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Was She Pretty?

by BorderBound 

Posted: 12 July 2005
Word Count: 904
Summary: Working in a hospital has proved to be a huge inspiration

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Some people you want to tell because you want them to miss you before your gone. Because you want their attention. Some people you don’t know what to say to… you begin to think back to all those names who disappeared from your social life. What were they doing now? Will they ever find out – and if they do, what will they think of, when they of you.

It’s been 3 months since I suspected it, 2 since my first appointment. I went in today, with my mum, she cried when they told me. I didn’t.

I’m 23. All my life I’ve wanted to list down my accomplishments and achievements, I’ve wanted everyone who ever knew me to know just how much effort I had put into my life. My qualifications, my completion, my car, my job…all things I worked for.

Of course now I know that at 23, there are 23 things that I have done. I’ve been 4 years old; I’ve been 16… and legal. I’ve been 18… I’ve had 23 years. I wish I had 24.

Some people know just by looking at you, they cry. You don’t.

When I passed my driving test, I was still 17, soon as I could have lessons I had them! I always wanted to drive; I always wanted to get places faster. That’s why I got the jobs, its why I made the contacts, the friends, I always wanted to achieve as much as I could as fast as I could.

I walked home. Mum drove. She begged me not to make her leave me. But some people, even when they’re silent, are so loud. Every single one of their thoughts leaks out of their eyes. Some people miss you before your gone.

Its ok. She’ll get home before me and let my family know. They’ll cry before I get there and try and be strong when I arrive. They’ll hide their fears and make room for mine, ask me what I want to do with myself.

The doctor was so calm. I think he was surprised that I didn’t cry.
“There’s nothing we can do for you”
“How long?”
“Six months”
Mum cried. I didn’t.

The first month was fine. Nothing changed, people did, a lot of people brought me flowers… flowers I noticed, do nothing more then look pretty and die. The idea of something dieing in my living room didn’t sit well with me. I watched them live their two weeks, wondered if they were half aware, wondered whether they’d bloom faster if they knew they wouldn’t last long.

Should I thrive to finish off the loose ends? Should I work the next 5 months? – Travel… but what’s there to see.

Every night I hear my bedroom door creak, at first I assumed that it was my mother. Coming to watch me sleep. Last night, I opened my eyes slowly and saw my sister standing there. She’s 16. We got on but were never friends, should I spend my last few months with her?

They watch me at dinner. Mum says she doesn’t understand why I still eat healthly. She bought me a cake.
“A goodbye cake?”
“No... No of course not…” she looked at my dad, waiting for him to assure me that they weren’t saying goodbye.
“Would… you like to have a goodbye cake?”
“No. No I don’t really want a goodbye at all actually. I like cake simple, chocolate, it should be had at happy occasions… but feel free to have one at my funeral, one I don’t like, carrot-perhaps.”

With four months to go, I did what I did best. I organised an event. My funeral.
“I don’t want any flowers, I want to be the only thing there that’s past or near the throw-by-date”

At two months to go I’d realised I’d done it all wrong… I hadn’t planned my stay, nor my goodbye, just my immediate after.

At one month, I left home. They had said 6months tops, I figured I might only have a few days left, and as I had worked so hard for my money, I decided it was about time I moved out. Never wanted to before, never thought I could afford it. Still though, one month sounded good, I could afford a few days to four weeks.

Mum cried. Dad did too, my sister… she fell apart and told me she’d live for me.
“Live for me? No thanks… in fact, please don’t. That’s stealing”

How do you say goodbye… its not an ‘I’ll see you later’ not even an ‘I’ll see you around’ its not a ‘I love you’ or a ‘I’ll see you tonight’ its not even one of those goodbye’s where you only say it because you’re angry, and whether you will ever see them again or not, they’ll be there.

It’s inevitable. They’ll forget me, in ten years I’ll be a ‘I had another daughter, she died… we were devastated, we still miss her’

I got in my car and checked my mirrors. I felt so beautiful. What a waste. mum followed me and begged me to hug her.
“Please… just… let me hold you, please!” she cried. I didn’t.
“I’ll see you at the funeral mother”
And as I drove off.. leaving my family as shadows in the distance. I cried for the first time, no one would ever call me mummy.

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Comments by other Members

Becca at 09:26 on 13 July 2005  Report this post
Hi Gal,
I wondered whether to leave the typos for you to find, - there are a good few of them. Maybe you were writing it in a rush, and it just flowed out of your fingers?
I find the hardness of your MC puzzling.
I did wonder whether 23 was too young an age to have her at, she wouldn't have achieved very much by then, realistically.
I liked the flower section and how it related to her situation.
One of the things which is true about people dying around you before time, is that by some utter weirdness they become the strong person who deals with the fears of the others and is often forced into the position of looking after them. Not that I expected to see this in the story necessarily, I just say it as a fact. But the kind of things that happen in your mind when you're told you're going to die are very extraordinary, for instance the first thing that crumbles is any interest in the 'order of the day', so day and night slop into each other in a nightmarish kind of way.
Is it that the reader supposes the MC, while appearing hard, is not, and the relationship between the MC and the family is reflected again in the relationship between the MC and the reader, - so the reader is not allowed to know much about how she feels?

BorderBound at 11:16 on 14 July 2005  Report this post
Cheers Becca,

the typos... my spelling mistakes are a result of two things
1) poor english!
2) lack of concentration when typing.

I guess its not something I care about till print.

You guessed what I tried to do spot on,
will revise to make it more clear.

Thanks for the feedback

Becca at 11:53 on 14 July 2005  Report this post
Hi Gal,
But if the typos were not there when you loaded something up on WW, then your 'critters' could spend a lot more of their time going into more depth for you, -- a pragmatic thing, - also it's something which tells your fellow writers that you are serious. It might sound fussy, but when reading someone's work, if there are a lot of typos it does annoy and put you off your stride, because they are distracting.
all the best,

Account Closed at 08:45 on 15 July 2005  Report this post
I rather liked the MC here, and didn't see the supposed "hardness" as a distraction - I saw the coolness of the prose as something containing the emotion/loss etc. I hope there'll be more of this - dying heroine's adventures on the road etc? - I'd certainly read on. She's certainly a fascinating character.



choille at 12:35 on 15 July 2005  Report this post
Yes this has a haunting melancholy to it, which is saved from maudlism by the slight 'numbness' of the MC.

It could be a longer piece with her last few weeks spent exploring her feelings etc.

Good luck with it.

Joel at 04:01 on 16 July 2005  Report this post
As I’ve come to expect from you, another very bleak story! I thought this had some nice imagery like “every single one of their thoughts leak out of their eyes,” but I couldn’t really relate to the girl. I didn’t believe her. There were no clues given as to why she was so hardcore. They way she spoke to her family, the way she acted it was almost like she didn’t care that she was dying. Until the last sentence it appeared to be nothing more than an inconvenience. I couldn’t grasp why she was so casual about her imminent death.

Nonetheless an interesting read, although quite a few spelling mistakes and missed words etc.

Good luck with it.



BorderBound at 08:28 on 17 July 2005  Report this post
Thanks Joel,

Yes, I think I'm incapable of writing anything thats not sad and a bit twsited,

I'm going to use ur word inconvenience, in the next part.

As said in the summery, I work in the hospital, - and this girl, 24 came in, told she had 6months. and she just like 'ah, ok' and her mum cried, she just... walked out, with her head in the clouds, and told her mother not to be so dramatic.

There's a point, where you break. And i'm leading up to it...

Ta to all for comments

Joel at 19:20 on 17 July 2005  Report this post
I didn't realise it was a two parter. That makes some of my comments redundant. I'll look out for the next bit and my word...

BorderBound at 20:36 on 18 July 2005  Report this post
Sorry should have mentioned, most of the stuff I post is work in progress... for me, i'm in the early stages of writing, as Becca pointed out, there are the typos... I'm not even at that stage.

Right now, I just let it flow...

2nd part is now loaded


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