She would lie awake some nights, putting her self to sleep by putting on plays constructed by her imagination. In her twin-sized bed, hot pink sheets, lights off and door closed, she would pretend that he was lying next to her, or sometimes underneath her. Their favorite position to fall asleep in was her left arm strewn across his chest, her head buried under his bicep. Safe and sound. If things went her way, they would wake up in the same exact position.
She woke up, however, alone. After All, it was just a figment of his body pressed up against hers; it was just an invisible epidermis to caress. But it helped her get through the night.
The day that I got diagnosed- the minute, actually -it was the thought of him that I stayed focused on. I had just found out that I had Stage III cancer. I was going to die, sometime soon, soon enough to say “soon”. Soon enough that I wouldn’t see the future- the type of new technology that would blow my mind like cell phones to my parents’ generation kind-of-future. I would not marry, bear a child, or travel the world. I wouldn’t accomplish the life list that I had dreamed of. I might be able to go skydiving, something I always said I wanted to do, but I would die never being satisfied that I got the most out of my life.
My countdown was with me every second. And with every second, I was counting down my death. In the hospital bed, with an I.V. attached to me, keeping me in an uncomfortable position, I laid completely stoic. I stared into space but I saw nothing. I only thought one thought; I only thought of him. I thought of his golden amber hair and what it was once like to run my fingers through it as he laid he head on my chest at night. I thought of how soft and firm his skin was, and how good it felt up against mine.
Then I thought about my life since that wrinkle in time when he was mine. And how I have only been left with nights alone in my small, boring bed with an invisible version of his being and only a memory left of what his lips felt like on me.
I was put back in check to reality as I started to feel two cold tears fall drip by drip down my cheeks onto the top of my chest. It was the last time I would ever get to daydream.
The happy ending I had waited on for what felt like my whole life was never going to happen. I would die, way too young, in a bed by myself, without knowing what could have been if I lived longer & maybe met up with him in our thirties. I would die in a bed, sooner than I should have, still imagining he was lying right there next to me.
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