I don't get why I can't just be normal. I don't get why I have cancer - especially an incurable cancer.
All the other girls my age worry about what to wear each day, while I worry about whether my stupid lungs will last another 24 hours.
One of the many things I hate about having lung cancer and having to carry around an oxygen tank, is that people (girls mostly) always say things like 'you remind me of Hazel Grace Lancaster!' and 'I just love The Fault In Our Stars!' and once a little kid even said 'do you have a boyfriend with one leg?'. Don't get me wrong - TFIOS is an amazing movie, I just hate being compared to a fictional character on fictional oxygen in a fictional house with a fictional part-cyborg boyfriend and a fictional blind friend that throws fictional eggs at his fictional girlfriend's fictional car. I am not fictional!
"Reagan! You ready to go?"
"Almost, just give me a minute!" I shout back. My oxygen tank is sat only two meters away (that's how far the tubes stretch away from my body), ready to go into my backpack or sit in the bag attached to the cart.
"We need to hurry - you'll miss Support Group!" Yet another TFIOS similarity. I absolutely hate it, just like Hazel does, but I go because my best friend Emily has leukemia and asks me to be there. There's also a very cute guy who has thyroid cancer, stage two. He's likely to recover.
"Fine, I'm coming!" I yell, shoving my tank into my flowery rucksack and walking slowly down the stairs. Going down the stairs isn't hard - as long as I go slow - but going up makes me feel so dizzy I could pass out.
Mom is waiting by the front door, checking her phone every three seconds (she has a new boyfriend who's a total jackass but she likes him anyway)for a text. His name's Larry.
"He isn't going to text you, Mom. It's only twelve," I sigh as I breeze past her.
"He's not hungover," she insists for the seventh morning in a row. I roll my eyes.
"How long was he out for?"
"He got home at five, but he's an early riser!"
"Yeah, when he's sober," I mutter. She swats my arm and we round the corner. Support Group is held above the kebab shop, because that's where Lisa, the woman who runs it, lives. If it were me, I wouldn't have a bunch of depressed cancer kids in my house. But that's just me.
"I'll see you later then. You going to Emily's after or straight home?" Mom asks. Then she squeals like a child in a candy store because someone text her. Her face fell. "Just your aunt," she mumbles.
"I'll go to Emily's," I tell her, then start climbing the steep steps to Lisa's apartment. It's actually quite big, even with all her crap jammed in every corner.
"Ah, Reagan! You're the last one!" Lisa says excitedly, sitting her huge butt on a comfy armchair while the rest of us have to sit on the floor. Of course, I get a chair, but that's only because it would take me too long to get up (stupid shitty lungs).
"Hi," I whisper to Emily's bald head. She turns and grins at me.
"Guess who got laid at the weekend?" she has an evil glint in her green eyes.
"I thought only guys say that?" I ask. She shakes her head and jerks a thumb to Eric Thompson.
"Me and him went solid for-"
"I really don't need to know," I interrupt. She laughs and turns back around. I glance at Eric, who's staring at me. 'You and Emily?' I mouth. He blushes, nodding. I snigger.
"So, everybody, today we have a new member of our group. Say hi to Nate," Lisa claps and a tall boy with dark hair and a great jaw walks in. He doesn't seem to have anything wrong with him... beside the cannulas and oxygen tank.