M.R.I Short Story
This is a short story written by Elena Sancho.
Fayre sat in her hospital window watching the view, along winding highway.
"You'd think they'd give you a better window. I've complained about it to them for years, yet they still put you in a room next to a loud high way. It annoys me," Olly said to his twin sister. He sat on his sister's hospital bed, going through magazines the nurses brought Fayre to look at. The doctors were getting worried about the lack of interaction with people.
"You know, the more you complain, the worse the view will get," Fayre said with a smile and Olly groaned. He didn't like that his little sister was being treated like she was dirt. Especially since she had been here for so long.
"I just don't want my little sister to be treated with disrespect,"
"We're the same age,"
"Yeah, but I was born fifteen minutes before you,"
"Oh, what a huge difference!" Fayre said with her eyes wide as she mocked her brother.
"I don't like being sick," Olly said and Fayre smiled.
"I don't like being sick either," She said and Olly furrowed his eyebrows. Olly and Fayre had both been diagnosed with Non-Small cell lung cancer. They were diagnosed five years ago and yet they were still dying. The chemo wasn't working one bit on Fayre, but working better every day for Olly. "At least you're healing," Fayre said with a frown. "I still have short of breath in the middle of the night, my bones ache, and my skin is turning more death color by the day," She said, and Olly looked at her as she turned away from the window. "I'm gonna die, but you'll get to live. So I think it's okay if I don't make it," Fayre said. Olly was enraged upon hearing this.
“I will not die without you," Olly said, Fayre smiling softly as she looked him straight in the eyes.
"I won't mind, Olly," She said, but Olly shakes his head in denial.
"Right now, make a promise to me that we will die together. The same day, same time, and the same year," Olly said as Fayre rolls her eyes.
"That's not going to happen," Fayre said, Olly, smiling. Fayre spoke her mind when she knew just the right time to put someone straight but was quiet whenever she felt her voice wasn't needed. It seemed she was quieter than usual these days. As the doctors walked in, both of them had smiles on their faces.
"Good, glad you're in here Olly. We have something to tell you," The doctor said and Fayre already knew what was coming next. "Your latest test results came up. We are happy to say, they are clean. As we were saying, the chemo has been working. You no longer have cancer," The doctors said to Olly with a smile. Fayre continued to look out her window at the worst view in history.
"What about Fayre? What did her test say?" Olly asked nervously as the doctors smile disappeared. Olly wanted so badly for his little sister to be safe and at home.
"The tests show that the cancer is spreading through her entire right lung," The doctors said.
"So she isn't getting any better?" Olly asked.
"No, she isn't," The doctors proclaimed. The door swung open to Fayre’s room.
"We just heard the great news," their parents yelled. Their mother popped open a small confetti cannon while their father popped a bottle of sparkling apple juice. Both of them wore shirts that said 'Our Son is Healed!' on them. Then they looked over at Fayre and their smiles faded.
"Oh baby," Their mother said with heartbreak in her voice.
"They told us about you too," Their Dad said and Fayre glared at the doctors.
"I'll leave you all to talk," the doctors said. And then they left. They could see the joy they had about Olly being cleansed from the unholy devil called cancer. But, they also saw the sadness they had for their unhealed child.
"It's fine," Fayre said without looking away from the window. The view didn't seem so dreary anymore.
"We got you both some dance classes down in the cafeteria at three. Thought you'd like something out of this drowsy room," Dad said trying to make light out of the whole situation.
"I'm not a dancer," Fayre said. It didn't seem to matter what she said. Three hours later, Fayre and Olly were in the cafeteria, forced to dance.
"You get to leave tomorrow. Happy?" Fayre asked Olly.
"I don't want to leave you. We have always gone through this together. But now I'm healed and yet your still sick," Olly said. Before Fayre could say anything in response the teacher gathered them around and they learned the cha cha. They made Fayre dance until her feet ached and she felt sick to her stomach.
"Olly, I feel sick," Fayre said as she grabbed his shoulder to be able to stand up straight. Fayre almost collapsed, but Olly caught her and helped her stand up. The nurses ran over from the sides of the room and rushed Fayre to her room with Olly following not too far behind. Their parents were in the room when Fayre, passed out, the nurses, and Olly walked in.
"What happened?" Their Mom asked, her eyes filled with alarm as the nurses laid Fayre down.
"She was overworked," Olly said as he sat next to his sister's bed. An hour went by when Fayre finally woke up.
"I'm fine Mom. Really, I'm fine," Fayre said as she tried to move away from her mom's hug. The doctors walked in as soon as her mom pulled away.
"We want to do an M. R. I. to check up on some things. Her oxygen levels are getting lower every night. We will have the M.R. I. ready in an hour, so I suggest you get ready," The doctor said.
"Is she okay?" Their dad asked.
"I won't lie. We're worried about time," The doctor said.
"What do you mean?" Olly asked, his voice choking.
"She's dying, Olly," The doctor said as Fayre watched his brother deny the words. The doctor left so that Fayre could get ready. She got out a hospital gown as her parents left for the night. They never stayed.
"You won't die," Olly said. Fayre smiled at him. "I mean it. I search every inch of this planet to find a cure. Remember what you said to me when we got sick? The day we found out we might both die? You said that no matter what, you would be there. Whether you died or not, you'd be here watching over me," He said. Fayre put on a small smile. She put her hand on his knee and looked at him, the real him.
"Let's not lie to ourselves. I'm dying, as we know. But what you don't want to admit is that I'm already dead. You are healed, and Mom and Dad got a promotion. I'm still in the same place I was years ago. In a hospital bed, only now it's gotten worse," Fayre said. Olly shook his head as Fayre pulled away from her hand. "You need to move on. I stand by what I said. I will always be here for you, even when I die," She said as Olly let out a shaky breath.
"But if you die, I won't have anyone," Olly choked, tears forming in his eyes. "You'll have Mom and Dad. And Rosy,” Rosy was Olly’s best friend, but Fayre could see that they were more to each other. “She doesn’t care about me, Fayre,” Olly said, but Fayre shook her head.
“She cares about you more than you know. You just have to open your eyes wide enough to see it,” Fayre said.
"Someday we'll both be married and have beautiful children-"
"I don't want children," Olly roared. Fayre sighed in annoyance. "Imagine, i-imagine a life of a loving family. Don’t bring me into this, think about you. Isn’t it wonderful?" Fayre asked.
"Not without you," Olly said. He remembered Picking Fayre up throughout her life. He just knew that Fayre never once had someone who wasn't him. Olly had the beautiful Rosy while Fayre only had her books and Olly.
"It will be without me," Fayre said. Olly stormed out of the room in anger. Fayre got dressed quietly. Life was no longer flowers and rainbows, although was it ever really? Being sick so young caused you to be different, not a girl anymore but more of an alien in some way. Being stuck in a machine wasn’t going to change anything the doctors were still going to find a giant tumor that’s going to end her life. Once she was finished, she sat on her bed and laid there for a little while till the doctors and nurses came in. Olly had not come back to see her. "I want to see my brother," Fayre said, angrily.
"I don't think we can-"
"Move! I want to see my sister," Olly yelled as he pushed away from the nurses, running into Fayre's room. "You're dying."
"I'm sorry," Fayre said as a tear dripped down Olly's face.
"We have to go Fayre," The nurse said.
"Don't worry. I'll be right behind the glass," Olly said as he wiped away his tears. The nurses carried Fayre to the M.R. I. room in her hospital bed. When she got there, her parents and Olly were already behind the glass. Fayre was forced to drink an expired tasting grape drink that helped them take a picture of her insides. The bed was cold against her back and the machine was loud. The walls around Fayre were turned blue from the ray of lights hitting her eyes on the machine. Each time her fingers touched the cold bed in the machine they pulled away from how fast her fingers seemed to freeze in fear as if coming into a reality that this was really happening.
"Stay still, Fayre," The doctor said through the loudspeaker. Fayre stayed still and flinched as the sound got louder, capturing images of her insides. She closed her eyes and tried to stay as still as she could. She felt sick. The pain started to crawl in her chest. Needles and fire seemed to cascade over her body. It accelerated quickly. The fire was searing even in the warmth of her lungs and burning through her chest. Fayre screamed and opened her eyes. She was now alone in the dark. The room was gone and so was Olly and her parents. She closed her eyes and opened them once again to show a forest in front of her. Everything looked magical and perfect. The white frost tipped blanket draped over rotting trees and grass glistened like an angel.
"Hello?" Fayre called into the snow. Silence responded.