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.


13. Chapter Thirteen

I’ve missed most of the summer, a time I was so looking forward too a few months ago. It slipped through my fingers so quickly, time pouring away. We’re now into the deaththrows of Autumn, a season I truly love with a passion. It’s a special light on the world, a kinder, less harsh one. Probably due down to some scientific fact, but hey that takes away all the magic.

The colours combined with the cooler air make everything seem fresh and new. Yellow, red and browns are not the colours I associate with death but of life, yet nature in her wisdom serves these up to us a prelude to death. Maybe it’s when death is near we get  one final show, a final explosion of life and vibrancy before it falls into death and lifelessness. Whatever it’s a glorious end.

So here I am today sat by the river in a lovely river valley near to my home, there’s a touch of the Arthurian legends about this place in spite of the eighteenth century abandoned dams, nature reclaiming what was once its own.  It’s peaceful and uplifting, a place I wanted my flower to see and experience. I’m come here to get away from everything. I’ve been a pig recently, moody and annoying to those I love. Coming away gives us all space to recover and I hope face the next week or two in better spirits.

Despite the wonders of our National Health Service, the thing that’s growing inside me hasn’t stopped. I won’t bore you with the facts, but next week I go in for further surgery and other stuff. I’m scared and as time gets closer it builds up. 

At the end of the week my sister, her friend and I are grabbing a few days away to take in a bit of fun. No ones saying what we’re all thinking, that this might be the last one we all have together. It hangs in the air all the time. When I go back I’ll put on the mask that everything is OK. We all know it’s a lie and we live in this state constantly. Never letting the other know what we’re really thinking is the game, and it’s like living on a knife edge at times. 

I sit here beside the stream sipping my Earl Grey and occasionally writing notes down. The wood smoke from the fire in my kettle drifts around the woods, another wonderful autumnal smell which makes me sad as I can’t share it, making me think of the things I have lost. Like a tree losing its leaves one by one. Hopefully if the winter isn’t too harsh, life will again flourish in these woods, new greenery hanging where now there is brown. Maybe I’ll be here to see it, maybe not. The lottery of life laid bare.


A leaf falls into my cup, picking it out I continue to let the location seep into my body. The sound of the waterfall a soothing sound. I’m glad I came, I feel more relaxed and ready to face the next few days, to enjoy them and make others happy. In the end other people’s happiness is way more important than mine. I’ll cope in my own way, blundering along as usual. I wish I could really let go of my emotions, but even here in print, as it were, I still can’t tell them what I really think. 

I walk back by the river, not knowing when I’ll see it again, wondering if somehow the earth knows my fate, that it’s letting me have one final glorious show. Leaves fell from the trees around me as I stroll along, making me feel a ticker tape parade is being held for my benefit. I think of those I have lost and a tear comes to my eyes once again. 

So I’m making plans for every eventuality. Emails on delayed send to people I want to tell one last time that I love them, to people who I need to tell exactly why I hold them in such high esteem. I wish I had the nerve to tell them now, but I can’t. You see I’m a coward, always frightened that people will sweep me aside. I wish I could be more decisive. Plans of course include that last journey, what I’d like at my final performance, words I’d like read out. As the time to go back into hospital gets nearer I start to get more and more apprehensive, scared that I might not get to achieve everything I want. 

Well reader, if I haven’t bored you, turned you away like all the rest by now. The clock is ticking down. Next week will bring whatever it does. Maybe I should have left it with the first chapter, that may have saved your time reading it, maybe my ramblings helped me, maybe they made me morbid and made me realise what I had lost? Ah well reader, have a good life.

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