10th July 2004, 01:39 PM
Living Forever (PG-13)
This is a pretty brief short story I wrote yesterday. That's right, from start to finish, all in one day! Even though it's short, it's still amazing considering my slowness as a writer. It's not really much but I hope you can enjoy it.
Title: Living Forever
Rating: PG-13 (just to be safe)
Date started: July 9th, 2004
Date finished: July 9th, 2004 (Hacha!)
Inspiration: some basis from my best friend and me, I thought of it after reading some of Chicken Soup for the Soul ^^;
Disclaimer: I own all these characters, yo. If you steal them I have no real means of stopping you, so do whatever the hack you want.
My mother always said that I would get chickenthropia and die. I never really believed her, especially considering she made up the disease “chickenthropia” in her whirling rage. The problem was, in her mind, that I didn’t have a healthy diet nor did I get enough exercise. I thought she was wrong on both accounts; hence I never took her very seriously. Even if I did fall sick and die, I wouldn’t really care—heaven was more of a paradise then earth would ever be, and eating repulsive foods just wasn’t worth it to me.
It happened while I was dancing. My illness swept over me like an afternoon thunderstorm, consuming me before I had even known it’d come. I fainted right in the middle of a song. When I woke up again, a bunch of round faces were peering down at me. The first words that came to my mind were those of my mother’s: “Luna, you don’t eat right! You’re going to get chickenthropia and die.” As I blinked, a few of the people left my side and walked around the room. Where was I? Cheesy floral wallpaper, a bed next to me, identical to the one that I was in…at first I didn’t believe I was in the hospital.
A young woman dressed in white with long orange hair walked up to my mother and father. Quickly she jotted a note on the clipboard she was holding, and then spoke to my parents. “Would you like to tell her?” she asked. Mother shook her head, and then clasped my father’s wrist as they walked out of the room. I turned to see them leave, but a dizzying pain swallowed my head. The nurse helped me prop my head straight again. In a moment, a middle-aged doctor appeared by her side. I closed my eyes wearily.
“Miss Palma, we have frightening news. All you ready to hear this?” the doctor asked, as if he had said it a thousand times before. I opened my eyes slowly.
“Yes,” I mumbled, without really much thought.
“Miss Palma, you have a very rare disease of which little is known. There hasn’t been a case of it in over thirty years, and we never expected to have another. There are several possible causes of it, though the precise one has not yet been pinpointed. It is not believed to be hereditary. You are not contagious, and the symptoms you may be feeling may not seem very serious.
“However, everyday routine activities will worsen your condition to the point where normal life would not be able to continue for you or your family. It best for you to remain here while we do out best to help you. I’m really sorry, Miss Palma.”
I blinked slowly, as to break down all the information. “It’s okay,” I said feebly. A high-pitched beeping noise sounded.
“Excuse me, I’m needed in the cancer ward,” he said, and dashed out of the room, leaving the door open a crack. The nurse began drawing the curtains around my bed. A small knock sound came from the door. It seemed to send a pulsation straight into the depths of my heart.
The nurse halted her task and went to the door. I could hear whispers of a conversation and then footsteps approaching. The nurse pushed the curtains back partially to reveal the worried face of Lily, my closest friend. “Hi,” she said, touching my forehead for a minute. I could feel irregular unevenness in her fingers. “Sorry I’m late…it was a long drive and plus we got held up in traffic.”
“Ah, hello. Wait, a long drive? Which hospital is this? Valley Hospital isn’t but five minutes away!” I exclaimed.
“We’re at Ireland Research Centre and Hospital. In Cleveland,” she said.
“What? Why drive three hours?” I asked, exasperated. Her only reply was silence. I looked into her amber eyes; never before had I seen so much anxiety in them. I could tell she was deeply worried. It was like she was a whole different person after she walked through the door.
After a minute, she spoke softly. “Cleveland has the best health care in the nation. Do you remember, a few years ago, when that Qatari prince came here, to this hospital? I thought you told me once that Qatar was one of the richest countries in the world. They come from all over the world to get the best care here. I think maybe you’ll be okay, with them…” She trailed off.
The nurse came and tapped her on the shoulder. “Are you ready to go? You know, visiting hours are long over,” she said to Lily. My friend did not speak after that, she only placed a pink rose across my hand, now resting beneath my collarbone. I carefully fingered its stem; there were no thorns at all. Then I remembered her coarse hand. I knew she must’ve peeled of all the thorns for me, but in the process cut her own hands pretty badly. I sniffed the rose lightly, so many scents and memories coming to mind. I let it rest on my chin, closing my eyelids heavy with tiredness.
The nurse spoke again. “If you need me, you can call me. I’m Elizabeth,” she explained, setting a device with a large blue button on the table beside me. “You can turn on this little lamp any time you need it. I’ll be leaving now, good night,” she said. Turning her back, she walked out of the room and turned off the lights. Although I was tired, I could not sleep. A crescent moon gleamed outside the window, bathing the room in moonlight. Elizabeth had forgotten to close the curtains once more, but I liked it better this way. The aroma of the rose drifted around my face.
Lily was my only friend, so to speak. She was to only one who really accepted and understood me, but perhaps that was because I was the only one who accepted her. Sometimes she would be mean to me, or act impolite around me or another people. It took me some time to realize that she had never really had a friend before me, and that she was still learning how to be a friend. No matter what happened, she always tried to salvage our friendship when it was sinking, for she knew it might hurt me even more that it would hurt her if she didn’t. I had finally cleared all the haze and found that she was the true friend I needed all my life. It was her alone.
Weeks and weeks passed by, until my illness had taken its toll on me for over a month. Each day I worsened, something else inside of me failed. The doctors found out not things they could do for me, but things I couldn’t do. I would never be able to walk again let alone dance, as the muscles in my legs had essentially “melted,” as Elizabeth put it. My bones felt as thin as ice, waiting to be shattered with the slightest touch. The doctors said morphine wouldn’t help the pain, nothing like that would. Over that time, some people came to visit me. My mother and father came as often as they could, but after a while they became caught up in work and didn’t make the drive out as often. I didn’t mind very much, and I told them so. My aunt from out of state could only visit me one day, but I never woke up that day she did. A group of kids from school even came one time, not that they even cared. Barely a word was spoken, as they set their small bouquets on my bedside table and left ten minutes after.
The only visits I ever looked forward to were Lily’s. She wasn’t able to come out much. I knew that her mother worked long hours, and by the time they drove to Cleveland, visiting hours would be over. When she did come, she would tell me about a convention she went to, or bring me a blanket she made for me, or sometimes just sit beside my bed.
A day came when I wanted to wake up, but in my body I could feel it would be the last day I would. Everything inside of me a hurt, a seed of pain planted in my body and quickly growing everywhere else. I was surprised but grateful to see Lily that day. I could barely speak to her, and she didn’t feel like talking, either. She held my hand calmly, and everything was still in the room.
“It hurts…so much to breathe…” I murmured. There was an earthquake in my body, shaking my ribs every time I drew a breath. My eyes twitched in pain, despite my prolonged efforts to just keep them closed. Her grip on my hand tightened. My head rolled to the side, and I saw a daisy wilting on my table. I realized then that I had nothing more to live for. My parents didn’t even come to see me and they could move on without me. I couldn’t dance anymore, and I doubt I’d be able to breathe in the fresh scent of wildflowers if I ever left this bed.
“Do you want to be here…when I die?” I asked between heavy breathes. Crystal tears laced her eyes. “It’s okay if you don’t, but then you should leave now.”
All of a sudden, Lily threw herself on me, trying to hug me as best she could in the position I was in. Pain shot through my body, but quickly subsided. “No, no! Don’t die! Don’t die, Luna! Can’t die!” she cried between sobs. I wished I could put my hand on her back to comfort her, but I could barely move my lungs.
I thought I had nothing to live for. As I saw the peaceful smile on Lily’s face as she listened to my heartbeat, her cheek pressed against my chest, I knew I was wrong. Even if I couldn’t live for dancing, for nature, or for myself, I had to live for her. As much as I needed her, she needed me the same. I placed my hand atop her head, and light began to shine from her smile. Someday much later, we would both die and live forever. For now, we just had to live a little while longer.
Last edited by Shiksa ♥; 10th July 2004 at 02:04 PM.
It was Columbus instead.
10th July 2004, 01:50 PM
Friend of the ABC
That was beautiful, Hitchi!
Wow...I really don't know what exactly to say (I'm crap at reviewing, you see x_x), but I enjoyed it a lot. Well done.
Looking forward to seeing more fics from you! ^^.
19th July 2004, 09:43 AM
All, i have to say is WOW! That was one amazing story! Keep writing!