Walking out of the building, my nose still recovering from the smell of antiseptic and get well soon flowers, I threw away the discharge papers. It’s not like I’d need them, I won’t even be here anymore. I got into my 10 year old banged up Ford, which I was looking to replace, but I guess that won’t be happening anymore. What is happening? Am I really going to die in the next three weeks like my doctor said? It feels like I’m in a movie about to end, one with no plot, no conclusion.
It doesn’t feel like reality, although I would hardly call it dream-like. What is death? What’s the purpose of life? Cars were blaring their horns at me, I didn’t even realise that it was a green light.
Once I parked in the driveway, it dawned on me that I only had one month left in the house I’ve grown to love.
It was a small cottage but it was cosy and it was home. Trees, bushes and vines all cocooned the house as if it was trying to hide something, but the misshapen slate roof was too large to go unnoticed. As you got closer, the odd flash of colour- some blues, others green or brown- emerged from the grey stones that made up the wall. I guess you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. I was awoken from my trance with my dad opening the door and ushering me in.
Hurry up, tea’s getting cold. Me and my dad had a daily routine of having tea and snacks once I got home from work, or in this case the hospital. Setting my briefcase down and loosening my tie, I walked into the warm living room with the flames of the fireplace curling and swaying. My eyes straightaway caught the sight of the coffee table set with every dessert lover’s dream. An assortment of mini cheesecakes, macarons and pastries. There goes my diet.
Oh well, might as well indulge as much as I can before I won’t be able to. As my dad sunk down into the couch after putting on today’s episode of EastEnders, my legs started shaking, a lump formed in my throat that I could barely manage to drink tiny sips from my tea. I found myself gnawing on the inside of my cheek. How could I ever leave my father? He doesn’t have anyone else. His laughter filled the room. I could barely pay attention to the telly as thoughts were racing through my mind on how to break the news gently. I had to get this over and done with. It’s my dad, he deserves to know. Dad, how about we go down to the pier and watch the sunset. It will help us get into the spirit of autumn. I said inconspicuously. He agreed and went to get his jacket, completely oblivious to what he is soon to find out.
As we walked down the aging planks of pier, a thousand shades and hues of brown, feelings of apprehension and doubt sunk in. Through teary eyes I watched the sun fall behind the horizon, painting the sky shades of red and pink. Do you see those colours, son? Dad asks in his most comforting voice. They are symbols. Each showing you the good tomorrow could bring. I wanted to tell him that soon those colours will be hidden within the black despair of night, a symbol of the suffering that the weeks to come will bring. Instead I stay silent. It’s better to suffer alone, I tell myself.