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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6. Chapter Six

Every morning I wake up I bless myself with the fact that I’ve got through another night. It’s a weird feeling, not one that unless you’ve been in this situation would understand.

I remember, well half remember, the day of the operation, a day late down to staff shortages; hardly an auspicious start. You’re told before that they can be complications with operations, you read of people never waking up again and although the staff are reassuring at the back of your mind you can’t help but be scared. It’s the fear of the unknown, the dread that this might be your last night on earth.

I have to admit to be scared silly when they took me down for the operation. I’d talked to my flower child before I went in but after my sister had dropped me off the day before, I was really alone. Left alone with my thoughts, my imagination bubbles over and the fears and shadows flood in. The time when you need someone with you, the reassurance of another human’s touch. That night laid alone, I wept for myself. Unashamedly my only thought was for myself.

Waking up was a relief although clouded in muzziness. I remember my sister by my side but not much else. I think I texted my flower but to be honest I wasn’t there at all. I had a lot of loneliness that week, a lot of time to wrestle with the deepest chasms of my sub conscious and I can tell you it’s not a happy place to be in. The days were OK, kept going by my constant companion, my sister, sustained by texting to my flower child. I tried to be upbeat, not be dependant on others, but it was hard. I couldn’t tell them how hard the pain was at times, how I ached for a hug and someone to cry into their shoulder. I probably was quite wooden as I can’t imagine I was good company.

The worst thing about hospital and illness is how humiliating it can be. I suppose they try hard to be caring but so often you’ll left feeling like you’re a lump of meat or something for people to practice on. I remember the first time I went in when I was first examined. I didn’t know where to look as they prodded me and probed. Then left me bare while they talked, I’d laid there with my most intimate parts exposed not knowing whether to cover myself up or just lay there. When you’re scared the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable. Over time it’s got better but I still feel awkward.

Over that week, there was lots of examinations, lots of prodding. I wanted to get out so started to do the same thing with the doctors as I had with my sister and my flower child. I made out I felt better than I was. A week later they let me home and boy was I grateful to get into my own bed, to look out of my window at the valley and the countryside beyond. However it wasn’t right, I wasn’t right and I slowly started to feel worse until after a bad night I was rushed back into hospital. It was then I realised how fine the line between mortality and death really was.

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