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Year 2096

Blood. That’s the main mark of the disease. As soon and you get it you know because your skin turns a dark, sickly red and you cry tears of blood.

My mother has this disease. She has for three weeks and may only have hours left, if even that. No amount of advanced medicine can save her now. Even with our nearing year 3000 technology there is no way to stop her from bleeding out in the most painful way imaginable.

I wait outside the room in which my mother has chosen to die. My ear pressed to the door to try to hear what her and my father might be talking about. You may think it’s rude, but when your mother is dying you want to hear the last sounds of her voice any chance you get. I listen for anything, any words that I’ll treasure after she’s gone. But sadly all I hear is my father heavy breathing and my mother’s quiet sobs. Then I feel a small tap and my shoulder. I whip my head around and see my four year-old brother. He is crying and hugging his teddy bear. He asks if he can see mommy now. I knock softly on the door and her through my mother’s short breathes a “come in.” I open the door and see my father sitting on the bed next to my mother. His hair is messed up from running his fingers through it. My mother’s face is ghostly pale while the rest of her skin looks like a bloody mess. Her checks are stained from her continuous crying. I motion to my brother that he can come in and he does. His crying has stopped but he frowns when he sees his mother like this. He may be young but he’s seen it happen before. Everyone has.

I reach for my brother’s hand and hold it. He nods his head at my mother and she nods back. I wonder what it means? I look to my father but he is staring at the ground, his head in his hands. My brother buries his face in my jacket and I can hear his steady flow of sobs and gasps. I hug him close so that my father doesn’t have to move. We are all waiting for the inevitable now.

My brother lets go of me and sits next to my father and mother. They look so peaceful. Not happy, but peaceful. I wonder if this is what are family would have been like if mom hadn’t of gotten sick. Most people are probably wondering that.

Scientists predict that 90% of families in America have lost someone to this horrible disease. But then again they also said it was just a new common flu virus and it would blow over pretty quickly. So why should I believe them?

I shake my head to rid myself of the thoughts. I want to be focused on my mother now. I wander to the bed in which my family has gathered and I sit. I reach for my mother’s hand and I hold it. She cracks a small smile before her next flow of tears. I can’t help but feel angry at my mother. No not my mother but the disease that ruined our lives. I squeeze her hand slightly to let her now that we’re here and aren’t leaving anytime soon. She doesn’t respond with her usual squeeze back. I rip my hand away from hers and cradle her face. I’m yelling now. “Mom wake up!” I say. I repeat it. My father moves his hand to my shoulder and shakes his head. I pull away from him and yell again. “Mom wake up!” She doesn’t respond and I hug her limp body. My brother is now crying and my father has left the room sobbing again. I hold her close to me then I pull away. I stare at my hands now stained with her blood. I glance at my brother who has wrapped her arms around his teddy bear and I can’t help but smile. He, however, is sobbing uncontrollably. I run out of the room and past my father sitting in the hallway. I throw open the door and run outside. I don’t stop my running until I reach the community garden. That’s when I let it all out.

My crying is soft at first then I started bawling. My gasps for air are probably heard by anyone nearby. My screaming for my mom to come back leaves me out of breath. I finally calm myself. I find a seat near some rose bushes. My tears are drying to my check and I wipe them away. For some reason my hands feel sticky again. I look at them and see blood. I run to the pond and look at my reflection. My face is stained with a fresh stream of bloody tears.



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