Chapter One - Decisions

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Chapter One


    The day he gave me the news that made my sister and I cry was the day that I made the decision to do it. That was the day of my birthday. The day my life changed. The day my life ended. The day my heart imploded.

   Nathan and I were in the back garden, sitting on the grass, kissing in the light of the sun. Sally same out and said "You've got an appointment in an hour and a half, Mel."

I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Mmm." I muttered.

"What appointment is it?" Nathan asked, rubbing small circles on my palm with his thumb.

"Doctors." I said and leant my head on his shoulder.

He kissed my forehead and said "You've been a few times, are you sure you're okay?"

"Mmm, just check ups, and stuff. The usual." We lay back on the soft, luscious grass and I rested my head on Nathan's chest. I felt the up and down of his chest as he breathed, listened to the in and out of every inhale and exhale. It was wonderful. Natural. We lay there for ages, just talking.

"Mel! We've gotta' go!" Sally shouted from the upstairs window. Nathan and I said our 'goodbye's, kissed and then he started off home while Sally and I headed for the doctors surgery. Again.

   When we pulled into the car park, Sally said "How are you feeling?"

"Fine." I muttered. Though, truthfully, my abdomen was killing. We checked in and sat in the waiting area, Sal looking at a magazine and me sitting, thinking.

   "Melissa Green." A nurse said, walking out of a consultation room. We stood up and walked into the room. We sat down and Doctor Haltzer shook our hands and asked how things were going.

"The usual: abdomen pain, fevers, I'm losing weight and I've been getting back pains. No change really, is there?" I said, sighing.

"I see." Doctor Haltzer said. "Is this all?"

"Yeah, pretty much."

"Well, you don't seem to be making any progress."

"Don't you think I know that?" I said, looking towards Sal who now had watery eyes.

"From what all of your tests and medical records show, this isn't - and won't be - getting any better. I'm sorry."

"Okay." I whispered. "Thank you."

"But...can't she have chemo, or something?" Sal said, a tear rolling down her cheek.

"Chemo is an option, it may lengthen her life, but it won't have too much of an overall impact. It's up to Melissa if she opts to have chemo. I wouldn't advise it, though, as the extension to your life would be taken away by the time spent in hospital and stuck in bed.'s up to you." Doctor Haltzer said, looking at me.

"No." I whispered.

"No? No?! But this could lengthen your life, Mel. Why?" Sal said.

"Did you not hear what Doctor Haltzer just said? All of that time would only be spent in hospital and in bed. I'd rather die happy than be stuck in bed, feeling ill. Wouldn't you?" I yelled. Sal was silent.

She then stood up and said "Excuse me." and headed out of the consultation room, wiping away tears.

   "How long have I got?" I asked, my voice barely a whisper.

"Eight months. Maybe less. If I were you I would do the things I would want to do and tie up any loose ends, say your goodbyes, during that time." Doctor Haltzer replied. "And don't hesitate to come talk to me if you need help or anything to minimize the pain."

"Okay, thank you." I said, standing up and shaking Doctor Haltzer's hand. I left the consultation room and felt tears fall down my cheeks. I headed to the bathroom, knowing Sal would be there. I knocked on the door. "Sal? Sal, it's me. Can I come in?" I said. The door opened and I walked in. Then, I pulled her into a hug and said "Can we talk at home?" Sal nodded, handed me some tissue and then we headed for the car. We drove home in silence. Sniffling being the only noise.

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