The Garden

Anna was tired of living. Two years, three months and nine days of this horror she called life, and enough was enough.

She wasn't suicidal, not by a longshot. She wasn't depressed, she didn't hate herself, she didn't want her life to go to waste. But God, she was so tired. Tired, and ready to let go. She wanted better than this. Needed better. This life she was living was not a life.

"The Garden". That was what they called this wing. They called it that because it was full of people like her, paralyzed and half-aware. Some didn't come back whole, brains ravaged by disease or accident. And some… some never woke again at all.

Anna was not a vegetable, and despised being called such. She was well aware of the seriousness of her condition, though she could not think clearly enough to articulate it. She might be blind, eyes frozen shut, but her ears worked fine. She heard the doctors, clips of phrases from friends that visited, and not much else. But it was enough. She knew her condition was worsening, heard her mother crying and praying, her father's refusal to believe she was on life support.

Life support. At age eighteen. God was a cruel man when He wanted to be, wasn't He?

Anna wished she could go to church again. She missed it. She missed her friends, her pastor, that cute guy that sat a few pews up from her. She missed home and her cat and her knitting club, her chemistry professor and her yoga class on Tuesdays. It all fell away so fast, and all because of a microscopic thing that decided to wreak havoc.

It wasn't always like this. She was whole once, in control. Then the disease struck, the worst case the doctors had seen in someone so young. She knew the disease well from her biomedical classwork; she knew how insidious it was and what it did. It was a bad disease, one that left its victims comatose, vegetable-like, and if not treated quickly enough, in a grave.

It was damned sobering how much the microscopic world controlled the macro, simply by trying to survive.

Anna was sick of surviving. She refused to call it "living", because she wasn't, and even that would soon be taken from her according to the doctors. Her liver and kidneys were failing. Her brain was barely functioning, and she hadn't been awake for two months now.

Anna did not fear death. Not anymore. Anna was ready to die. God was cruel, yes, but if this was really His plan for her, then this was His plan. Even microbes, after all, exist for a reason…

As the nurse came in to check her breathing tube, Anna wondered how much longer it would be until her father would move on enough to let her die. She didn't think it would be any time soon.

After all, he always was a stubborn man.