Good Always Ends

This story is really personal to me, and kinda falls under the category of realism too. It's a true story about a battle for survival in this unkind world with a lot of love and romance thrown in, and I just wanted to get it out there. Enjoy.

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14. Dead man walking

At around one o’clock in the morning my eyelids began to droop and I allowed myself to be sucked into the dream world. Images of Oli in a hospital bed flashed through my mind. Oli in an operating theatre. Oli in a coffin, surrounded by delicate white snowdrops, his entire family surrounding him all dressed in black. I woke with a start at the last thought, sweating and breathing heavily following a panic attack in my sleep. The next few weeks were only set to get worse, and I had to suffer it alone having broken contact with Oli.

 

Several times my dad had asked me why I was so miserable, and each time I made up a new lie to cover up the truth. I couldn’t tell him that I had a boyfriend who was on the verge of death all in one go, he would have a fit, so I decided that it was best to simply keep quiet about everything. Suffer in silence.

 

But I wasn’t the only one who was miserable, of course. Not only were Oli’s family distraught, but of course so was he. Everybody seemed to be forgetting that he was the one dying. He would be the one missing out on so much in life, he would never be able to pass his GCSE’S or A-levels, and he would never go on to university to continue in his area of study, he would never have sex, get married and raise children, he would never have the opportunity to raise a family of his own.

 

I never understood why it had to be him that got the disease. Why not me? He was so deserving of all the human experiences that he was bound to miss out on, he was so honest and polite and genuine. He never had a bad word to say against anyone who treated people correctly. His family if he were to raise one would have been perfect. His childhood family was already almost there. He treated his brother and sister like his own children, and they were the most polite, knowledgeable and street wise kids I’d ever had the pleasure of meeting.

 

“Even the most beautiful of flowers die” Ella whispered softly from where she sat opposite me, having watched my facial expressions intently for the previous 25 minutes. There is an unanticipated comfort to being at the oncology wing of the hospital, a feeling that I am a member of the club. From the compassionate parking attendant who asks us if it's our first time, to the legions of children with pink emesis basins tucked beneath their arms like teddy bears--these people have all been here before us, and there's safety in numbers.

 

I looked up, acknowledging Ella’s comment with a look that must have resembled confusion. This girl was barely seven for goodness sake and she was seeing death for what it was; an everyday occurrence.  “Unfortunately yes” I sighed heavily, glancing at the door to the room which Oli had been called in to. I could have gone with him, but I felt like I would have been intruding on something personal, and his mum looked at me great fully when I turned the offer down so I feel that for once, perhaps I made a good decision. I guess she was fed up with breaking down in front of an audience. Dan had chosen to go in too, putting on a brave face as he took his mothers hand as well as Oli’s. Fresh tears sprung to my eyes as I watched them trail down the hall, hand in hand, together. Pain always brings people together, we look for strength in other people in times when we are most weak. Ella was deemed too emotionally unstable, and so there she sat slumped in one of the hospital chairs, certainly not built for comfort, her knees pulled up to her chest with her bony spine resting against the hard wooden frame. I wanted to tell her that everything would be Ok, that Oli would get through it, but I wasn’t even sure of that myself. Sighing deeply I rolled up my sleeves. I traced the indentations and scars with my index finger, each one having its own story. I closed my eyes in attempt to shut out my surroundings; I didn’t want to be here. “I shouldn’t be here” I thought to myself, “This shouldn’t be happening” my thoughts spiralling into a frenzy of misery and doubt.

 

After spending almost forty five minutes panicking about whether they were going to come back, the exhaustion took over me and I drifted off into restless sleep. Memories and thoughts weaved their way into my dreams, transforming them in to horrific nightmares. The dream I remember most vividly was of me and Oli on the beach. It was empty and silent, not peaceful in the same way that it was when we were on one of our dates, the landscape in the dream was so quiet that was seemingly post apocalyptic. The tide was coming in, but still we sat there, gazing at the horizon, darkness drawing in as quickly as the water that washed up the beach towards us. The water was already at our feet, but we didn’t care. The water was cool and gentle on my skin. We both lay with our heads in the sand, our hands interlocked in a tight grip. “Are you sure this is what you want?” the Oli from my dreams whispered, his voice equally as tender and soft as in reality. “Together, or not at all” I found myself replying, despite having no control over my own body. The water had now reached my neck, and I could feel it soaking through all of my clothes. There was no panic, just a serene calm as Oli whispered “Goodnight Sophie”, a silvery tear slipping down his flawless face. The water washed over us and I could see nothing, I could hear nothing. If only I could feel nothing. There was just an instant of total emptiness, all but for the burn in my lungs. Was I really drowning?

 

My question was answered when I was startled awake by Oli shaking me gently by my shoulders as I gasped for air. “C’mon sleepy, this isn’t a camp out” he joked, observing the make shift bed that I had made out of three carefully aligned chairs and my coat. I smiled, how could he crack a joke at a time like this? “It’s Oli, that’s why” my brain answered me without a moments hesitation, and I allowed a sad smile to creep up my face. He bends his head and kisses me slowly. Oli, the cause of my joy but, simultaneously the root of my depression. He kisses again, and this time it feels familiar. I know exactly how we fit together, his arms around my waist, my hands on his chest, the pressure of his lips on mine. We have each other memorised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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