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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15. Fictional State

We don’t love someone because they are perfect, we love them in spite of the fact that they are not. How I wish that could be true in my life. I couldn’t find a single thing that was not perfect about him, everything from his piercing blue eyes that predisposed you to support his every endeavour to his cheeky grin that would make me laugh even in my lowest of moods.

 

And me, well that was a different matter. I was prone to anxiety attacks, stress was too much for me, I couldn’t even stay on top of my school work and I felt as if someone has just pulled a rug beneath my feet and I was soon to come crashing down. Few things kept me strong, or should I say few people.

 

Nightmares continued to plague me, but my days were like living out a dream. Everyday we would talk, text, anticipating our next meeting. The problem came when I realised that it all felt so limited, so set up. We would meet people that I would have only dreamed of meeting, and of course I would be overwhelmed at the time, only to realise later on that it was just a cancer perk. There are a few perks to being terminally ill, believe it or not, but I never approved of them. Oli could use the fact that he was terminally ill to get into any place, meet anyone, do whatever he liked, and it made me feel sick to my stomach; it just felt completely wrong. I kept having to tell myself that we were only making the most of the little time we had left, but all I could think about was the time passing quickly, like a stopwatch, counting down the days, hours, minutes that we had left. It was not so much the overall fear of him dying but the uncertainty that gripped me and twisted me in tight knots.

 

“FUCK CANCER” I heard him cursing from the bathroom adjacent. He emerged, a look of pure, unadulterated misery spread across his pale, corpse-like face. “I just can’t do it anymore” he let out a hoarse whisper, burying his head in his hands, palms pressing tightly against his eyes to prevent the oncoming flow of tears. He was the stronger one of the two of us, and he knew that he was all that was keeping me stable.

 

Seeing him in such a state just broke my heart, but it didn’t help that he was refusing to attend his hospital appointments. “Either way I’m going to die, Sophie. I might as well spend all the time with you, rather than wasting it in some hospital where they can do nothing more for me than ease the pain, and even then not by much. You’re a better painkiller than any drug or treatment they could possibly prescribe me, I refuse to be their guinea pig!” he finished, raising his voice. I blushed deeply- he was a master of flattery, but he really did mean every word of it. With Oli, what you saw is what you got. He grasped my hand, running his index finger along my knuckles gently. “I’m dying, Sophie, and I will spend my days the way I want to- with you” yet again my skin flushed a deep shade of red, and he chuckled quietly at my awkward demeanour.

 

The days just continued to slip away, like water through our fingers. Oli was forced to go into hospital as he was suffering immense pain, but he was too tired to even protest. He had refused to undergo intense chemotherapy, as he said “I don’t want to be known as the cancer kid, I am going to die regardless” and what hurt most is that I knew he was right. Unlike with many cancers, it was not a case of IF, but WHEN. A week later and he was back out of hospital, December the 24th. The end was drawing nearer, and there was massive debate as to whether Oli would make it to Christmas, especially following the particularly bad episode that had landed him in hospital that week. Fortunately Rianna had made me see sense the previous evening as I was trying to worm my way out of the situation, stop myself from liking him. I’m surprised that I remember it so well, but she told me that I had made Oli “the happiest person on earth” and that I could even help him with overcoming his cancer. It was nice to feel like somebody understood, like I was not so completely and painfully alone in the situation. Because the truth was, it terrified me, as it would any ordinary 14 year old. I don’t think Rianna will ever understand how much she helped me; I just hope that it didn’t come at the cost of her education. She spent so much time trying to get me through it all that she didn’t have time to squeeze much studying into her already busy schedule. But in truth- I don’t know what I would have done without her. Even her Mother was kind to me in spite of not knowing me, only the tragic unfolding of events that was going on in my life, offering me hugs if I needed it. That was all I really wanted, a hug and reassurance that everything was going to turn out the way it should be.

 

Oli’s list of medication was endless, and he more than frequently forgot to take it despite my constant reminders. He had 2 100mg Tarceva tablets when he woke up followed quickly by an injection of mitomycin and many other concoctions throughout the day.

 

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Gran what is….tarcevar and….. My-toe-my-sin? She asked, testing the new words on the tip of her tongue.

“They are medicines that help make people like Oli feel better, so that they are no longer in pain” I replied, only half  ‘with it’. 

“so like… when I get a sore throat I have that pink stuff and Mummy says it will make me feel all better?” she questioned, her face a picture of innocence and naivety.

 

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 He wanted to take me out but the hospital advised against it, and I can’t say I blame them. No longer was he his bright and beaming self, but instead his skin was yellowing with jaundice as a side effect of the cancer, his eyes were almost bloodshot and his body had deteriorated leaving him a deathly pale and skinny figure. I don’t know how, but he still looked flawless. He caught me staring at him listlessly and flashed a smile at me, but even that was weak these days. “I guess I’m just not the man I used to be” he remarked, laughing softly and winking at me.

“Oh shut uppp” I couldn’t stand him being so self depreciative. I loved him so much yet he still put himself down, although he always said the same about me so I guess we are both hypocrites.

 

Oli was consistently joking about how he was my “Augustus Waters”, a fictional character in my favourite book- “The fault in our stars” that was just too good to be real. Of course there were huge parallels, such as our story is one of love and cancer just like in the book. The difference was that I could not just close the book on our little story and cry it out so that everything will feel right again. “You wish” I nudged him. We always laughed at how similar our situation was to that of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. I guess it’s really not something to laugh about and it’s perhaps a little sadistic, but it felt like we were living out a tale. “We could be famous, star in the movie if ever there is one” he would joke.

“Yeah, except I have a perfect set of lungs thank you very much” I’d retort, raising an eyebrow “and I hope with all my heart that there is a movie, and we will go and see it in the cinema and we will both cry like idiots in public. If not, I will cry even harder because you will be gone and it will just be too much, and then I’ll look even more of an idiot, and a lonely one at that.”.

 

Despite my light-hearted tone, he could sense the sadness in my eyes and he pulled me in close and kissed my forehead. “Hey…. I’m going to stick around as long as I can; I’m stubborn as anything, remember? I don’t want to leave you here on your own as much as you don’t want to be left, but its going to happen eventually, Sophie, and you must understand that. My cancer has begun to metastasize slowly but surely. Do you know what that means?” he asked- as if that question need be asked. I nodded- I’d become conversant in cancer talk lately. If I’m no longer around, you go see that movie with your friends, then you won’t be alone and I’ll always be there in spirit, sniffling into my own tissues” He grinned at me, and I flushed a deep shade of red. Doing my best to conceal my reddened face (as well as my teary eyes) from him, I frowned, much like I did whenever I was forced to think about a future without Oli, about functioning normally when he was gone, talking to people and going out with friends. It was not easy to imagine. I just hoped it wasn’t going to be anytime soon, because it would just break me in two.

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