My lung feels like it’s about to collapse under the pressure as I finally push out the deadly excess carbon dioxide that’s been threatening my body all over. Once out, it lingers, knowing that its companions will be out soon from their short, hostile stay. Body sagging with relief, a throbbing sensation takes over, the pain excruciatingly unbearable.

I don’t know how much more I can take of this. The last exhale almost killed me. Questions swarm my head. Why? Why? Why? Why would God put me through so much pain? I wonder if this is him punishing me for all the crap I have said over the years. Another painful sensation takes over my body. Is all this suffering really worth it? Why didn’t I pray and go to church more? I chuckle, reminiscing the way mum used to chase me around the house to force me to go to church. I used to enjoy church, the singing mainly that is until, the teenage years came and I discovered boys.

Who would’ve thought that smoking had such a negative effect on your body? Even the voice in my head is laced with sarcasm. Pneumothorax was a giant mean bully, a bully that was currently beating the crap out of me.

It was the first time I’d dealt with a bully; usually it was the other way round. I’m just the type of person who gets under your skin, and not in a good way. There were many times as a teen where I’ve ended up in a fight or another. I used to like sneaking out at night just as the moon woke up from its peaceful slumber, when the rounded beacon shyly peeked out from under its fluffy blanket. It was peaceful when the stars saw its company wide awake, and twinkling they rose and shone, proudly twinkling with them. I used to walk down the cobbled street, hand nestled in my pocket. I’d look up and watch this majestic process, with whatever object that had taken my fancy that week, weaving in and out of my fingers. I used to go out looking forward to getting a few punches with whoever looked at me funny or when girls would look at my then boyfriend.

The doctor said that I was next on the list. I was next. In a couple of hours, I’d be in surgery. Something that should make me so happy brings so much sorrow, guilt and anger. How could I be happy that someone else lost their life? How could I smile and enjoy this moment with my family knowing that theirs was grieving? How was it fair that someone who treasured their life and cherished their body died while me, who was reckless, stupid and abusive get to live? It’s not fair. It’s just not fair. It should be me giving him my organs, not the other way around. I’ve lied, I’ve cheated, I’ve stolen, committed all of the deadly sins. It should be me. It should be me. Unable to stare at the white sterile ceiling anymore, I look to the side, down towards the worn out, muddy carpet.

It reminded me of the carpet I once had when David and I were together. Dark and frayed, missing the marks I had ironed into ours. Our old one was horrid, imprinted with footsteps from the days where I tiredly paced the apartment, eventually falling asleep on the couch, waking up early to be subjected to the same black and white reruns that escaped from my eyes. I replay over and over again the image of his face when I told him, the look of disgust that tainted his features, and the bite of his spiteful words. All of it taunting me relentlessly. Images of the packed bags, the jagged fragments of glass, the shredded pieces of the divorce papers floating around me. All evidence of my betrayal. All evidence of what I had done. How it hurts that years on he still can’t forgive me. All I seem to leave behind are broken bottles and shattered hearts

Every breath that escapes lands a deep punch into the crevices of my lung, multiplying the vast canyon that’s already there. Blackened and blued, my lungs struggle to fight on since its twin had collapsed. A hero, it continues to push, push, and push so that its other half did not die in vain. Like a true trooper it works day and night, overtime adding to the never ending list as to why I have to keep fighting this wretched disease.

Preparing myself for the battle ahead, I remember your golden mane, your innocent joyful voice and rich whiskey eyes, willing me – no begging me not to leave you. I remember the first time you said you loved me, how you ran up to me one day, face glowing with a sweet cherub smile, the way your pink gums surrounded your one lone tooth as you shouted those three little words. It’s funny how it takes being on the brink of death to realise what is important to you. Mentally putting on my gloves, I geared up and inhaled, knowing that I had someone and something worth fighting for.

About haringeyunchained

Haringey Unchained is a collective of students aiming to show case the creative talent of Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham, London. We think that through the promotion of our creative thoughts, we can educate our community, bringing to the foreground the critical and creative consciousness of a vibrant school in a deprived part of London. We are endeavouring to provide this blog as a platform for our community, giving the space to those whose work otherwise might not be seen or read. Being that the cuffs are off, we are able to express through our photography, art, short fiction and poetry, what’s really on our minds. We are free.

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