I wake from the final vestiges of sleep in a coughing fit, spitting crimson into my hands. A soft hand grazes over my forehead, trying to carry my wrinkled thoughts away. The kind smile of the nurse illuminates parts of my darkened soul but it does not give a new lease of life to my despair. I listen closely as the avalanche of an intolerable sound begins to bear down on me. Beep. Beep. Beep. On the bright side, I am still alive, and that horrible bleeping is evidence. The sound invades the barriers I constructed in my mind over the course of a harsh battle. This room, these four walls, suffocate me. My body is in pure agony, my flesh burning with an indescribable ache. Despite all the machines attached to my body via tubes, I still find a lack of oxygen. Honestly, a breath of fresh air is all I need.
The nurse returns with my medicines and I swallow them with revulsion. “It’s a new day,” she says brightly and walks away. A new day for what? To lie alone in this sordid chamber, desperately anticipating the arrival of the Reaper? I feel like I am stuck in an infinite loop of waking up from one nightmare into another with no possible end in sight. I wish things could go back to normal just for a moment. I wish I wasn’t sick and old and lying on a hospital bed all alone. I wish my brother was here with me, telling me fancy stories about the adventures his life has took him on. I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop.
Suddenly, I feel an unfamiliar pressure in my chest, so I try to take a breath to wipe it away. Instead I am left choking on my spittle, trying to let some air through to my lungs. I fail miserably. I clutch my chest with my hand frantically as a wave of nurses and doctors flood through the doors. I can hear the wheezing sound coming from my helpless insides. My desperate eyes attempt to spot a familiar face as they wander here and there in search of family, my family. Then I black out due to the lack of oxygen, but mostly because I know I’m all alone in this futile crusade.
And I feel myself fading.
By Rubani Kaur (@eccentricdevil