Why? A simple question, too simple. So simple the answer was too hard to find. The only response was to such yet again whilst a blank stare passed over the face. My face. People thought I was just going through another phase of pain, whilst really, the only pain was my brain ticking over. So I stopped searching and just gave the answer.
'I don't know.'
This would bring them into tears. Tears because they were confused, angry mostly. I could see they just wanted to shake me, to throw me around until I saw the way. Their way. But that's not what I wanted.
'It will get better, you'll see.'
But I couldn't see their way, only feel mine. It would course through my bones, riddling through my mind till it was all I could bear. And I wanted it gone.
They came in one day, all of them. My parents, my brother, my friend. The doctor followed. Another woman followed, one that I did not recognise. It was her that came and sat beside me.
"How are you feeling?"
I just shrugged. How could she understand.
"Are you okay at the moment, or do you need anything?"
Quickly I became curious. "I'm fine."
"May I talk with you?'
"It's too late to say no isn't it?"
"I can leave at any time."
Who was this stranger?
"I've been talking to your family, about your," she paused. "Choice."
Oh. But I did not say that, only glanced at the others in the room.
"There's always hope. Did you know that?" Her voice was soft, but I could see the prying beneath.
"Let the doctor tell me that, then I might believe."
She looked at the doctor, who looked at me.
"There always is hope." His voice was rough, but kinder than hers.
"I only said might."
"Why do you want to do it?"
"I don't know."
"Is it all too much?"
"I don't know."
"Do you think it will never end?"
"I don't know."
She was glancing at my parents, then at my friends. My brother was looking away.
"It will end."
"I don't know." I had spoken though it had not been a question.
"Just remember that there is hope, and that miracles can happen."
"So if I don't get a miracle, I get nothing."
"No, you get hope. Things can change."
"You can leave now."
So she left, and after a few words with everyone else, they trailed out too. All except my brother.
"You know you'll be hurting them."
"I know. But this isn't something that will ever leave. They just spend each day worrying, I can release them from that worry. You know it will come eventually."
"It could be a year, it could be ten."
"Don't give me that hope crap."
He was pacing the room, his shoes clicking on the hard floor.
"You worry too."
He looked at me, properly at me. The first time that day. "Yes, you do worry me. But you know what worries me more; that they'll blame themselves."
"They'll do that either way." Neither of us could hide the truth.
"They'll know that they couldn't do anything."
"I'm not changing my mind."
"Don't you wish you could say goodbye?"
"You know that if I do they'll never leave."
"Do I get a goodbye?"
"Promise me one thing."
"That you'll try to make them understand that they couldn't do anything."
He rounded me in his arms, and said his goodbye. I could only just choke mine through. He never strayed from a smile as he closed the door behind me.
It was simple enough, too simple. And the true answer to the simple question floated through my head. In that I found contentment, and that was the simple way to leave.
Why? I don't know.