I’m going to die.
I know that will die eventually, but that eventually came too soon. 60 years too soon. The fact of death doesn’t scare me. The pain of death, kind of does. What scares me is the fact that I had a life. And now it is over. Went through elementary school to get to middle school to get to high school to get to collage to have a nice job to have a nice family to have a nice life to have a nice retirement to have a nice death.
Death arrived early to the party. And death brought a friend, Cancer.
The fact that I built up my life and all I got was school, I didn’t even get as far as the nice job part, it seems like I wasted 20 years. I was so sure that I was going to get to that nice job, family, retirement part that I only focused on that. With my nose to the grind, my eyes on the prize, and my heart in a box. I spent 20 pushing people away.
And now I have no one left, except my friends Cancer and Death.
I look around at my alumni – the ones who could have been my friends – who have their whole life ahead of them. They have girlfriends and boyfriends to smile with and laugh with and hold hands with. They have parents to get guidance from and to get love from and to get encouragement from.
I existed, waiting to live, so that eventually I could die.
I thought that I had so much potential that I had so much to live for, that I could spend 20 years to get ready. I thought that I had my whole lifetime ahead of me to make relationships.
They have love in their eyes and that makes the loneliness all the more prominent in mine. Their hearts are full of verve and zeal and that makes the enervation and depletion all the more evident in mine. They always have a tint of a smile on their face and that makes the stoic unbelief radiate from mine.
The world is ending. Except only mine is. Their worlds will go on forever. My apocalypse is coming and I don’t even get last moments to panic with the rest of the world. In all the science-fiction movies when the world is ending, everyone looks up at the sky, all huddled together. They get to see the world end. They get to have others with the same fate as them.
Their world will go on and mine will halt, crash, and burn. Their world will keep on spinning like nothing ever happened. Their world will not even flick off the ash of my smoldering, dead world.
Their potential, their future, their lives, mock, haunt, taunt me.
This is the bitterest kind of envy. I am jealous for what they do not appreciate. I long for what they do not know they have. Potential for moments.
Yes, I will have many more moments, but those moments will be spent in sterile hospital rooms in a thin paper gown on crinkly white medical paper surrounded by unknown people with over-glorified pity for college kid they know will be six feet under soon enough. I will spend my last moments surrounded by sick and dying people, surrounded by others trying to cover it up. I will be surrounded by people faking optimism, people telling me that I can fight the death warrant that has been signed in my cells.
Those people who are lying to me, they seem to be my best chance. I desperately want to cling to the hope they have spread out before me. I let hope and possibility and chance hold me in their hands, trying to soothe my aching soul. I let them tell me that tomorrow I will be okay, I let them tell me that the day after tomorrow I will be okay, I let them tell me that five years from now I will be okay. I’m starving for some assurance that I will get through this. I’m going through hunger pangs yearning for something to believe in. My growling stomach calls out for a promise, a promise that I didn’t waste my life, that I will have the potential for moments other than in a sterile hospital. In my delirium, I begin to trust in the comforting hands of hope and possibility and chance.
I don’t know which is worse: knowing I’m going to die alone or hoping that I might not. Hoping that I might have someone by my side when the reaper comes. Hoping that the reaper might not come at all. Hoping that cancer might change its mind and come back when I’m old and gray, instead.
But when I have hope then that is one more thing that death can take from me. By losing hope I feel the pain of losing everything all over again. Because all I have left is hope. Hope in something that will never happen.
I am going to die. Cancer is going to make its last attack. My world is going to end. My hope is going to be taken from me. And there is nothing I can do to stop it.