Chapter 30 - normal life

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POV Mao

1 week later

*

I can't sleep.
I keep looking at my phone to check the time.
I'm laying in my bed, staring at the ceiling and I'm so bored, I don't know what to do.

I didn't talked to Ethan or Grayson this whole week. It feel odd.
James came at my house the other day with Emma.
I had a great time, Emma is amazing.
But something was just not okay.

I'm so mad at Ethan.
I don't know why he is acting like that.
I mean, it's my life, it's my decision. And he should support me and not saying that I'm a selfish piece of shit.

Maybe I'm selfish.
Yes, maybe I am.
But we're talking about me. We're talking about me not being able to live I between hospitals walls anymore.
Me not being able to psychologically support one more chemo.
Me who wants to live a normal life for once.

Have you never been more than five minutes alone watching the rain fall and see it stop in one second, or just a few moments sitting outside at the exit of the cinema ?
At that moment we are brutally brought back to reality, the light becomes black again in a split second and everything becomes as before : empty of meaning.

Despite what everyone thinks, I think I've always been optimistic.
Although I am realistic, I can't help but think that one day the world will be better.

I always thought that I would find my inner peace, the way to extinguish the burning fire burning inside me, one way or another.

That someone would answer my questions.

In the past few years I think I tried to move forward, to reach something that was beyond my reach without even knowing what it was.

When I got diagnosed, I had just turned twelve, that was six years ago.
And my cancer not only destroyed my physical health, it destroyed me.

It destroyed who I was.

When I think about what I was before, I feel like I'm face to a stranger.

I had become empty.
Empty of hope, of love and dreams.

I was asked to make efforts, to restart living with others, to talk to people again, to make new friends.
But how do you expect me to live with others when I can't even live with myself ?

In New York, my physical condition had reduced me to having to immerse myself in the school work, that I was, by the way, unable to do.

Pain destroys all in its path.
Envy, courage, strength, patience, concentration, calm, joy and even hunger.

You don't get all that used to pain really.

One morning, I finally realized that absolutely everything that was beautiful in me had disappeared : my feeling that had been so happy had evaporated to give way to a dirty mixture of melancholy, hatred, frustration and pain.
And that's a part of the reasons why I decided to leave New York.

There are so many things I would like to do. I would like to get on a plane for hours, go on a trip alone with my bag, live many things, see the world, go to Brazil and hike for days.
I would like to glider, high-speed circuit, paragliding, do a marathon.
I would like to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower by taking the stairs only.
I would like to discover who I am, to know my tastes, to do things, to try things and to escape for once.
And finally, I'd like to run.
I think about it sometimes, and after all these years, I ask myself, what is it like to run?

At the age when everyone has already experienced quite a lot of experiences, I have known almost nothing but pain.
And I do not consider my Friday night outings at the physical therapist as experiences.

If it is the experiences that we have made that define us, then I believe that I have the right to say that I am nobody.

In my opinion, to be someone is to know who we are : to know our tastes, our passions, our limits and our strengths.

And I do not know anything about that...

Of course people will not agree with this theory : if I say this to my parents, they will tell me that they know who I am.
They will tell me that I am someone very strong, because I do not break down, they will tell you that I am someone unique and original by my dress code and by my dubious sense of humor.

The only thing I would have to say to them is, if you think I do not break down, it's because you're not here at night when I'm alone in front of myself, when I think freely, when I cry, when I collapse, when in the silence of my room the reality that I tried somehow to bury deep within me during the day resurface suddenly without warning.

I'm not strong, it's just a facade.
A sort of mask that protects me from everyone.
Their words, their support, their pity and their sympathy.
I don't need that.

I think that, right now, who I am is someone who needs space.

I need people to leave me do what makes me happy, to let me in my pain without pretending to have the solutions.
Right now I am someone who needs freedom.

I am tired of hearing the same bullshit all day, tired of hearing all these people talk about the problems of the world, and to know that those same people will then eat at McDonald's and throw their apple-fried sauce paper in a bed of dandelions...

I want to live my best life before I die.

And I want to experience that with my friends. With my family.
I want to be surrounded by the people that I love.

Grayson. Emma. James. Bryant. My dad. My mom. Sam.

Ethan...

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