Day 12, Hour 23

The beeping of the machines ringing in my ears makes me want to kill myself.

I almost joke to mom about this, but I'm not that cruel.

She's sitting next to my bed in a chair, quietly speaking on the phone with someone. Probably Emma.

She doesn't talk to dad that softly these days. She shifts in her seat at the sound of footsteps from outside of the room.

She looks at me every so often, like she wants me to say something comforting. I don't know what she needs comforting for.

She's not the one dying.

"Naja Amir?" A rosy cheeked nurse pipes from the doorway. I nod a confirmation, and for a split second she pauses by the entrance and just looks at me,

as if surprised by my appearance. What was she expecting a kid with cancer to look like, healthy? Probably her first day on the job.

Tip one, Miss: Don't look at dying patients like they're growing two heads.

After going through the usual check-up, the nurse turns to mom and says real casual "Your daughter has been approved by your insurance company for Xarnix. She

will be receiving the newest version of the injection tomorrow morning". She looks at me, as if waiting for questions. I stare past her shoulder at nothing and remain

silent. Mom shifts in her seat again, a nervous twitch. "Will she feel anything? When she gets the shot?" she asked. The nurse shook her head, brown ponytail shaking

slightly. "Nope, the injection is completely painless. She might feel a little nauseous, but the Xarnix will quickly pass through her system and put her right to sleep",

she snapped her finger to emphasis her point.

You'd think she's talking about drugging me for surgery or something, and not about the assistive suicide medicine I was going to get. A year ago, the hospital found

they couldn't handle my case anymore and the List of Everything Wrong with Me only kept getting longer. My right lung's taken a permanent vacation from working,

hence the oxygen tank. My legs aren't very dependable either so I'm restricted to the cold hospital bed I've been staying in since I permanently checked in a month

ago. I've lost roughly fifty pounds since I first checked. These symptoms boggled my doctors' minds and had them scrambling for answers until I was diagnosed and

they went "oh no". I have Cerebrialis, and there's no cure.

(I repeat this to myself in the bathroom later, clutching the sink as my stomach clenches and twists and I try to breathe. I have Cerebrialis and there's no cure. I'm

going to die. I'm going to die.

I'm going to die.)


Day 5, Hour 12

Brian double-takes as he enters the room, and unlike Nurse Needs-Better-Training, it isn't because of me. He does a long whistles, taking in the rows of flowers and

presents stacked up by my bedside. "I didn't know you had this many friends", he says, the asshole. I laugh for the first time this week, and feel myself relax back

into the bed. "I bet half of these flowers are from the hospital." I gestured around me. "Welcome to my humble abode." The IV strips hangs off my a and dangles

when I raise it and I see Brian look at it. Something I don't want to look into flashes in his eyes. The look is gone as soon as it appears. "It's depressing as shit in

here", he says. He holds up a video game CD case. "I brought your fave".

"I knew there was a reason I keep you around", I say. I shift over to make room and he plops down, grabbing a controller from my bedside.

"Ha-ha very funny, that's why I'm about to totally own you in this game."

"Dream on."

Day 1, Hour 5

"You guys are disgusting."

I don't look up from destroying Brian at the game for the 30th time this week. I can feel Nisha's scornful glance as she walked in at the open pizza boxes mom dropped

by and dirty napkins lying on the floor, forming a circle around my bed.

"No one asked you to come here", Brian points out, drilling his robot's fist into my giant's chest.

"Right, buzzkill", I add, except it's around a mouthful of fries so it sounds more like "rraa buhhkii". "Whatever, losers, move over" Nisha climbs on the bed, tangling

the sheets and shoving Brian over to my side, soliciting groans and complaints from us.

I look at these two. The two are people I grew up with, the friends that stuck around for a dying loser like me, the friends that see through everything I pretend to be. My best friends.

Thank you. For everything I want to say.

"You guys are corny", is what comes out instead.

Nisha ruffles my hair. "Shuddup you love us."

I did.