In memory of June One, I give you...
Some says that school is our second home well for me hospital is my second home. I’ve been in and out of the hospitals for almost two years now. I once thought, I’d get over my disdain with it but no. I still hate the place, it reminds of so many bad memories. It reminds me that I’m weak as if looking in the mirror isn’t enough.
I hate the place because sometimes when I’m actually happy pretending to be normal, it would suck me back in and I’m not normal again. I know I can never have the simple life that I so dream of, still sometimes I just wish the act won’t end. But whenever I’m brought to the hospital, I’m reminded that every act has its conclusion.
And it hurts. It hurts so much. But I’m used to it, this is my life anyway. Nothing’s going to change that except death or a miracle that my heart would get stronger, a miracle which by the way I don’t want. It already happened once, it won’t happen again.
I close the book that I’ve been reading because I can’t seem to focus. There’s a lot in my mind and I can’t take my mind off things. What today meant for me.
Today is the enrollment day and obviously, I missed it. My mother brought me in at the hospital at three in the morning when I pressed the panic button in my room. I was having a hard time breathing and I couldn’t take it anymore so I gave in and pressed the button.
Now here I am back in the hospital. I sigh wondering what my classmates are doing right now, I suppose they’re through with the enrollment and are already eating in McDonald’s or KFC.
They’re probably making up the lost time, chatting up with all exciting stories and all. How I wish I’m with them, I can only imagine myself dragging them to SDV just to sneak a peek at Joe or even at ISC to search for the other guys.
I can see us laughing and me calling out payong or ipis if we ever see Paolo somewhere around the school. And of course if we ever see EG well, of course, we’ll follow him especially Love.
But most of all I can see us, just us being us.
How I miss them so, they’ve been such great friends to me. When I entered college I never once thought I’d find them, I mean yeah I can make friends but I never thought I’d find friendship that I would found lasting.
I just never thought college would make me want to live again. After that summer, I just thought I give up and wait until I die, you know. I didn’t want to live again, I was tired. I was angry. Everything was spiraling out of control and then I died.
I died for two minutes that was until they resuscitated me to life. A miracle they said. I was their miracle.
When I woke up that time, there was only one thing in my mind and that was I wished I had died. I wished they didn’t save me. I was perfectly happy dying.
But they saved me and so I get to go living a life I didn’t want anymore. I chose to enroll to some second-class college—if asked why I’d say because I don’t want to burden mom with the expensive tuition and all—truth is I chose to enroll there just to spite mom and the world.
To hell with expectations and all. They all wanted me to accept my admission to one of the most prestigious university in the Philippines but what do I care if I study in that university when I know I’d be dead soon?
It turns out I made the right decision after all. Because had I chosen to study at La Salle then I would have never met some of the greatest friends of mine. The people who made me want to live and hope for a better and normal life. Being with them made me wish that I could live longer, that I’m not sick at all.
These people made me happy even just for a year. And now I curse the world for being unfair to me. I want to shout to the world that I want to live, please let me live. Take this damn sickness of mine and let me be normal.
I want to be happy. I want to try what Louie wanted me to have. A life.
Is that so difficult to grant?
I’m never going to see them again. My mom has decided to take me to Germany for the surgery and being a minor, I have no say in this. I want to stay, study and be with my friends even if I’m going to die.
Just one more year with them. I won’t ask for more, just a year again to feel normal.
They won’t allow me to, they want me to go to Germany and take the risk. But I know all too well, I’m never going to make it back. I’m going to die in Germany. And I won’t be able to see my friends.
I hear the door cracked open and I turn my head to see mom entering the room. “Mary, you have your session with Dr. Collins.” She reminds me as she grabs my laptop and brings it to me.
I don’t want to talk to Dr. Collins right now. I have no choice really, mom will insist that I need to and then she’ll go and harangue me all day.
I switch my laptop on, I look at mom and wait for her to leave the room. She sigh dramatically and walk off. I log in to my Skype account and begrudgingly click the call logo and wait for Dr. Collins to pick up.
With two rings, Dr. Collins face shows up and she smiles wanly at me. “Hello Mary.” She greets.
“How are you feeling?”
Angry. Mad. Hurt. Furious. Envious. Sad. “Fine.”
She raises her eyebrow at me and continues to stare at me like she knows that I’m anything but fine.
I let out a exasperated sigh and glare at her. “Alright I’m not fine! I’m... miserable.” I finally let out. “I’m miserable because I’m dying.”
“Isn’t what you’ve always wanted? To die and be reunited with Louie?”
“I… I want to be with Louie but I also want to live. It’s crazy isn’t it? To want two vastly different things.” I smile ruefully. “I thought I was ready.” I say at her. “I’m not ready to say goodbye.” I stare at her pleadingly. “I don’t want to say goodbye yet.” Tears are welling up, I don’t let them fall. “I’m going to die but I’m not ready to say goodbye.”
“You are ever such a pessimist Mary. What if everything turns out well and the goodbye you make today isn’t goodbye after all, just a see you soon bye?”
I snort. “You do remember life has been mostly unfair to me right? I’m not being pessimistic Dr. Collins, I’m just being realistic. My heart is failing, I already find it hard to breathe right now so tell me how will things turn out well?”
She shakes her head. “Mary.”
I wave my hands to cut her off with her speech. “I’m not going to say goodbye.”
I shrug. “It’s too bothersome.” Too painful. “They don’t need to know about any of it. I want to remain in their memories as alive. If I say goodbye now and I don’t come back then they’ll know.”
“If you don’t say goodbye then they’ll worry. Are you even going to tell them that you’re at the hospital?” she asks.
I shrug again, I press my back to my pillow because my back is hurting me already. “What’s the use?”
“They’ll need closure Mary. You need your closure with them.” She insists. “Do you want them to always wonder how you are? If you’re fine or not?”
I look at her with my eyes full of tears that just want to fall. “Isn’t it much better than letting them know I’m sick and dying? That we’ll never see each other again?”
She shakes her head and smiles sadly at me. “It will hurt them if you don’t tell them. You need to tell them and say goodbye.”
I nod. Maybe Dr. Collins is right, maybe I should say goodbye now. If I won’t ever meet them again then perhaps I should just tell them goodbye. At least this chapter of our lives would be close.
So after my session with Dr. Collins, I start with my letter to them. I can’t say goodbye in person, that’s too painful. So a letter it is.
I open my Facebook account and start writing a note.