Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
Medicine doesn't work.
She lies there day after day never moving, never speaking. I want to hold her hand as she sleeps, wait for her to wake up. I long to take her into my arms and cry into her hair.
She is still as a sleeping princess. Sleeping beauty re-imagined with a beeping heart monitor and a death wish.
Nothing I do can make her better. I pray that she hears me as I speak. If she could hear the hidden apologies in my tears, the unconfessed feelings in my words, perhaps she would forgive me. Perhaps she would understand.
I sit close to the bed, but not too close. I watch her even breaths and let them fall in sync with my own.
The heart on the monitor is mine. The slightest irregularity throws me into a breathless panic. When the machine stops beeping, it won't just be her life that ends.
My fingers itch to touch her's, to drag us both out of this hell and take us somewhere new.
But that isn't an option, so my hands stay firmly folded in my lap.
She'll be gone in a week, they say. We're sorry, we can't save her.
They only speak to the family. As if they're the ones who care, the ones who sat with her while she cried because she wanted to die.
As if they actually gave enough of a shit about her to even ask if she was okay once in a while.
They're not the ones who loved her and cherished her and told her she was beautiful.
As if they knew her.
She's dead already, as far as they're concerned. The funeral's already paid for, her room refurnished. They won't be crying at her grave in a month, a year, a decade's time.
They'll be off in LA, in the theatre she wanted to go to. Singing and dancing to the songs that she should be singing. And she'll be here, a single flower away from being forgotten.
The heartbeat drops.
I feel my blood run cold. My hands drop dead at my side as I stare at her paling face in dread.
She's dead, she's dead, she's dead -
Doctors flood the room and, for a moment, I cease to exist.
"Honey, you need to wait outside."
I barely react.
"You need to go outside." This voice is harsher, less patient.
I stand to my feet and stumble out of the room, weightless as a ghost.
She's gone, she's gone, she's gone.
The door closes behind me and I collapse.
My hands reach out frantically as though they could touch her. A blinding pain erupts in my forehead and they return to stop it.
She's dead. Oh God, I can't breathe. She's dead, she's gone. She's gone. Someone help, I'm going to die.
My breaths grow more frantic as I lean against the wall behind me.
I can't hear or see anything but my quick breathing and hollow heartbeat.
She's gone. I can't believe she's gone.
A mess of tears stream down my cheeks, completely uncontrolled. My shaking hands refuse to wipe them away with any efficiency.
The pain reaches every inch of my body and I feel myself begin to shake. She can't be gone. She can't be gone.
A doctor opens the door next to me but no noise escapes the room. He takes hold of my arm and tells me it's going to be okay, but how can it? She's not here.
My legs are shaky but he supports me as he leads me to another room.
"Just calm down, you're going to be okay."
His voice is supposed to be soothing, I can tell, but, even if my breathing begins to slow and I feel myself slowly return to earth, it does nothing to stop the terrifying void that opens up inside of me. It doesn't fix the rivers of tears or my shaking hands or the fact that she is gone.
A plastic cup of water is thrust into my hands, half full so it doesn't spill, and I am told to take a sip. I lift it slowly to my lips and swallow it down. It leaves a sour, sickly taste in my mouth.
My hands begin to shake less violently and I close my eyes shut tightly to avoid the piercing gaze of the Doctor. I take two deep breaths: one, two, three; one two three; and then I'm back. My hands have almost stopped shaking, but the tears still stain my cheeks.
"You're going to be okay, alright?" He's trying to be comforting, but it's not working. This can't be fixed with a few hopeful sentences.
"She's gone, isn't she?"
My voice is barely a murmur, but I can tell he heard it by the deep sigh and uncomfortable silence.
Tears well up in my eyes again and my hands return to shaking.
She's gone, she's gone, she's gone.
I look at the noticeboard, hoping for a distraction, but my vision is swimming and I can't make out what's there. My gaze reaches the floor and I feel panic begin to take over again.