Chapter 2 continuation

Sunday, July 25, 2010 Stef dela Cruz 0 Comments

Die, death, dying. All those words seemed surreal to me the first time they actually came to mind. Now, they have settled comfortably at the nooks and crannies of my consciousness, waiting, lurking. Those words were no longer strangers to me.

In fact, the first time the bald doctor mentioned them, I did not flinch. I just sat there, looking at him, thinking he has probably gone berserk from looking at x-ray films way too long. Must be the fumes that did it.

“You see those two sections of your heart? They have stopped communicating altogether,” he was saying. “Your heart no longer beats the normal lub-dub way. Dub isn’t following lub anymore.”

“Well, I’m not following you.”

He sniffed. “You’re dying, Jane. Maybe not today or tomorrow. But your parts are no longer working the way they should.”

Silence. Well, that was me looking at him, trying to figure out how x-ray fumes could drive a person crazy.

He wrote something down. “Take this, twice a day. I’ve also written down what symptoms you should watch out for.”

I grabbed the piece of paper, thanked him, and left the hospital. I could hear an ambulance making its urgent way towards the emergency room and saw the medics waiting with jaded eyes. Heard a disembodied voice on the speaker calling out to some Dr. Lorenzo. Felt my arm brush against the cold, tiled walls near the exit.

I knew it. I knew I was jinxed since the moment I was born. There I was, not having had the greatest sex of my life yet, and I already had a “best before” date.

As I was nearing my apartment, I could hear Jeremy pawing feverishly at the door even before I took my keys out. I opened the door to a petulant cat, mewling as if to complain about how boring his day went. “You think you had a bad day? Wait till I tell you about mine,” I said, stroking his white head. Jeremy looked at me with his blue eyes, probably assuming I was going to take care of him till he would be too old to care.

It’s been ages since I opened my heart to a breathing, living thing. And on the day I decided to do so, fate made up her mind that I shouldn’t live long enough to do it.

I crumpled to the floor. I was sobbing uncontrollably before I knew it. During the short stroll home, I’ve already made peace with the fact that I was going to die. But who would take care of my little Jeremy when I was gone?

To Be Continued

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.