• Face the Shadow

    I have never really thought about death in general, especially not how another human’s death would affect me. That was up until a few weeks ago, when he left my world, forever.

    The snow fell elegantly from the midnight sky like tiny diamonds that reflected the silver moonlight. I sat in the windowsill in my warm bedroom and stared out through the frosted glass. Despite the beauty of the winter night, I saw nothing whatsoever. The world outside my mind was only dark and unknown. I felt like a blind girl walking through a dark, unfamiliar forest, not able to find her way home. But I wasn’t scared, and I wasn’t sad either. I was blank, empty. I was nothing. My whole life had lost purpose, everything had disappeared with him.

    No, death had not crossed my mind, especially not this. And here I sit in my PJ’s, staring out in to the December night and feel numb, alone and lost. I am only left with my memories, because my life is gone.

    May 5, 2007

    “No!” I stunned in disbelief, my voice hoarse and weak. It couldn’t be true, what mom had just told could not have been real. “I’m sorry Ida, but Lucas has been hospitalized for having leukemia. It’s serious,” mom said with a worried expression. My knees felt like Gel-O, and I wanted to collapse to the floor like a marionette doll. I shook my head violently, and my chocolate brown hair whipped through the air. I could feel the tears burning my eyes like liquid fire, and I didn’t fight them. The crystal tears rolled my pale cheeks and hung on my chin for a moment before falling to the floor inaudibly. I stared at the wet spot in silence and only did I move when mom touched my shoulder. That’s when I actually did collapse. “No!” I yelled and fell to my knees my hands cupping my face as the tears streamed down my cheeks. It was like life was cheating on me. Like everything I thought seemed like heaven turned on me and became a backstabbing hell. My mother sighed and walked away, leaving me there in the middle of the kitchen in a hysterical mess. I couldn’t believe she just left me there without a word of comfort. I got up and hurried up to my room.

    I fell in to my soft, comfy bed under the duvet and curled myself up in to a little, defenseless ball. I let the tears flow silently as I calmed myself down. It’s not that bad Ida, don’t worry. Lucas won’t die, I know that he will make it through this. I know that he will. He has always been a fighter, I reassured myself, trying to make myself feel better. I pulled the clean covers over my head, blocking any and all sunlight that beamed through the window from reaching my soar eyes. I shut my eyes and took a deep, shaky breath, then another. It was nice to finally be able to breathe after the shock I had received. I should probable visit him. He must be feeling terrible; I thought and sighed as I relaxed my muscles a little bit. Yes, I would have to visit my brother, because he needed me more than he ever had, and I would help him through this as much as I could..

    I was running away, far away, my feet thudding against the earthy forest floor and my heart pounding against my chest. My breathing was uneven and it felt like my throat was burning, but I kept running, even though I didn’t know what I was running away from, and I didn’t know where I was running too. I just had to get away. The forest seemed to be closing in on me, making me feel claustrophobic. I struggled to breathe, but it seemed like there wasn’t enough oxygen. When I tried to scream for help, no sound left my mouth. Tears started to stream down my face, and I wiped them away with the back of my hand. When I looked down at them, I stunned silently in shock. A dark, crimson liquid was smeared across the backs of my hands. I wasn’t paying much attention to where I was going, but I noticed when the soft, forest ground took an end and I was no longer standing on solid ground. I was falling.

    I woke up with a scream, sitting up in my bed. I noticed that I was freezing in my own sweat. I was still in the clothes that I had fallen asleep in, but when I pulled the duvet off my head it was no longer light outside, but pitch dark. Mom and dad had obviously let me sleep, but that was a mistake. I couldn’t sleep now, so I got out of my bed and walked over to the windowsill.

    May 6, 2007

    “You have to go to school Ida.” Mom said drowsily and pulled me off the windowsill where I had fallen asleep. I got up right away and hurried to my closet to get my clothes, then quickly got dressed. I felt drained of all energy, but I didn’t let myself believe what I thought was a dream had actually happened yesterday. Once I was dressed in a white t-shirt and light blue, skinny-jeans, I hurried to Lucas’ room like I did every morning. I smiled happily as I rounded the corner and walked in to my brother’s room, but that cheerful smile faded once I saw that the room was empty, and it seemed so deserted. The room was spick and span, nothing was out of place. His bed was already made, and the curtains letting in the bright, morning sun. I spun around on and rushed towards the stairs to make my way to the kitchen. I could feel the fear building up inside of me, the fear that my dream had been real. I didn’t want that, I wanted this to be my imagination, not reality. I jumped down the last three stairs and ran to the kitchen. I stopped in the doorway and scanned the kitchen. Nobody but her father was in the kitchen. “Hey honey. Here’s some breakfast.” he said calmly and put the plate with scrambled eggs and bread on the table. He then looked up at me, his brown eyes soft and understanding. “Don’t worry about Lucas. He’ll be fine. You can visit him after school.” he said and walked over to me and wrapped his arms around my stiff body. I didn’t hug him back. “I’m going. I’m not hungry.” I said coldly and walked off without another word.

    When I entered the school grounds, people started to stare and whisper to each other. I ignored them and held a straight face, but inside I felt like I was dying. I was always with my brother, I never left his side and he never left mine. We were never seen apart, and we had nobody else but each other. We had our own little world together where nobody else was allowed to enter through the gates. And now I was alone. Nobody to play with, and obviously people had noticed right away. I quickened my pace, and opened the doors to the school. I knew that this day would be longer than any other.

    The sound of the bell made me jump in my seat. I hadn’t been paying any attention all day, and so I had ignored mostly everything around me until the bell rang. That loud freaking bell that I hated so much. With a sigh I got up and slung my school bag over my shoulder. When I walked down the hallway, people again started whispering, and I was starting to get annoyed, but I didn’t say anything. Soon enough they would lay off and mind their own business. I hurried out of the building and out of the gates. There stood a long, black limousine, the driver opening the door when he spotted me. I grit my teeth. This must be dad’s doing. He always had to treat me like a daddy’s girl, and I usually loved it, just not today. I didn’t want to look like a rich b***h, especially not when I am going to the hospital to visit my brother. I rolled my eyes and sat in the car. I chucked my bag in the seat in front of me and sighed as the driver shut my door. I looked out the window only to see a group of people from my grade and the grade above staring in awe. This would usually have made me smile, but not today. “Rubin’s Hospital please.” I said and the man started driving. I shut my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I was scared. I didn’t know what was happening with Lucas and what situation he was in now. I knew a lot about leukemia from all the medical books I had read, but I still hadn’t been able to see that he had cancer, let alone leukemia. It was still a shock to me. “This is my entire fault.” I whispered to myself, my eyes burning with the tears that formed behind my closed eyelids.

    “Lady Burns, we have arrived.” I opened my eyes only to see the driver standing by the open door, waiting for me to get out. I hadn’t noticed that I had fallen asleep, but I guess I was just so exhausted that I dosed off on our way. It was quite a long trip to the hospital anyway, so I guess it was better than staying awake the whole trip. I stepped out of the limo and nodded in thanks before straightening myself up and walking up the stairs that led to the entrance to Rubin’s Hospital. I could feel my stomach twist in displeasure. I have always hated hospitals, and this was an even bigger reason to hate them. I opened the doors and a gush of fresh, cold air hit me. It was an odd feeling, to feel the cold air when I had just been outside where it was warm and slightly humid. The tapping of my shoes echoed through the silent hall. The lady behind the registration looked up at me and smiled. “You must be Ida. Your father called and told me you would be coming to visit Lucas.” she said and I nodded without a word. “Well then, let me show you to his room.” She stood up from the chair she was sitting on and waved for me to follow her, which I did. There was another lady behind the counter who looked up at me with a sympathetic smile, and I looked away quickly and quickened my pace. I didn’t like people who felt sorry for me.

    “Here you are. Take as long as you want.”
    the lady said and walked off. I stood in front of the door and took a deep breath, and then I pushed the door open. “Ida!” I heard Lucas say happily, and I looked up. There, on the newly made hospital bed, sat my twin brother. He looked like he always did, just a bit more weak and pale. I felt the tears come back and I walked over to Lucas. “You came.” he said in a hushed voice. I nodded and wrapped my arms around his skinny body, and I didn’t let go. He hugged me back and he buried his face in my shoulder, and I felt his shaking. “I’m so sorry Lucas. I should have known.” I whispered to him, my voice breaking. The tears ran down my cheeks and I tightened my grip around him. It was usually him who took care of me, but now it was my turn to take care of him. He shook his head, but didn’t lift it from my shoulder. I could feel the shoulder of my school uniform shirt was wet. He was crying too. This made me have to bite my lip, but it didn’t help. I couldn’t hold it back anymore. “I’ll always be here for you Lucas.”
    “I trust you with my life Ida. And even if you can’t do anything, I forgive you. Mon belle princess” he whispered in reply. And then we stayed like that and wept together in silence. Nobody was there to disturb us, and then we were in our own private world.