I watched Life Spring into my eyes
A commotion ensued after I awoke. The flurry of faces and questions that were shot at me made my head spin. It felt like I was in that distant world again each time someone spoke to me. Each mask-covered face that surrounded my bed then forced my mother out of the room and started to mold into one, and then my waking brain decided to give up on trying and shut down for a bit.
I slept the rest of that day and much to my surprise when I awoke there was nobody in the room nor was there a single ache or pain in my body. I felt energized beyond comparison and so I removed the respiratory mask that encaged my jaw and lips and breathed in the dingy air. The maskless taste of the air was irksomely satisfying as it shot up through my nose then tickled the bareness of my brain.
“Mmmm” was the only sound I could formulate at the moment. With that sound alone I could feel the dryness of my throat and mouth but then the flurry of lubricant that quickly shot out from their ducts to put it out.
I didn’t try to speak or deeply inhale again because of the perturbing tube intruding my body. Curiously I yanked it, and all it did was send a thousand shivers throughout my body and a deep nauseating sensation that made my stomach growl with sincere hatred.
I looked around for the button to call the nurse or anybody for that matter, and that’s when I got a sort of view of a window adjacent to the right side of my bed. I could only see a tinge of a dark world and a low-level treeline.
After looking around the room for a bit longer and studying its components and not being able to find what I was looking for, I sort of gave up and rested my head trying my best to at least regain some feeling in my lower torso.
I started by slowly dragging both my arms along the rails of the bed and then forcing the thin sheet of arm muscle I had left to try and pull me up. I failed miserably, even though most of me was just bones, my arms were much less.
I looked to both my arms which gripped my railings and a small knot formed at the base of my throat. But just when I was about to start crying I saw on the inner part of the right-side railing of the bed, there was a sort of remote with two huge plus symbols encased in an orange box, under them, the letters read; NURSE in a bold black font.
I traced my finger on the face of the button letting thoughts spark then quell within the squiggles of my being.
Feeling the memories of that time come to me again, in extensive blurs and an uneasy emptiness. I recalled everything that had happened within the darkness of my mind and sat alone thinking about the knowledge of our being. Of what I should do next, what those words meant, and how the alluring smell of life would soon vanish in a month.
The sudden coldness of my thoughts made me want to snuggle into the crevices of the hospital bed and just melt into nothing. But I couldn’t move from my seated position. I didn’t want to move.
I didn’t want to accidentally go back there again.
Then I remembered the gentle face that greeted me with a sea of tears and the hand that held me with conviction. A hand that held so tightly, almost mouthing the words “I won’t ever let you go again.”
Those hands, the hands of my mother, and the gentle smile that grazed her face as she heard my screams of being a second time soothed my soul and made me realize once again what I should resolve.
The same answer I reached every time I wanted to end the pointless stare at that fading frame and he retorted with a no. The deep desire to live and be with those who love me and grew to adore me, even if it may have been out of pity. They were there for me when I wasn’t.
The least I could do is give them the little time I have left, and give her my memories of our encounter.
Give her something to live on with.
Though brief, and though we existed for a major portion of it in different worlds. You made me realize the fortune in my life and how much someone like me, someone as useless as me can serve as a glimmer of hope in another’s unetched road.
It reminds me of our fateful encounter that day and how beautiful the raining leaves looked. The fork in the road that dictated the brief intersection of our lives--mine short, yours almost cut short--seemed just like the visage of those dancing maple leaves. A dance that lasted less than a fraction of our lives made us move with a spirited beat, an almost artistic stroke, and carried us into tomorrow.
All this, with a scarcity of touch and words.
I pushed my thumb against the button rigged on the side of the bed and listened as a low hum called for a nurse. I sat there with a half-smile, formulating what I would say when Ari and Mom eventually walked through that door.
I’ll never forget that morning, even where I’m going. The faint chirps of the birds soothingly festering in the trees outside, the warmth of the light bathing the right portion of my body, and then the relatively pungent smells of sweet perfume.
I couldn’t help but open my eyes with a welcoming smile.
I couldn’t help being happy to be alive.
The many machinations that perturbed my body allowed for some more movement, specifically the tube that ran down into my mouth had been removed. Which made feeling a bit more normal easy.
The first thing that broke the fairytale ambiance was the sound of my mom sobbing then running over to the right side of my bed. She paused before hugging me and just stared at me laying in the bed. I turned and fixed my gaze on her, staring into the roundness of her face and the pearly glints that fell from her perfectly-shaped eyes. All I could muster back was a full smile, so full you wouldn’t think I was going to die soon.
I raised my arms slowly, indifferent to anything in the world and in that room, then pulled my mother a bit closer, and hugged her tightly. I felt the warmth from her love wrap around me then I felt her long arms wrap around me as well.
I could hear the beat of her heart, so full of emotions both sad and happy. So full that all it could do was ebb from the heart like lonely waves washing on the face of a sandy beach.
After a whole five minutes of hugging I dropped my arms from fatigue, their lack of muscle made it hard to hug for any sort of long periods of time, or do any activity for long as a matter of fact. She followed suit, she didn't speak but she only motioned to someone on her left. My eyes followed to where she motioned.
It was Ariana.
It was the beautiful hazel hair that reached the base of her shoulders and the gentle face that greeted the world even though deep trauma was woven into its fabric. It was the slender body that fits into a white sundress with ease and seemingly perfection. It was the bright smile that seemed to vitalize others and steal from her essence.
It was the girl I met in a park, while just dumbfoundedly staring at the simplicities of a fleeting world.
A tear thundered down from her right eye as she took slow footsteps towards the side of the bed my mom was on. Her steps were noiseless but purposeful, solidifying with each step that I was awake. With each purposeful footstep reality set in and more tears drew. More and more tears drew and she curled her lips, zipping closed the words that wanted to spill forth into existence.
Once she reached my mom she carefully wrapped her arm around her and held onto the railing of the bed. Side by side, they stood like two leaning pillars with beads of pain escaping their soul.
I smiled and tried to speak but the words crammed up against a scratchy area in my throat that seemed to feel vacant, it was as if the words tried to escape but only fell right back into my being.
“Hm.” was the only sound I could muster, a gentle hum that simply indicated a form of delight, and then a smile.
“He Can’t really speak for a while. He’s lost his voice.” A doctor standing in the doorway whispered.
Both mom and Ari turned to look at him with sullen eyes as if more had been taken away, but then they looked back to me and those eyes were once again replaced by gratitude.
I didn’t care to have lost my voice. In the end, I probably would’ve just muddled everything I actually wanted to say.
My focus shifted back to Ari’s face, and on it, a face of anxiety grew. It grew louder and louder until she was biting her lip, then until the zipper on her lips tore and she muttered the deep wound she carried.
“I’m so sorry.” Her glassy voice shattered into millions of tears.
I wiggled my right arm and placed my hand on hers; the one gripping the railing of my bed.
“Hm.” I nodded with a tear slowly forming on the hem of my bottom eyelid. I paused and fixated all of my being on speaking some words into the world. I didn’t care if it hurt me or damaged my throat even further, I just needed her to know.
“I...heard...Sto..ry…….No….sorry...need” The voice that emerged wasn’t like my own, it reached into reality like a snake's hiss and cut into my throat with each vibration.
I cleared my throat and began to feel the aftereffects of trying to force speaking, a warm metallic substance began to invade my mouth.
I heard the slight shuffle as she unwrapped her arm from around my mother. I looked up at her to see the commotion.
The sun plastered behind her figure allotted its corona, like before, to dance delicately on the hem of her beauty.
Then she leaned in, her whole body slowly falling towards me, and with one arm holding my being and her face digging into my neck, she hugged me. For the first time ever, she hugged me.
The warmth of her being and the slow sobs she let out into my neck poured into me, another person's feelings slowly but surely filling me. Mom’s overbearing feelings already resided within me and now Ari’s infinite hurt spread over me like a blanket.
I thought I had cried all the tears I had in that world. I thought I would no longer be able to cry in a world with unending beauty, or for that fact return.
My tears unsolicitedly dripped from my eyes, without delay. Without pause, and without pain.
This was another moment I experienced prior to the coma, where I felt the happiest in life since being born. But this was different. This was worlds away from different but parallels of similarity resided.
This moment felt like acceptance and freedom.
This moment didn’t feel like that fallacy I conjured in my mind, believing dearly that it was actually acceptance and freedom. I thought freedom and acceptance meant dying as soon as I could without having to hear anyone's cries. But you see, acceptance and freedom is realizing those you’ve impacted and those who've impacted you. Acceptance and freedom are being able to watch their crying faces as you soothe their anxious ache of loss. Acceptance and freedom, unquantifiable but quantifiable can leave an everlasting residue on the hearts of those closest to you.
So, cherish and protect those last moments with them. Because in the end, they are the ones who can only cherish those last moments as you pass.
Mom eventually couldn’t help herself and joined in on the hugging.
Soon after, I began to cough up the blood and burn that scraped at the back of my throat. My mom was quick to rub my back and ask the doctor for some painkillers.
The Doctor nodded, not wanting to break the bad news during such an hour, exited the room and left behind any emotional baggage that scene might have drawn.
It’s a tough duty having to tell a mother her son will die before her.
That day of our reunion was beautiful, akin to the few days I had left, you spent them with me. Each day you eagerly came, from dusk, till dawn, we spoke of everything and anything. I with pen and paper, you with a clear and gentle voice. We spoke of the few meetings we had before the coma, what you did while I was asleep, and what I heard as I was asleep.
Then in the brittle sun of dusk, mom joined us to do everything the nurses could do. It was funny complaining every other day, but I enjoyed her care. I let them enjoy these last few moments without them knowing. And I, enjoyed these last few moments while knowing.
I also remember how you told me the hatred you gained for school and the love you gained for sleep. Then you told me of how mom basically forced you to move in with her and then you told me how much you’d grown to love mom and perhaps me; I hope :,).
I became bored in the darkest hours of the night when the only visitor I had was an overbearing pain growing in my heart, it felt like it kept straining to beat against the fragile chest within me. It felt so weak and it made me so weak.
So after almost two full weeks of not being able to speak and only write with a pen and paper, I asked mom to bring my phone so I could talk to you every day, or so I thought.
I suppose I didn’t want to bother you when I was awake at night, from the pain. But you always, always…seemed to text just at the right time. Making a smile creep in the dark and forcing the visitor to slump back into its wait.
For the first time ever I made use of that notepad in my phone, I wrote of my encounter with you and everything that has happened since, I don’t think anything before that point deserves notice or needs recognition. Hell, I don’t think any point in my life needs recognition. But what else can I do when I’m bored at night or alone up until sunrise, and because it’s all someone like me has ever had to actually solidify their time here. A sort of testament to being.
I’ve never been much of a writer in school or at all as a matter of fact, but when I started writing on this blank digital notepad my soul awakened a fountain of words and a flurry of emotions.
With these words, I saw what I didn’t and felt what I missed, and so I write them just for you and mom.
I started with our encounter in the park then my fainting (twice) in your presence. Everything felt cold from that time, but the warmth of the words helped me move on, and so I write. I write of the brevity of our encounter and the prolonged time within my mind, each moment drawing tears and unsung feelings that quickly sparked within me.
However, as I draw closer to my end this seemingly short story draws its conclusion and so does the ability for me to write. The pain in my fingers and my wrist grows overbearing and I can’t stand to write as much as I did in the first few parts. Not that there's much left to tell besides the fact that I’m about to pass on. These last few pages contain the last few weeks sort of divided into my time left, I don’t know what day at the end of this month I will go.
So, if it just suddenly ends...I hope it finds you well, sorry I couldn’t finish.
I could’ve done more but I reveled in my own nihilism and unmoving path. I could’ve done so much more. But I’m proud of the nothing that I did and don’t mind the nothing I will become.
As a side note, however, you, your book is not finished. Your book has yet to reach its full glory and full threshold in this world. Just as the brittle paper cover of my book closes, I want yours of pristine durability to open. Live life to the fullest and the best and enjoy every facet of it. Live it so badly that in the end when you’re laying on your deathbed you wouldn’t have regretted a single step you took.
I want you to live. Live with mom if that's your whole life. Help each other. Go back to showbiz if you want and prove those assholes wrong by firing them.
Just live how you want. Or else, you’ll never have lived your life but someone else’s. And where’s the fun in not playing as your own character?
Ahhh. As I sit here writing this with numbness in the knuckles of my fingers and an ache in my fingernails I smile at how ugly, pathetic, and beautiful these last moments are.
Oh yeah and by the way. I know the doctors approved of you taking me out to the park tomorrow. Hah hah. I’ve known it all along ever since you kept sneaking from the hospital room mid-conversation for a “snack.” Thank you for your valiant and persistent effort but sadly you need to rough up these doctors to get what you want. I basically had to tell them I wouldn’t take my medicine anymore. LOL.
But I really want to go out tomorrow. I have been feeling so weak. I can’t feel much of anything in the lower portion of my being and my heart doesn’t ache at night anymore. Ah yes and a pretentious doctor who I watched from the other world told me that tomorrow was a beautiful day since it was the start of April, that their special tree which she called a “Sakura tree,” was to bloom and spread its beauty all over the garden. I liked to act dumbfounded by all her statements just so she felt important but in reality could care less, except for this once. I couldn’t withhold the drips of excitement that lingered in my soul and I let out a faint, hissy, and scratchy “yay” as I wrote this very piece. This minimal yay made my throat feel like I had swallowed a pound of nails.
She inquired about what I was writing but I ignored her, she didn’t ask any more after that.
I smiled as I looked down at the paper and a tear dropped from my eye. I don’t know from which it came, I don’t know where it went, But it existed.
If you can, find it for me.
And as day gave way to night, I awoke feeling the transient dance of the Sakura tree in the air. Signaling...