Bandanna

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His hands wrapped around her pallid arms, careful not to touch the bruises, the needles, or the punctures. To see her like this, drugged in a sedative sleep, made his mind dwindle in the past to when she has not once looked this way. He nimbly grabbed her hand stroking the top of it with his thumb. She was unearthly pale, her skin deathly dry, with deep purple circles of pain lining her eyes. She looked so weary… so lost… so vulnerable. How could he tell her? Maybe he wouldn’t. She looked so innocent, so peaceful like this. Why couldn’t she stay in her deep sleep, keeping her away from all things that have tainted her in life? Why does she have to wake up? Why does she have to fall asleep to go in a fairy tale, but wake up in a nightmare? Wasn’t it supposed to be the opposite for children? Why could her innocence not last past the dreams she had? Her eyelids fluttered open, disturbing him of his deepest thoughts. He watched her closely as her eyes scanned the room taking everything in exceedingly slow; her eyes finally lay rest on him. She smiled, but the pain was too apparent in her eyes to ignore. Tears are now rich in his eyes as he forced a smile so she wouldn’t see his pain…. or his fear. She squeezed his hand delicately asking for a human’s touch instead of a needle. That was enough to send choking sobs into the sad air that seemed to weigh down the room. She reached up to wipe the tears that rolled down his cheek, now dangling from his chin, but the pain stopped her. It was too much pain for her to bear; for her to feel, and for him to watch. He leaned her head back down on the pillow slowly, and then tightened her bandana. He paused for a moment, pondering for quietly to himself and then unloosened the bandana and stared. He let his fore finger trace around the pink scar that jaggedly cut down where her beautiful locks of brown hair should have been. He couldn’t help but smile remembering when he tried to teach her how to ride her first bike and she fell. She was so strong that day, retrying again and again until finally she was able to ride her bike on her own. She was a fighting independent soul, but now broken down by disease. He let his hand caress her head; he realized that this girl he was looking at used to be so full of happiness and life, but that was now tainted by the poisonous touch of disease. He remembered promising her as a child that nothing bad would happen to her, and yet now as he looks at her, she is slipping through his fingers and he cannot do anything to stop this. His hand dropped on to her lap and she picked it up, smiling as she closed her eyes, thinking back to the days of her childhood where there was no pain, no fear, and no hurt. He had to tell her… She had to know….
“The doctor,” his voice caught on the tears that now crawled slowly down his face landing on her arms that desperately cried out for relief of the dryness all over her body. Her face brightened a tiny bit, but the pain was still there and now always will be. “The Leukemia…” He stopped to take in a deep breath. How could he tell her? An innocent child whom of which he loved with all of his heart. “It is still there. I did my best. They did their best.” He looked down to the ground; he could not even look at her without the heavy feeling in his heart that he has failed her. “I can’t do anything….” He choked on his last words between soft whimpers and tears. She cupped his face in her hands and brushed off a tear.
“Daddy,” she smiled, “Together we can.”





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iluves2rite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm
This is my favorite thing I have ever written and yet one of the least popular :(
 
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