I wake up in the hospital, again.
"Maria, Maria." The doctor says. "Do you have any idea what this has done to you?"
He doesn't realize that I'm awake yet. My eyes flicker shut again.
"No." My throat is still dry.
There's silence for a minute. "By doing this stupid little... experiment," His tone fills with disgust. "You might have shortened the time you have left before one of two things happens."
"What two options?" I rasp. "I thought there was only one." My death.
"Well, you could continue to live. You could stay on medicine, and attempt to live your life with SPS."
"Or?" I already know the answer, but I want to hear confirmation.
"Or, you could die."
Never in my life have I met someone so blunt. "Thanks," I say dryly. "This is improving my mood greatly. Drugs or death."
"We'll need you to decide, preferably today." He says. "We need written consent from you, and your parent. We'll give you a shot, and then bring her in so you can talk about it.
I feel a needle enter my arm, and another in my leg. A cup of water is tipped into my mouth while another nurse ushers my mom in.
"Oh, honey," she says. Tears well at her eyes. "I don't-" He voice breaks, and she collapses on the linoleum floor. The metal door closes behind her.
"Mom..." The tremble in her voice breaks my heart. "I know money is tight. And..." Now my voice shakes. "There's really only one thing to do, isn't there?"
She gulps back large sobs, and suddenly I feel like the parent consoling the child.
"I'm-" my voice catches, and tears drip down my face. "I'm going to have to die. I- I won't let you waste your money on drugs that keep me alive. The drugs are expensive, and I'll just end up dying anyways."
"No!" The power in her voice is so great that it shakes me. "It- it- it would me-me-mean-" Tears were cascading down my mother's broken figure. "It'd mean losing you."
I opened my mouth, but couldn't think of anything to say.
"But it's for the b-b-best." I trembled.
Minutes passed before she nodded. She didn't say anything, but a waterfall of tears ran down her face as she signed the paper with a shaking hand.