Together Forever

Charlie doesn't understand why these strange people keep visiting his mother and leaving her upset. He wants revenge. But is it really these people who are causing his mother to feel sad, or is it something bigger? [For 'The Light That Gets Lost' competition. It fits primarily into the 1st option- a story about revenge.]

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5. Chapter 5

It feels like I am in the middle of a horrible nightmare. I feel trapped and alone. I can barely see anything at all, and when I move it hurts my body. There are strange figures moving around me. I have never seen them before. They look like . . . ghosts. I try to open my mouth and scream, but no sound comes out. I freeze and hope that the ghosts won't see me. I don't move a muscle for a very long time.

* * *

"Charlie?"

I am trying to open my eyes properly but it feels like they are being held together by superglue. I try and try and try until I can finally see what is in front of me. I feel so happy that I very nearly almost cry.

"Mummy!" I say. I smile the biggest smile ever (even though I am still in pain). I want to put on a brave face for mummy.

Mummy moves closer and sits next to me on the bed. "I'm so happy you're awake, Charlie. They've spent two days trying to keep your lungs working."

I look around me, and for the first time I notice that I am not at home. I think I might be in the hospital, because there are lots and lots of strangers here. They are all wearing the same clothes and are carrying funny equipment.

"Charlie . . ." she says slowly, like the way a mummy would say to a little baby who she didn't want to burst out crying and wake the neighbours, "What happened?"

I try and think. In the end I tell mummy the entire truth because I hate lying to her.

"After you told me you had an illness that was making you sad, I tried to destroy it. I was so angry that it had so much power over your feelings, and I wanted it to pay for all the pain it had caused you. I wanted revenge, mummy."

She is silent. Suddenly I feel really cold. I shiver.

Mummy always knows what to do. She opens her bag and takes out the blanket from my special seat at home. She wraps it around me carefully, and then she gives me a big hug. I can tell that she is crying again.

"What's wrong, mummy? Are you not feeling well too?"

She pulls back and looks at me, wiping her eyes with her sleeve.

"No, Charlie." She doesn't say anything for a while. I observe her face (this means to look very closely at something or someone so that you can notice the tiny details that are usually unnoticeable). She has grey bags under her eyes, which shows that she must be very tired.

"Listen, Charlie . . . " she begins, "There's something very important I need to tell you."

I listen very carefully.

"I- I  . . . " she stops. She takes a deep breath. "When you were in the hospital yesterday, I just so happened to be due for a checkup for my illness. And . . . and, they told me . . . " She sighs. "I'm sorry, Charlie . . . I only have a few months left."

I am very confused. "Isn't that good mummy? Doesn't it mean that you won't be ill for much longer?"

"Yes, I suppose you could say that." She laughs a very sad laugh. "But what I mean is that I won't be here anymore, Charlie. The illness is taking over me. I'm so sorry, darling."

Suddenly I understand. My eyes become extremely watery and everything around me turns fuzzy. I blink, and a long stream of tears roll down my cheeks. Mummy hugs me tight.

"Hey, hey," she says, "I'll still be with you for a few months yet, okay?"

I nod, biting my thumb. She picks up part of the blanket. She points to the stars that have been stitched on.

"Look at these stars, Charlie. They are woven in with the night sky- they will never leave. The stars are infinite. They will stay in sky forever and ever. Even when I'm gone, they'll still be there. Look up at the stars and find the one that shines brightest for you. It will be me, twinkling in the dark and waving to you, saying hello. I'll be there for you every night- just for you. I promise I will never leave you, Charlie."

I can't control my tears. They spill and spill and spill until my eyes are all dried out. But I will always remember mummy's words, and I will look out for her every single night, and wave to her as she waves back. I will love my mummy forever and ever. Even when she is no longer in this world, she will still be here, as the most beautiful, dazzling star in the whole entire universe.

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