How To Save A Life.

I entered this for the competition "Inspired by a song."
I hope you like it!

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Dear Em,

 

    School’s only just finished. It’s the summer holidays now! I’ve opened up your curtains a bit wider because when I came in it looked like your skin was blending in to your sheets. The nurse said there hasn’t been any change. I don’t think anyone expected anything this early on, but it was still a bit disheartening to know that you’re going to be stuck like this for even longer.

    When she left, she told me that I could try talking to you if I wanted. I did, but the more I spoke, the emptier I became when you didn’t answer. So if you don’t really mind, I’ll continue to write these letters to you. I’ve changed to biro pens now, because when I used that really smooth fountain pen that I got for my seventeenth birthday it got all smudged when I started crying. A bit pathetic, I know, but I’m tired and my hay fever has got so bad that that my eyes are almost constantly streaming anyway.

    In fact, yesterday I think it was the worst it’s been all year. I remember lying in bed and staring up at the ceiling, and suddenly my whole face kind of felt like it was swelling up as if it were protesting against the pollen floating in through my window. If that was the case, I think it could take some lessons from all those people who preferred peaceful protests, because it was very unpleasant.

    Moving on slightly, there I was staring up at those little glow in the dark stars stuck to my ceiling (in particular trying to find space for a new constellation), when I started trying to imagine what you must feel like at the same time. So I sat up and managed to roll myself around enough in my duvet so that my arms and legs were more or less pinned to my sides and unable to move. Side note: you should have been there; I probably looked like a human burrito. Anyway, I lay down on the mattress, looked up at the ceiling and closed my eyes. For a second I thought I was going to give up, but then I managed to ignore the sticky heat that had started to build up in my little cocoon.

    Obviously I have no idea what kind of emotions or thoughts (if any) you were experiencing at that moment, but I honestly tried to imagine the most realistic situation possible. I think I lay like that for a couple of hours until I decided that I’d had enough and had gotten way too frustrated that it wasn’t working, but that’s when it clicked for me. You must feel way more frustrated than me in your own cocoon of a hospital bed, because you have no idea if you’ll be able to get out of it any time soon. For me, I can just decide that I’ve had enough with pretending and get on with my life, but you aren’t able to make that decision at the moment. You have to stay in your awake/sleeping state with only your own thoughts to keep you company, and maybe the voices of others that you know, but aren’t able to answer however hard you strain against the chains of your invisible prison. It was around then that I realised the immense frustration that you must be feeling all the time.

    I assume it’s like those times when you have the answer to a question on the tip of your tongue, but can’t quite grasp at the letters you need to piece it together. It swims in and out of your brain and pressure builds up in the end of your tongue until you can’t quite believe that you’re still holding on to it. Well, that feeling multiplied by a million.

 

Don’t forget to hold on to whatever that thing is you’re trying to get,

Lots of love,

Your suddenly-very-thoughtful friend

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