and unlocking it, and peering out.
My door is hardly ajar before the person shoves into my room, and I'm finally able to see the blue nurse dress she wears. I sigh with relief but glare, because honestly the woman gave me a damn near heart attack.
"Couldn't have given me a warning?"
My voice carries a snarky tone as I step back into the kitchen, the kettle still boiling, before I hear the clearing of a throat, making me turn back towards the nurse. Or sound I say, Julie.
"Sorry sweetie, I did ring earlier. Only just wake up did you?"
It makes me freeze and blink slowly at her, making a grunting sound before shrugging helplessly and I really hope she understands what I'm trying to say. And she does, she smiles at me before dropping her medical bag- that I only just noticed- on the floor, before stepping around me to continue making some tea for the both of us.
It used to be really strange having these random nurses pop out of nowhere to check on me, and I used to hate it. I kicked up a fit each and every time one of them tried to help me, but when I got sick for a second time, I kind of gave up with the haughty attitude because it wasn't helping no one and they were only trying to help. It was nice having people take care of you sometimes, asking how you were and such; because we all know I hadn't had much of that.
"Taken your medication yet?"
"No, just about to do it before you knocked."
"Of course you were."
I snort at her and move towards the cupboard with my medication sitting idly there. I grab a cup and fill it with water before swinging back and gulping down my pills easily. That used to be hard too, swallowing them I mean, but like most things, I got used to them as well.
"Alright, Alka, I need to check over you alright?"
Though it wasn't really a question, I still nodded slightly to give her my full consent, as she lifted my shirt up from my back and searched through her bag for a stethoscope. As she listened to my heartbeat, checking if it wasn't too weak, and that I was breathing properly, she asked me about the symptoms I was experiencing. It was always the worst part.
"Alka, you have to tell me, otherwise we could miss something important."
"I'm already dying, what's the point in trying to prolong it?!"
Julie didn't answer, she looked shocked, scared even. Perhaps it was because I was generally just brushing off my illness and giving up on living. I sniffed slightly at her response, and tried to smooth things over by telling her what she wanted to know.
"I... I've been having headaches again. The really head pounding ones, and I was sick a couple times yesterday at school, but I think it was because I forgot my medication and didn't take it for lunch. Yes. I know it was stupid but it already happened ok. I've learnt from it. God woman, stop looking at me like that! I won't do it again."
Her face was stuck in a stern glare, her eyes never left my face and it was honestly freaky as she continued to stare and not even blink. I coughed towards her, hoping to snap her out of it, in which I was successful before she began sporting a concerned looking smile. Here it comes.
If I could have closed my eyes then, I would have. I seriously would have hidden in a corner like a child but no luck there. I braced it head on.
"Are you sure that's everything? You haven't been feeling any tingles? Or coughing up blood?"
I didn't want to answer her anymore. Like I said, I liked when someone came round to ask how I was, but this, this was different. It was going into serious territory and I never could handle it well, when someone who cared about me, starting asking me if anything could possibly be wrong with me, more than it already was that is. I didn't want to worry her. Never did I want to do that to her, or any of the nurses that came round, though it was usually Julie. But that wasn't the point. Whenever she asked these things, looking at me completely, I felt the urge to tell the truth. I could never lie to her, could never tell her that nothing of the sort had been happening, and usually I could tell her that it wasn't happening but it was now, and I can't lie to her.
"I have been alright, a few tingles in my arm, but that was the other day, and it wasn't much of a bother. It came and went really. I took my tablets and it faded."
Julie didn't say anything, but reached into her bag and pulled out her book. It wasn't something she used often, only when there was an advance in my condition. Obviously this was an advance. It's getting closer every day. I can almost feel it now.
"Was it only once?"
Professional. She was trying to be professional, but her hand shook ever so slightly. This is why I didn't like having nurses. I mean, it's all fine and dandy because they look after you, but then they get attached and that's never good. Not for her or me because I can bet everything I am, that she's thinking 'why her' and all that over sentimental stuff.
I'm not saying it's bad, it's never bad to care but I can't afford it most days.
Before detention yesterday, I'd never let anyone close. I still don't know why I did get closer to them- to John- but it happened and it shouldn't have. Sitting here with this woman-Julie. Her name is Julie- is showing me what will happen when I do die. I could never let anyone watch me suffer my last days, that wouldn't be fair on them. I can never really be with anyone, and that's how it should be, because otherwise I'm going to build everyone up just to strike them down when I do feel the times right. Is that fair? Not really.
I don't look at her as I respond, my minds on autopilot as I think through the pros and cons of having a relationship. Of having friends and people I actually care about, and people who care about me.
"Only happened once, but I've been coughing up blood and vomiting the stuff a fair bit."
Silence. It always seemed to follow me, no matter where I go. Back in detention, the silence that gravitated around the lot of us seemed to spear into my own home.
"Alright, you have enough medication don't you?"
"At least for another week or so."
"I'll have Heather bring it round next week."
"Not your shift then?"
"No, I have another patient to see. I'm sorry."
I knew she wasn't saying sorry for something so small. She was apologising because she couldn't help me, nothing could ever help me and she was starting to accept that I wasn't going to get better, and I would probably be in a grave before I was old enough to drink and all that. Pretty thought.
I shrug as none committable as I can, because it hurts slightly to dismiss it but I know it's for the best because I cannot and will not deal with a crying woman. My nurse. She should have known what was going to happen, read my file and seen it was impossible, stupid to even gather hope for a lost cause. But, I can't fault her. She's much to nice for that, even if she shouldn't meddle in the whole attachment thing.
"I better be heading off, this was just a quick visit after all. Don't be afraid to call now. Me or the hospital."
We both know I'll call neither, even if something does happen but I nod just to make her smile, because we can pretend for a moment that I will call. That perhaps I will be alright.
As soon as she's gone, I don't believe anymore. The little bubble I had popped, and I'm full of guilt because I lied to her, but maybe it isn't all bad. She knows though, so maybe I'm not so bad after all.
I think about all these things as I head back towards the sofa, snuggling into it as I turn the TV on. And I lose myself in the small mundane world my TV stores for me, waiting for the knock that may come and may not. I don't even know if I want it to come.
Hey, no more depressing thoughts. I've had enough. Just enjoy life for a second. With John.
Shifting my eyes close, I allow myself to drift off to the sounds blaring from the TV, and for once, I'm glad for the happier thoughts.
Some days I really wish I could dream when I slept because that would be normal. Because staring into darkness makes me feel like I've drifted off in my sleep and I'm never waking up. I'm not scared of it, the dark, but I wish I could go on my own terms sometimes. Not by killing myself, I just mean, in a more distant future where I've already had a family, and done everything I wanted to do.
I tried to before. Kill myself. Overdosed on my pills but it didn't work because, I had a health check that day, and I wake up in the hospital only hours after. I get chewed out by the doctor, my nurses, the social worker, everyone. When they asked me, all I could do was cry because I was alone and I didn't want to live just to die alone. I mean who does?
But yeah, I tried and I failed. That was when I was diagnosed for the second time. I was more scared that time than I was the first because I knew that this time I wasn't going to magically get better. I couldn't accept it and I wanted to control my life. It didn't work, and I've grown to see that killing myself isn't the way. I don't want to be known the girl who ran from her death, only to kill her, so really in the end I wasn't running. I didn't want to be known as anything honestly, but going out calmly sounded way better than being on the news as the girl who tragically killed herself after struggling for years with her illness. It would seem as though my condition got the better of me, and it hadn't. Never would it.
This is why I wish I could dream. I wouldn't think of past memories, and morbid thoughts. I would just be me, a girl who was anything but dying. Fate is a bitch though, but it really works in wonders.
Slowly coming out of my hazy sleep, I realise there's a knocking. Well, it's more like a pounding and I sit up slowly because I know if I get up too quickly I'll be sick, and that wouldn't be good with John waiting for me.
And I know its John. Who else would it be?
I race over to the door, about to twist the key before I realise that I didn't lock it after Julie left, so instead I yank it open, beaming for some reason. And I feel better just seeing his casually standing there, smirking at me before pointing inside, to which I step back and allow him in.
I close the door and turn to watch him walk around the room like it's something fascinating. Before long, I come to a point where I realise that he didn't use the com, so how did he get inside the building?
"How'd you get in? I didn't hear you buzz?"
John rolls his eyes at me, and he strides towards my sofa and plonks down, resting his feet on my coffee table.
"I did, but I buzzed the wrong number. So a guy let me in and pointed to your door. He was weird. Old guy. Creepy looking."
"You mean ?"
"Now how the fuck am I meant to know his name sugar?"
"Ok, ok, sorry, but yeah. It was probably him. He looks creepy but he's nice. Promise."
"You sure he ain't looking for something else?"
"John! I've known him ever since I moved in. He's great, he was married but she died so he moved her. Closer to his daughter I think he said once."
"Still... he's creepy. I'm not sure I like it here."
"Stop being such a worry-er."
"Fine. Give me a kiss first though."
I laugh because he's utterly ridiculous, but I comply and lean down to peck his lips. And really, it was only meant to be a peck but he's pulling me into him, dominating my lips with his and there's this spark but I need breath so I pull back panting.
John's panting too, but he's smiling at me, and pulling me closer, making me realise I'm on his lap. Straddling him! Oh of all things to be doing. But I don't dwell that much as John grabs my neck and I feel his lips press to mine. It's like a puzzle fitting together, one with a surprise it seems as I feel his tongue press gently on my lips, and I gradually open them to allow his tongue a small expedition.
It's him who pulls back first, but I'm smiling dreamily, and I would be embarrassed but I didn't care as I moved from John to stand up.
"Want anything to drink? Or eat?"
He looks surprised at my other, and I look at him warily, wondering if I should have offered before he nods.
"What you got?"
"Well, what do you want? Just go in the kitchen, get whatever you like. I'm going to change, I didn't know how late it was. I want me some snugly pyjamas on."
"Such a kid."
It's said strangely affectionate, and I kiss his forehead quickly before darting away, hoping not to hear him curse about the weird affection I gave him.
I hear mumbles as I find my night clothes and put them on. Long warm bottoms, and long sleeved top. I'm in heaven and if I could purr, I would purr God damn.
John's already back on the sofa, but now he's eating a piece of cake, and I just know for a fact it's my completely chocolate-y cake. I don't say anything as I sit next to him, he's eating the cake and engrossed in whatever it is that's on. Which I find out to be some weird drama about cops and it's not something I'd see John watching, or maybe he's not really paying attention and just focused on that yummy cake.
All I hear in response is a rumble, like a growl, before a tiny clatter, and I see John's finished. I move to grab the plate but John just pulls me to him and I swear for a moment he'll kiss me but he just pulls me closer to him.
For someone like him, I would never imagine he was like this. It goes against everything I've heard about him but makes me giddy knowing I got this kind of reaction from him
Its warm being tucked in his side, and I can feel my eyes' drooping as John rubs his hands up and down my arms. It's relaxing, and I snuggle deeper into his side, sighing.
"Won'er what'll hap'en tomorrow."
I miss letters because I'm tired but I can't even be bothered to try.
"Shhh, go to sleep."
"Sleep. Or I'll leave."
I think I make a noise of disappointment, because I don't want him to leave. Not now. With him everything doesn't seem so bad and it makes me wonder how I feel like this even though I've only known him for a few hours.
Maybe this isn't so bad? Maybe this is exactly what I need.
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