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Stacking the Deck
There’s an old myth that I heard when I was a little girl. If you wish the same wish on all the same times, like 1:11, 2:22, 3:33 and so on all on the same day, your wish will come true.
I never believe it, or even ever tried it.
Now all of my days are spent in a white room with as much personality as a wet towel. I can’t do anything, and trust me, that’s not an exaggeration. Everyday is the same thing. Wake up, eat, go take some sort of test, then come back into the room. Sometimes I read, but it isn’t enough anymore.
Sighing, I made my way over to the small bathroom in the corner of the room and looked at the mirror. Slowly, I adjusted the rainbow bandana on my head that didn’t do anything. I have no hair. I’ve been living in a hospital for months. A little piece of cloth over my head won’t hide the fact that I’m sick.
Walking back into the main room, I slid into my slippers and looked around. My mom was perched on the edge of a rocking chair that she brought from home, reading some sort of book. “Mom?” My voice was barely over a whisper. I just had a treatment, and didn’t feel the strongest, but I wasn’t about to tell her that.
“Yes sweetheart?” Her voice was angelic, but I could tell from her face all the sleepless nights she had over me. I wish I could just erase all of the worry from her face. She was such a beautiful woman, and I hated to see her worry for me so.
“I’m going to talk to the other kids.” I didn’t wait for her answer, fearing it would be no. I turned and slowly shuffled out of my room and looked left and then right, trying to decide where to go. Taking a random choice, I turned right and gently knocked on the open door. “Can I come in?”
“Sure thing, Stacy.” A voice floated it’s way to me, and encased me with warmth. It was filled with joy. Honest joy.
Shuffling over to the bed, I sat on the edge and smiled at the younger boy there. “Hey there kiddo, how are you?” I’ve been going through treatments with him since I got here. He always had a smile on his face, and it was contagious.
“Good! I’m going home!” He smiled and pointed his suitcases in the corner.
Now in this place, that sentence can be a two sided dagger: good or bad. Either that meant they were healthy enough to go home and start actually living again, or they were out of time.
I guess by the guarded look on my face he felt the need to explain. “I’m in remission.” He smiled brighter, and I quickly pulled him into a hug.
“Oh Jason I’m so happy for you!” I pulled back and looked at him, and saw his smile slowly slip off his face. “What’s wrong?”
He looked at me, then reached into his bag that was next to his bed and held his hand towards me, closed. “Take this.” It sounded like he was on the verge of tears.
Nodding, I took it, but I couldn’t look away from him. “It brought me luck, and now it’ll bring you luck too.” He pulled me into another hug and then swung his feet off of his bed and stood. “I’ll wish for you.”
I was at a lost for words. Even if I wasn’t, the words would have gotten stuck in my throat as I tried to choke back tears. I smiled, and he walked me to his door. “I’ll write.” His smile returned, and I somehow found it in myself to smile. I walked back into the hall and slowly went back to my room.
It wasn’t until I was safely in my own room and sitting by the window that I looked down at the gift he had given me. It was a small, four leaf clover plushy. I gently traced the edges of it and felt the warm tears slowly trickle down my face.
I closed my hand over the clover and looked outside. Newly formed snow was starting to collect on the ground as the seasons first snowfall started. Glancing at the clock, I closed my eyes and turned back to the window. 4:44.
My lips moved silently as the words were spoken in my mind, but never making it into reality. I wish to be cured.
Opening my eyes, I looked down at the clover again and slipped it onto my bed side table. Nothing wrong with stacking the deck, right?