Chapter 10:

how Goodbyes blossom

I watched Life Spring into my eyes

The pretentious nurse was the first one to greet me this morning. I spent a good portion of the morning, finally catching up to the present, in my digital notepad. The nurse--whose name I’ll at least give some sort of value since it's the least I could do--was called Mary Langster, she was relatively cute and frail-looking...not that I’m in any position to call anyone frail. Bookmark here

...That chuckle really hurt...Bookmark here

I’ll get straight to the point. You may be wondering why I spent so much time this morning before you came to visit writing here. Well, it’s because I think I’m dying today. Nothing more nothing less. I’m dying so I have to hurry up and get this finished so you and mom can have a piece of me to live on with. Bookmark here

I think today is okay, I think today is alright for me to go so I will. My body is also telling me it's over-exhausted and running on fumes. I’m sorry I didn’t tell either of you I was going to leave early but, I hope we can enjoy my last moments under the sakura tree in the most peaceful manner ever. Bookmark here

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I sighed as I thought of what more to add to the entry for my final day. I couldn’t think of much, and the emptiness I felt inside didn’t let me conjure anything from the fountain of knowledge I contained. My body became the literal embodiment of the calm before a storm.Bookmark here

I grew tired of the boredom and emptiness, and slowly comforted myself into the softness of the bed. I felt the melodic drips of the IV beside me and heard the soft rustles of the treeline just outside. I felt myself slipping from the cradle of existence and into some unknown world. Bookmark here

At first, I started to feel the calmness and then the nothingness, somewhat like before but much more deafening. Bookmark here

Then for a brief second. I wasn’t. Nothing occurred. Bookmark here

The out was no longer different from the in. And I was stretched across the cosmos. dancing with the atoms of the crab nebula, then losing myself in the border of the unknown universe.Bookmark here

I? Who was I? Bookmark here

What is….the words where. How are these words even apparent.Bookmark here

Wake up. A soothing voice in the distance called.Bookmark here

I awoke again, my whole body shivering so gently an onlooker wouldn't notice. Bookmark here

Feeling returned to me and then, my realization of everything. The blood began to pump through my vessel once more. Bookmark here

Ari ran her hand across my forehead and the warmth couldn’t feel much different from the satisfying heat of a campfire on a winter day. Bookmark here

I closed my eyes and smiled.Bookmark here

I reached weakly for my phone beside me and texted her before making a brief entry of what I just felt.Bookmark here

 Feeling myself flow from the shores of life and into the murky deep of death.Bookmark here

[ Theo: :) Hey, still here, just taking a nap.]Bookmark here

The faint shivers in my being subsided as she smiled in response to the notification then scurried for her phone in her pocket. Bookmark here

My mind began to drift and I couldn’t focus much on what she started saying, all I could really do was nod with a warm smile, even though the warmth in me was going out like a candle's final whisper into eternity.Bookmark here

Then it surged within me again. The storm that once awoke me was now trying once again. “To be. Or not to be?” bubbled from the emptiness of death and stood afloat on the horizon. Waiting and bobbing for someone to take notice. Bookmark here

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We spoke for a bit before finally deciding it was time to make our way to the tree just behind the hospital. My eyes widened in response then dropped again signaling a yes. My energy waning and fading, even more, the last embers of my life escaping in short breaths.Bookmark here

Once you left to go ask for the necessary equipment and personnel to help you get me downstairs I mustered all the remaining strength and resumed my writing.Bookmark here

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Once I was in the wheelchair, I resumed my writing in the digital notepad again. Typing carefully, making it seem as though I was just busy playing a game on my phone, since Mary wheeled behind me and you by my side I was able to get by without being questioned. The hardest part was faking that I had much energy left. Bookmark here

We passed through the white hallways of the hospitals, twisting and turning through long corridors and sharp corners, the bright white light cradled itself above, lighting our way to somewhere. Bookmark here

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We reached the face of the elevator after getting lost a couple of times, turns out that Mary was somewhat of a klutz, prone to losing herself and even more when others were around.Bookmark here

She was an intriguing book, waiting to be opened by another onlooker. She could’ve been an interesting and funny person to be friends with…maybe in another life.Bookmark here

As we stood there waiting for the elevator on essentially the last floor of the hospital, the thought began to bubble up within me again “to be. Or not to be?” It wedged itself in the squabbles of my brain and slid along the sturdiness of my cranium. Bookmark here

I thought for a moment that I pondered this too much alone so maybe the right thing was to ask, ask others for their view on being and not being.Bookmark here

So I typed it into my phone and let an automated voice replace mine.Bookmark here

“To be. Or not to be?” It said robotically.Bookmark here

“Shakespeare said. What do you guys think of it? Why does it sound so weirdly perfect in talking of our life’s conviction?” the voice assistant continued. Bookmark here

I heard them shuffle in place, and the mechanical sounds of the elevator slowly making its way up to us.Bookmark here

Mary cleared her throat, “The quote is from Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. People often forget the entire beauty of Ha..”Bookmark here

“Yes I’m sure of that Mary, thank you for the facts but I want to know what the specific quote means to both of you and what you hear.” I typed out quickly for the voice assistant to interject and stop Mary in her tracks. I realized now that Mary's tone didn't differ from the machine speaking.Bookmark here

She poked the back of my neck playfully.Bookmark here

“Well,” Ari said while crossing her arms. “To be…or not to be?” She repeated, flavoring the words and preparing a final answer. “To me, it just feels like it asks about our life. It asks whether our life is really worth living, with the summation of everything that has happened in it you can kind of sit there and taste the to be, a pause and then or not to be? Which questions.” Bookmark here

She shook her head with flushed cheeks. “I’m sorry I don’t think that made any sense.”Bookmark here

“No…no, that was great,” Mary said astonished. I sat for a moment thinking of what she had said, the summation of a life, then awaited Mary’s words.Bookmark here

Mary spoke again, but differently. This time she left behind her overly robotic tone and accepted her humanity.Bookmark here

“I think it means.” She drew in a small breath and for a moment filled the air with her life. I don’t know if you can put it into words but just with that small inhale and exhale I could feel the heaviness weighing on her.Bookmark here

“I think it could be interpreted as more of a statement than a question. I say this because, our lives are definitive, the only real choice we ever have is to live it or end it. Even then I’m not sure if we have that choice.”Bookmark here

She sighed and the words in the air slowly filled the vacancies of our brain. Then the loud ding of the elevator rang.Bookmark here

Without saying a word we entered the elevator and took it down to the ground level of the hospital. Though silence remained the words and statements they made bounced in my brain, sparking inner monologues like never before.Bookmark here

 To Ari, it meant the summation of our lives, to Mary it meant lack of choice, and to me?Bookmark here

What does it mean to me? Bookmark here

I felt the final piece of a puzzle forming but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s as if destiny itself told me I needed one more lesson to understand.Bookmark here

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That was the last time I ever heard Mary speak before she handed me over to Ari, where we walked to the tree and I would spend my last hour.Bookmark here

We swerved our way through the plainly made walkway, it gave way to a canopy of short trees that hung over the walkway giving it a shady and dark look. Bookmark here

Ari and I watched as the scenery engulfed us and the swathes of gentle air tickled us.Bookmark here

Then we stepped into the center, under the flurry of cherry blossoms. There wasn’t one but about 6 circling the area. There was a larger one in the center which had a dusky green oak bench under it, then there were also other benches surrounding the centers carefully placed under their respective tree.Bookmark here

The rain of pink matter drifted effortlessly and swayed almost as if waving; hello or goodbye. We stared in silence and awe. Our eyes lighting up at the beauty of existences' pink hue.Bookmark here

“They mean goodbye,” she said, breaking the silence.Bookmark here

A small tear started to form at the base of my eye. To refrain from letting the waterworks start I reached behind and placed my hand on hers. You gripped it and I felt the warmth wrapping my body. Bookmark here

“Shall we go, my good sir?” Ariana said, her voice as soft and beautiful as ever. Bookmark here

We moved to the bench stationed in the center. I typed away as we took our final strolls. Then at the green oaky bench, you parked me beside it and sat next to me.Bookmark here

We spoke. And spoke, of the things to come and the many adventures you’d hope they’d let us take.Bookmark here

But sadly I couldn’t let it come to fruition. Bookmark here

“I think, I want to sleep here,” I whispered weakly and you asked what I had said. But I just shook my head.Bookmark here

I didn’t repeat it, not because I couldn’t but because all my energy was only going into typing.Bookmark here

I think I finally came to realize what my answer was for existence.Bookmark here

To be. Or not to be?Bookmark here

Bubbled up one last time. My answer finally came. And the last piece of the puzzle shone brightly like the lurid pink of the cherry blossom.Bookmark here

To be. Or not to be? Bookmark here

Meant…summation of livesBookmark here

Meant…lack of choiceBookmark here

But more importantly, to me, it meant that our humanity will forever be challenged and how we will carry our conviction of existing even in our last moments, pondering if it’s okay to actually let go. Just like I, in these last moments question if it’s ok to die and not see a tomorrow with youBookmark here

We will always question if it’s ok to go gently into that goodnight.Bookmark here

That is my answer for being. And my final conviction.Bookmark here

Now you’ll know why I was crying as we sat on that dusky oak bench under the au revoir of the cherry blossom. Now you’ll know.Bookmark here

And so. I thank you for this brief encounter in the vast plane of existence. I thank you with all my being.Bookmark here

To Ariana: We met fatefully one fall. And I departed, in the spring life started to reach us. Thank you, and I'm sorry for my early departure.Bookmark here

To Mom: Look out for yourself and keep yourself and Ari safe. Don’t be sad and simply thank the situation and life at hand. And just know you were the best mother anyone could’ve ever been born to. I enjoyed every moment I was with you.Bookmark here

 I love you <3.Bookmark here

Live out the lives I couldn’t. So that in the end, you’ll answer to the sky what it meant to be. Or not to be.Bookmark here

Goodbye.Bookmark here

I screamed and typed.Bookmark here

Goodbye. :’)Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.