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My temperature keeps changing. From as cold as ice to as hot as hell. It goes through shifts. I can’t find a constant temperature. Hyperpyrexia is a bitch. I can feel my heart beating out of my chest. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom...boom, boom. The world is spinning again. This is hell. Physical hell. Internal biological warfare.

At least I could pass out from the pain. I feel nauseous and sweaty and disorientated.

I take my shirt and jeans off. Naively believing I will get any form of relief from it. I can’t walk but I can move. If I can move, I can attempt to cool myself. Aw, he left a bucket by the side of the bed. It’s nice to know he cares. Of course, he cares.

I said I loved him.

Do I love him?

After everything he’s done for me, how can I not love him? He’s perfect for me. The water to my fire. He’s the moth to my flame. Why would I inflict my love upon him right now? When my mortality is in question? Is that cruel or kind? Reciprocation or emotional brutality?

There is only one truth to this. I am not emotionally void towards him. But I am dying. I can feel it. The fire pulsing through my veins. The bacteria’s toxin invading every inch of my body. My bloodstream turning against me. My own defences attacking my own blood. As I said before, biological warfare and I can feel it. I can feel each bullet being fired. Each casualty.

I can hear something outside. The flames. It’s begun. There’s no turning back now. He’s gone. I mean, he was gone already but now...damn. After this, ash will be all that is left of him. It reminds me of the legend of the phoenix, another story from John, where the phoenix is born again from the ash.

However, to rise it must first face purification by fire. It must be burn to be reborn. I think he told me about that so I wouldn’t be scarred when I watched them burn a stillborn baby. No wonder I’m messed up.

They’re singing now. He hated singing. He thought it was pointless. As if a song was going to do anything for them. It’s not going to please them, they’re dead. They’re singing Amazing Grace. Oh, he would murder them if he could hear them. He always hated that song. That bloody song. I would always sing it to piss him off and he would piss me off by saying I had a nice voice.

It’s actually quite sweet. It’s like a knock off choir. I can make out Roman’s voice. He’s the loudest of them. He has a baritone voice. His last act of defiance to John. Singing at his burning ceremony. I could almost laugh. John would have laughed to hear it. This isn’t the way it should be. He should be scrutinising another funeral. This is so wrong. The say only the good die young but that isn’t entirely true. Our experiences determine who we are. Some need to be baptised in fire before their greatness can be understood. John wasn’t a good man. He was a great man but never a good man. There is a difference. If his losses hadn’t been so great, he could have been a good man, a moral man. He was willing to do what it takes and that’s why I will always admire him.

Abruptly, everything changes. I can’t move. I can’t move anything. I can’t breathe, I can’t blink, I can’t see. My eyes have rolled up into my head. I think I’m having a seizure. I begin to choke. I’m choking on my own tongue. Everything is becoming so blurred. My body is spasming. I have lost all control of my limbs. I feel like a fish out of water, flapping around. If I can’t stop myself choking, I’m going to knock myself out, best case scenario. Either that or I am going to die. There is no best case scenario. Where’s Roman? I shouldn’t of let him leave me. Of course, I would knock on death’s door again during the cremation of a father figure.

I’m just going to have to run this seizure out.

I can’t breathe.

I’m going to pass out again.

“Lex? Lex! God, no. Come on, I leave you alone for five minutes. Rita, she’s turning blue. Do they actually do that? Oh god, help her! Don’t just stand there, this is your department! If she dies Rita, I will never forgive you.”

I can’t open my eyes but I can hear him. This scenario again. I’m trapped inside my body again. I’ve passed out, I know that. I can feel my limbs are still flailing. I’m still having a seizure. How long is this bloody seizure? I’m going blue. Cool, like one of those X-Men. No, not cool. Blue means no oxygen in the blood. No oxygen in the blood means death. I’m dying. You can tell my brain’s being deprived of oxygen.

“She’s tachycardic, hyperpyrexia and she does have septicaemia. Damn, Roman if you’re going to be over emotional, leave. You’re not helping her by being here. Make yourself useful. You’re the one who let her go, remember that. You will not blame me if she dies, you will blame yourself. Now go. Find me some Prontosil. You’re wasting time staring at me. Go you silly git!”

She has no right to say that to him. Everything that I have done has been my choice. It has nothing to do with Roman or her or the children. It has always been my choice and I will not have my death on his conscience. He’s a good man who doesn’t deserve that weight on his shoulders. I will not be his burden.

It’s not the same as before. There’s no vivid colours or imaginary mother waiting at the end. There is just darkness but the sound. The sound is deafening. I can hear everything around me. I mean everything. I can hear the flicker of the flame. The flapping of butterfly wings. I know I have good hearing but not that good. Why can I hear all of this? It’s too loud. Can a sound be vivid? Will my next near death experience have strong tastes? Pungent odours?

If I can think, I’m alive. The brain is the last thing to die. How reassuring.

Should I be worried that I can’t think?

It takes a few attempts to open my eyes. It feels like they’ve been sealed shut. I feel like I’ve gone blind. I would make a joke of it if I was sure I’m not. I’m frightened. I’ve never had a seizure like that. I’ve never even had a seizure before. I never want to go through that again.

Roman is waiting at the end of the end of the bed with a needle. He looks half-crazed. He doesn’t look like he’s slept in days. I feel bad for taking so long to come around. I can’t remember much about it. I just know I never want to go through it again. He jabs the needle into my foot, not looking. I wince. He looks me in the eye and rushes to the head of the bed.

“Lex, can you hear me? You’ve been out for a week. You had a seizure. You’ve been on a course of Prontosil every day to try and remove the infection. The fact you’re awake is proof you may be okay. I’d better get Rita.”

I grab hold of the bottom of his shirt. It’s not enough to stop him moving but enough to say what I want to express. I know what I’m scared of. I’m unnerved by the darkness. I’m terrified of it and I never thought I would be. Turns out choking on your own tongue and saliva will do that to you.

He places his lips against my mouth with aggression, as if he is hungry for my flesh. I reciprocate in kind. I want to feel him. I know what I want. I want him. Who knows being oxygen deprived would make you so horny?

He begins to trace the line down my neck and kissing each point. He picks me up, keeping his lips on mine. Once he gets me back to his room, I know what’s going to happen. I’m about to drop my v-card. Do I care? Yes. Am I scared? Yes. Am I willing to do this? Yes.

I am already in my bra and knickers so that makes the job easier. He moves his lips down my body, from my neck to my stomach. I undo my bra and he begins to kiss and suck on my boobs. This is weird but I like it. What the hell? I blame it on the oxygen deprivation.

I let out an involuntary groan. He then moves back up to my face and kisses me again. I suck on his bottom lip and bite it gently. He responds by placing his tongue inside my mouth and I respond in kind. French kissing, I like it.

He then places his hand into my underwear and begins to rub. Oh my god, I’m getting fingered. I’m already wet, I don’t need anymore help. But he continues, his lips not leaving mine. As his rubbing gets faster and faster, I groan more and more. I feel amazing; I’ve never felt like this. He then moves his lips to my neck, softly nibbling the base of my neck. Oh my god. Oh my god. I feel alive. Every fibre of my being which is a contrast to feeling so close to death. I don’t need sex, I need to feel alive. I feel like I’m close. How would I know? I just do. My legs begin to shake and I can’t contain my groans. He continues to rub, moving his lips down my boobs once again. Ah yes! Yes! Yes!

I look down at his groin. He has a boner. He gets up on the bed and I help him undo his jeans and he chucks them on the floor. Not looking where they land. He then takes his boxers off. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. Not too bad.

“Are you sure you want to do this? I understand if you don’t.”

I nod.

He then lays on top of me trying to get inside me. It only takes him two tries but I feel it when he does. It feels strange. Every human instinct is guiding me. I mean humans are animals. Our only purpose is to procreate. I just let my animalistic urges control me. He gazes into my eyes. I can see nothing but lust and passion. He bends his head down to kiss me on the lips again, only this time he’s more gentle. He begins to thrust and that is when I feel it. Ow. They always so your first time is painful but ow. It’s a different kind of pain. It stings which forces me to grit my teeth. It’s a pleasurable pain, it keeps me wanting more. He continues to thrust, getting faster each time. This feels like ecstasy. I don’t even know how to describe. I feel truly alive. So does he by the sounds he’s making.

He begins to groan which only aids me. He continues thrusting faster and faster. He also begins to use his hand to massage my clitoris once again. I can’t control myself. I groan; each time the pleasure intensifies. I’m ready. This is it. I can feel it. My blood feels as if made of electricity, which is ironic due to my past condition. His grunting intensifies too. He tells me he’s about to cum. I think I am as well. Uh, uh, yes, yes, yes! Ah!

So that was an orgasm. Why have I waited so long? God. He rolls onto the bed next to me and pants. Sex. Good exercise. We look at each other and burst out giggling. Did we just do that? Oh my god, I am no longer a virgin. Shit. Roman just kisses me and smiles.

“See what you’ve been missing?”

“Yeah. Wow. Um. Okay then. Did I do okay? You know, laying down.”

“Yeah. You were perfect. You are perfect,” he kisses my neck again “was it okay? For you? I didn’t hurt you or anything did I?”

“Yes, I’m fine. That was really...something. So I’m alive then?”

“I hope you are. I’m not into necrophilia. So you’re okay? That’s surprising because we didn’t use a condom. It usually hurts like hell the first time, without a condom.”

“I wouldn’t worry about me being pregnant; I haven’t had my period for the past two months. Yeah, it didn’t hurt that badly. Strange, isn’t it?”

“No. You’re still asleep.”

“What? I’m sorry. What the hell?”

I haven’t woke up. But...but...so that wasn’t real. None of that was real. I don’t know whether to be disappointed or not. Oh god. What the hell?

“Did I stutter? You haven’t woken up yet. This is all inside your head, you little pervert. I’m sure Roman would be flattered to find out he’s the subject of your wet dreams. I mean come on, do you think he would be such a dominant lover? He’s probably a sap. Didn’t you wonder why you did break your hymen?

No, you’re still asleep. Sorry to break it to you, my dear.”

What the hell?

I wasn’t...that was...huh?

Everything that just happened. That couldn’t have been in my imagination. Oh my god. I’m still unconscious. Damn it.

Well, I’m fucked.

Literally and metaphorically.

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