I was used to getting emergency calls and texts from Dawn. Sometimes at 3 or 4 in the morning. I always answered and I always called her just to make sure that she was okay. Her parents never called. Except for last night. Immediately I knew that something wasn’t right. “Get to the hospital right away, please. Dawn needs you,” Dawn’s mother speaks to me over the payphone and it’s a very bad connection but I can make out her quiet and shaken words.
“I feel like this might be it. The final chapter of my suffering.”
I saw Dawn’s mother and father looking at me as I heard the words exit her mouth. They both stood beside themselves. It looked like they were dying with their daughter. So was I. Everyone here at the hospital said only family could see her. I lied. After all she is my family. The closest thing that I’ve got to a real family. And I thought I was going to get to see her walk down the aisle. I was planning on talking to her father about it and everything, too. To get his approval if he’d graciously give it to me.
I couldn’t accept her hoarse yet quiet words. Her eyes weren’t hers anymore. All I saw was the clear coat of what used to be there before. Or what I thought I saw. I held her flimsy hand in mine and kissed it. Her black painted nails were chipped. She always anxiously picked the paint off, which is why she never got any expensive manicures.
I felt the doctor’s’ hand on my shoulder.
“Son, you really should get some rest,” he said.
I was still holding her hand, tightly. I figured that he wanted to break the news to her parents without me in the room. to tell them that there is nothing more that they can do for her. She is weak and she is dying. Her disease has gotten the best of her. I couldn’t leave her now. She squeezed my hand. I couldn’t leave her now. She is malnourished and her organs have been damaged by the overdose of a mixture of Tylenol and other prescribed medications . I think of everything that he might say and try not to let teardrops escape my tear ducts. No ounce of control could prevent the pain from dripping out of my eyes.
Dawn speaks very softly. “I’m not afraid to die, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready,” before that i can react or even respond. Behind me, I hear the doctor speaking to Dawn’s parents. I rest my head beside dawn on her hospital bed. She’s holding her favourite teddy bear and the baby blanket that she can’t sleep without.
The doctor is trying to explain everything to Dawn’s parents. They nod and try to understand the diagnoses of Anorexia.
Dawn threads her fingers in between mine., I can feel her hands go even more cold. Her heart stops. The next thing I know i am standing in all black beside Dawn’s grave. Her mother and father both hold one another like a crutch. There are so many people huddling around. I start to wonder where she is now, and how she didn’t see all of these people before. How we all cared so much about her.
I watched everyone drag their bodies back to their daily lives and out of the place where their family member, and friend is buried. As they all left, I kneeled down to the grave, dusted the dirt from her name and whispered.