Renata has always known that the hazy memories of her younger brother are real, even if her mother had denied it. As she struggles with a battle against Thyroid cancer they meet again.
A lot of research went into this story but I am not an expert on Cancer patients nor do I have cancer.
Submission for the salvage creative writing contest.


3. Renata

I was practically jumping up and down with excitement, scaring my doctor quite a bit in the process. This was possibly the most emotion I had shown since I entered this horrible little prisonlike room. Getting my brother back seemed like the perfect way to cure my lengthy depression, I was already smiling and he hadn’t even come in yet.

My doctor stood by the door frowning. “You seem quite exited, are you sure this is the kind of thing you want before an operation?” He said, offering me the choice of whether or not I wanted to see my brother probably wasn’t the right thing if he didn’t recommend it. But nothing could stop me from seeing him now, it was like my emotional wall had been smashed down and all my barred up feelings of happiness had overflowed.

“I didn’t ask for your opinion, you gave me a choice so any consequences are your fault. You can’t stop me from seeing him, we haven’t seen each other in ten years.” I said, too happy to snap like I usually do.

He looked wary before carefully nodding his head. There was a knock on the blue door and he turned and said, ”Okay, I will leave you together for a while but I will be back in ten minutes to take you to surgery.” I nodded excitedly as he turned to leave and the door opened.

At the door stood a boy, he was quite tall, possibly taller than me, wearing tatty clothes as if he hadn’t changed in months. He had dark shaggy hair that immediately made me jealous and I reached up to touch my bald scalp with my cold trembling fingers. We studied each other for a while before it finally clicked in my brain that this was my brother, my brother! I sprung to my feet, hopping off the bed and onto the cold floor with my small bar feet. People always teased me because of my size three feet, just because I could still fit into children’s shoes at the age fifteen didn’t make me abnormal.

I ran to him, wrapping my arms around him quickly to discover that he was in fact taller than m. It took him a few seconds to return the hug, staring at me strangely as I hung like a limpet off his frame. He buried his head in my shoulder as tears started to run down my cheeks. The embrace was warm and loving, the first real form of family affection since I was five years old. Reluctantly, I pulled out of the hug, taking my hands to his face and staring into his blue eyes. Blue eyes, they were even more mesmerizing than I remembered in my hazy childhood recollections.

“I don’t remember your eyes being so blue.” I whispered transfixed on his face as I spoke.

He seemed surprised before asking in a burst of amazement, “You really remembered me?” What a stupid question, how could I forget my baby brother? I was still amazed by those eyes, how could anyone have that blue eyes, how could anyone forget those eyes?

I laughed, “Of course not, even when mother said I made you up I still believed you were real. I couldn’t make up such vivid memories.” He grinned and that smile made my heart stop.

But his eyes got dimmer and dimmer as he observed my lack of hair and the unflattering hospital gown. I had known this talk would come, I just hadn’t expected it so soon.

“So can we just overlook the obvious and just be happy for another eight minutes?” I asked with a faint sliver of hope for my suggestion before he shook his head no and I sighed. “First things first, this is going to sound really rude but I can remember your face but never your name.” He just laughed before telling me his name, Joe.

“Can you tell me about my mother, did she leave with you?” I asked quietly, sitting down on the hospital bed and patting the space beside me. He sighed before joining me and telling me about himself.

“You see, when I was three, dad came and took me away from you and mum, but when the money got bad for the two of you, dad said he would take her in only on the condition that you went away for good.” It made sense, mother had never been terribly amazing at parenting or keeping a job, I remember being quite malnourished because we could hardy scrape together food money after paying the rent. “But dad was abusive, not to me, only to her. He got angry easily and he went and returned in a drunken stupor. Mum on the other hand, stayed in and got drunk off cheap wine, not bothering to use a glass she just gulped down the entire contents of a bottle. One time she told me about you, since you were a forbidden topic I didn’t even know your name. She kept this old picture of you,” he reached into his pocket and dug out an old folded photograph and handed it to me. I had chubby cheeks paired with a stupid fringe and the picture was fading in places, I still liked that she at least remembered me.

“Where is she now, mother I mean?” It was hard to believe that she hadn’t come to find me when I was diagnosed but my brother had found me.

Joe looked torn, “S-she was put into a mental ward last year after she tried to overdose, and it was almost too late to save her.” It took a bit to let that particular piece of information sink in, my mother was a mental case but it really doesn’t surprise me that much.

“Joe, I’m scared.” I whispered urgently, I saw the doctor outside the window, my ten minutes was up, possibly the last ten minutes I would spend with my new found brother. Why couldn’t they have given me longer, there was so much left unsaid.

He was confused for a second, “Wait, what d’you mean?” But he saw the doctors as well, throwing his arms around me he encircled my hospital gown clad body and kissing my forehead. It was hard to remember that he was only thirteen, he certainly didn’t look it.

Three nurses and my onco entered, one nurse had a needle already in her hand, probably ready to sedate me if I tried anything, I was kind of notorious that way. Joe turned protective as he tried to srop them from wheeling my bed out of the doors.

Joe was crying now, it was making me cry too, “No, please don’t take my sister away!” He screamed, causing me to cry as well. But that women was ready, she quickly jabbed Joe in the arm as two other nurses held him back.

“I just found her, I don’t want to lose her agai-“ But Joe was out cold and my bed was being wheeled slowly down the corridor. 

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