The Numbered Days
The Numbered Days7 mins 465 7 mins 465
I was just fourteen at that summer when everything was going fine. I used to help mom with all the kitchen stuff, sometimes work with daddy in the garage, do my homework or maybe not, play with my seven-year-old brother Jake, hang out with my friends and much more.
Everything was going on very acceptable but who knows what's gonna happen the very next moment. I was enjoying my life until one day I started experiencing pain in my joints, I felt dizzy, fatigued and tired every now and then. Unintentional weight loss was now very common. I thought it was just because I was playing too much. So, I stopped hanging out with my friends and everything from which I sought pleasure. But still, there was no improvement in my health. So I spoke to my mom about this after like 2 weeks. She first recommended me some home remedies. But my dad always suggested me to visit a doctor.
I knew that my family's condition was very poor at that time. I knew that my father was struggling a lot to feed us all. I knew that my mother sometimes slept on an empty stomach but making sure that her children were not starving. I knew that my dad had a lot of liabilities on him so I took everything very lightly and hoped that it would be back to normal someday or the other. I also knew that if I visited a doctor, my father would have to pay a lot of money which he couldn't afford. So I always chose to stay at home.
Days passed, months passed but no improvement was seen in my health. In fact, my situation became worse. My dad now forced and took me to a doctor.
We had to travel three miles as we lived in a very remote village.
My mother packed some snacks for us to have on the way and soon we left for the check-up.
When we reached the clinic, we saw that there were a lot of people already waiting.
After waiting for two hours, it was finally our turn. I was not tensed at all because once when I had visited a doctor for a free check-up or something, I got to know that my immunity was very strong. But who knew that I had to face such a day when I could not go out, eat my favorites or even laugh freely.
Five hours later, the doctor gave us my report. My father could not believe it. I remember that the first thing he said was "This cannot be Julie's report! This has to be someone else's." I thought that it would be a small disease which could be cured by medicines. But at that time, there was no such medicine for my illness. When the doctor replied, "No sir. This is Julie Patrickson's report." my father's eyes were filled with tears. His hands went numb and his heart skipped a beat. When I asked him the reason, he just smiled and nodded leaving me in absolute confusion. I could see him control his emotions. All he wanted to do at that time was to cry out loud and ask God the reason behind it. Yes, I could feel that. I kept on asking him all the way and he kept on smiling and nodding with moist eyes.
He did not tell me anything even after reaching home. I was now very keen to know. When he took mom inside, I thought they would discuss about my disease. I was excluded from their discussion, I had no option but to listen through the door. And that conversation, I remember even to this date. I remember each and every word and all I heard was this...
"Listen Emily!", said my father. I could feel my mother see him with wonder waiting eyes. "There's something very serious in Julie's report. We need to be strong. Though there's no medicine, still we four will fight as a family till the end." "Oh, Dom! You are scaring me now."
exclaimed my mother. "You have to stay strong. Remember that this stays between us. Just we two!". "Mr. Domenico Patrickson please for God's sake reveal the suspense. I can't stand it anymore. ". My father took a deep breath and said in a hushed voice, "Our daughter.... our daughter...". "Our daughter.. what?" said my mother. My father replied, "Our daughter... is suffering from... she is suffering from...
My mother said nothing. It seemed as if someone had taken away her life. And I?
I completely stood motionless. "Julie cannot have cancer. she, Our daughter and she is the strongest. That report must be of someone else's. ". My mother wanted to bleat but she acted strong. My father calmed her and we three cried at the same time together. Two sobbing inside and one outside.
I heard some footsteps, so I wiped my tears and rushed back to my room and sat beside Jake. He was playing with his toy so I actually did not see me crying. After some time I heard mother calling us out for dinner. That dinner no one uttered a word and no one was in a mood to have food. I could not sleep that entire night but my parents had spent many sleepless nights thinking about me and ways to save money for my treatment.
Days passed, weeks passed and a day came when I told my parents that yes, I know that you've been hiding certain things. I told them everything and they reacted very calmly. They hugged me and told me that there was nothing to worry about. They made me stronger. I realized that I had very less number of days to live. So, all I did was what I liked. My parents were also very supportive. They let me do anything I wished to.
A day came when I started losing my hair. I always slept in a confusion of even waking up the next morning. I wasn't even sure of waking up the next morning.
After a few days, I had reached the last stage of cancer. At that moment, I thought I should inform Jake too. When I told him, he was not very tensed because he barely knew the literal meaning of cancer.
One day when I was sitting on a bench in an open garden, I saw a girl crying. I sat next to her and hesitated before asking her the reason behind her sadness. "Hi! What's the matter? Can I be of any help?" She replied without any hesitation. I thought she might have to puke out her struggles. She then started to speak up. She said that her name was Samantha and she dated a guy named Luke.
Luke and Samantha were in a relationship for two years. But then they broke up because Luke hooked up with a girl named Kristen. Samantha was so broke within that she felt like killing herself. She said, "I never thought that Luke would dump me just because of that old-looking, manipulative witch."
Samantha and I became friends as time passed by. We used to meet in the garden every day. She would just meet me, cry and talk about nothing but killing herself. I always used to think that she would change someday. I tried to cheer her up in many ways, but I failed every time. I made her understood that she still has so many years to live. She is very lucky to even have a whole bright future in front of her. I didn't feel bored with her because she used to tell all of her feelings and I felt that I was helping her in away.
One day when she got there she didn't see me. After waiting for a while, she asked others in the locality, she got to know from someone when she asked, "My friend and I used to sit here. Did she come earlier? Did you see her by any chance?" The person replied, "Don't you know? The girl is no more. She suffered from blood cancer."
Samantha was in shock. She had never seen me ill or bald because I used to wear a wig all the time. She wondered how I suffered from blood cancer but still stayed happy.
Now I see the world from heaven. It is so nice and peaceful here. I see that Samantha is a changed girl now. She never compares herself with anyone and is happy with whatever she has.
My family members will take some time to recover from this situation. I, however, feel sad for Jake because he is just seven and doesn't go out to play because of a death in the family. But somehow I have changed a person's perspective of thinking- Samantha's, and I am happy about that.