I’ve lived with death my entire life. She has been my unwelcomed companion, courting my every breath and step. Taking any and all who have touched my heart. But even now, bullet ridden and broken, she will not take me. She wants me alone, devoid, begging for her finite embrace.
A pretty girl, with olive green eyes and sun-kissed skin, a doctor or nurse I’m not sure, tells me to fight, tells me to hang on but I don’t want to. I want to tell her, I have no fight left or to be more precise, nothing left, worth fighting for but my voice is barley a whisper. The dry blood lining my throat, coating the inside of my mouth, seals my words.
“James” she says, leaning in close. So close, that I can smell the sweet scent of her perfume mixing with the smell of stale coffee from her breath “Were almost there. Don’t give up, do you hear me. Don’t give up”.
I close my eyes for a time. Seconds or minutes I don’t know but when I re-open them, the view is different. The static white blub that has been flashing in and out of my vision is gone. Replaced by moving white tiles one moment, then long rectangular lights the next.
I hear her voice again telling me to hang on, reassuring me that were almost there but it’s distant and faint, short of breath. Turing my head ever so slightly, I see the girl with the green eyes blurredly running alongside me, one hand my trolley doing her best to keep pace.
The open corridor is replaced by narrow steel grey on both sides of me. I feel my stomach tense as the automated voice of the lift crackles trough the small round vents on the control panel.
“Please stand clear of the door” says a voice lacking any distinguishing accent or tone.
The doors to the elevator open with grinding scrapes, sounding there over use. I hear a cluster of voices talking animatedly at the doors threshold but I can’t see any of their faces. In my wandering mind they are all Disney characters, dressed in oversized scrubs with blotted white hands and black-marker dimples for knuckles. The image brings a smile to my face, as I drift off somewhere new.
My expression must have caused concern. My right eye is forcible pulled open by a gloved thumb and index-finger.
“James, James” screams an Indian man in his late forties, his face is almost entirely covered by a duck like mask. His name tag read’s Dr Raj, but he will be Dr Daffy in my mind.
Not getting the desired response from me, he shines a bright light from what looks like a pen directly in to the retina of my eye, moving it from side to side in a rhythmic movement.
“We are losing him” he says in broken but perfect English.
The elevator goes dark and the voices that surround me fade to nothing. I’m not dead, I’m not asleep but my world is void of everything but my taught. I feel no pain, I feel no body. In this, there is just me. I want to close my eyes but I have no eyes to close, I don’t want to be here I think to myself and in that instant lights floods my senses, blinding my vision.
“He’s back” says a voice above me. It’s nether Dr Daffy or the girl with the green eyes but there is authority ringing through it. “James you can’t do that” he says. It is not a request. I try to say sorry but again my words stay trapped inside of me. “James, my names Dr Wayne Simons, can you blink or give me a nod if you understand. I don’t want you to talk, ok”.
I don’t hear anything past his first name. Wayne is dead screams a voice inside me, there all dead. Everyone you’ve ever loved is dead.