“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all-“
This was the quote that greeted me on a brown rustic wooden board that stood beside Sam’s door. Stepping out of the car, I stood for a moment, inhaling the jolly sweet rusty smell of after-rain which evaporated from the sand In the mini gardens. The sky was mostly cloudless with only a few light clumps of clouds here and there, and even those were shady. The unwelcoming rays of the sun penetrated through my skin, a hot 35 degrees; I was home. It had rained the previous day, no wonder the weather was so hot.
“Need any help?” George’s voice snapped me out of my daydream.
He stood a little behind me, grinning as I turned to face him. He knew pretty well I hadn’t even started offloading yet, I was lost in thoughts.
“Hey, don’t mock the cancer girl, doc. I’m hurting enough already you know.” I replied back, gently grasping at the upper part of my blouse where I knew my heart was.
He laughed, “Oh, so you’re playing the cancer card now huh, good thing I’m immune.” We both laughed.
Dr George Sandow’s an old friend of mine. He was the one who diagnosed me with my Meningioma and helped me through the first few months of coming to terms with having a tumor growing in my brain. Ever since then, we became tight friends even with an age gap of about 12 years. I remember when I was leaving town, he told me
“This is your home Summer, and when your home comes calling, you know where to find me.”
When I called him the other day that I had decided to come back, his voice rose to a high pitch as he exclaimed,
“I’m glad you took it literally Summer.”
Perks of living in a small town, everybody knew everybody and everybody got emotionally invested in everybody’s business.
Slowly placing one foot in front of another on the cobblestone pavement that led up to Sam’s door, my heart beat quickened. I felt like a teenager in need of a pep talk because the sole of my feet dreaded to be placed on the floor; I was that nervous. What do I say? How do I explain my absence? How would Sam and Kit react to seeing me? All these thoughts were racing through my mind. We had decided, I and George that facing my two hopefully not ex best friends was something I needed to do alone. I took one long final glance at George who was now sitting in the car watching earnestly. One last deep breath, and before I could give myself another pep-talk, the door which was now a few feet in front of me slowly opened. A golden haired face popped out, it was a little girl with deep blue eyes. She ran back in almost immediately.
For a minute, I was confused. Did I come to the wrong place? I mean, did George make a mistake? And then I heard the little girl’s voice from within the house,
“There’s a woman with a scarf outside.”
“Azalea, are you sure?” A woman asked
I froze. There was no mistaking that voice, it was Kit’s.
“Yes Kit, there is a woman with a scarf outside our door,” Azalea kept on.
In the brief period before I set eyes on Kit, I become more conscious of my looks than I had been in a long time. The dark colored boot-cut jeans and white tank I had worn did a bad job of covering up all the weight I had lost. I was only then realizing it. The jeans waist wasn’t sitting properly, the tank was soggy at the breast cut, my hands looked a bit flaky and my feet were merely bones and skin.
And then, the door In front of me slid with a creaking sound and a figure stood towering a bit over me as always. With one hand still gripping the door, our eyes hadn’t met yet, I blurted
Shifting her gaze to face me, she spoke with such reinforcement. It was as if she was cocksure she was right and her voice oozed without a doubt,
“Summer!” “Oh lord!” She exclaimed.
She recognized me within the split of a second and before I could spit out any more words, I was enshrouded in a much needed hug. Words were said which I couldn’t fully decipher amidst Kit’s not-so-silent tears.
She cried and hugged and cried some more, and me, tears of Joys silently streamed down my cheeks, I couldn’t speak. I didn’t need to speak. I was home and that was all that mattered. But leave it to cancer to spoil even the most glorious and joyous of moments.
While basking in the warmth and love that I hadn’t felt in a long time, I felt my chest tighten. The pressure in my abdomen increased, my breath was hooked mid way and I managed to struggle my way out of Kit’s embrace just in time to let out the contents of my stomach onto the pavement without Kits clothes coming into harms way.
“Summer, are you okay?” I heard her voice in the distance.
Without waiting for my answer, she screamed for Dahlia to get some water. I was exhausted from the vomiting, my body was dehydrated, I collapsed. George who had been watching from the car hurried to my aid, kneeling beside me as Kit screamed once more for the water.
I recall George giving some orders to Kit which I couldn’t make out. The last thing I remember thinking before fading into the blur was
“You didn’t get to see Sam”
“But you made it this far Summer”
I lost full consciousness and faded into the black.
Just incase you missed the last chapter where Summer talks about her journey with cancer, here is the link: Summer’s Story . My apologies for the delay in posting this chapter. To make up, the next chapter would be out tomorrow, same time (or even earlier) 🙂