How To Save A Life.

I entered this for the competition "Inspired by a song."
I hope you like it!


4. 4

Dear Em,


    This morning when I woke up, my body was sprawled across the floor of my bedroom like some invisible force has just dumped me there as I slept. My head hurt and I had a huge bruise on my elbow. I’m pressing it against the side of your bed right now in fact, just so I can stay awake. I dressed like normal and decided to cycle to the hospital to visit you just after breakfast. I know you don’t need to worry about eating with all those tubes winding around you and plummeting down your throat or wherever they go, but I still need to get energy from somewhere.

    At the time, I wasn’t sure if I had hit my head hard on the floor when I rolled out of bed or if I had a horrible migraine, but now I’m pretty sure it’s just a migraine. I remember you used to complain about the ones you got all the time and I used to tease you. Sorry about that, I believe you now, they suck. In fact, sorry about all those times that I teased you. Of course they were all jokes, but I feel as if I should apologise for something. Remember that time we were on a walk and a dog came sprinting over and knocked you off your balance so that you fell into a cowpat? I do. You didn’t like it then, but I’m sure you’d welcome that now. Sorry about laughing at you when that happened as well.

    Usually I feel sad when come to visit you, because you don’t feel like you’re really there, more like an empty snail shell that is left on the pavement without a snail. Today I just felt numb, even as I walked through the automatic doors and walked down the long corridor to your room. I remember getting a bit stressed out because of the typical hospital smell and pausing for a moment to calm down. You asked me once why I hate hospitals and their smell so much, and I’m still not sure. I assume it’s just because I don’t want to be in one. Maybe I feel that if I breathe in too much of the air, I’ll have to stay. I just feel unhealthy in medical places.

    I didn’t see any nurses as I carried on through various doors. I usually do and they usually make a few jokes to reassure me, but today it was just the sound of my own echoing footsteps that kept me company. If you were with me, I reckon we could have made a pretty awesome little song just using tapping noises and the echoes. You weren’t anywhere near though.

    At last I reached your room and pushed the door open. I walked over and sat in my chair, not noticing what was in plain sight until I reached out my hand to find yours. The bed was empty. It wasn’t like you had woken up and gone off for a walk with that nurse I like, because the sheets were new and there was no indent in the pillow from where your head had sat only the day before. I think it was at that point when my throat seized up. To be honest with you, I can’t quite recall what I did then, only that I kind of laid my head onto the side of the mattress and just sat there in silence for what seemed like forever. I didn’t cry. The sheets weren’t wet at all when I heard the nurse entering the room. I think she must have just stood in the doorway for a couple of minutes, because it wasn’t until a while later that I felt her sitting me up so that I was upright in the chair.

    She probably asked if I was okay, and then explained what had happened. This bit is the only thing that I remember clearly. I’m going to tell you what happened to you, just in case you haven’t realised yet. At about 2:14am the machine that measures your heartbeat showed that you were in cardiac arrest – your heart had stopped. Apparently they tried to get you back from it, but after a long time they decided that you weren’t going to pull through. That’s that. You weren’t there any more, just an empty snail shell sitting in the road where a full snail used to be.

    So now I’m sitting here and writing you this letter. It’s the last one. It’s not like you can read them now, so I’ll probably just leave it in your room like the rest of my letters to you. Oh, and just in case you are wondering what I feel like right now, even I’m not sure. I still haven’t cried, but my body feels like a car has hit it several times over. I want to feel something, I’m trying to feel something, but the more attempts I make the more hollow I feel. I want to feel full with something - sadness because I’ll never talk to you again, or even anger because I wasn’t there with you when you went. No one was. You were alone to make the choice. Maybe in the end I could have influenced you, made you choose to stay rather than leave your family and friends, but maybe I was right in thinking that it was purely up to you.

    Right now it’s like I’m back at the beach, and my thoughts and emotions are waves crashing on top of me. I should be drowning with the sheer force of them, but instead am separated from real feeling by a translucent substance that gives me merely a taste of what I should be feeling. Who knows how long it will last, but this shouldn’t really be about me, but rather about you.

    Wherever you are now, if anywhere at all, do you remember that time when we were in that tree in my back garden? Do you remember how we made that promise? Well it still holds now, so don’t get worried or anything.


I hope it’s great up there,

Lots of love,

Your best friend.

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