Blankitude

Singapore

난 괜찮아♔ Fingertips tracing patterns across the canvas of the sky♕ 忙着追逐天空中的流星♙

Message from Writer

• B L A N K • < noun > °

blaŋk/
1. A space left empty to be filled☆
2. Something non-existant

• A T T I T U D E • < noun > °

ˈatɪtjuːd/
1. A behaviour towards all perceptions real or delusionary received by the mind's brainwaves ; often influenced by perspectives, beliefs, and thoughts of the petty human being.

☆ B L A N K + A T T I T U D E ☆
= BLANKITUDE

○■○■○■○

тне ыаикеsт sтатеs оғ міпd оғ а 15 чеаг оld gігl ат 3АМ

Breathe.

September 24, 2018

FREE WRITING

1
Beep. Beep. Beeeep.

The girl sat up on the mattress which seemed as hard as wood, her bones and muscles creaking and groaning under the sudden movement. Her eyes were wide and wild, her face an expression of pure panic as she clawed at her skin pulled taut over her ribcage, her long nails digging into her skin and drawing blood.

She was back from the utopia of her dreams, yet again surrounded by the familiar bleached white walls. Beeping machines with long tendrils snaked down her arm, finding a home in her skin. She winced, her breathe rattling through her throat. A jolt of pain rushed through her nervous system, leaving the tips of her toes and fingers tingling. Her lungs felt like they were caving in, taking the rest of her pale, almost lifeless body with them.

“Artie?” She croaked. Each syllable was like knives stabbing her windpipe. Artie was her doctor, and they had known each other long enough to drop the formalities. “What’s happening to me?”

“Shh, it’s okay Skye. Calm down, calm down, take deep breaths.” He hushed, patting her back comfortingly. Skye, what a funny name for a girl like her, doomed to fall ill to a lung disease which meant prison in one of these wards, for, well, only forever. She even forgot what staring at the sky felt like, or what it even looked like.

“I can’t... breathe,” she wheezed, squeezing her eyes shut and opening them again. Her mouth opened and closed like a goldfish as she tried to swallow the air. She has been through this before, many times in fact, and breathing has never been easy. Well, it had been easy, but that was a long, long time ago. So long that even she could not remember, or bear to recall. This time, the pain was the sharpest, ripping through her systems and tearing her apart from inside out.

“Martha!” Doctor Arthur called, and the nurse hurried over.

“It’s okay. Remember what we ran through before? Think of happy things, and calm down,” Nurse Martha said gently, lifting a strand of Skye’s hair and tucking it behind her ear. Skye whimpered. When did she feel happy? Maybe when the nurses bought her the unicorn stuffed toy out of pity, or when they bought her glow-in-the-dark stars to stick on her plain ceilings during her 12th birthday. But truly happy? It all seemed like it was from a different life. In fact, she couldn’t imagine a time when she wasn’t inside this room. But she knew she was asking too much for a girl like her. She should be glad that she is still breathing, still alive.

Her chest fell up and down as she concentrated on each breath. She could hear Artie talking in hushed tones outside the ward. “The medicine isn’t working. Her situation is worsening, and there’s a high chance she wouldn’t survive. We’ve contacted the lung transplant agency, but they seem to be having trouble gathering donors.” Her eyes widened in shock and fear, and she turned to Nurse Martha, trying hard to calm down her frantic breathing. “You may leave, I think I’m OK,” she lied.

Martha furrowed her brows but did not question and Skye was grateful for that. “I’ll check on you half an hour later, but you can just call for me. You know how,” she said, her crisp white shoes clicking on the shining clean floor as she turned to leave. The door clicked shut behind her.

Skye waited until the hallway outside turned silent before swinging her legs and setting them on the icy cold floor. She stared at her trembling toes for a moment, watching them turn paler than they already were in the cold. A girl she barely recognised stared at her from the mirror that she was facing. The girl raised her hand and touched her hollowed cheeks, tracing the pale, almost white skin that covered her sharp jaw line. It felt almost like paper, as if it could break under her touch any moment. There were dark bags under her red- rimmed eyes, and her lips were stained with blood from coughing. She looked almost like the disease itself, cruel and unforgiving. The skin on her arms that peeked out from under the fraying hospital gown was nearly transparent, revealing the thin blue strands running under it. She hesitated, before grasping the edges of her shirt and lifting it up. The doctors and nurses had always said that she was too skinny, and something had to be done. She could not really think of anything that could be done, staring at the sets of bones that protruded from her body, and the angry red marks left from her scratches just now. They were always trying to fix her, but she had too much problems, too many faulty parts. What if she did not want to be fixed?

The idea was new, and it bloomed inside her like a flower with petals of gold that caught the light and reflected it around her hollow and frail body, warming her insides. She frowned as she noticed how unclean, how dirty, how much of a mess she looked like as compared to rest of the neat, clean room, with the strong stench of hand sanitizer lingering in the air. She thought of how dull and monotonous everything here was, with nothing seeming out of place except herself. All the other rooms were also like that, she assumed. Staying here for the rest of her life will be no better than a convict with a life sentence for something they never did. Something which she had no choice in. As she thought about this, the anger in her chest grew, momentarily taking over the pain of her illness. She hated the disease, and she hated her ward. The room seemed to spin a little, and the increasing beeping of the heart machine was not helping. She hated the mundane white walls that enclosed her, trapping her in and crushing her. This was not living, when her only world was within this room, and she was just a ticking time bomb, ready to go off any second.

She was too far dead to truly enjoy the wonders of life, but still alive to feel the pain every time she breathed. She has never had a say in this life of hers. It was just the battle between the doctors and the disease, and she felt like she was just a pawn in their game. She would never get to feel the air playing with her hair, rushing through her lungs like it did before, caressing her insides. She would never have the chance at a normal life, living like any regular person without a life support. She would never be able to go to college, get a job, or get married. They say you only appreciate something after it is taken away from you, and she only realised how true it was until 7 years ago. For 7 years she had balanced on this tightrope between life and death, and this realization was going to send her falling.

It was impulse that caused her to rip off her life support, the one thing that they had ordered her not to do. The thing was annoying her anyway, obstructing her movement, binding her like a rope. She coughed, her lungs burning at the sudden removal of the air entering her lungs from the tube. It was almost like she was drowning, but in air, not water. It was funny how she was going to die in air itself, the one thing she could never get enough of. She tore off the rest of the tubes, and she stood up for once by herself rather shakily. Ignoring the raging fire that was tearing through her lungs, she flung open the door and started running. The sound of her bare feet slapping against the icy tiles echoed through the corridor. Each step felt like she was stepping on a thousand needles as her weak muscles strained to hold her up. Her wild and unruly hair flew out behind her as her vision darkened, black spots appearing in her view. She stumbled several times, but the wide smile was still plastered on her face. Everything was fuzzy; she was not thinking clearly, and would probably regret it if she could, but for now, she did not care. In her dark and glassy eyes danced a flame, much unlike the one of destruction inside her. It was the flame of life, twirling to the beating of her heart.

The last thing she heard was Artie calling out her name as she collapsed onto the floor, her head striking against the marble and a non-stop ringing. The flame died down and the beating stopped. What remained were empty eyes and the twisted smile stretched across the her lips.
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