She felt numb. At that moment, she would have given anything to have been able to feel an emotion again. Any emotion. Disappointment, anger, fear, it didn’t even matter. Unfortunately, she thought, she couldn’t wish feelings back into herself . And so she just laid there, simply existing, barely human, as she tried to think of what great evil she could have done in her past life that demanded her suffering in her present as some sick form of justice.
Life had been so funny lately, however, she was not amused, because life’s sense of humour isn’t the kind that makes you chuckle, while you shake your head and think, “oh how silly”. It’s the kind that’s dark and twisted, and leaves you in deep fear and with a bitter taste in your mouth. It’s the kind that leaves permanent scars in your mind and on your body, and with experiences that you pray everyday to never have to go through again.
Yet here she was, going through this again. This all too familiar pain. This all too familiar hospital. This all too familiar name. Cancer. The first time, breast cancer. Now, lung. It didn’t even matter where the cancer was located anymore. It seemed like her recovery the first time was a lucky escape. That was all it was. Luck. But this, this thing was clearly her fate.
She caught a reflection of herself on the blank laptop screen that her brother had left on the small table adjacent the small bed she was lying on, and she wished she hadn’t. She looked unsightly. She tried to cry, but her eyes had never felt so dry. Besides, why should she cry? She wasn’t sad. She was unable to feel sadness. Instead, she thought of her brother. Her loving brother, who had set up camp in her hospital room. Her brother who was intent on not giving up on her. Who everyday, when she woke up, was always there, sitting on a chair in front of the small table adjacent the small bed she was lying on, researching new treatments for cancer, better hospitals with better facilities, was on social media beckoning people to donate to the cause of her treatment. Her brother, who was probably downstairs, looking for a place close by where he could buy coffee so that he could hurry back to her and be by her side. Her brother. She would miss him the most.
She wished he wouldn’t stress himself so much because of her. She knew he was missing school and she hated that it was because of her. She wished he would stop getting his hopes up because of his new findings. She wished he would just go out and live his life, and forget her, his self inflicted burden. For a long time, since their parents died, all they had was each other. And they were always there, always provided for each other. She wished right now that she could be there for him, comfort him. She wished he would realise that he was wasting his time; she had already given up hope. She wished she would stop wishing, because even if wishes were horses, she wouldn’t have the strength to ride.
She suddenly felt the need to sleep. She was so sleepy. But she knew. It wasn’t sleep. She knew that once she closed her eyes, she was never going to open them again. She knew it was time, and that she’d be gone before her brother got back. And for the first time in a very long time, she felt peace. And as she finally let herself drift into this forever sleep, funny, she could have sworn that the last thing she saw before drifting away, was herself riding a very majestic horse.