The Machine

September 19, 2009
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The tears are streaking her face. Her mascara and eyeliner are now smeared. I've never seen my mother like this before and I never want to see her like this again.

My name is Annie Lewis and I have cancer.

The doctor has just brought in the bad news so my mother is crying. As for me, I'm speechless. I'm an extremely active twelve-year-old girl. I never predicted this to happen, I don't even feel any different.

"I'm sorry." The doctor says, as if it'll make things okay again. As if they could ever be okay again. "Mrs. Lewis, can I speak with you in the hall?" My mom nods and weeps. She hugs me very carefully, as if I could snap like a twig. Then she leaves.

As soon as the door closes, I run up to it and get down on one knee. As I press my ear against the warm wood, I listen, trying to be quiet and calm.

"Mrs. Lewis," the doctor begins in a hushed voice, "Annie has a brain tumor. Well, two to be exact."

"No!" My mom whispers in a harsh tone. She repeats the word over and over, trying to convince herself that this isn't happening. "Not Annie! Not my baby!" I feel my mom looking up at Dr. Clark. "She will be okay . . . right?" Her voice is not as harsh, but more soft and scared now.

"I'm sorry." He begins. "There's about a 50/50 chance that she will live . . . or . . ." his voice trails off. "It's a very serious matter." I silently start to cry.

Suddenly, the door is gently pushed open. I try to jump out of the way, but am too slow. I lay on the floor and look up into my mother's blue-green eyes. I can't stop the tears from flowing as I mutter, "I'm sorry."

She looks down at me and whispers, ever so softly, "me too."

"Well, you had a very good operation today, Annie. How are you feeling?" One of the nurses asks me. I think her name is Cindi. Or is it Nancy?

"I'm fine." I mumble. No I'm not. I'm in a hospital bed sitting next to a machine. I'm not even sure what the machine does, but it keeps me up all night with it's continuous beeping.

"Well good. Just buzz me if you want anything!" She says. As soon as she's gone, my mother races into the room.

"Oh my baby!" she cries. She resists from hugging me because she doesn't want to hurt me. Even though I insist that I'm perfectly healthy, she treats me like I'm mutant.

Suddenly, Dr. Clark enters the room, too. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but you need another operation today, Annie." He tells me. I groan. "Mrs. Lew-"

"I'm already gone!" She says, leaving the room. She turns back once she reaches the door. "Just help my darling!"

Once she's gone, Dr. Clark begins, "Alright Annie. How are you today?"

"Fine." I say robotically. I'm not supposed to walk yet (apparently, I don't have enough energy), so I am put into a wheelchair and am wheeled down the hallway to the room where the operation will take place.

I honestly have no idea what needs to be done because I zoned out when he was explaining it to me. But I do know that Dr. Clark shouldn't be muttering "Uh-oh" under his breath, and the machine should not be beeping faster. Also, I'm pretty sure that the room should be still, and not spinning. Even so, these events do happen and my eyes get heavier, and heavier, and heavier . . .

"Where am I?" I ask when I open my eyes. Nobody answers. My best guess is space. No, not the space outside of the earth where there's the other planets. I'm in a vast ocean of nothing. Suddenly, I see my mom, Dr. Clark, and . . . me. But I'm right here?

Beads of sweat are dripping down Dr. Clark's face as he says, "I'm sorry, but Annie is no longer with us."

My brow furrows. "I'm right here!" I say, but they don't notice my presence.

My mother is shaking as she weeps, "but how?"

"I'm so sorry, Mrs. Lewis. The machine . . . malfunctioned."

"What?" she asks in disbelief. Then, her teeth clench and she glares at him. "You mean, you could have saved her?" My mom begins to raise her voice.As she yells, I turn away and tune them out. I begin to cry again. I'm lost, and I don't know how I'll ever get back. If I'm dead, am I a ghost? I have so many questions, and they may never be answered.

My thoughts are interrupted when I see a light. I follow it, not knowing where it leads. But I don't care. I have trust in this mysteriously intriguing light. I suddenly realize where I am going, and I follow it to heaven.

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

kkspiker96 said...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm
ok! sammy! i loved it! i am so proud of u girlie!! this is amazing u made me cry! when u grow upp i hope u become an author! luv u girl!
Teresa K. said...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm
Omg i love it. I seriously almost cried at the end. I can't believe you did this at pop. Was it that one prompt? Omg wait i remember you saying something about writing this! I remember i wrote about a gumball machine??? Haha So im rambling...anyway, I absolutely love it.
CrazyClimber said...
Sept. 25, 2009 at 3:16 pm
its very well written
(especially in 40 minutes)
but you should work on holding the reader. excitement. maybe add more, what happens after shes dead
gtfclucky2 replied...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm
thanx 4 commenting and giving feedback! i'll try to work on details and intriguing (i prob. spelt that wrong) the reader.
phsjunior replied...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm
This is really good. I agree that you need to put more into the story such as how her mother is doing and how she is and what she is and all that once she figures it out.
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