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Hold Me a Little Longer
Beep. Beep. Beep. I could faintly hear the monitors sounding off in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I heard my mother talking frantically with the doctor, but the words made no sense. I tried to open my eyes, but all I saw was darkness. I was so petrified; I had no idea if I was going to live or die, and the pain was literally killing me. I could feel my body start to go into shock, and I closed my eyes as I thought back…
~ ~ ~
The first day of my senior year, I thought. It's going to be great. I had a wonderful family, a great boyfriend, and no intentions of letting anything hold me back. Little did I know my body had other plans for me.
"Trevor," I yelled to my boyfriend as I ran to give him a hug.
"Hey, babe!" he called back as he swooped me into his arms and kissed my forehead.
We held hands and walked into school together, and I never wanted that moment to end; I just wanted him to hold me a little longer.
~ ~ ~
As I snapped back to reality, the nurse blurted out, “We’re losing her!”
"Okay,” said the doctor, “On my count, use the shocks. One, two, three."
I felt a zip of pain go through my body. It was like nothing I had ever felt before, and it made my chest scream in pain. I could feel my body start to shut down again, but every time it did, they would zap me back into pain and misery. The ambulance ride felt like hours on end, but, soon enough, I was at the hospital. It was like hell on earth. Nurses and doctors were scurrying like mice everywhere. I wanted to die, but my body wouldn't let me, and neither would the doctors. By now, my body was completely numb with pain, and my eyes rolled back in my head as I started think back...
~ ~ ~
"Melodie, we're going to have to get a scan of your heart,” declared my doctor, “It's not a big procedure, and it will only take about a half an hour to complete."
"Okay, but why? What's wrong with my heart?" I retorted.
"Melodie, we have been through this many times before,” sighed my doctor, “You have a very serious heart condition. It is unlike anything we have ever seen before. It’s almost like your body has not allowed any of the medication to work, and we need to do another check-up."
“Then why did you put me on the stupid medication? I don't understand what you mean. You said once I started taking it, things would get better, and I have been coming here for the past month, twice a week, and nothing has gotten better," I said as my temper started to flare.
"Melodie, watch your tone,” my mother said sharply, “Now Doctor Schoen would not have us here if it was not important, so you're getting the heart scan."
I was on the medication, what more do they want? I thought to myself.
Before Doctor Schoen had a chance to say anything else, I got up, grabbed my coat and purse, and left. I was so livid, that I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t want to hear anymore about these stupid heart problems. Obviously if nothing had come of it before, then this time should be no different.
They should know, they are the doctors, or maybe they got their degrees out of cereal boxes, I thought to myself as I laughed out loud.
My mother caught up with me before I was able to leave the office. She was the last person that I wanted to talk to.
“Your appointment is on Monday at 4:00p.m.,” she said as I slammed my car door.
I didn’t even want to think about this stupid heart condition. I mean, I've had it ever since I was a child, and now, all of the sudden, the doctors were interested? I tried to explain my thoughts to Trevor, but he agreed with my mom and my doctor. It was definitely not what I wanted him to say. He was my boyfriend, wasn’t he supposed to agree with me? Nothing made sense anymore, and I was one big ball of confusion.
As the weekend rolled around, I started to feel abnormally sick. My chest hurt more than it had in a while, and I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, clutching my chest. I didn't want to tell my mom because she had enough on her plate and didn't need to worry about me.
Late Sunday night, I woke up unable to breathe. My chest felt like it was going to explode, and I could hear people's voices all around me. There were sirens coming from everywhere. The noises were so loud, but none of them made sense. All I remembered was being lifted off the ground and being wheeled into an ambulance. Then I blacked out.
"Melodie, wake-up. Melodie, wake-up," I heard a soft voice murmur.
I opened my eyes and saw blurs all around me. I was able to see that I wasn’t in any familiar place, yet I could not tell what or who anything was. My chest felt like it was engulfed in flames, and every beat made my heart hurt even more awfully than the last. I closed my eyes and prayed. I prayed so hard that everything would be better again. Where was God when I needed him the most? I didn't want to die; I couldn’t let myself die. I needed to hold on just a little longer. When I opened my eyes again, things appeared clearer than before. I blinked a few more times, and when my sight came to me, I saw Trevor standing right in front of me. I smiled and tried to get up to hug him, but I didn’t have much strength left.
"Hey, sweetie," he whispered while he came by the side of my bed to sit on a chair.
"Hi," I barely wheezed because by now the pain had significantly worsened.
"How are you feeling?" he asked.
"Better than some, worse than most," I tried to chuckle.
As I lay there looking into his eyes, I tried to smile, but I started to think of dying and what was going to happen to me. I couldn’t and didn’t want to picture a life without him. He was everything to me. I tried not to think about my family and how they would feel if I was gone forever, but at that point I knew nothing would ever be the same. I saw parts of my life flash before me as tears had started to swell in my eyes, and then ran down my face onto my hospital gown. I tried to hold them back, but I knew I couldn’t. I wanted to stay strong and make it look like I was okay. I didn’t want Trevor to see me like this, but I knew what I had to do.
"Trevor,” I mumbled, as I started to tremble, “I know that I'm not going to make it, but I want you to know that I love you."
"Melodie, don't think like that. You're going to be fine," he snapped, “You’re going to make it out all right, and you’re going to go to school with your friends and me. You won’t die. I won’t let you.”
I could tell he was getting choked up; he was trying to fight back his tears, which made me even more upset than I already was. I had even more tears falling down my face. I tried to stay tough, but right now I had to let it out. I wasn’t going to try to act like everything was okay because, clearly, it wasn’t.
"I'm going to stay here with you," he said.
“No, I don’t want you to see me like this,” I replied.
“I want to be here with you, and I’m not taking no for an answer.”
I didn’t want to argue with him, so I just gave in.
He lay down next to me and put his arms around me. The pain in my chest had started to worsen again. I could feel my heart beat increase rapidly as my breathing became harder. I told Trevor to silence the monitors by my bed as I began to cry. The pain kept welling, and I could feel his arms grow tighter around me. I was so frightened. I never wanted him to let go. I wanted to stay, just for him, in hopes that one day everything would be perfect. I felt like my world was crashing down. I was so out of breath that I could no longer think.
Then, my pain started to subside. I felt Trevor’s grip loosen. I wanted to hold on, but I couldn’t grasp him. Then, the pain was completely gone. Everything and everyone was blindingly white. I could tell that my long journey was over, that I was finally being called home, all because he held me a little longer.
Arlington Heights, Illinois
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"Mirror, mirror on the wall, I'll always get up after I fall. And whether I run, walk or have to crawl, I'll set my goals and achieve them all." -Chris Butler