Nota bene: I wrote this after John read the first chapter of his great book live for everyone. Now that it has come out and I've read the ending, this seems quite silly. However, it's just going to stay here out for posterity. You should buy the book if you haven't already. It's grand.
I feel exhausted.
Augustus is standing now, looking over this mess of tubes and cords that is me. He's reaching for my hand. I try to grab it but am too tired to do anything but pick up a few fingers. He doesn't seem to notice. Isaac's next to Augustus. He still has on those ugly black shades we made fun of him about. That seems so long ago, really.
Mom is here, too. I can barely glance at her before I have to look away. I never knew someone could cry so much, but I've never been dying before either. A parent shouldn't have to bury her own child.
Augustus squeezes my hand, and it takes all I can to look in his eyes. He opens his mouth to say something then closes it, completely unlike the man I've fallen in love with over the past six months. I want to comfort him. I want him to know that I'm okay, that we all must end. But even if I could come up with anything, I would take them to the grave. It's kind of hard to talk with a tube down your throat making sure you get to breathe a few more times.
He seems to have given up on saying anything because he just shakes his head and squeezes my hand more firmly. I attempt to smile at him and must have succeeded because he smiles back. The moment costs me as a new fit of gagging washes over me. A nurse walks in and tries to help me calm down enough to stop me from choking on my own lifeline. Finally, my throat relaxes enough and it subsides for now. Susan, as her name tag says, looks at mom and gives a small nod before whispering to Augustus and Isaac. It must be almost time.
Augustus turns away from the nurse and gives a sad smile. He leans over and whispers "I love you" and then gives me the gentlest of kisses on my forehead. As he pulls up, I feel the soft drop of a tear right next to it. I wish I could kiss those lips one more time.
Isaac feels his way up next and gives me the best hug he can manage without ripping anything out. "I'll see you later, Hazel," he chokes out before grabbing his walking stick and heading for the door. Augustus gives my hand one final squeeze, looks into my eyes one last time and then heads for the door too. The nurse follows them and closes the door for me and mom.
Mom has stopped crying; I guess she has used all the tears she can right now. She smooths out my sheets and asks if I'm warm and comfortable. I give her a small nod. She nods as well. "Good."
My eyelids are starting to get heavier, and it's harder to keep looking at mom. I try though for her sake. I hope she doesn't remember me as the bald girl in the hospital. I hope she doesn't think about all the tubes and the chemo and the grave news from doctors. I want her to remember me as being strong. I hope she remembers me as her daughter who loved watching "America's Next Top Model". But most of all, I hope she knows I love her because I can't tell her anymore.
Finally, I just can't take it anymore; I have to sleep. I close my eyes and hear mom start crying again. Hopefully death will soon stop for me.