Above Us Only Sky

Imagine there's no heaven...

Tom has lots of time on his hands when he falls ill, he looks back at his short life, contemplating and try to fathom out what went wrong in his world when everything comes crashing down.

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5. Chapter Five

I stand back up and wander around the house quietly. Freedom to roam has been severely missing in the last few weeks. I’m quiet, trying not to disturb my sister or the cats that sleep under my bed. I rest on the landing; a few steps make me tired. Opening the curtains, I gaze down at the sleeping town.

It was less than six months ago that I’d collapsed n a supermarket, the day before I was due to travel to meet my flower child, the love of my life. I’d hit the floor hard, unconscious before the body stopped moving. Of course I didn’t know at the time, I woke up in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, unaware of where I was, of what had happened. A few weeks before I’d had a dizzy spell on a school exchange to Spain which was put down to the flight, but now I realised it was probably connected. I was anaemic and given iron tablets to take and appointments to further check up.

At the time, I’d brushed thoughts about what was wrong aside, my deepest anguish was that I didn’t get to see my darling flower. I’d wept buckets at the thought that like sand she was slipping from my grasp. I remember the mental torment and sadness that not travelling had caused. My health seemed to be the least of my worries. That intense disappointment still spears my heart today even with what has come later.

I smiled now remembering your support, you staying with me. Over the next few weeks I was enriched by your words, they gave me the strength through all those hospital visits, all those probes stuck into parts of my body that even now I squirm at the very thought. I probably never told you the pain and humiliation I felt about these visits, I kept too many feelings from you I guess not wanting to push you away, not wanting the sympathy but the love.

You see deep down I don’t tell people everything, I bottle it up, not wanting to uncork

Eventually they found the cause of my anaemia, why I was constantly losing blood. I remember the numbness when the doctor said the word, how it pierced through my mind, even though I was I think expecting it. I remember sitting there stunned and reeling as if hit by a fist. I was really too young to have this; it was the sort of thing you got when you were old.

I remember vividly the afternoon, even though it was a blur at the time. I sat beside the dam on the edge of the treeline just thinking. What it meant, what it entailed, where it left me. I thought about my flower child, thought about my life. I remembered the pain I felt that you weren’t beside me, holding my hand. The choices I’d bee given, the decisions I had to make. Sat there that afternoon I wished she could have been with me, help me talk it through, comfort me. Instead I cried on my own.

Eventually I knew I had to go home to my sister, but before I must tell my flower child first. I trembled as I texted her unsure of what she’d say, how she’d react. How I wish it could have been different, the news better and my life restarted. On a laptop it’s easy to sort out a problem, you just reboot and restart, not so easy in life to do that.

Tears run down my cheek as I remember those few days when my life turned upside down, where nothing made any sense. I’m shaken back to reality by a noise behind me. I turn to see my sister standing in her bedroom doorway rubbing her eyes.

‘Shadows?’ she asked sleepily.

‘Memories’ I reply

She guides me back to my room and into bed. Sitting on the edge she talks to me, a nightly ritual, soothing me, reassuring me that life will get better, life will be rebooted. Without her I hate to think what state I’d be in, maybe not even here. She provides the comfort, how I wish it wasn’t just her. As usual the first streaks of daylight start to come through the window as she talks. Another night drawing to a close, another survived, the shadows that haunt me kept at bay. My eyes start to shut, my body shutting down.

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