This is a short excerpt from a work I’m hoping to publish professionally in the future. Luckily it doesn’t have anything to do with the main plot line besides amplify the main-characters life. Please evaluate this seriously, I sort of like it, but at the same time I feel like the dream lacked far too much emotion when I finished this. I want to know how people feel about it, and if there are any parts that are just plain weird. By the way, I’m still working on the “professional” side of this. So there are likely to be a lot of grammar errors…I don’t think I’ve ever been capable of noticing my own grammar. Thanks!
-F. Aria Gawain
I dosed off while waiting.
My dream was…
Different, I guess it was just something I never would have thought of ‘till then…
I was reborn in this dream. I was born with some kind of heart problem, and the people that were supposed to be my parents left me in the hospital. At that time I didn’t know why they left me. As a kid I really didn’t know why I was in the hospital so much. I had heart surgery by the time I was 5, I knew something was wrong with me then, but at that time I met the doctor’s daughter who was the same age as me. Since the day that I met her, she would come into my hospital room and play with me. I learned that her name is Fauna. She would harass me, play house, she even acted like a doctor once and used her father’s heartbeat checker to check my heart beat. I slowly started to like her. Time passed and we aged, but she still came in and played with me. By the time I was 10 I could actually do normal kid stuff, but I could never go beyond a certain point in something that was physical. Every week I was allowed a couple days out of my room so that I didn’t get weak muscles from being isolated the entire time. Fauna made me promise that I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. It’s not like I cared about what she said, but it maybe me feel funny that she’d worry about me. I wandered around the hospital looking at some of the other patients, most of them weren’t terminal, but then again I was told I wasn’t either. I left the hospital (against doctors’ orders) and found a bridge with some funny plants growing underneath it. Little flowers that grew in a blanket, so I lay down on them and dozed off. I felt something shaking me, and I heard noise but I couldn’t open my eyes, I was too tired to. The thing that was calling my name and shaking me, started shaking me more frantically. I finally opened my eyes and saw that it was Fauna. She hugged me, and I felt tears on my neck. She spoke but I couldn’t really hear her, I was to lost in her smell. She smelled like the hospital…but there was something else mixed in with it. I guess that’s the smell that most girls have. I just hugged her back saying “I’m okay, I’m okay.”
I kissed her.
Her lips were moist, soft, and warm. There was another warmth that I felt that wasn’t bodily heat, maybe it was from what I felt, how happy I was, or something like that.
Oh the bliss.
I passed out in her arms, and when I woke up I was back in the hospital.
I asked the doctor why I was so tired. All he said is that I wasn’t used to the outside air, so it made me drowsy. I could tell he was lying, he always lies when his face is extremely smiley. Fauna knew he was lying too. He told me that once I get used to it, I can start going home to my parents, and go to school.
Three years passed, before I could actually go to school. I was enrolled in the same school as Fauna, and I was happy for that. Our school was much more ‘laidback’ about field trips, we went on one every month or so. I could finally go on a field trip with my classmates, I was so excited, I was alone in that hospital room for so long. My nervousness got the better of me, and I ended up over-sleeping. My parents weren’t worried, they cared that I was still healthy, and father was against me going on that days field trip because we would be hiking up a nearby mountain, it was 45 kilometers from the closest hospital. They told me I could go on the next field trip, which was to a hot springs resort. I didn’t mind, between hot springs and hiking I’d much rather go to the hot springs. So I agreed and waited impatiently for the next field trip.
At my school we have sports after school, besides me the only people who are managers were girls, or teachers. I was embarrassed, embarrassed that I couldn’t actually do anything, embarrassed of my pathetically weak body. I was made fun of a lot, I was left alone by the other guys. Only the girls came to comfort me, which isn’t something I wanted. I got called gay by the guys, my locker almost always had either a abusive letter or a pitying letter. I threw every single one of them away. The only girl I want to comfort me is Fauna, but even she doesn’t look at me anymore. She’s really good at almost all the sports she does, when I talk to her she either ignores me or just replies with her hands or eyes.
A week before the field trip I was getting bullied a lot more than before. My stuff was thrown in a toilet, I had my head shoved in a garbage can, a soiled toilet, and a urinal. The guys called me faggot man, and put obscene pictures on my locker. I was told to get things for people when they probably could have gotten it faster. I didn’t mind much, but it got annoying. One time a guy dropped a pencil right by me and asked if I could pick it up for him, as I was bending over, he brought his knee into my face. It almost broke my nose, and I had to go to the nurse. Fauna was waiting for the nurse when I came in—Thump— I was holding my nose, with blood seeping through my hands onto my shirt and pants—Thump— I just ignored her since she seemed to not care about me—Thump— I started to feel dizzy—Thump— my chest seized up—Thump— I had a hard time breathing—Thump—my vision started to blur—Thump— I took a seat on the ground—Thump— resting my head against the wall. My hand got heavy and I let it fall, I heard the nurse speak to Fauna, my vision was too blurry to make out what was actually happening, all I saw were two black blurs move towards me. I heard a gasp, and saw the shape on the left get closer and fall next to me. I heard her calling my name; she shook me, and put something up my nose.
I looked at what I thought was Fauna’s eyes, and spoke. “I was looking forward to the hot springs too…”
“You can still make it, just stay with us.” She said urgently.
“No…I’ll be locked in that…hospital room again. I probably won’t even be able to become a teacher.”
“You can!” My eyes drooped, “I’ll help you become one, so please…Don’t leave me.”
I smiled and my consciousness left me.
I regained consciousness; I was still in the same spot. Fauna was crying into my shirt, and the nurse was yelling into a phone. I checked to see if I could still move my arms, I could. I lifted them and put them around her, repeating what happened under the bridge. “I’m okay, I’m okay.” she continued to cry into my chest as I held her, I focused on slowing my breathing, my heart beat wasn’t going to slow down, but I could at least calm everything else down. Five men with a stretcher burst into the room and ran over to me, as I stood and laid down on the stretcher the bells rang, and they rushed me out of the room. Then I had to deal with everyone staring at me as I was rushed out of the school on a stretcher. I was even more embarrassed than before, blood covered my shirt and I was on a stretcher. I just stared to the side, not matching any ones gazes. It was like a massive punishment for me. My face probably flushed deep red, but I really couldn’t feel it.
The doctor and I rode silently in the ambulance.
“So, you had an attack, huh?” he said breaking the silence.
“Yeah, it wasn’t terrible but it still made me lose my sense of time for a while.”
“On a scale of 1 throu—”
“A 3, it wasn’t as bad as people made it look to be.”
“And this blood is from?”
“I slipped and fell, hitting my nose on the ground.”
“Your daughter… helped me, I guess.”
“Did she now? She hasn’t been able to stop talking about you at home, so I assumed you two were dating.”
“No, at school she just ignores me.”
“Really? Weird, she talks about how smart you are, and how hard you force yourself to not play sports with everyone else. When she speaks of you she always has a smile on her face.”
“Ah, maybe just because she’s worried about my condition.”
“Dunno, talk to her more often, she’ll be visiting you in the hospital soon.”
“Will I be able to go on the field trip?”
“You should be able to, you’ve basically recovered from the attack, You just need time to get your body back to functioning correctly. I’ll contact one of the doctors I know near the hot springs so, please go to him and have him check up on you.”
The rest of the ambulance trip was quiet except for an occasional health question. Usually about what I think my heart rate is, what my pacemaker is doing, how often can I feel a heartbeat. At the hospital my parents were waiting and I had to greet them in a wheel chair. I saw Fauna standing off to the side, there was a little blood on her shirt and more on her sleeves. It embarrassed me even more that it was my blood on her clothes. My parents wheeled me into my room, and after a half hour or so, everyone left. I watched my parents leave, I saw my mother’s shoulders shake, her hand go up to her eyes, and my father put his hand on her back.
“Are you alright now?”
“Yes I am, thanks.” I answered without turning.
“Uh, I’m sorry for ignoring you at school.” I looked at Fauna.
“Why?” she stepped closer. “Why did you get your clothes all bloodied up?”
“Because I was mean to you and you suddenly had an attack right in front of me.”
“You know if I weren’t in the nurses office I would have collapsed somewhere in the halls or classrooms, no one would have known what was happening either.”
“I do, that’s why I always watched you. When you were walking, when you were getting bullied, when you were in class looking at the books.”
“Yet you did nothing to stop the bullies?”
“It wouldn’t have done anything.”
“I wouldn’t have had the attack today if I weren’t getting bullied.”
“What do you mean?”
“I took a knee in the face, I got a bloody nose and my heart sped up to replace the blood, I knew it was the reason, I started feeling my heartbeat speed up before I got into the main office.”
“Oh,” she put her hands on my stomach and sat down. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know it would cause this.”
“Whatever. Make it up to me by going to the hot springs with me.”
“Huh? You can go?”
“I can. I should only be here for a day or so, and the trip isn’t for another 4 days.”
“Great!” Her face lit up, “Is it alright if I escort you to the doctor’s office there too?”
“Your dad told you about it?”
“Only that if you go, you need to get a checkup.”
“Okay,” I said smiling. “I’ll see you then.”
She waved and ran out of the room, she was like a little kid, it turns out that I had to stay in the hospital room for 3 days, and 2 nights. I was excited about the trip, so much that when I got ready I almost forgot to grab some food, and my pacemaker monitor. The busses got loaded at 6 a.m. Fauna and I were on the same bus, and she asked me to sit next to her. I still like her, so I did. The trip up to the hot springs was somewhat uneventful. Fauna and I just talked with each other, and then I fell asleep. When I woke up Fauna was sleeping with her head resting on my shoulder holding my hand, I blushed but didn’t move. The bus was about 20 kilometers from the hot springs, and the sun told me it was around 3. Sitting in a hospital room for 8 years of your life get boring, the only way to cure being bored is to find something to do. I read, studied, and checked what time it was and where the sun was. I woke Fauna up, when she realized where we were she started bouncing around and talking more often. She tried to lift her arm, I didn’t let go of her hand, though I probably should have, I didn’t. It was embarrassing, I looked out the window, but she didn’t let go of my hand.
The rest of the ride was quiet, at least I heard nothing, Fauna was quiet next to me. Everyone else was whooping and shouting, and talking rapidly. It was annoying, and I tried to block it out, I only needed to listen to her. She was the only thing I needed to pay attention too.
“Hey Fauna, don’t you want to talk to your friends?”
“Not really, spending time with you is more important. We won’t always have chances like this.”
I giggled, and she blushed.
The bus stopped at the hot springs, I got permission from the teacher to leave for my check-up. Fauna came with me and we walked closely together, holding hands. The hospital was clean, and weird smelling. Like every other hospital there were people inside, whether waiting for a loved one, or working. I went into the examination room alone, Fauna sat in the lobby reading a girls fashion magazine. I was so excited about swimming, and playing with my schoolmates at the hot springs that I was bouncing in my seat, only stopping when the doctor needed something important.
The doctor laughed. “It’s good to see a young man so excited.”
“Well yeah, I finally got to go on a school trip.”
“Still, with your condition, and still so happy. It’s good that your living life to its fullest. It‘s got to be terrible to have a limiter on your life.”
“It is! I can’t do any sports and it depresses me.”
“I bet! On top of that I heard you won’t live past the age of 18.”
The shock is too hard to describe, with each beat of my loud heart, I saw my family and everyone I knew standing in front of my grave. My mother crying, my father with his hand on her back, tears flowing down his face, with nothing stopping them. Father saying if only he had given birth to a healthy child. Mother blaming herself for not eating correctly while bearing me. My ghost crying over both of them, yelling to the sky that it wasn’t their faults. Fauna…she cried too. Her father was impassive, showing no emotions…Those are really the only people I personally know. The nurse who took care of me for a while was there too, but I don’t remember her name.
“Having a good doctor is important but good moral and family support is even better.”
I’m going to die?
I don’t hate the doctor, actually I admire him, and I probably would have never known if it weren’t for him. The doctor told me I was “perfectly” healthy, it’s impossible to be healthy when you’re going to die in about 5 years. I left the examination room and walked towards Fauna. She stood and ushered me out of the hospital.
“Did the doctor say anything bad?”
I didn’t answer at first.
“C’mon did he?”
“He said I was perfectly healthy, and that I can go to the hot springs.”
“Alright! Um, uh…” She paused and looked to the side a little. “Would you like to soak in one of the hot tubs with me?”
She muttered something, and then, “There will be other people, but we can sit off alone if you want.”
“I kinda do, but you should socialize with your friends…yo.”
“But I’d rather be with you.”
“Isn’t that weird? I mean you’re just doing this because I have this sickness and you know what it looks like right?” I spoke quietly but loud enough for her to hear.
“That’s part of the reason but there is one other.”
I was going to ask her what it was but, I shrugged it off. “Well, I guess I’ll go with you but you should socialize too. It’s not like we’ll be separated in the future.”
She laughed, and I giggled at the irony.
The hot springs smelled of sulfur, the water hot, and it made our skin feel smooth.
Fauna stayed right next to me almost the entire time. I really couldn’t fully get into the water, mainly because there was an extremely high chance of my heart rate speeding up to much. The most I could get into the water was my waist, which didn’t bother me. Though the bottom of my shirt did get wet, I kinda didn’t want people to know that I’ve had heart surgery…ya’ know? It’s embarrassing to have that scar in such a place. I just liked being around my classmates for once. I didn’t talk much, I guess I was too shy, I’ve been alone to long, ya’ know? It was a nice day, I wouldn’t be bothered if I died on this day. Well I would, but whatever.
Cardiac arrhythmia, more known as Cardiac Arrhythmia. It’s the heart condition I was diagnosed with. Living past 18 is possible, actually it’s more likely than my death…if it were just a less severe Cardiac arrhythmia. But it’s not, my heart has abnormal electrical activity, it beats at around 185 BPM when I’m not active. A normal humans beats at around 50-80 BPM. Also I’m labeled as a Tachycardia. Almost every day I can feel my heartbeat in my chest, it’s more annoying than anything else.
The reason I can’t do any physical activity is basically because my heart rate could spike above 240 and stop. Which would most likely result in my untimely “death” and I probably wouldn’t be able to be resuscitated. I’m also not supposed to purposefully increase my heartbeat. Things like falling in love, becoming emotionally stressed, or trying to work out. Anything that could potentially raise my heartbeat was to be blocked out.
Therein lies the problem. I fell in love a long time ago, I just try not to think about things that people would consider “normal.” Just being near her makes my heart speed up a little. It’s a nice feeling, a very nice feeling. Sometimes I just feel as if my love is unrequited, actually it’s more than a feeling. She ignores me a lot, she’s always staring off to the side and sighing. Sometimes I wonder if she really even knows that I can only look at her, and think of her as beautiful… I guess not.
“Hey, Fauna you should go talk with your friends. I’m not very good company, ya know?”
“But I like staying next to you like this.”
“It’s gotta be boring. Heck I hardly even speak with you anymore.”
“I know, but that’s my fault not yours. I should always just be by your side.”
“That sounded kinda corny-yo.”
“Well it’s not my fault. I just don’t want you to die is all.”
“Right right.” I glanced at her, and blushed at the sight of her in her swimsuit. “You really should go to your friends though.”
“My heart speeds up when I’m around you…“ I said quietly, “and you’re wearing a one piece to top it all off… so you know it goes thump thump.”
“Sorry but it’s the truth-yo.”
“Fine, I’ll go off to my friends then.” She stood and walked out of the pool, “Just yell out my name if you happen to get an attack. I’ll come. I promise.”
I got out of the water toweled off and went to take a shower. I kept it slightly cool, I hate too much heat. I went to my locker and put on my spare shirt, sweatpants and a sweatshirt. I felt a little dizzy, probably a heat fever, I tend to get those a lot. I walked back to the pool.
Fauna and her friends were playing. She looked happy, more so than when she was with me. I sat in a chair, and watched them play for a while. I then fell asleep, I’m not sure how much time passed, nor am I aware of what went on.
Everyone was surrounding me, and Fauna was sitting on me, her swimsuit was still dripping wet, and she had a worried look on her face.
“Yo everybody, sup sup?”
“Uhm, yeah wassup with you dude? You suddenly fell out of your chair, and didn’t move at all.”
“I guess I’m a heavy sleeper?”
“I thought you’d call for me if you had an attack.” Fauna said to me, as the people scattered. She looked to be on the verge of crying.
“I didn’t have an attack. I just fell out of my chair, I guess.”
She put her hands to her eyes, “But someone said you were shaking.”
“Who knows, if it was an attack I wouldn’t be so lively.”
She looked into my eyes, and tilted her head. Her pupils got larger, and her face flushed with a little red. “Okay, so long as your safe.”
“I am, thanks,” I glanced down. “Okay maybe not.”
“You’re sitting…on my…uhm…man-tool?”
“Huh?” she glanced down, and gave me intestinal pain jumping off of me. “I—I—It was an accident, a—and…Y—Y—Y—You know that.”
“Yup, it’s just fun watching you freak over something so small.”
“You weren’t very small down there.” She said with her hands covering her face, which was redder than even blood.
“It’s called a ‘grow-in’ for a reason-yo.”
“That was terrible.” she said as she put her hand to her face.
“No it wasn‘t, it was stupidly sexual, and rather interesting.”
She sighed and stomped off, shaking her head.
I stood up and brushed myself off, my sweatshirt was wet, and so were my sweatpants. I blamed Fauna for sitting on me when she was still wet. I forgave her not much later, when she came over to me dressed in some rather tight jeans, and a loose shirt. Yes my heart did go thump-thump, but not as much as when she was in the one piece. She introduced me fully to her friends, she left out the part about me having a heart condition, which made me feel a little relieved. They greeted me, and marauded me with questions about why I fell out of my chair and why I only got my legs wet in the hot springs.
“Well I guess it’s just cause the heat gets to me ya know? I guess I fell outta my chair cause the heat was too much for me.” They laughed at me, and my silly explanation.
“You’re a weird guy. Not that it’s a bad thing though, you’re better than those assholes out there.” She pointed to some guys dunking each other in the water, and holding each other heads underwater.
“Nah, I’m probably worse, if it weren’t for my ’heat sickness’ I would probably be out there with them.”
“But you aren’t, you are who you are. Don’t fret about the small details.” Fauna said.
“I’m just a man with a broken plan, ya know? Everything makes me feel lonely.”
“Huh? Oh right, is it cause this heat sickness that you can’t do sports either?”
“Yes, it stops me from doing basically everything.”
“How does it stop you?”
“I hyperventilate, shake, and have a stroke if I get too ’hot‘.” I said sadly. “It’s not like I wanted to be this way, but I don’t blame my parents. They gave birth to me ya know?”
“You use ya know a lot.”
“I know,” I laughed. Fauna looked a little happier than she did when she was with her friends.
I felt accomplished that she smiled.
She smiled because we we’re all enjoying our time together.
Those few blissful moments.
What I would give to go back and say some things I hadn’t.
The trip to the hot springs ended, and everyone filed onto the bus, I sat with Fauna again. I’m not sure if she wanted to sit with anyone else or not. Halfway back I couldn’t sleep, there were two reasons as to why. The first was that Fauna grabbed my hand and squeezed it. The second…was simply that she fell asleep and rested her head on my shoulder…
I don’t even want to think of moving her.
Nor do I want to clean this shirt, or my face…or my hand for that matter.
I rested my head against hers.
I dosed off, and the bliss was over.
Everything was serene.
The wind blew small leaves past the bus making everything flurried.
The sun was slowly setting on the horizon, turning the sky a golden color.
My body still feels the warmth from her hair.
Ah, my heart.
Back at the school both mother and father were waiting for me. After saying goodbye to some of the people I chatted with. I walked to the car and got in. At home I was under the covers in my bed, smiling like an idiot. Rubbing my cheek where I rested it on her head. The shirt I had worn was hung up, it was separated from all the others too. I wonder if she saw what I was doing, would she think I was a creeper? It took almost 4 hours for me to fall asleep, good thing the next day was a break.
I woke up around noon, mainly because the phone was ringing. I heard mother say she’d get it. I listened as she spoke with whoever it was. It was quite a while before she stopped speaking. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep some more.
My door opened and mother came in, “You have a girl on the phone.”
“You tell me mister playboy. She’s calling for you not me.”
“Right right, just remember that you’re the mother of a playboy. Something had to tie my shoes when I was younger.”
“Then I blame your father…he read way to many porn magazines when you were growing up.”
“He did? I don’t remember any.”
“Good you don’t need to remember such nasty pictures.”
“Uhm where’s the phone? And said pictures?”
“Right here.” She handed me the phone, ignoring my other question.
“Jello.” I said.
“Hey…uhm I wanted to talk to you.”
“Aight, go ahead, I’m all ears.”
“I was wondering about what happened at the hot springs when you fell out of your chair…I—I mean you had an attack right?”
I sighed. “Fauna, I really doubt I did. If I did it was like a ¼ or ½ on the pain scale.”
She sighed with relief, “Good, I just remembered it and it made me worry, cause father always says things about pre-attacks that lead to death.”
“Well I’m not gonna die for a while. I still gotta get a tattoo on my shoulder.”
“Just promise me? It worries me to think that you’ll die without doing something fun.”
“Is that why you hang out with me?” I asked quietly. “Is it because you know what’s going to happen?”
“Going to happen? What do you mean by that?”
“Never mind, How have you been?”
“Wonderful, though I have a small crick in my neck.”
“Really, I guess that’s my fault.” I laughed a little. “I mean you were sleeping on my shoulder so contently… so much that you were drooling too.”
She gasped, and if I were talking to her face to face she would have hit me. “But I didn’t mean too, I mean… I didn’t mean to drool on you.”
“It’s fine, it doesn’t bother me.”
“So, uhm you want to meet up and watch a movie or something?”
My heart skipped a beat. “S—Sure what movie?”
“How about we go to that new romance one at 16:30.”
“Cool with me.”
“Alright, I’ll meet you there, kay?”
“Alright. See you then Fauna.”
She hung up first and then I did as well. I rested my head against the wall, and thought of what just happened.
A date with Fauna.
Just the thought made me blush and made my heart skip beats.
He he, so dangerous to even think of it.
I “floated” downstairs and put the phone back where it belonged. Mother was standing in the doorway looking at me with her arms crossed. “So what was that about.”
“I was invited by Fauna to go to the movies.”
“Oh, so it was Fauna. Her voice has changed so much!”
“I haven’t really noticed.”
“Cause you’re around her. If you don’t see children for a month or two they grow so much!”
“Whatever, can you take me to the movies? It starts at 16:30 and I said I’d be 15 minutes early.”
“It wouldn’t hurt to have you go.”
“No problem, as long as you’re happy.”
I sat around watching TV, reading, and studying until 15:55 rolled around. Then Mom and I got in the car and drove to the movie theater. I met with Fauna and we got our tickets our drinks and headed into the literally pitch black room. We sat at the very back, right in the middle. My heart was just pounding being near her. I’m surprised she didn’t just laugh at me for how loud my heart was. The feeling of it beating against my chest was…incomprehensibly wonderful.
“I was told this movie was…terrible.” she whispered in my ear.
“I hadn’t heard much about it.” I whispered back.
“I—If I start crying will you hold my hand?”
“Only if you want me to.”
“If I do…Please hold me.”
What I would give to re-live that moment.
The movie started, it began with a rather depressing start. The two people who loved each other so dearly were separated when the man was forced to go off to war. The woman was pregnant with his child, and had the child before he returned. She waited day after day, taking care of the child, waiting for a knock on her door, or a letter in the mail…for better or for worse. Some nights she cried herself to sleep, others she went through fitful nights. Then after about 45 minutes of showing the woman’s life, it went off to the man. Every day he wrote letters of how beautiful the country he was fighting in was. Every day he told of the sights he saw, the people who were murdered brutally in front of him. The comrades he made…and the comrades he lost. He wrote to her telling her he was fine, living, and waiting to get home to see his child.
The war continued on and on.
Fauna grabbed my hand, and pulled me closer to her. I could hear her sniffles, and see the wetness under her eyes. I wrapped one arm around her shoulders and the other holding her hand. It broke me to listen to her cry into her hands. I wasn’t sure why she was crying. Maybe she was imagining herself in the woman’s position.
The man lived through 4 years of fighting on the battlefield, only getting injured every now and again. He still wrote every day, but he had never gotten a single reply. He continually wondered why, but assumed that she was taking care of the child and waited for his return. He assumed she would tell him her words of love rather than write them. Then it went back to the woman, showing her desperation to find out what was going on with her husband. Whether he was dead, or alive, anything. She hadn’t gotten a single letter from him, and it worried her to tears. Their daughter believed that she didn’t have a father, she grew up not knowing what the fatherly figure was like. The woman took care of her daughter, spoiling her, making her as happy as she could possibly be. In hope that her husband would come home so they could spoil their daughter together.
After the third month of the fifth year he was sent home.
When he got home, he found it devoid of life. The house was full of furniture yet no one was there. As he wandered around the house pondering where his wife and child were, he found pictures, medals, trophies, and small bits of homework that his daughter had kept or a spelling bee she won. Tears came to his eyes as he realized that he had missed more than 4 years of his daughters life, and that he might not be able to make up those 4 years. He walked towards the front door.
The woman had her key out and was just about to put it in the door. When it opened from the inside, and a stranger stood inside her house. She cried out as he held her in his arms, she tried to push him away but found herself even more tangled in his arms. After a minute of struggle she finally broke free of his iron hold and shouted at him. He looked a little hurt but replied calmly. When he told her his name, she collapsed and fell on some grass. Her daughter tried to help her up, but the stranger hugged the three of them together. He held up his dog-tags as proof of who he was, and yet she still couldn’t believe that he was in front of her.
How much he had changed from 5 years ago. He had a couple scars on his face, the most dominant had taken his left eye. He was larger, more muscular, and his hair was shorter than she’d ever seen him with. She grabbed her daughter and introduced the two of them. The daughter looked a little frightened to be meeting her father for the first time ever. But when he picked her up and held her gently she relaxed and held him back calling him “Papa.” She was blind, her left arm refused to move, and she had a hard time hearing correctly, so she had to feel her father’s face to get a general idea of what he looked like. The family was happy, but they struggled on through life, just like everyone else.
There is no such thing as a happy ending, or “Happily Ever After.”
The Daughter died just 4 months later. 2 months before her fifth birthday.
The cause was Tay-Sachs Disease. A rather formidable disease for the un-educated.
I know of course because I’m educated in diseases, and this one managed to spark my interest… If I had been born with it, I would have never met Fauna, and she would have never worried about me. On the other hand my parents would have hated that they gave birth to me.
Basically, it’s a rare inherited genetic disorder. It slowly but surely kills the nervous system and the brain. The body begins to lose its basic functions, things like hearing, sight, and movement. Tay-Sachs Disease or TSD is caused by mutations in the HEXA gene. Which is a gene that contains orders or codes for the body to make hexosaminidase, an enzyme that plays a massive role in controlling the nervous system. Most humans who get TSD die before the age of 5.
The real problem is that TSD is a recessive trait. So both parents have to be “carriers” of the recessive trait for it to even have a chance in showing up in their child.
Both parents, not one.
Listening to the man and woman cry and cry over their child’s body as she was lowered into the coffin over her grave made both me and Fauna cry. I don’t know if anyone understands the suffering. when parents give birth to a child, they expect their child to be happy and die long after them. Could you even imagine having to watch your precious daughter or son die before you did? I guess that’s why my parents have spoiled me so much, ya’ know?
That was the end of the movie. Listening to the wails of the mother, and seeing the silent lament of the man. The credits scrolled up, and the picture just showed the two of them over the grave. There was no music, and the entire room felt like it was full of an eerie heaviness.
Fauna hugged me, and snuggled into my shoulder. I lifted her chin up and looked into her eyes. She stared back at me, even as I moved closer to her. Our lips met, and we held the kiss for a short while. Fauna broke the bliss, but not because she didn’t like it, but because someone had called her through her cell-phone. She sniffled a little before answering.
“Hello?” She said, she looked at me and held out her hand.
“Father you’re interrupting us.” She said as I gently took her hand.
“Of course. Your daughter is a proud girl. No. Never. Alright. Sec, lemme ask him.” She slid the phone from her cheek, “Do you need a ride or is your Mom here?”
“I think my Mom is here. She probably watched a movie.”
“Okay,” She slid the phone back up to her ear. “No he’s fine. Yes. Well I kinda want to stay longer. Duh dummy. Alright but I get tomorrow, kay?”
“Thanks, Love ya. Bye Father.”
She closed her phone and slipped it back into her pocket. “I—uhm… Have a couple minutes before he gets here.”
She hugged me and rested her chin on my shoulder. I really wasn’t expecting her to hug me. It took a second to get over my initial shock and hold her. She broke the hug slowly, sighing. She pulled slightly on my hand and we walked to the front doors of the theater. She slipped her hand out of mine.
Her father’s car’s headlights shone on us and she turned her back to them to speak to me. She put her hands behind her back, and tilted forward slightly. “I think… that my heart can’t stop… I love you.” Then she kissed me on the cheek. Turned and ran to her father’s car.
Ah my heart again.
“I love you too.” I whispered after her.
I swear my face was redder than a neon sign.
Mother picked me up ten minutes later, I was still red in the cheeks.
Sometimes I think bliss is another form of torture…
You’re so happy, yet when you’re happy you don’t realize the world is suffering. When you’re sad, all you think about is how much your world is twisted. Humans are fundamentally insane. You put more than a couple of them in a room; they pick sides, and think up ways to kill the other side. It’s not unreal either. That’s all humans think of. Themselves or the ones they care for. They more or less only think about themselves. If the one they loved died, they would be in pain, which is something they try to avoid. Yet when their life is in danger about a bunch of them would choose to save themselves over the other that they love. Out of the others, some of them would choose to save the other over themselves. The last few would choose to die with the one they love, thinking that even if they’re separated in their future lives, whether spiritual or physical, they’ll eventually find each other again. But…what happens if you can’t find the other? Do you stand around and wallow in suffering, or do you try to love another? I don’t know, I personally think I’m the type to be self-sacrificing, but if it came to it…I would probably try to die with the other. Maybe that’s just because I’m going to die soon anyways. I just don’t want to think of making them wait…you know?
Mother’s cell-phone rang, and she had me answer it. “Jello?”
“Ahh…so you answered.”
“Whatcha calling about Fauna?”
“Well uhm I was wondering if you wanted to go out on a date tomorrow?”
“What kind? Walk around the mall kind or romantic kind?” Mother glanced at me.
“Mmm, it’s cool with me. We could meet up at a park or something and wander around from there.”
“Okay! But I want to say something before going.”
“Alright go ahead.”
She whispered so it was hard to hear. “For each name I say take the first letter, and write it down.” Then more loudly, “ You know how Wyatt, and Hutch are both morons?”
“Well some dude named Aaron seems to be even worse than them. Like seriously he’s worse than Trent. Oh right and that guy named…uhm Patrick is sooo cute!”
“Pfft. Really? Patrick huh?”
“Yah, he’s friends with Aaron and I barely got a glimpse of him too. Then my friend Reäl started going out with Ken…Wait a sec, something’s going on. What is that?”
“What do you see?”
“Dunno. It’s just something…Anyways Dad want’s the phone back so I’ll call you tomorrow.”
“Be safe. I love you.”
“I love you too.” Mother stared at me again.
“And who was that?” she said.
“…It was…uhm…” I swear I hate it when parents pester you about phone calls. “Fauna.”
“I can live with that.”
“Well if it was some person I didn’t know I’d like to get to know them a little better, you know… so I know that my son isn’t going to be left alone and homeless when he gets married.”
“Pfft, who said I was gonna get married?”
“You should know why I won’t get married! I have this!” I said as I pointed at my chest.
“Huh? Did someone tell you someth—”
“Why would I want to let my child have the same thing as me? I mean seriously that’d be torture if my son got it…especially since I know how it feels!” I understood why she hid it from me…
“Ah, well maybe you could talk to the doctor and see if its hereditary.”
“I think I will. If it isn’t then I’ll also talk with him about having babies with Fauna, kay?” I said sarcastically.
“Wouldn’t that be wonderful? You’d be 18 with twins!”
“Mooom! I was being sarcastic. I don’t think I’d want to have kids till I was about 25 anyways.”
“Alright, that still makes your mother a little happy.”
I laughed and she did too. We got home and I watched TV till 22:00, and I went to bed. The next morning I woke up and somewhat impatiently waited for Fauna’s call…The only phone call I got was from her father, asking to talk with my mother.
The next day I went to the hospital for a checkup. Like I was told too. I sat in the small waiting room, for about 45 minutes before I was told to go see the doctor. He looked a little off, his eyes had small bags under them and his coat was askew.
“Hey doc. Que pasa?”
“Ah, not much.” he said rather dully.
“So we may as well get this over with.”
“Yes.” He said as if he wanted it to be over now.
I followed his instructions to a T. I sat and patiently waited, trying to work up the courage to ask about Fauna. I finally succeeded in working up the courage but the words came out jumbled. “Why didn’tFaunacallme yesterday?”
“She uhm…you know…”
“Your mother didn’t tell you?”
“She hasn’t said anything to me since yesterday.”
“Ah shit. Leaves me to break the ice, huh?”
“Well… Uhm Fauna is… There was a… Yesterday and she… Only one…”
“What?” I think my mind blocked out what he had said. His mouth had moved, but no words came out.
“She DIED! Yesterday there was a car accident. She was the ONLY ONE who died!” He cried out.
I’m… not sure what I did but I asked to see her. I knew my heart was speeding up more than it should have…I was told she was in the morgue, they were trying to fix up her mangled body. I’m more than positive I asked the same question about 30 times. And got the same answer 30 times. I was told to go out to my mother, so that she could console me.
I must have been crying a lot.
I got outside.
My vision tunneled, any color I could see blurred together.
I could feel every beat of my heart.
My chest tightened, my breathing became labored.
Everything seized up and I collapsed.
I knew I was going die before I turned 18…before I got a tattoo, and before I became a teacher.
I wasn’t expecting her to die though.
Maybe that’s why I’m dying right now…
Her death was too great of shock for my heart to take.
I didn’t even get to tell her face to face that I loved her.
I didn’t get to announce to the world that she was mine.
I didn’t get to laugh with her.
I didn’t get to ask her to be with me forever.
I didn’t get to hold her lovingly.
I never had the chance to tell I loved her.
I couldn’t tell her I loved her.
I didn’t get to tell my father it wasn’t his fau—
Despair ended me like a stab from a knife.
Yet love brought me into life.
I died. So did she.
At least through death we’ll be hand in hand.
Even in the desolation of the timeless land.