"I need to find myself. I'll go, when I come back. I'll show you what I found. Goodbye for now." That's what she said to me.
"I'll wait, forever if I have to. I'll love you forever, I'll wait. Goodbye Joy." Is what I said.
She logged off, leaving me alone. I just sat there, having no idea what to feel. I felt empty. It was as if it stop being able to feel.
I turned off my computer, there was nothing esle for me there. I walked towards my room, about to go to sleep. Today was too much, I couldn't...
That's when I doubled over. I fell to my knees, coughing. The pain in my chest was sharp but insistent. My cough was dry and loud, but it quickly turned into a gag. I covered my mouth when I cough, I felt liquid in my hand, it was thick. There was a metallic smell in the air.
I removed my hand. I froze when I saw my palm. It was stained red, it was very obvious against the light colour of my palm.
No! Why did it come back?! I was cured! I thought. My thoughts were cut off by another round of coughing. Blood drip from my hand, stained the floor.
"Archie!" My sister exclaimed. I saw her running towards me, as my head became dizzy and lost consiousness.
When my eyes opened, the first thing I saw was the bright white colour of a ceiling. I felt a piece of cloth covering me, a pillow supported my head.
"I'm afraid, he won't live long." I heard a man's voice say. "He's lung, it's getting worse. It seems that he's collapsed lung from all those years ago is still weak."
"He's going to die?" I heard my mom's voice say, her voice broke when she said it.
"Yes, unfortunately." The man said.
"Mom?" I said and looked in the direction of the voices.
"Archie?" I saw my mom, she was dressed as she usually was. In a simple t-shirt and jeans. The man who was talking to her wore a white coat. He was a chinese man, with black hair and glasses covering his brown eyes.
"I'll leave you alone." The doctor said and he walked out.
"Archie." My mom said.
"I know mom. I'm going to die." I said. My mom broke down, she sat on a chair that was beside my bed. I pat her back, saying "It's okay". It was weird, consoling someone when I was the one that was going to die.
Then my friends came in. A lot of them asked "Are you okay?" and "How are you feeling?" I gave them simple answers, Yes and No.
Then my friends who I was closest with came in. Mariani, Hannan and Reza. They are the same questions.
"I'm fine." I said.
"Archie." Mariani said. She looked at me straight in the eye. "Don't lie to me." Her voice insistent.
I realised I couldn't lie to her, I have always told her my secrets, she knew how I acted.
That's when my act broke apart. And me? I broke down as well. I used my forearm to cover my eyes, to hide the tears.
"I-I don't want to die.." I said weakly. It was true, I didn't want to die, not yet. There were so many things I still wanted to do. I started wheezing in between my words. I felt several people embrace me, I didn't open my eyes. I just cried, till I was exhausted and fell asleep.
"How are you feeling Archie?" The nurse asked.
"Horrible." I said, with a hint of humour in my voice. "I want to go home. Being here is depressing."
"Well, you'll really die if you go out. At least here, the doctors can help you if you get sick again."
"I'm going to die anyway. Why don't you just let me go?"
"There is a chance that you might be able to recover. You need to think positive." The nurse said.
You need to think positive. That's what Joy would say. Then it hit me. Joy! She didn't know what was happening to me!
"Nurse? Can I have my phone?" I asked.
"It's right beside you." She pointed to the table beside my bed.
I immediately took it and turned on my internet connection, then sighed into skype. She wasn't on!
I started to panic. If I died here, she wouldn't know. She would be waiting...till I come on. Waiting for her boyfriend that won't ever come back.
"Nurse. I really need to get out of here."
She raised an eyebrow at me. "We already talked about it-"
"Nurse.. please." I said, I wished she could hear the plead in my voice and my eyes.
She heistated. "I'll see what I can do." Then she walked out of the room.
I dialed a phone number on my phone. "Hey Mariani, we have to get some plane tickets."
The plane touched down. We were in the philippines. We got the money from the years we saved, we planned to go overseas after our exams, together. Now I'm going to philippines, using our money..because I wanted to.
"Hey Ralph!" I said. Ralph was one of Joy's friends.
"Hey Archie. You ready?" He asked.
Before I could answer, I coughed not as serious as before. Rather it was a reminder that I was sick. "Yeah let's go."
I took down Joy's number from Ralph. I called her.
"Hello?" Her voice came from the other end.
"Archie? How did you get my number?"
"Ralph. He's right beside me by the way."
"What would you say I'm infront of your house now, looking at your window?"
"What?!" She exclaimed. I saw her head appear from behind her window. She saw me and gasped. She mouthed the words "Stay there."
She came out from her front door. She walked towards me and stopped suddenly. "What are you doing here?"
"To see you." I didn't know whether to feel hurt because she was acting hostile or happy then I finally she her face to face.
"Why? I thought I said I want to think about this." She crossed her arms, looking tough. But I saw it in her eyes, she was confused. I've read in books, where the main character gets hurt physically because she/he was unable to touch their loved one when they were standing infront of each other. I always thought it was stupid, I never thought I would experience it for myself.
"Well. I need to tell you something before I.....go." When I said go, of course I meant me dying.
"Okay. Say it." She said, oblivious to what my words truely meant.
"I love you." I took her hand and put it on my chest, right over my beating heart. "This heart will always belong to you, even though it's scarred. Even though I have no idea how long it can beat. I love you. You will literally be my first and last Girlfriend."
"Archie..what are you saying?" She asked, she didn't look tough anymore, she looked vulnerable.
"I'm dying Joy." As if my body was trying to show her. I broke into a fit of coughing.
"No! Archie don't leave!"
"It's not as if I have a say in this."
"Stay with me..fight! You said you would wait!" She exclaimed. There was panic in her voice now.
I put my arms around her waist, pulling her close to me. "I would have waited, if my heart was still strong. I can't now. Just remember I'll love you okay?"
She put my arms around my neck and we shared a kiss. It was a kiss filled with passion and longing, something we should have down long ago. The kiss only reinforce what I felt for her, I loved you. Through and through.
I pulled away. "Goodbye Joy." I walked away from her without another word.
Then the pain came back. I fell to my knees again, coughing again.
"Archie!" Joy ran to me. She rested my head on her lap. "No..don't go. Not now. Please!"
"I'm sorry Joy." I raised my hand and touched her cheek. "If there is a life after this one, I'll wait for you there. I love you."
I coughed again, blood stained my shirt and hers. She was crying now. I could feel it, death. That cold and scary embrace.
"Goodbye Joy." I said weakly.
"Goodbye Archie. I love you too and that came from the heart." She said.
I managed a weak smile. I felt my eyes grew heavy. I began closing them, glad that the last thing I would see was her beautiful face.