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Pen Your Pride

Prologue

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My life came crashing down on me. 10 years old and I already feel like I'm having a midlife crisis. Was this a normal feeling? I suppose it was considering I've not left this room for the past month. Just imagine been left in a room with your own mind going crazy. It feels like everything's being lost; how to laugh, how to cry, how to love and how to forget. It's the worst thing imaginable, I suppose. Every day I feel a part of me that slipped away into nothingness, just like my memory. I feel like an animal trapped inside a cages. Sometimes I'm treated like that, with the foul food I have to eat. Sometimes I feel forgotten, my family are extremely busy. My mother works full time at a bank, my father works full time to as a lawyer, my mother and father have to look after my little brother also. I have an older sister too who is at collage and has a part time job working at star bucks. When my family do have time to see me which is from Friday night to Sunday night, the time goes as quickly as ever. Throughout the week I feel alone. Everyone else here has their families around them, it made me feel jealous. I don't even know why I've been imprisoned in hospital. Maybe for tests, maybe because I could be ill. But nobody's told me anything. Unless they have and I've forgot. Time means something in this place and it's something I took no notice of

It was another one of them Saturdays, the day when the sun is shining brightly in the sky, making the room feel claustrophobic. It was one of them days where I wanted to lounge outside, feel a cool breeze against my cheek while the boiling sun burns down on me. To run around in a freshly cut field, have a kick about with a few friends. I can't remember how many times I've asked to go outside, but I remember the answer more than ever no, it's not safe. That's the only thing that stops me from asking them today. I miss being able to do what I like when I like. So it was the normal day of playing cards, around me, full of laughter. Deep down though I knew they would rather do something different today as well. The laughter stopped promptly when the nurse walked over in our direction. I completely forgot about the girl in the bed beside me, we had never talked. I wanted to talk to someone her and she was the closest person beside me but the thing that stopped me was she always had her head stuck in a book when her family weren't crowded round her looking at her as if she was a precocious jewel. I felt a little relieved when it wasn't me the nurse was heading towards, even though the nurse whispered it I could hear it just as clear as someone shouting. "I'm sorry but Jocelin, it's terminal". If it wasn't obvious the news was bad, it was clear when the full family burst into tears. The only person who wasn't crying was Jocelyn and she was the one who had terminal cancer. It finally clicked inside my brain, this was the cancer ward and I was being tested for cancer, it's being a month though since I had the test and I haven't had my results back yet.

The rest of the Saturday was filled with loud sobs from the family beside us. We decided to quit playing cards and go on a walk. My older sister Natalia suggested that we take a walk to the park so with me and Natalia complaining about how it's boring inside, our half an hour of attempts worked. At least we would get some fresh air, something I've missed this past month. I was worried that I would have to be pushed around in a wheel chair but I didn't so when I pushed the doors open out into the world I almost ran. I could hear Natalia's feet behind me while we both laughed running wild outside. A cool breeze whipped at my cheek, it was something that felt healthy. After just a few short minutes of running around wildly, I couldn't breathe, I was gasping for air that was around me and it felt like I was getting none. My parents rushed to my side, my mother quickly handing me my blue inhaler. I didn't notice the tears running down my cheek. I had forgotten completely about my asthma, the one thing that stopped me from doing things properly and being able to enjoy them. I sat on the grass, it was the only thing comfortable around me, it was either that or concrete. Natalia lied beside me and held my hand, I stared at her for a moment while, that's when noticed the deep worry in her eyes. She looked older than 17, one of things that I ask her constantly about is when she's going to introduce her boyfriend to the family and she always laughs. I realised then she didn't have a boyfriend because she never had the chance to meet someone knew because her only free time was spent with me. I felt so guilty, like everything was my fault.

After peaceful hours of sunbathing outside my mother announced that we should go back inside for dinner. The walk back to the hospital entrance I took slowly, embracing the fact that it could be forever before I walk out of them doors again. When we arrived back in my little cage, Jocelin's family had gone and for a change she didn't have a book in her hands. We looked at each other for a brief moment before she looked her way, her cheeks rosy full of embarrassment. I've never noticed before but she was pretty. She would be eating tea alone tonight for the first ever time, I pitied her. I plucked up my only bit of courage before asking her to join us for dinner. She didn't speak but her warm smile answered my question. When it was officially time to walk down to the hospital's dining hall she jumped up and walked quietly down with us. It was awkward for me having someone who I didn't know walk with us, but what must it be like for her. She had took one of her books with her ad I stared at the book swinging backwards and forwards in her hand. I could make out the writing. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. One of the books I haven't read ad will never read. I couldn't judge her though on her reading tastes, after all I don't read at all. She noticed me staring at the book.

"You like Harry Potter?" She asked quietly.

"Nah, never read it" I replied a little too harshly.

"You should, it's amazing"

"I don't read at all"

"Why not?"

"I just don't"

I felt guilty again, I was being unforgivably rude to her. She must feel uncomfortable, I would but she smiled anyways even though she distanced herself more as if I were a contagious disease. Dinner was a quiet event, in fact it was too quiet. The quietness felt like a shadow to me, a shadow that's being hidden for so long. There was a few failed attempts of conversation but it wasn't anything interesting to start a discussion about. I could tell Jocelin was just as nervous as I was because she kept dropping her food on to her plate.  I tried my hardest not to snigger at her. The walk back our room ward was just as quiet nobody attempted to fill in the silence, this gave me time to think, think about everything. Why I was having tests for? How long did Jocelin have left? All these other questions filled my head until it hurt to think about the answers to the. My family hugged me goodbye and I was left alone. Jocelin didn't thank me and I didn't really want to talk to her either, I suppose we were both just shy.

My dreams that night haunted me; I was lying in the same hospital bed and the same nurse who spoke to Jocelin and her family spoke to mine this time. Her words were pounded into my head. "We have your test results back, and I'm sorry to say this but it's exactly what we expected terminal lung cancer, you have a year to live Nathan". None of what she said made any sense to me it was like she slurred words together into a sentence and it was like my brain was becoming to feel fuzzy. My ears were ringing and my eyes were stinging. I was fighting back the tears that I needed to let out, just not in front of my family. When I first heard the news my thoughts weren't about myself, nor my family. They were about Jocelin. She was the only one who I could talk to and maybe cry in front of even though we don't speak and she probably hates me. My next thoughts were what would my family do when I eventually die, my brother would grow up without me, not understanding why now I won't be there. My mother and father, what if my death effects their jobs, how would they manage if they both became jobless, would their marriage be at risk. And what about Natalia, would she pass her exams or becoming an alcoholic to hide her pain? None of my thoughts were about myself. I didn't feel scared, I felt strong and relieved like the parts of me that I lost are back again.

The bad thing was, in reality. I am that lung cancer patient. It is terminal. And that wasn't a dream either.

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