Diaries Magazine

Ch 7 - i Was Never Alone, Anyway

Posted on the 21 March 2013 by Mavie
“How are we doing today? Eh? Feeling better?” Doctor Matthew brandished a clipboard with forced cheerfulness.“Hmph.” I grumbled testily. “Are those the results?” Mum jumped up from the armchair in the corner.Earlier that morning the nurses had wheeled me into a new room, a much larger, brighter space that boasted two large windows that looked out into a courtyard. The late afternoon sun shone through the pale blue curtains washing the shiny lino in a warm glow that did nothing for my foul mood. “They are indeed. I have some good news,” the doctor paused relishing the light that sparked in Mum’s eyes. “We can operate! The tumour is large enough to extract. How does tomorrow morning sound? Eh Em?”“Dunno, is there any point? Zac says it’s too late to do anything.”“Well Zac is not a doctor,” Mum snapped whirling to face me.“Mum, look at me. I can barely sit up. Do you think an operation will save me?”“Why are you so negative? At least we have a chance, what have you got to lose?”“Another week Mum! I have another week to lose.” I cried clenching my shaky hands into tight balls.“Why don’t I go and prepare? Eh? I will be in later to get some signatures.” The doctor smoothly exited leaving Mum gaping at me.I refused to meet her eyes. Why was she hoping for a miracle? Zac had confirmed that the time was almost near, there wasn’t any point fighting it. Everyone had to die one day, didn’t they? Why couldn’t Mum just spend quality time with me instead of arguing all the time? It had been almost a month since I was diagnosed. But in that month my body had given up its previous spontaneity. Gone was the vibrant girl who had enjoyed the simple things in life. Gone was the girl who took the simple rays of sunshine for granted and gone was the girl who took laughter at a whim. I was a shell of my former self. Oh, how I would give anything to have frivolous problems replace mine. How I longed for spots, boyfriend troubles or simple arguments about coming home late. “Em, listen to me. You will have that operation. Is that clear?” Mum interrupted my thoughts and stood glaring over me. “Won’t you grant her that little happiness?” Zac materialised on my left, blocking my view of the courtyard.“No. I won’t. What’s the point?” I met his eyes squarely.Mum let out an exasperated sigh and marched out of the room. “You should have told her I was here.” Zac watched her leave. When I didn’t answer he continued in more soothing tones, “How are you feeling?”Now that was a question I could answer. “Awful. My head is constantly buzzing and my ears are ringing. The drugs they keep pumping into me are making me sleep more and more.”“Em. Please, give the operation a go. Yes it’s hopeless but you will give your mom a glimmer of hope and happiness. At least she will remember you as a fighter.”I blinked processing his words. He was right, then again he was always right. I had to leave Mum with positive memories, not of some wimp who gave up when the going got tough.***“Ah, good morning! How are you today? All set for the op?” Doctor Matthew sung in his usual cheery manner. I nodded. I was too terrified to speak. Zac held my hand as I was wheeled down into the basement where the theater was being prepped for surgery. Through the swinging doors, nurses and theater assistants bustled about solidifying the terror that had clamped around my heart.“Will I be okay?” I whispered to Zac.“I don’t know Em. I wasn’t given the exact time he would come.”“He?”Zac nodded at my wide eyes. We had spoken about Him all week. He was the dark shadow that would appear when the time was right, I would have to go with him. What lay on the other side, I didn’t know. All I knew was that Zac had said I had to follow it. There as a commotion outside. Nurses shouted and a shrill voice insisted something incoherent. They drew nearer and the grief ridden voice got clearer. It was Mum.My heart soared. Mum! A vicious need filled my chest with needles so sharp that it almost hurt. “Mum! Mum!” I shouted. A sudden desire of love flooded through my weak heart. “Em? Oh Em.” Mum pushed her way into the preparation room and wrapped herself around my body. She sobbed uncontrollably which released the wall of denial that had held back two weeks’ worth of tears. “I’m sorry, but you really can’t be in here. It’s almost time to operate.” Doctor Matthew placed a gentle hand on Mum’s shoulder.She nodded and crouched beside my wheelchair. “Em. Listen to me,” her worry lined face implored for my attention. “I love you. No matter what happens, I love you. You will be okay. You will fight this…” another sob choked the rest of the sentence away.I nodded. We had had this conversation earlier that morning. “I love you too, Mum.” I wept bitterly at the clarity of it all. Why had I wasted a month not appreciating her? Why did I take Zac’s word for it and give up before giving myself a real chance? I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live. I wanted to live for her, for a future filled with happiness and appreciation. I wanted to live for myself and for everything I always wanted from life. I vowed that if I survived this, I would leave the hospital a different person. A person who took time for the little things in life. Who needed money? Who needed the material things that adverts compelled you to buy? None of that was important. What was important was the hurt in my mother’s eyes. The white hair that wasn’t there last month. The agony in her bare wrinkled face that begged for her daughter to stay a while longer. “I’m sorry Mum. For everything I am so sorry. I want you to be proud of me, remember me as I was last month. Be strong for me. I promise…”“Sh. Em. Sh. You fight. Okay?”“Please, we really need to get started.” The doctor placed two hands on Mum’s shoulders and guided her into the arms of a nurse who was silently shedding her own tears. Together they left the room but I didn’t see, the tears flowing from my own eyes acted like a shield, blurring everything.As instructed, I lay down on the gurney and felt wires being attached to my body. A syringe was bought from behind my head and emptied into the vein in my hand. Within seconds the load of my chest lifted and sleep tugged at the corners of my brain.“Em, count down from ten please.”“Ten…nine…eight…sev…” and the lights extinguished. ***My eyelids fluttered. A sharp light pierced through my lashes and I squinted. There was pressure on my scalp, a tingly feeling that formed into a giant throb. Ouch, it hurt. Bodies bustled around me, frantic calls were barked out and I turned to see green masks working hastily over me. I was still in the theater. But why was I awake? How was that possible? Gingerly I reached up and touched my temple. It was numb, I couldn’t feel my skin. My eyes focused and I knew something was wrong. I sat up. But the theater staff remained focused on their work. Shouldn’t they be panicking if a patient suddenly sat up on the table?I jumped up and my socked feet hit the cool floor. Still no one noticed. I pivoted and fought to comprehend what had happened. My vision shifted and blurriness set in around the corners. So this is what tunnel vision is, I thought alarmed at the loss of normal sight. Swinging my gaze I tried to take in as much of the chaotic scene in as I could, but the task was impossible, I could only focus on one part at a time. I tried to concentrate but my mind was sluggish, my responses were slow. Right, there were the nurses. There was the doctor. And there was…there was me. Still lying on the table with a tube in my mouth and my long beautiful hair shaved off. Doctor Matthew shouted for something and his hands grabbed mounds of gauze which he inserted into my open skull. The image was too gruesome and my stomach churned.I looked away. There. What was that? There was something unusual over there, beside the door. I looked again. My breath caught, and I let out a shriek. A shadow was forming, dark, ominous. It wasn’t whole, it wasn’t clear but I knew it was him.No! I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to go just yet. I pivoted on my heel and ran blindly through the window which led into the scrub in room. Mum. I had to find her. As if my thoughts were answered I found myself in a white waiting room. Mum sat curled on a sofa, a string of rosary beads in her hand. Her eyes were closed and she rocked back and forth in deep prayer.“Mum, mom. It’s me. Mum?” I floated over to her.She paused as a shiver ran through her. Her eyes opened and she let out a long breath. “Mum?” But she ignored me. Her eyes closed again as she returned to her beads. I collapsed into the chair beside her. She couldn’t see me. She couldn’t hear me. “Em?” I heard Zac’s voice.“Zac? Where are you?”“It’s time Em. You have to go.”“No! Not yet. Come here, I can’t see you.”“You have to go Em. I’ll see you on the other side.”“Zac! No. Zac please, I need to see you.”He didn’t answer. “Zac!” I shouted again. Mum jumped and dropped the beads. “Mum? Can you hear me?”She looked blankly into the space before her.She couldn’t hear me. She remained frozen as if someone had taken out her battery. Could she feel me? Did she sense me? “I love you Mum. Take care, please take care of yourself.” I stood up and let my eyes wander over her familiar face knowing this would be the last time I would see her.Mum gripped the armrests, her knuckles turning white. And as if she had heard me, soft words drifted from her parted lips, “My baby…”And just like that, she knew. She knew my world had ended.

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