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Glimpses of a Future
Looking through the tall windows of St. Edward’s Hospital, one can see her sleeping, elegantly sprawled across the bed. Her flowing blonde hair cascades down her back, shining as though to be her halo. Her face is one of a sorrowful angel. This angel has endured endless treatments, yet her sorrow will not end. The young girl awakes solemnly, wondering when her journey will finally end. She is tired of holding on.
She remembers her first trip to the hospital. Tightly grasping each other’s hands, her mother and her walked through the wide, foreboding doors, breathing in wisps of despair. In the waiting room, they sat, pondering why they were there. A short, stout nurse stomped through a swinging door, quizzically glancing around.
“Jansen. Charlotte Jansen,” stammered the nurse.
Recognizing her name, she timidly lifted her scared blue eyes, giving the nurse a quick nod. Charlotte and her mother swiftly followed the nurse to a bright, gold room filled with deep red furniture.
“Doctor Brashel will be with you in a moment,” squeaked the nurse as she slinked out of the room.
The rest of the trip was a turning point in Charlotte’s perfect life. This is the part she tries not to think about. Why her? She has never sinned once, yet she is the one being punished. Why does she have to suffer? In her mind, she can still hear the doctor’s raspy voice. When she heard the diagnosis, her jaw dropped in shock. How could she have leukemia?
In the present, all there is for Charlotte Jansen to do is eat, sleep, and wait, wondering what treatment the doctors will try next. The past three years have been filled with every possible form of treatment from chemotherapy to bone marrow transplants. There is only one place where Charlotte is at peace. This is the one place she can smile, forgetting all the troubles she has dealt with. Every night, as Charlotte drifts off to sleep, she dreams of episodes of the future and glimpses of the past. The dreams are vivid realities, making Charlotte feel hopeful that she has a future.
Episode One – Flying Blindly
In the crisp afternoon air, I am sitting in a little, green pasture on a checkered picnic blanket with a smug grin on my face. I seem to be waiting for someone, wondering what could possibly be taking so long. On the rolling hills, I can see his figure. He is the one I have been waiting for.
James Bowman walks up to my blanket and asks to join me. Of course, I accept. I am deeply curious about him with his muddy brown eyes and short, sleek, jet black hair.
“Have I seen you before? You look slightly familiar,” questions James. “I feel as though I already know you.”
This question is the start of an intense conversation. We discover that over the past few months we both have appeared in each other’s dreams, but just were present in the background. I must say James Bowman is why I need to live.
Episode Two – Spiraling Upward
In the first row, my mother is sobbing, tears dancing down her thin face. I am standing in the front of a small, quaint chapel wearing a dazzling, white masterpiece. The tall, burly minister reads our vows slowly, pausing after each word. I cannot help but stare into his warm, brown eyes, knowing I will never leave him.
“You may kiss the bride,” softly whispers the minister.
James Bowman’s face lights up as he tenderly takes my cheek in his hand and presses his juicy lips against mine. I am so deeply in love with him. I realize without him I would not be alive.
Episode Three – Fantasizing Freely
I am a little girl about the age of seven sitting on a park bench swinging my pink flip-flops back and forth. My mother is seated beside me focused on a group of ducklings waddling across the path.
Out of nowhere, I burst out, “Mommy, what is love?”
“Oh, Charlotte, love is an unexplainable pleasure. Love just blossoms in unexpected places. Without love, there would be no compassion in the world. Once you meet your prince charming, you will understand how Cinderella felt.”
“But Mommy, I do not understand. How does love blossom?”
“Someday, Charlotte, you will meet a boy who from the moment you see him will change your life for the better. You just wait and see what the future holds for you.”
Episode 4 – Swimming Soundlessly
James is sound asleep on our leather couch, sniffing the inside of the cushions. I stare at him, noting every inch of his body and not finding a single imperfection. I think about the past few days, questioning my decisions.
I gave up on James and left the house not realizing how hopeless I am without him. If only he would wake up now, he would see our lives are intertwined, an everlasting bond.
Episode 5 – Wandering Willfully
“Charlotte Bowman, you are needed at the front desk,” blares the loud speaker. I quickly push my way to the terminal and tell the monsieur my name.
He stares blankly at me and stresses, “We have been waiting for you. Please have a seat. Your flight will be leaving in approximately twenty minutes.”
All of the sudden, there is a sharp pain throughout my chest. I tumble to a plush chair crying inside to find comfort. My hands begin to tingle. What is happening to me?
Off in the distance, I catch a glimpse of the flight attendant opening the gate. I board the plane and think about James. Why can’t he be with me now? The plane takes off as I embark on my last flight home. I lived a long life, but love is the only reason I survived.
“Charlotte, Charlotte, wake up,” the nurse shouts urgently. “There is someone here to see you.”
“I have a visitor? No one ever comes to visit me,” protests Charlotte.
“Well should I let him in? He insists on seeing you. Apparently he is an old friend of yours.”
“Does he have a name?”
“He would not share his name.”
Charlotte gives a puzzled look and thinks about who this stranger could possibly be. Meanwhile, a boy with muddy brown eyes and short, sleek, jet black hair wanders the hallways wondering about the girl of his dreams. He wants so badly to be her beacon of hope guiding her to safety.
Episode Six – Present Perfection
James rolls around with Gary, his puppy, as I sit on the porch giggling. My mom was right when she said I would find my prince charming. I just never thought it would happen so randomly.
She decides to let him in on one condition. He must promise not stare at her pale, thin face. He walks in and Charlotte immediately recognizes him. It is her James Bowman.