Alternate ending to TFIOS- Competition Entry


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1. The next step

The sirens whirred whilst i was enveloped in a sea of noise. The dull beat of heart monitors lulled me into a deeper sleep and for once i felt ready, ready to let go, escape. Nurses screamed out, calling on doctors who skirted around the corridors, their white cloaks billowing behind them. I listened as they stationed themselves around the bed, giving rushed orders whilst pointing to the heart monitor, BiPAP and whatever piece of equipment that was lodged into my body, like i was an experiment. I felt my breathing slow and even though my eyes were closed the film of light that shone through my eyelids began to fade to black. The dull ache of my chest tightening became stronger but soon this, along with my senses ebbed away before i fell into an abyss of unconsciousness.

I woke with a start, chocking on air as my eyes landed on my parents. It was evident that they were fearful, it was etched on their faces, in their eyes and in their bodies which read they were tense, scared. Their heads hung low, my mother's eyes swollen red with the tears now brimming across her waterline, ready to burst like a failing water defence. I shifted up and felt a heavy weight across my chest where the doctors' hands held me down, one of whom walked away, carrying a defibrillator.

"You need to rest" Was all the man with the Harry Potter glasses said to me, but as his eyes met my parents i knew it wasn't to do so in the hope of recovery, the doctors knew just as much as i did that this was it, my time to die would come soon, much sooner than expected. 

It's been a month since Augustus died, but to this day his words still echo in my head, 'I like my choices. I hope she likes hers'. I remember how i would say that i would be the one hurting others, that i had to hide away in order to prevent the pain i caused to so many others such as in seeing the way my parents stared solemnly at me this minute.  I didn't realise that by doing so i was stopping myself from living, killing myself early when i still had the life in me to do something, be something and make a difference to the people i met. Augustus gave me that life, teaching me about what it meant to love someone, to be passionate and have a goal and that our illness doesn't define who we are, we can be stronger and if that means living life to its fullest, and yet having to battle the unbearable pain of our condition then so be it. Life is all about coping and when we feel that there is no hope, that we are worthless, there is always someone to turn to, a rock you can hold onto, a hand to guide you through the desolate vexation. Augustus was my rock, an island i rested with and one who taught me how to live, survive and manage this twisted abomination called cancer. I like to remember how he first held that cigarette in his mouth, grinning like the idiot he was as i inhaled sharply, arguing how wrong he was to smoke and yet he just stood their laughing, telling me how he never lit it, how he wouldn't let it kill him, just as an illness should never get the better of you. We had such laughs. I remember when we discussed our wishes, how he'd mocked how conventional i was in choosing to visit Disneyland but offered his wish as a visit for the two of us to Amsterdam, something i shall never forget. 

I bite my lip hard, ignoring the pricking in my eyes. I have to be strong, as Augustus was. Charged and ready for the fight he battled valiantly, bared his teeth and accepted death. I'm not afraid of death. It's funny, there's a part of me that believes that there is nothing beyond that unknown destination and that we cease to exist but i'd like to believe that there is yet another life, that we are on a never ending journey and that Augustus is over there waiting for me. I guess i like to hope, believe that that there is an infinity to this life, after all 'some infinities are bigger than other infinities' and i'm prepared to shoot into the darkness with my head held high.

 

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