Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere; and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
If you live in a small town, you’ll know what that’s like. Sometimes it’s difficult to breathe, it feels as if the town and its people are suffocating you and all you want to do is break free. Other times the breathing is easy and you feel comfortable with your surroundings and think that maybe, just maybe there’s a chance that I will stay here forever.
I have been tossing and turning since 04:00AM. I could only come up with two possible reasons. One, my body gave up and is now unable to deal with this unbearable heat or two, my mind realized that it’s my eighteenth birthday today and it wants to welcome me to adulthood.
I can hear my parents scurrying in the kitchen. Like every year they are preparing me my special breakfast. I am an only child and if you are an only child you’ll know what that’s like. Stricter curfews, stricter dress codes, stricter everything.
I swing my tingling legs out of bed and open the door that leads to my en-suite bathroom. I stare at myself in the mirror. The bags under my eyes are most certainly not Prada and I frown at myself while running the water to wash my face. I know exactly what’s about to happen in one minute and thirty-seven seconds. The birthday song. The dreaded birthday song.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Violet, happy birthday to you”. My parents both sing in their best singing voices and hands me the cupcake with one candle on it to blow out. Dad is holding a plate of pancakes with berries. I blow out the candle and give them a smile. They know I hate birthdays. They just like to torture me.
The phone rings and mom runs downstairs to get it. Pretty early, must be family. I wait for her to call me, instead she comes upstairs and looks a little pale.
“Everything okay?” I ask taking a bite from the pancakes.
“Doctor Jameson wants us to pop in, they got the results from the lab” she says not making eye contact.
What does this mean?
I hate the smell of hospitals and doctor offices. The chemical-enduced smell makes me want to vomit. The three of us takes a seat opposite the doctor. His black framed glasses resting on his nose. He looks up at me and smiles.
“Violet, happy birthday. What are your plans for the coming year”? he asks in a sympathetic tone.
I frown. Why does it matter? Just give me the results and we can all go and celebrate my birthday.
“Well, I’ve been looking at taking a few literature classes” I say in a shaky and unsure voice.
He places the black-framed glasses on the papers in front of him and sits back in his leather chair.
“Violet, there is no easy way for me to say this. We have received the results from the lab and it’s not good. The symptoms and results are all showing us the same results. I am sorry but you have motor neuron disease.”
Motor neuron disease? What does that mean? I’m eighteen, not fifty. My mom started crying and dad offered a hand.
“I’m sorry doctor, I don’t understand what that means, am I dying?” I asked, panic in my voice.
“Well how long do I have to live? There must be a cure? Do I go for therapy or pills, I mean what, what does this mean”? I ask shouting at the man deciding my fate.
“Violet, there is no cure. Your body will become weaker and weaker. There is nothing we can do to stop that. Most patients have a three to five year…”
Tears streaming down my face, I’m unable to control it any more. My life is over, now, the waiting game begins.
The feeling of limbs is slowly drained from your body. Day by day you get weaker. Normal tasks that is so easy for every day people become a struggle. Breathing becomes impossible at times. Walking, running, swimming even keeping yourself from falling over in the bath has become impossible. How I wish I could turn back time.
Your body is giving up. Everything has become numb. You cannot speak, you cannot live. Your mind works perfectly fine, until one day, you can barely open and close your eyes.
There is no exit. My body is my prison. I have a carer that takes care of me, 24/7. My life ended at the age of nineteen, even though I’m alive, I am dead inside.
There is no exit.