Chapter 46 – The Final Help from Destiny
I am in the playground where I used to play with Louie when we were young, the place where I first met him. Through the years, the playground never changed except for the paint but overall the park never changed, be it the fountain in the middle that never worked or the tree house and the sandbox where kids used to play.
I cherish the thought of the playground never changing; it makes me feel that nothing would ever change, that like the playground my friendship with Louie would never change. We would never change.
It always serves as a reminder that some things would never change, that no matter how it does aesthetically, it would always be the same. Like the tree house, it would always be the headquarters of the little troops gathering around every noon. Though every year the community would change the paint, it was still the same.
I sit under the tree that housed the tree house. I was always too afraid to go up to the tree house because I was scared that I would eventually fall but then Louie would hold my hand, smile at me and reassure me that I would never fall. That he would never let me fall.
He would always say things like that. The things that I feared, he would always be there to hold my hand and just be by my side protecting me from those fears of mine. I looked up to him because he was the only one who could carry all my fears and believe me there were tons of it.
Some say little girls’ first heroes were their fathers but for me it was Louie. He was my hero and my prince. He would slay dragons for me, I was certain of that.
I smile as I l close my eyes and look up to the bright blue sky; the playground is quiet and peaceful. One of the many things I love about the playground is this. It is always peaceful and calm. Hearing the distant laughter of the other kids and the rustic noise the seesaw would produce whenever it’s played could somehow make me calm. For me this is peace.
I open my eyes and see a lone figure walking towards me, I know it’s Louie so I wave and smile as I wait for him.
“Mary.” I turn my eyes away from the figure walking towards me and I look around for the voice.
I open my eyes and the light hurts my eyes so I close them again.
“Mary.” I hear Kim’s voice and it sounds so refreshing to hear it. He takes a cup of water in my mouth and helps me drink it.
I open my eyes and this time the lights are dim. I look at Kim and I can see that he hasn’t been sleeping. I frown. “You look like hell.” I tell him.
He chuckles. “You’re a mess.” He tells me.
I smile a little. “How long?” I ask.
“Two weeks.” He answers.
I nod. I then remember Kelly but I don’t say her name. It hurts. Knowing that the little girl who was always happy is no longer around the hospital hurts. So I focus on my dream. “I heard you earlier.”
He looks at me in confusion. “What do you mean?” he asks.
I shake my head. It doesn’t matter if I tell Kim. He won’t understand it anyway. I also don’t know how to explain to him how he got inside my dream. How he invaded the dream.
I don’t know why though he’s in my dream.
I feel so tired.
The doctors come in and check on me. One of the nurses helps me up and puts me in the wheelchair. I let them do the tests and I just close my eyes. I feel so tired and I just want to sleep.
After two weeks of sleeping, I want more.
I’m so tired of everything.
I come back to my room to see that Kim has changed. I smile at him and he helps me back to my bed.
“How are you feeling?” he asks.
“Tired.” Weak. It’s like my body is so weak that everything seems hard to do. Even opening my eyes is hard.
“Mary.” He calls after a while of silence.
“Do you remember when you told me that you dreamed of Louie before and he was asking for your hand?” he asks me.
I nod because I remember that. I remember telling Kim about that dream of mine.
“Please don’t take his hand.”
I open my eyes and I see Kim’s tortured face. I lift my hand and touch his cheeks. “Don’t worry.”
“Tell me you won’t take his hand.”
I smile at him but I don’t tell him what he needs to hear. I can’t promise something I know that I will break especially now that I’m really feeling tired. I know I’m hurting him but I just can’t promise him that.
I’m close to being with Louie and all I want to do is take his hand.
“Ian.” I start. “Don’t be like me when I’m gone.” I tell him. “Let go.”
He shakes his head. “Don’t leave me please.” He pleads as he buries his face on my hand. “Don’t go and take his hand.”
“You know it’s inevitable. One day, I’m going to leave you and I’m going to take his hand.”
“Not now. Just stay and live.”
But I feel death is coming. I don’t say that though. I do feel it coming near me. And I know that when it comes I’m going to welcome it with a smile in my face.
I don’t want to leave Kim alone. I know if I die, it’d hurt him so much and I just hope he won’t be like me. I hope he’d live his life and let go of my memory.
I just smile at him.
I’m sitting under the tree with the tree branches swaying as the wind blows. I smile at how peaceful the playground is today.
I look around the playground and there at the road, someone’s walking towards the tree and I smile as I realize Louie’s coming.
“Go.” I tell Kim. He got a call earlier from his professor asking him to see him today, he has missed most of his classes because of me.
He sighs reluctantly. “I don’t want to leave you.” he says.
“I’ll be fine.” I tell him.
He walks to my side and kissed my head. “I’ll see you later.” He says. He walks to the door and he stops to look at me. His face is telling me what I need to know, he’s worried about me. So I smile at him. “I’ll bring you a box of chocolate later.”
“Ian.” I call as he turns his back on me. He turns back and looks at me expectantly. I force a smile. “Thank you.”
After two days at Brown, Kim comes back with two chocolate boxes from Godiva. My condition hasn’t changed and I’m still under monitor so I’m not allowed to eat the chocolates.
Mom visited me last night and told me that she has arranged for me to transfer to Mayo Clinic and I’ll be transferring next week.
I just nodded at her.
“Kim, I want some pudding.” I tell Kim.
He nods and stands up. I watch him walk out of my room and I feel sad. Kim’s my only constant companion. He never left. I know he’s going to be devastated if I leave and I don’t want to hurt him.
If only I know how I can prevent from hurting him and at the same time welcome death without regret but there’s now way.
When he comes back, he hands me my pudding but I set it aside. I’m not hungry anymore. I’m tired.
“Can I rest Ian?” I ask him.
I hear him suck his breath. “Sure. I’ll wake you up when it’s time to take your meds.” He tells me. He then takes my hand and holds it tighter.
I close my eyes. “Ian… I…” I call. I don’t know but I feel like I need to tell him something, that there’s something he should know.
He holds my hand tighter. “Don’t talk, just sleep and maybe later once you wake up, you’ll tell me.” he says. He kisses my head. “I love you.”
I nod. “Good…night.”
And I drift off.
I see Louie in front of me, smiling at me. “Louie.” I breathe as I look up to him.
“Hi.” He greets.
“Anong ginagawa mo dito?” I ask him.
“Waiting for you.”
I look at the playground and I smile, we’re alone. He offers his hand and I take it. I stand up and I smile at him. “Are you done waiting for me?” I ask.
“It’s up to you.” he says and he intertwines our hand together.
I miss him. I miss him so much and now he’s here. “I miss you.” I tell him. I close my eyes and suddenly when I open it, Louie’s on the other side. I frown. “Louie, come back here.” I say and I try to run towards him but the more I run to him the farther he seems to be. “Louie.” I panic. “Don’t go. Take me with you.” I say.
Louie smiles at me. “Gusto mo ba talagang sumama sa akin?” he asks me sadly.
I nod quickly letting my tears fall. “Please don’t run from me.”
He stares straightly behind me and so I look behind me and see nothing. He smiles sadly. “May naghihintay sayo dun.” He says his lips pointing behind me. “I miss you Mary and I want to be with you but I can’t be selfish with you.”
I shake my head. “You can. Just stop from running.” I tell him.”I love you. Don’t you love me too?”
“I do.” he says. Suddenly, he’s closer. He reaches for my hand. “Take my hand and we’ll go together.” He tells me.
I smile at him and for the first time in a long time, I feel that the weight has lifted. I feel light and happy. I take his hand.
He squeezes it and intertwines our fingers together, we walk hand in hand towards somewhere and I don’t ask where we’re going because I trust him.
I trust Louie and I want to be with him.
Finally, I can be with him. I can be with the one I love most.
“Clear.” Someone says.
The machine keeps on beeping. It goes flat line.
After a while, the whole room is silent and the only thing one could hear is the continued beeping of the machine.