Another Thursday, another story inspired by BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday thread. This time I managed to get two of the prompts in, which is something I rarely do. It’s also quite a personal piece, because I had a condition a few years ago that made me have to fight for each painful breath. I’ve tried to capture something of that in this piece although with a different POV and a much more severe medical prognosis.
I’d love to hear what you think of it.
If you’ve never watched someone you love fighting for breath, you can’t begin to imagine how it feels. You dare not drag your eyes away in case they lose the next battle, in case that rasping desperate sound is the last rasping desperate sound you ever hear. It doesn’t even occur to you that everyone else breathes quietly, or that the first time you heard that the troubled breathing you wanted never to hear it again.
But hope. That’s the thing. The greatest blessing of humanity, and sometimes its greatest curse. To go from hoping she’ll breathe normally again, to just hoping she’ll breathe again, to just… Hope without knowing what you’re hoping for.
And now I have a new hope and it’s almost too much to bear. She’s waiting to live again. Someone else’s hope died today, but sometimes hope is competitive and I can’t grieve for them when I think of the borrowed heart that will make her live. That will take her breath away and give it back a hundred times stronger. That will allow me to hope once more to hear the last of those desperate painful gasps.
You think I am selfish. That I should think of the dead and the grieving. That I should be grateful, humbled, sorry. But you’ve never watched someone you love fighting for breath; you can’t begin to imagine how it feels.