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I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.
Looking out the window, I saw people shoving past the crowds in the hectic New York Streets. They couldn’t stop for a second, because time was everything. Even when they had time and time again in front of them, they hurried and quickened their paces even more, sure that it would run out.
You had almost no time left.
I could see it in the way you were acting. I could feel it deep in my gut, from the way I saw everyone act towards you. You were so sure that you were getting better.
Instead, you were dying.
The taxi stopped on First Avenue with 27th street in front of the Bellevue Hospital Center.
I didn’t want to get off.
I didn’t know what awaited me. My hope seemed to be deteriorating more and more with every glance I took towards you anyway. Shouldn’t I be able to keep the happy image of you, instead of the sick one?
“Is anything wrong, Miss?” The taxi driver asked, more out of annoyance than care.
I spoke, “No, I’m fine.”
I paid him and got out. I knew what I had to do. It was what I had went to do, what I had tried to do so many times before.
Walking towards the building, I was trying to find an excuse not to walk in. The quasi-excuses ticked off in my head one by one.
I was determined.
My feet took a couple steps and they quickened and quickened until I was part of the crowd, walking so quickly that I looked as if I was running out of time.
Except in my case, maybe I was.
“Ow!” I yelped, as a tall man with a moustache bumped into me, simultaneously dropping his drink, a cold coke, on top of me. He smirked and continued on, the drink still on the floor and without a word towards me.
I’d kept walking.
My mind told my feet to stop, but they wouldn’t. They walked on, seeming disconnected from the rest of my body. The nerves tingled in my stomach, and the tears were already coming out no matter how much I told them to stay put.
I’d walked to your room. I had come so much already that I was a regular. My legs could find their way just by instinct.
When I saw you, the way that the moonlight was hitting your face made you seem almost ghost-like. That scared me.
I gave you a small smile, and tried to look away.
You looked horrible. The bags under your eyes where getting bigger and more purple each day. Your skin was almost wrinkly. The chemo took years off your face. Your hair had fallen out a long time ago, and the rest of your face was almost as pale the top of your head.
You were still beautiful, in your own strange way.
If it’s not already obvious, I was in love with you. I had been in love with you for a long time, years ago really. I was in love with your smile, with your eyes and the way that they shone when you were exited. I loved your freckles and your dimples, and how you hated them. I was in love with your bad jokes, “refined” taste in music, and disgusting eating habits.
And I was going to tell you.
“I...have to tell you something.” I started, surprised when my voice started cracking up. I sat by your bed, subtly trying to wipe my small tears away.
“I have to tell you something too.” You said, your voice surprisingly cheery for someone in such a bad state.
“You go first.” I said quickly.
“Ok.” You chuckled darkly, “thing is, I’m not getting any better.”
I nodded, unsure of what was coming.
“I think I’m dying.”
It was something that I knew. It was something that we all knew, except for you. You were always looking at the positive outlook in life, sure that things would work out in the end.
Except that this time it didn’t.
The silence stretched for a long time. I could’ve said that it wasn’t true. That you were getting better. But we didn’t lie to each other.
Instead, I dug my face in your bony chest, and cried until I had no more tears left. I cried because I didn’t want this to happen to you. It wasn’t fair.
Life isn’t fair, they say. They have no idea.
“What did you want to say?” You asked, and I looked up to see that he had been crying too. Seeing you like this made me have to clutch my heart. You had always been the strong one. The one that picked me up when I fell down.
“The thing is…” I started, unsure of what to say. “I think that -- “
Your breaths began to get raspy. The rhythm of the heartbeat monitor next to you changed.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, panicking.
Your next words came out in chokes, “Call...the…doctor.”
My heart had been pumping so hard that I almost didn’t hear you.
“Help!” I yelled, “Is there a doctor!”
No one came. You were there, lying limply. Your dark hair was covering your eyes. You couldn’t breath.
“Is there no f***ing doctor in this hospital?” I yelled, taking one last glance at you.
The two seconds that I waited immovably for the doctor to show up seemed like the longest of my life. You finally needed me, after all the times that I needed you, and there was nothing I could do to help you.
When the doctor showed up I couldn’t help but feel that an incredible weight had been lifted off my chest
“What happened?” He asked, without stopping. He rushed in and put an oxygen mask on you.
“He- he was doing…fine…and then…he -- “ I couldn’t continue. The chokes finally escaped me, and I couldn’t get a word in past my tears.
“Can I get a nurse in here?” He yelled.
The rate of the heartbeat monitor continued getting quicker and quicker. It almost felt as if it was desperate too.
The nurse came in and followed the doctor’s footsteps with the rush of it all.
“Excuse me, can you please get out of here?” The nurse asked me, and I did with no objection. There was nothing I could do for now.
I stood, my forehead leaning on the glass window that was separating the room you were in with the waiting room. I watched as long, sharp needles were pressed into your neck. I watched as the room became fuller, with more doctors, nurses, and interns; all trying to save your life.
I watched until the glass became foggy through a mix of my tears and my breath, so I couldn’t see anything anyways.
I don’t know how long I stood there watching. All I know is that the moments seemed to stretch out forever, waiting for some news from your doctor.
And when the doctor finally came out, I knew what he was going to say before he said it.
“I’m sorry. There was nothing we could do.”
I became numb. I couldn’t feel my body anymore. “No…that’s not possible. He can’t have…he couldn’t have…” died.
I looked back to the room you were staying in. The navy blue sheets you had insisted on having were already placed on your head.
It was true. You were dead.
Looking back at you, I finally whispered the words that were already to late to say.
“I love you.”
And I always will.