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Alpine led me down so many different corridors all decorated the same, with the same long white carpet running down the high arched ways. The only thing that differed with every step were the beautifully rich colored and detailed paintings along the way. We didn't stop so I had no time to really take them in, but from what I saw from my glimpses was great talent. When I thought that this guard would never stop walking, he did. At a tall cherry wood door with white trim. The door knob was gold and the front of the door was draped in gold covered leaves and vines. They looked like they were holding the door together somehow. It was breath taking.
"Your rooms madam."
"Thank you, Alpine..."
He smirked and bowed a little before returning the other way.
As my fingers reached to touch the doorknob in front of me, my mind began to reel. It felt like I was suddenly spinning on a tilt a whirl at lightning speed. I couldn't keep my balance in these shoes. Faintly I heard a voice in the back of my mind.
What the hell?
"Sarah sweetheart. Your father is here..."
And with those last words, my entire world went black, and I sank into a deep unconsciousness.
The distant beep I was familiar with started to ring in my ear.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
The fucking heart monitors. The smell of pine sol and bleach assaulted my nasal cavity. And my body started to scream again with how uncomfortable this damn cot was. My vision lightened slowing over a few minutes. Eventually, I was staring up at the ceiling of the hospital room I was still in.
A part of me didn't want to look at her. The look on her and my dad’s face would just crash me right back down into depression at the truth. And I so just wanted to continue to ride the high of Incala. But I knew that It had just been a dream. One beautiful, weird, exciting dream. So, I pulled the tears of longing I wanted to shed away and looked to my parents with a faint smile. My dad was a somewhat tall man with constantly wild bed hair and glasses. He was a genius and loved my mom and I since I could remember. He was usually a ray of light but looking at him now, he looked lost and broken down. She'd told him. My heart ached so bad that it felt like a lump sat in my throat, blocking me from sleeping.
His head shook, and I knew that just as badly as I wanted to dream, he wanted the truth to become something else. Something other than what It was. I didn't have it in me to be mean to my dad. Or my mom. This wasn't their fault. Life was shit. I mean obviously.
"It's going to be okay dad."
He tried not to cry, but he broke. He broke down and cried on me. My gown grew damp with the sadness. There were no words for how the three of us felt now. My eyes wandered to the window and drifted back to Incala. The cool night air, the strange music and sweet food. The strength I had. I instantly missed the glow I was growing used to. I didn't even want to see any hint of my skin now, knowing that I was back to how I really was. My dad wiped his tears away, sitting up and gazing at me.
"I spoke to the doctor and they're gonna start you on some violent treatments that will hopefully..."
"Elongate my life?"
I was afraid. The word violence and treatment never really went well together. Aside from the fact that I didn't want the treatments. But I couldn't say that to my parents. they needed any semblance of hope even if I had none. so, I just nodded and idly listened to what the doctor said when he came in. Clutching his damn clip board that made nothing any different. I just wanted to sleep right now. I looked at the IV where the Morphine drip was. I wanted more.
My thin hands cramped and ached, and my face hurt to pull into a smile. but I did my best for my mom and dad. The doctor had been right however. the treatments were vigorous and painful. I sat through the Chemo, but the Benadryl they pump directly into my system made my blood thick and syrupy. At least I got a way more comfortable chair because going from the cot to a wheelchair was agonizing enough. A nurse I'd only seen in passing was now sitting on a stool in front of me in blue scrubs, preparing to take a blood sample. I already know what the results were gonna say.
PatientXXX, Blood Results: DYING.
Such depressing shit really. there were about twenty other sick people kind of like me in here. i didn't make eye contact with any of them. instead, I glanced out the window and imagined that none of this ever happened. that I was happy and healthy and still at school with my friends. part of me wanted to cry but I held it in. I would not cry. I refused that shit. Now I wasn't refusing to cry because the doctor told me that to get better, I would have to be strong.
No, we were past all that now. there was no getting better. only treatments, three times a week.
The first dose they "Administer" is what I like to call a drug cocktail. The Benadryl, Ativan, and Steroids. Shaken not stirred please. This wasn't my first tango with Chemo, but when other people tell you that it is Bboooring. they would be absolutely right. I had to sit here for six hours. My parents had to go to work because of the hospital bills. They were growing to be too much. And no matter how many smiles my parents put on their faces, I could tell that they were tired.
"Alright," the nurse said sweetly. She smiled at me with her impossibly dark and slicked back hair that draped across her shoulder. she looked healthy. I envied her for it. I put my head back and tried to get as comfortable as my frail body would allow. Sighing deeply, I let the drugs do what they needed. Slowly, I drifted back off to sleep.
I woke up on a overtly soft, and very large rug. The fabric kept on getting caught on my tongue as I anticipated the pain that didn't come as I tried to rise to my hands and knees. My vision was once again blurry. But the air didn't feel stuffy and smell of cough syrup. This air was fresh and clean, mixed with cinnamon and honey. it made my taste buds water. squeezing my eyes shut and opening them again made everything become clearer. I wasn't in the hospital. Candles were no longer lit, and the windows were wide open letting in such bright sunlight. But it made the room a comfortable type of warm. I sat back on my legs and laid my hands in the plush rug, smiling. the room was bathed in gold and white. even the beautifully woven bug netting was gold. How the hell was that even possible? A vanity that almost looked to be antique sat in the far-right corner near one of the large windows. As the curtains whirled and wisped with the wind, I caught the faintest sight of blue. Incala. I was back! I quickly got to my feet and looked down. I was still in the dress from last night. Last night. It was morning now. I can't believe I was having the same dream again?! Well, continued. Thank you, Benadryl! I turned my hands over and over as I admired my bronzed skin. A knock sounded at the door and I quickly turned to face the intruder.
Marlene. She frowned slightly before smiling. "Oh, dear. Too much to drink last night huh?" She must have been referring to my dress and the fact that the corset portion was all twisted and uncomfortable. Luckily, she helped me quickly out of it. Now I was naked in front of her! What was with everyone and nakedness. She walked over to a tall and wide copper basin. Steam rolled off the hot water. I couldn't truly remember the last time I'd taken a hot bath. My body was excited to feel the waters again. I dipped my foot in and at first it scorched, but just as quickly, it took away any muscle strain or pain I could even think of having.
"Ahh..." I sighed.
Fingers found my hair, lifting it atop my head. Marlene had it in one hand and glided my head back as she dipped my hair in a sweet aroma. it smelled so good. "What is that Marlene?"
"Honeysuckle, beeswax, and nectar from the hummingbirds. it helps make your hair more tamable. since you have so much miss."
She stopped moving. I turned to face her and give her a smile, grabbing a hold of her hand. "Call my Sarah please." She nodded back pleasantly before returning her attention back to my hair. the soap today was different. Clear crystals and purple flower petals. The scrub mix sat in a large pink conch shell. I dabbed my fingers in it and started to massage my skin. sheer bliss. "I needed this."
Marlene giggled before rinsing my hair. "I'm sure. the Ale here must be much different than home for you."
"Yeah. that it definitely is."
After I found the perfect dress, sliming and peach colored, Marlene helped me slip into it. it was extremely simple compared to the dress from last night. it hugged my waistline but swept across the floor like cream behind me. Marlene gathered all my hair into one braid and wove those ornately colored rose petals I’d seen before hanging from the vines on the walls, through it. She'd even done light, sweet makeup. I felt pretty. We walked down one of the many corridors in this palace. it seemed bigger than it let on.
"Where are we going?" once I followed Marlene to a room filled with books upon books. calling it a library would have been disrespectful. I had no words for it.
"Queen Lyla is attending to business so I am to show you around the castle. And the markets."
Shopping!? I knew that language anywhere.