Life is just as unpredictable as we read in books. We never know what the next minute will bring for us. When will the autumn leaves dry up and fall off, when will the reader turn the last page of the book or when will someone leave us alone to live, building a void in our life…
It was just a normal day as any, I was walking towards school alone on a empty road, just when I heard a voice shouting out my name from behind. “Hey! Sia, wait up”, hearing her voice I turned around to meet a familiar face. It was Anu my best friend, who was still unaware of the information that had become the inevitable truth of my life. But today I was not going to back down, I had to tell my friends the truth once and for all, they deserved to know. Just not right now, it will have to wait a little more. I dismissed these thoughts amd got ready to put on a facade yet again.
“Hey Anu! What’s up?” I replied, trying my best to fake a smile.
“Oh! Nothing much, by the way did you finish yesterdays’s homework. It was so lengthy and those diagrams took pretty long. Ypu know how bad I am when it comes to being creative.”
“Yeah, I know that very well.”
That had both of us laughing. By that time we had already reached school, so we walked silently alongside each other. As we entered our class my other friends greeted me as usual. The group was inclusive of Anu, Pari, Nisha and Abhay and obviously me. We had been friends since first grade, at this point we had become so close that no force on earth could separate us, well except one. I was lost in my chain of thoughts when the bell rang and our teacher entered the class and started off with his lecture.
I couldn’t pay attention to what he was saying, so I resorted to idly making sloppy circles in my register. The time seemed to be passing by in a blur while i was waiting for the 6th period to spill the beans and inform my friends about the recent developments of my life.
Just then the bell rang and the much dreaded 6th period started, the teacher had informed us beforehand that she won’t be taking chemistry class today as she had to attend a seminar, thus we had a free period with nothing to do. At that time my plan kicked into action.
“Guys…” I started impatiently, eager to get it over with. ” I know just what we can do.”
“Oh?” Pari replied ” and what would that be?”
“The confession game” I replied
“The confession game?” Abhay echoed questioningly.
I went on and handed a few sheets of paper and pens to each one of them.
“Yes, haven’t you ever heard of it?”
“No…” he said. He seemed doubtful about playing and revealing his secrets but I knew he would play anyhow. He never said no to anything I ever sai and that is how I knew that today’s game will hurt him the most and it would be difficult for him to know about it and not be able to do anything about it. But he needs to know and he will be the first to know. I didn’t want to hurt him, but I had to… I had no control over it anymore…
“Well” I started, ” the confession game can be played by one or more people, although it’s best to play in a large group, each armed with sheets of paper and a pen. Each player has to write down a confession on one of their pieces of paper and when all the players have written their confession, they flip the papers around one by one and whoever has the least interesting confession is out. You keep playing, digging for confessions until there is the ultimate victorious confessor who has revealed the darkest secret.” I explained.
“This game seems… well, interesting, I’ll say” Nisha commented.
“Well it is supposed to be. So are you all ready or not?” I challenged.
“Game on!” Anu replied enthusiastically.
So everyone went on scribbling on their sheets, pausing to think whether their confession was going to be the best or not. Well I knew just what I had to write “Deep breath, straighten up, you can do this.” I commanded myself. “Just write the words.”
‘I CONFESS THAT I HAVE CANCER…’
“Ready?” I blurted out, my voice suddenly sounded a little nervous. Each and everyone simply nodded. Squeezing my eyes shut for a second, I flipped my paper over in a jerky motion, my hands shaking uncomfortably, clammy with my sudden surge of nerves.
I slowly dragged open my eyes to Abhay’s face.
The power of hindsight is a wonderful thing. To be able to look into the future is the best ability some would say, but hindsight is even greater than that, one of the greatest things possible, in my opinion. Perhaps if I had known what was to come in the next few minutes I would not have written what I did on that piece of paper that practically summed up the struggle of the past six months.
But perhaps, I would have, nevertheless…
Until that moment I haven’t known it was physically possible to feel so nervous, so sick with nerves and fright. My stomach found itself being clenched and then unclemched, repeating over and over, almost doing somersaults. It was as if time itself had slowed, perhaps even stopped altogether. Adrenaline was rushing through my body, making my head feel light and a little bit dizzy, almost as if I was floating. I wasn’t sure anymore if it was from the nervousness and dread that I felt while hurting my friends or was it my tumor reacting yet again, ruining probably what was the last good moment I had left with the people without whom I couldn’t imagine my life. But at this moment imagining a future seemed like a bedtime fairytale, I knew I didn’t have much time left yet I was indulging in these wild imaginations. Still hoping to be able to study further, to be successful in life, to make my parents proud, to find love…
[28/05, 14:56] Anushree ♡: And to think all of this was caused by a petty confession game, which had somehow completely made me feel even more sick than I was, in a few seconds.
For me this game wasn’t so petty confession game, which had somehow completely made me feel even more sick than I was, in a few seconds.
For me this game wasn’t so petty and nonchalant anymore. This was personal, on a whole new level.
They say that the worst mistake that anyone can make is being too afraid to make one.
So perhaps taking the risk was the right thing to do, afterall they all deserved to know the truth. Otherwise it would be worse for them if I just vanished from the face of earth overnight, that would leave an even bigger void along with false hope to find me again. I couldn’t do that to them, at least this way they will be able to forget me… eventually. Confronting my fears, shoving them aside, stepping up had made me string enough to accept it all. But there was no point in even attempting to convince myself that they would get over it so easily.
As I saw Abhay open my paper of confession my lips started to tremble uncontrollably and tears welled up in my eyes. It was obvious the only outcome would be negative.
Just then Abhay read my confession out loud. An uncanny silence followed his words. In a numb, dreamlike state I lifted my head, my gaze meeting with each of my friends’, their faces showed a mixed display of emotions… anger,grief,fear.
Was it the tears that were making my vision distorted… I tried to speak but no sound came out. I was literally speechless, my throat felt dry. Just then the room started to dance, spinning and twirling.
My eyes fluttered closed, my vision turning into a blank, misty darkness.
I woke up in the ICU. I could tell I was in the ICU because I didn’t recognise the surroundings and because there was so much beeping and also because I was alone. What had happened? The last I remembered I had confessed about my condition to my friends, then how did I reach here? I hit the call button.
A nurse came in seconds later “Hi” I said.
“Hello Sia,I am Madhu, your nurse.” She said. I nodded.
Whereupon I started to feel pretty tired again. But I woke up a bit later when my parents came in, they held each other as if trying to support each other’s fragile frame shattering into pieces. Behind them my friends entered the room, they were all in school uniform which meant that my fainting had created a scene in school and now everyone knew that I was going to die soon. I tried to get up but my every body part protested against it so I abandoned the effort. My mom started crying and so dad had to take her out. My friends came closer, I could see that they were all scared, there was worry on their faces and pity in their eyes. I hated that look on their innocent faces.
Abhay came towards my left side and held my hand Anu sat on the stool on my right, noone said a word.
” I am okay guys, trust me I was just playing a prank… this is all a lie, I got you guys… just look at yourselves, did you really believe I would leave you all so easily… I am going to torture you all with my bad jokes and pester you to talk to me even when you are busy, I was born that way, remember, I am super mad…” I was trying to cheer their spirits just when Abhay interrupted.
“Shut up! Just shut up, don’t you dare say another word or…” he thundered. But his emotions took the better of him and a tear drop spilled from his eye which landed on my hand which he still held in his.
Then the doctor came in and told me that the cancer was spreading and it was worse than they had imagined. He told me that my PET scan had lit up, I didnt have much time left, that my waking up now was just another miracle and so maybe I could hope for an ultimate miracle to get better. But I knew there was no sense in harbouring false hopes still I fought for the sake of those idiots who sat around me at that time and my parents.
I had already been stuck in the ICU for three days when I started losing hope. I knew it was going to be hard for my parents but they are strong, they will soon get over me and get on with their lives as if I never existed. Isnt that how it always is, when someone leaves us we grow morose, we shed tears and let out our grief, share our pain with others and slowly with time, even though the pain, the void does not decrease we come to terms with it and learn to live our life anew along with that empty space in our hearts. Its going to be the same with them too, they will learn to live without me.
With that thought I stopped fighting.
I stopped fighting for breath, stopped fighting cancer and ceased to live…
I guess human lives start with oblivion and end at oblivion. That was the moment that the rollercoaster started descending into the darkness of total oblivion…