Mao's mom apartment was not that far from JFK and when we finally arrived, I carried our two suitcases while Mao was walking in front of me at her rythme.
Because sadly, despite everything and even if she was so excited to see her family, her health conditions was slowing her down.
It's always slowing her down.
Physically, sure. But mentally also.
That look she had, when we were on the Uber, I can't even describe it.
The way she was looking at the city she grew up in, the way she looked at that hospital we passed by, the way she looked at everything she always knew...
It was just heartbreaking.
Mao said she didn't wanted to just die and be forgotten.
I think she said that because New York didn't changed since she moved to Los Angeles and she kind of wanted it to. Because that would means that her sickness and her death doesn't affect just her.
I think she don't want to be just a pawn in the game.
But I'm here.
I'm not gonna forget her. I'm not just going to say oh okay when she dies.
For me and for a lot of people she is not just going to die. She will change everything. She will change our world, our lives, our connections with others, our love.
She already changed so many people.
She changed me.
I remember that, one day, I think it was when we were at her father's boat, Mao told me that ever since she was little, she has grown up around people who are completely healthy and who meet her and feel immense pity, tell her they are sorry, and put all of their guilt, and their sadness onto her.
They say that they're sorry that she must be living such a hard life. They tell her that once she gets better she'll have a wonderful life. They tell her that she just have to wait and then she's going to be happy, she's going to make all the experiences she couldn't do when she was sick.
She told me that the truth is, the reason people are acting like that around people who are sick, the reason no one really feel comfortable and no one really know what to say, is because no one talks about it.
No one shares their experience in honest ways.
We live in a world where there's this kind of notion that if we get to a certain state of health or a certain state of where we have enough money, or we have the right relationships, we have the right job or whatever it is, that there's something that we're going to attain when we get to that point, we're going to be happier, we're going to be better people.
And that kind of creates this weird hamster wheel mentality, where we're all just on a treadmill. Trying to get healthier, and healthier, and healthier.
And fundamentally, as someone who's been sick her entire life, Mao will always be sick. She'll die sick. She's never gonna be healthy.
So what happens to those people who are never going to be healthy ?
Because they say she just have to wait and then she's going to be happy, but wait what ? And how long ?
She is going to die and she doesn't have time to wait before she lost every chance to live something.
They say that she's going to make all the experiences she couldn't do once she gets healthy, but what if she doesn't ? When does she gets to make experiences ? When does comes her time to live ? What does she have to wait ?
The way people treat people who are sick is creating this thoughts.
Because of the way Mao is treated, she feels like she is going to die without having lived anything, without having made the difference, without no one by her side.
She can't wait to get healthier to live her life. Because she'll never.
Mao taught me that.
I don't spend all my time telling her that we are not going to the fair or she can't get a tattoo or she can't take a plain to go on the other side of the country because it's not good for her, because she is too sick or too weak.
I say "let's do this."
Because she is going to die anyways. One way or another, like everyone. The only difference is that she is going to die just a little bit sooner than we wished.
It's so so sad.
I do want to spend the rest of my life besides her because I can't imagine my life without her. I do want to marry her someday and have little Ethan jr running around. I do want to live with her, get to know her better, grow old with her. See her with grey hair and watch stupid tv shows with her like every grandpa does.
But I can't.
It's just not possible. It's not gonna happen.
And it's tough, to accept that.
But I can't just think about myself right now. I have her, she is here. And she will be here for the rest of her life.
She'll be by my side, I will make sure she has as much experiences as she can, I'll make her happy, make her know that she doesn't have to wait to live.
I'll let her know that she can go, it's okay.
I have to.
That's my responsibility. I gave it to myself, but it's okay.
It's okay. I'm okay.
Time will pass, days, weeks and maybe months. Who knows, maybe years. I'll see her die, I'll be there for her like she would have been there for me.
No matter the pain, all the suffering, the sadness and all the rest. As long as I have the opportunity to spend a second more by her side, I can handle it, it's okay for me.
She is worth everything.
Her father was right.
You hold your breath, praying for a little more time. Everyday, every seconds of your life, you're on the hunt for more time for her, to be lucky enough to tell her that she is amazing. A little more time to be lucky enough to tell her that you love her and see her smile one more time.
YOU ARE READING
Ethan had his life all planned. He knew who he was, he knew what he loved, he had everything he ever wanted. But then he met Mao. And everything changed. And sometimes the most beautiful things hurt the most. - COMPLETED -