After steadily working on my southern gothic, post-apocalyptic story, I've chosen another excerpt to post. The MC is sick, so this entry is special, because... duh duh duh... I actually wrote it while I was sick last week! It's amazing how creative I can be when I'm running a fever and blowing snot rockets out my nose, but y'all don't want to hear about that, I'm sure. *snort*
Anyway, enjoy the following uber depressing journal entry from the main character who shall remain nameless for now and maybe forever.
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I have no strength. I have no will. I’m sitting in front of the fire, cold to my bones and scared out of my mind. The last time I remember being this sick was a few years before the impact. I was about seventeen, and I knew I didn’t feel good when I woke up, but mom told me I had to at least try and go to school. I threw up all over the hallway between classes and everyone backed away from me like I had the plague. The laughter was the worst part of it. I was so humiliated. Thank God Kelly was there. She wrapped her arms around me and walked me to the bathroom, then went to the office to let them know what happened so they could call my parents.
I ended up having the flu and missed six days of school. Every night my mom made me drink this nasty crap, some concoction that grandmother had come up with that supposedly was an instant cure, probably got it from one of the Sunday School ladies. They were always swapping secret recipes, and I swear one of those women had this twitch in her eye that used to drive me crazy. I was convinced that she was possessed by the devil and that the demons were trying to escape through her eyeballs the moment she entered the church.
Anyway, that disgusting drink didn’t instantly cure me, but it did make me feel a hell of a lot better. I think mom spiked it with some cheap whiskey, but she swore it was mostly tea, ginger, lemon, and honey. It pretty much knocked me out cold, so she either put liquor in it or crushed up some of her Xanax and loaded me up. That’s probably a more likely scenario. Mom was always trying to get me to take her pills when I wasn’t “feeling good.” She never had a shortage of pills to pop, and to this day, I wonder if she wasn’t running some sort of drug ring out of the house. She had more pill bottles than the Sweet Serenity Retirement Home in Lexington. What I wouldn’t give for one of those nasty drinks right now.
Being really, really sick does suck a ten-foot pole, big time. I had this girl I went to church with. Her name was Roberta, and she had Hodgkin’s disease. She had to go through chemo, and all the meds they put her on made her look bloated all the time. Even her face looked like a puffer fish. She wasn’t very pretty to begin with, so you can imagine the after effects. Nobody wanted anything to do with her, like she was contagious or something. I think it’s shitty how some people won’t have anything to do with someone who has cancer. If this world gets rebuilt, I will hug all the cancer patients and make sure they know I’m not afraid of catching their disease.
Anyway, Roberta stayed off and on sick for as long as I can remember. She had said she wanted three things before she died: to graduate from high school, to go to the prom with a boy, and I can’t remember what the third thing was. So my friend’s brother (who was half Mexican AND his name happened to be Robert, imagine that!) took her to her senior prom.
Everyone just thought that Robert was some sort of hero. And to be honest, everyone looked at Roberta a little differently, too, like maybe she wasn’t contagious after all. Rumors started floating that Robert and Roberta might be a couple, and even made jokes about what they would name their kids if they got married. I think it was Robertini for a boy and Robertina if it was a girl or something stupid like that. Anyway, they didn’t become a couple.
I remember my mom going to her house one afternoon to talk to her mom about some Meals on Wheels stuff, and I asked Roberta if she had a boyfriend or anything. She told me that she didn’t and then this really sad look came over her puffy face. Then all of a sudden she looked at me, smiled, and said, “I’m glad I’m single, though.”
I asked her why, and she said that it would be easier to leave this earth if she didn’t have someone special she was leaving behind. I didn’t respond. What could you say to that? There’s really nothing you could say.
She died a few weeks later. One of her last requests was to have the youth choir sing at her funeral, and I couldn’t do it. I stood up there with the rest of the choir and I moved my lips, but I couldn’t make any sounds come out. I think I was on the verge of hyperventilating. I kept thinking, “I wonder if it was easy for her to die?” Isn’t that weird? I don’t know why I was so obsessed with that.
I know what she meant, though. I love Jake, with everything in me. I don’t want to leave him behind. I wonder if it would be easier to die if he wasn’t with me.
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