• I didn’t feel the need to comfort my mother; I didn’t even feel the need to comfort myself. I didn’t really feel any grief, but I knew that just because I couldn’t feel it, didn’t mean it wasn’t there. My mother was crying, the doctor was saying he was sorry, and I just sat there. I sat on the stiff, crackly paper on the bed.

    My life would be over in a year.

    “I’m so sorry,” the doctor said as he touched my arm. I yanked it away as I felt his fingertips come in contact with my skin. I didn’t need to look at his face to see that he would have an expression of bewilderment. And as I heard the click of door closing I stopped tracing the lines on the tiled floor with my eyes.

    “Julie?” my mom whispered, “Are you okay?”

    “Am I okay?” I muttered, “Did you really just ask me if I’m okay?” As I stared at her in astonishment, her lower lip trembled, and then I knew I was just making things worse.

    “I’m not okay,” I mumbled with an edge, “I’m going to die.”


    What would it be like?