We are delighted to debut a short story writtn by Maitha AlHosani for our Journey theme titled “I’m here to Stay” We hope you enjoy it
The trees are suddenly green, it’s like I left for four months not four days. I wished we could stay for four months in Florida; it’s much warmer and greener than Baltimore. It’s still cold in here but not as it used to be back in January.
I walked in our apartment, I looked around me and nothing looked new at all, I stared at dad then forced a smile. There was nothing that made me look forward to tomorrow because my soul was gradually collapsing. I have nothing but fairytales and scary nightmares; they’re my new best friends. I heard mum saying “We’re always here your story won’t end any time soon.” I tried to believe her but then painful flashbacks attacked me again.
Three months ago my parents forced me to visit a doctor that used to treat my mother. I can remember the first time I went for MRI scan, they let you down lay on a bed and that bed takes you in a very small dark chamber, to me it looked like a grave. At the same night I cried myself to sleep because I thought that’s how they prepare people like us to die but at the same time I tried to convince myself that I’m perfectly fine.
The next day I had another appointment where the doctor is going to tell us what are the results.. I can recall every detail from that day. Mum’s tears and dad’s place face when the doctor said, “Sometimes we go through bad times so god can reward us more than the ordinary people. Noura, god chose to give you this thing cause he knows that you’re tough just like your mum.
Sweetie you’ve diagnosed with stomach cancer stage two, where the cells penetrated the outer layer of your stomach. We still have time to fix everything but you HAVE TO STAY STRONG.”
They ask you to be strong when you walk into a very cold room where the walls are whiter than a paper and the white sheets are on bed inviting you “Let us keep you warm while you die slowly.”
They ask you to be strong when they hide a needle between your flesh, as a burning chemical crawls into your veins and burns everything when it’s on the way to those damn cells.. Yeah, it was called “Chemotherapy” but I called it “A therapy that executes you slowly.”
They ask you to be strong when you have a nightmare about your own death, then you wake up out of breath and see your beautiful straight dark hair covering your pillow because that bloody treatment won’t leave that shiny hair alone.
My parents took me to Florida so I can forget about the nights where I couldn’t eat and throw up blood. When we landed in Miami’s Airport I promised myself that I won’t be strong but I’ll keep on being the Noura who ignored every kind of pain and enjoyed every second of her life because I’ll lose today once tomorrow’s sun makes its way to the skies! I promised myself to be healthy again for my best friend and teacher because they were always there when I wanted to hang my heart, I don’t want to leave them. I’ll fight with every breath with me because my family and friends are the light that I see, I’ll keep on feeling their grace and push on.
Time in Florida flew fast, the next thing I knew was I’m back in Baltimore waiting for my turn in the hospital.
The last time Dr. Joggings saw me I was pale and grumpy but when he saw me this time he smiled broadly and said, “Well Mickey Mouse sure knows how to make you smile! I know you’d rather be still at Disney World than facing me but this time I promise you it’s different.
According to your last MRI scan that was a week ago, I’m glad to say that you’re in stage zero and we have nothing to worry about anymore. BUT! You must check the tumors once every year.”
My parents started giggling from happiness then mum said, “I told you, your story won’t end!” then I held her hand and hugged dad with my other hand saying “It had been a long journey but fifteenth of April 2013 showed me that I’m here to stay.”
Author: Maitha AlHosani