Something Worth Living For

Inspired by 'Another Last Goodbye', a screenplay by Prodigy.

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2. One

Nothing has changed when Regan wakes up in the hospital room. A sound beating steadily to her heartbeat fills the air. Her skin is the same colour as her ashy blonde hair: pale, and tinged with yellow.

 

When she looks across the room, Regan noticed that there is one thing that has changed. The second bed in the room has been filled by a girl with dark hair, fast asleep.

 

It’s early in the morning, and the nurses haven’t made their rounds yet. The flowers on Regan’s bedside table are drooping, a single petal dropping into the cloudy water as her eyes drift over them. The delicacy of the flowers is a sharp contrast to the heart monitor on the other side of the bed: a large, grey machine with coloured lines flashing across the screen.

 

She watches the lines for a while until the sound of voices fills the hallway outside of her room.

 

“Has anyone told you about the new patient?” a female voice asks. “I noticed that a new girl has been put on my list. She’s in a room with Regan Grimsey.”

 

Whoever she is talking to lets out a sympathetic sigh.  “Poor thing. Tried to kill herself, didn’t she? Her dad brought her in last night and she was covered in blood. What is she called again?”

 

Regan listens until the voices stop and the footsteps fade away and the sound of another person breathing catches her attention. The dark-haired girl is now awake.

 

“Hi,” Regan begins. She isn’t sure what to say, but an introduction seems like the best place to start. “My name’s Regan. What’s yours?”

 

The girl stares resolutely at the wall. Her eyes are wide and unblinking.

 

“It’s okay if you don’t want to speak, but I hope you don’t mind me talking. I’ve never had a roommate before. It gets kind of lonely. I’m actually kind of confused about it. They don’t usually put people like you-”

 

The dark-haired girl continues to ignore her, making a barely audible groan as the blonde attempts to make conversation. Regan shoots a nervous glance in her direction.

 

“Um, sorry. I mean, they don’t usually put people like me in with… I’m sorry. I’ll just stop.”

 

Regan falls silent for a few minutes. She counts in time to the heart monitor, still steadily beeping, until she thinks enough time has passed.

 

“I hope you don’t think I’m, like, a stalker or anything. It’s just… I heard the doctors talking while you were asleep. I know about the pills, and…” Regan’s voice trails off as her eyes drift down to the other girl’s wrists. They’re covered in bandages. The girl quickly moves to cover them, her eyes hardening.

 

The blonde’s breath catches in her throat as she worries if she’s offended her new roommate. “Sorry. Really. I’m sorry. I’m great at making first impressions, aren’t I? God, I’m sorry. I really am going to stop talking now.”

 

With that, Regan sighs and turns away. The dark-haired girl frowns and closes her eyes.

 

***

 

Later that day, the nurse visits on her usual rounds. She brings Regan her medication, makes small talk, and asks if there’s anything else she needs. Regan smiles through the entire encounter, only letting the expression slip when the nurse looks away to check her notes.

 

The dark-haired girl opens her eyes as soon as the nurse leaves the room, making Regan wonder if she had just woke up or if she had been awake for ages, just waiting to have a moment of privacy.

 

“Hi,” Regan says with a smile, her exhaustion visible through her voice.

 

The other girl looks at her silently. Maybe she hadn’t been waiting for a conversation.

 

“Listen,” Regan begins. “I feel really bad about earlier. I shouldn’t have said that stuff, but I guess it’s been so long that I just forgot how to act normally.”

 

Regan pauses as she waits for a response. The dark-haired girl parts her lips as if she’s going to respond, but remains silent. Her eyes narrow.

 

“So, to make it fair, I thought I’d tell you stuff about me that you probably don’t care about, but I’m going to tell you anyway. You can ignore me. Well, if you want to.” She pauses as she thinks. “I’m seventeen. My favourite colour is orange. When I was younger, I wanted to be an astrophysicist. Or an actor. Sometimes, I still want to be an astrophysicist. Space is cool. I don’t understand it, but I like it. Oh, and I have stage IV pancreatic cancer and three weeks to live, apparently.”

 

The dark-haired girl’s eyes drop to the floor. Regan resists the urge to recite her speech on how people don’t have to feel sorry for her, how everything is how it is. The silence is long, but it won’t be filled by her.

 

She closes her eyes.

 

Then, she hears someone speak in a voice barely above a whisper: “My name is Blair.”

 

Regan smiles.

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