It was always known I was going to die. At birth I outlived the odds, and it had only gotten worse. When you know the chance you'll live to eighteen is almost none, there's a difference in the air when people talk of their future. I always said I didn't know what I would do after school, I didn't tell them I hoped to live. Sometimes I'd tell people of what's happened in my life. They look at me, with a sad expression, I always wonder if they mean it. "You must really appreciate life then," they say.
I look at them just as they look at me. "No, not really."
"Oh." It's in their tone, I didn't give them the answer they expected.
"Do you appreciate lie?" So why should I?
When I was nine a friend of my parents died. I asked my brother how long they would be sad for. He knew everything my brother, even though he was just three years older.
"Well it depends if it's a really close friend," he had replied.
"I don't know."
"If it's a really close friend they'll be sad for two years. One year to cry, and one more to dry their tears."
Two years later I felt glad that my parents could be happy now.
When I was fifteen I told my brother I was afraid to die. In everything, every appointment, every operation, my brother was there with me. Death was the one thing where he couldn't be.
"Don't worry sis, don't be scared."
"But I am."
"Just don't make your last moments bad. Think about the good times instead. Think about how much we love you." I could see in his voice, there was already sadness there. Yet I had not known what it was for.
Three days later my brother died. He didn't leave a note for my parents, not for his friends, no one else, just a few words for me.
When you die I'll be there
In everything my brother had been with me, in everything my brother would be with me.
One year passed to cry. Another went to dry the tears. I could be happy again.
It was then that I was called to the doctor's office.
"We have some news," he said, smiling without waver. "A new treatment had been formulated, and whilst it's still under slight investigation, it could be your cure."
My parents smiled, gave me a hug.
"So would you like to undertake it?" The doctor asked.
"Of course," my parents clapped.
"No," I said.
They asked me, questioned me, interrogated me. I lied, told them I was scared, it probably wouldn't work, anything but what I knew. I didn't know how I could tell them my brother was waiting for me, that I had to go.
"Don't worry honey, it will be okay, it won't do anything bad, it can only help."
"I'm not doing it."
They couldn't change my mind.
I was seventeen when I was admitted to the hospital for the last time. I was not scared, I was not afraid. Right there, I knew my brother was with me. I had had one year of crying and one of drying my tears. Now all that was left was happiness.
When you die I'll be there
And he was.