Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Lying Here,

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Dying seems like an event which, as a child, you believe will surely Never Happen To You. Such a ridiculous thing will be scrapped by the time you reach an optimistic one hundred years old. You dream of prolonging injections; brain transplants; cryogenic chambers; time travel or at the very least magic to avoid the inevitable. I know of no child who actually embraces death, children – and many adults – don’t understand the death is random and anyone can fall victim to its harsh hands.

A routine check up at the local surgery first sparked fears for the Big C but my parents assured me time and time again that I would be fine: ‘children like you just don’t get ill. Not like that.’ Although I’m sure they said this to not only convince me but themselves too. Then, about a week later we received news that I would have to go for further testing at a much bigger hospital full of closed doors and fancy equipment. Almost overnight I became the ‘poor little lamb’ who had always been a ‘fighter’ and would definitely ‘make it through.’

Looking at my hands now they are chalky white, my veins are almost bursting out of the back of them and my fingers jut out like tiny twigs. I’m sure that if someone touched them they would snap easily. A fluff of hair like chicken feathers covers my scalp and I feel them under my hand as I remember the first day of my beautiful and bitterly short last days.

Wrapping a sun-yellow silk shawl around my head I look out of my window to see the sun. I can feel it seeping through my skin healing the cold of Cancer. Everything outside looks perfect. The apple tree my dad planted with his Granddad stands just outside my window, heavily laden with fruit and my mum is lounging in the warmth of early morning. I smile. This is how I want my family to be, forever. I want to breathe in the life outside, to suck away the lives of the plants, the trees and the birds and take it for myself but it’s too beautiful. My body doesn’t know that world anymore and I’m afraid if I step outside I’ll crumble from the shock. Dad knocks on my door softly, ‘Daisy?’ he whispers ‘do you want to sit outside?’ Yes! I really do! ‘Yes dad, I’d love that.’

We sit by the edge of the pond. It’s filled with tiny little carp and I dip my toes into the water (despite dad’s warning that it was dirty and I shouldn’t.) ‘Who cares? If I’m going to die I better do it well!’ I’m suddenly full of anger but I know my dad only means well. He takes me in his arms and I lie my head on his shoulder as silent tears pool onto his flannel shirt. He pushes back my shawl and strokes my head softly, ‘I’m going to miss you so much.’

On that day I believed I had clawed away from deaths grip and, oh how alive it felt! I no longer felt I had to fight to breathe, to eat, to sleep. I knew it wouldn’t last forever and that was merely an illusion of life, a game of cat and mouse; death was letting me loose just to have the thrill of the chase again.

That’s why I am here lying on a bed with too many sheets. I have hollow cheeks and sunken eyes. I ran, I ran as fast as my legs could take me but it wasn’t enough. With the chase tiring me and the threat of more vigorous treatment ahead my body gave up and collapsed inward refusing to fight back. So I gave up too.

I’m telling you this story because if only you could see me now too ill to open my eyes or squeeze my mum’s clammy hand. All I wish for is to be able to help show you how precious life is. I want people to live for every moment they can - while they can. There are a million places to discover; icy winter caves overlooking snow filled valleys; glorious beaches where the heat radiates from your toes to your head and forgotten woods filled with whispers and magic. I am tired of deaths games at fourteen, he’s caught me. So this is what I wish for as I lie dying.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback