Alternate Ending to The Fault in our Stars

My alternate ending to the novel The Fault In Our Stars by John Green


1. Alternate Ending to The Fault In Our Stars

A few days after Gus had passed away I was at cancer support group, sat in the literal heart of Jesus exchanging sighs with Issac when my phone began to ring, I managed to break away from the group to answer it just before Patrick broke into another song about how Jesus is our savior and all that shit about how he will deliver us to heaven after the cancer within all of us eventually defeats our bodies. The caller was my Mum she said the doctor had called her up and told us to come to the hospital as soon as possible, so after excusing myself I slowly shuffled up the stairs as I was not yet weak enough to need to use the lift. As per usual Mum was waiting outside only this time she had parked right outside the building, presumably the limit my walk, I quickly glanced over to the wall where I had seen Issac getting a handful of his bitch of an ex-girlfriend, but all too quickly my brain returned to the thought of Augustus and his attempt to flirt with me the first day we met as I waited for Mum, how I missed him, I even miss his stupid cigarette metaphor. 

I climbed into the car and buckled up, being called into the hospital had become a regular occurrence as my cancer had gradually worsened and I needed to get the fluid drained from my lungs every other week so as to avoid the excruciating pain that had almost killed me the last time the fluid built up too much. We sat there in silence as Mum drove slowly through the busy town, she caught me off guard as she suddenly spoke, I almost jumped, we almost always sit in silence when driving to the hospital. She asked if I wanted to know why I had been called in, I thought this was just a trick question and replied with a faint shrug and a "same reason as always", Mum let out a chuckle that seemed very British for her, it reminded me of Kaitlyn who I hadn't seen in months. She then went on to say the doctor had some good news for once and a smile spread across her face, but recently good news was that there was little liquid in my lungs so I wasn't expecting very much. 

As we arrived at the hospital a Doctor who I had never seen before approached me as we were walking in, walked up to me and offered to carry my oxygen tank, I humbly rejected his offer and we continued to walk past him and into the hospital reception, he asked if I knew who he was, which I didn't, he explained that he was the doctor who was going to be seeing me today and he had been told that I could be identified by the way I simply 'drag' my oxygen tank along the floor rather than carry it. We went to his office and he sat me down and ran through how I was doing and how my 'treatment' was going if you could call it that, it felt like a committee meeting but with just this one doctor. He went on to say he had some excellent news and that someone had donated their lungs a few days ago and they had been stored in a special new preservative that had allowed them to survive beyond the usual 6-8 hours outside the body, he said they were the perfect fit for me and if I wanted them we needed to do the surgery that would last 10 hours there and then. I was shocked, one moment I was a hopeless case just waiting for death to place its ugly had on my shoulder and take me away, now there was hope, hope that I could grow old and live a proper life instead of spending my nights in the literal heart of Jesus. I quickly glanced to my Mum, then back to the doctor and managed to mumble the word 'okay'. 

I was rushed into a room to prepare for the surgery, I was given overalls and was told given a run through of what would happen in the surgery room, I was so nervous and scared but I knew it was a win win situation, either I die on the operating table and get to be with Gus again, or I survive and get to live a normal life. I lay back in my bed and a nurse came in and wheeled me into the operating theater, my heart began to pound so much I could literally see my chest moving with every beat. The surgeon placed a gas mask around my mouth and I felt myself growing ever fainter until I was fully unconscious.

I awoke over a day later to find my Mum sat in a small chair next to my bed asleep covered in a blanket, I didn't want to wake her, I tried to sit up but the second I moved an inch my chest began to hurt almost as bad as it had when my lungs were full of that sticky brown liquid. A voice spoke out and said "I wouldn't do that if I were you",  I scanned the room and found there was a nurse stood almost opposite my bed, she said I should stay still unless I wanted to tear the stitches right out of my chest. She went on to say that I had been kept under for about 10 hours after the surgery had finished as having me awake would be too painful and I might hurt myself and potentially rip my chest open. Mum woke up and immediately fell to her knees next to my knees and bombarded me with kisses and questions of how I felt. The nurse said I had to stay in the hospital for 4 more days to make sure the body didn't reject the new lungs. The next 4 days were very long and dragged endlessly, it wasn't far from normal for me though, just Mum and myself watching America's Next Top Model all day, I wasn't allowed to eat anything and I received my nutrients by a drip connected to my arm. Everyone came to visit me, Issac, Kaitlyn and surprisingly some people from my college class who I didn't even know, but it was nice to have visitors because as much as I loved my Mum it was nice to have company from people my own age. 

The 4 days were finally up and I was wheeled through the many hallways of the hospital before we got to reception and I saw the doctor who had met us there 5 days earlier, I thanked him for everything that he had done and said that if he ever needed a kidney he should give me a call. Just before Mum wheeled me out the door I shouted back to the Doctor and asked who the donor was, he said he didn't know the name but he had an address, he leaned over the reception desk and lightly jogged over to me with a card and handed it to Mum. I thanked him one last time and we left.

The drive home was weird, I didn't need my oxygen tank anymore and now that he was gone I kind of missed Philip. I asked if we could visit the donors house on the way home as they must be nearby if the lungs were in that hospital. Mum pointed out it might be too soon to see them as they will have recently lost someone, however I managed to convince her to take me as I explained how it might be comforting to see the person that they saved. We drove around the neighborhood and I noticed we were getting very close to Gus's house, just as I expected us to speed past it the car slowed to a stop, I stared at the house for a second before realizing, I began to cry uncontrollably and Mum hugged me tight, we spent a good twenty minutes outside as I seemed unable to stop crying, when I finally pulled myself together I clambered out of the car and began to wheel myself up to the door of the house, my eyes were puffy and it was obvious I had been crying, I knocked on the door and Augustus's Dad answered the door, as soon as he saw me there in that wheelchair he held his hands to his face and began to weep. After inviting me in we sat down and talked for what seemed like hours, he said Gus had argued with the doctors for continuously to give you his lungs, he finally managed to convince them though, cancer perks. He excused himself briefly and walked to the kitchen where he returned with a note in his hand, he said nothing and handed me the note, I flicked it open and began to read, 

'Hello Hazel Grace,

If you are reading this then I guess you survived the operation, oh well, it was worth a shot. I just wanted to that you for our little oblivion, it was all your doing, not mine, as I once said to a stupid old man, you don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope you liked yours.'

I do, Augustus.

I do.

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