“I’ll never grow old…” I say
His face drops automatically
I think quickly to salvage my slip of tongue ” but who the hell really wants to be old? They’re wrinkly, they have have no teeth, the only upside is that you wear diapers and get to shit yourself,” I reach for his hand dramatically and and stare intently into his eyes “can you imagine having the only positive thing in your life be shitting yourself?”
He chuckled , mood saved “You suck” he said
“I know ” I said quietly
I’ve got very little of this one life to live and I’d rather live it doing and feeling the way I want to feel, not the way people believe I should feel. The niceties are tiring.
“I don’t wish to censor myself around you anymore”
“It seems wrong to deny myself the opportunity to be … Authentic”
“It’d make me more comfortable if you could try to be positive, if not for you then for me,”
“Being optimistic is the furthest thing from your mind when you’re dying,”
“We’re all dying Elle… And the rest of us manage,”
“Yeah, but I’m dying faster,” my annoyance, beginning to rear its head.
Even as I die he is still the most selfish person I know. However many weeks I had left would be terrible if I had I listen to this.
“I guess, but still… It depresses me,” he paused to sip some more of my orange juice ” it’s unfair,”
I should end it now.
I rolled my eyes “Please go refill my orange juice,”
“Will you be alright if I do?”
“I’ll be marvelous,” I flashed him a big grin
I watched as he disappeared out the door before I went digging in purse. Ah! The Potion. When I was diagnosed, I met a guy in one of the support groups they made me visit. I told him about my condition and how optimistic the doctors were (I didn’t know then that there was nothing to be done). He decided to end it early, and invited me over to watch. I tried in vain to talk him out if it, they may be able to help us one day. He didn’t buy, I barely bought it. He put his in his coffee, and gave me my own viol. Patting my arm he said:
“I promise you’ll need this like I need it now,” I took it to appease a dying man, but I’d had no intention of using it until now.
“Here,” he said setting the glass down in front if me.
“Oh, where’s my English Muffin with butter?”
“You didn’t ask for that,” his brow furrowed
“Thought I did…” I said absentmindedly “well, can I have some?”
He seemed excited that I’d decided to eat. “Yeah!” He scurried back out of the room.
I exhaled and poured the contents into my orange juice. I wafted the air near the orange juice to see if there was a smell. Nothing.
He came back into the room as I was hovering over the juice.
“Something wrong with it?” He asked walking toward me “oh, and sorry no English muffins” he pouted.
“That’s alright,” I sat back thinking about robbing myself of my final weeks and what I could potentially miss. I think about the people who I won’t actually say goodbye to. I sigh, what difference does a few weeks make in the scope of impending death at a hospital…
“What’s wrong?” He asks
I shake my head absentmindedly as I am still navigating my thoughts. I just don’t know how to verbalized them properly.
He mumbles something else that I don’t quite hear again ,and I shrug absentmindedly again to shut him up. I just want to be with my thoughts for my last moments.
“It tastes a bit funny, the last cup was better,”
“What?” I’m jarred from my thoughts
“The orange juice it tastes funny. But hospital food is never good,” he pauses.
I blink rapidly trying to comprehend, my faces must loose color.
“Are you alright ? You look like you saw a ghost…”
You will be one very soon I think randomly. I’m jealous.
“You drank my orange juice,” I manage to squeeze out
“You said you didn’t care if I drank it,”
“No I didn’t ?”
“You shrugged, you seemed indifferent,”
“It was poisoned,” I admit because I honestly don’t know what to say.
He blinks, then starts to laugh… The way he does when he thinks I’m crazy .
“I’m serious I just put something in there to kill myself when you went for the English muffin,”
“Elle, I’ll miss your stories,” he laughs again. “A dying woman who decides to speed up the process, that’s so selfish. You would never,” he said seriously.
“But I did…” I say staring him square in the eye
“Seriously?” He asks sarcastically
And I decide it isn’t worth it to argue with him. I buzz for the nurse so that she’ll get here before he collapses. And she arrives quickly with a huge smile.
“Yes?” She implores wide eyed
“She thinks I’ve been…” He trails off as he faints
“He drank this,” I hand her the viol “It was meant for me”
“What is it?” She asks
“It’s poison, I just wanted to end it,”
“Why? You have a little time left…”
I stare at him for a while writhing on the floor “We were talking about me never growing old, now he won’t either,”