3 months ago | 5107
As a school project, I had to rewrite the ending to a book. I chose The Fault in our Stars…
Isaac’s mom helped him out of the Literal Heart of Jesus. I rode with them up the elevator to save my crap lungs the panic. Despite the fact that there was plenty of room, Augustus stayed behind and waited for the next lift. Every time we insisted that he just join us, he’d say “ladies first” and pat Isaac on the shoulder. While the doors closed, Augustus and I shared an intense gaze that seemed to come directly out of a superficially pretentious movie.
Isaac was still sniffling from Augustus’s pre-funeral. I was as well, but not as much. His mother rubbed his shoulder’s to console him, but nothing could. Like he’d just said, he doesn’t want to see a world without Augustus Waters.
When I stepped outside, I realized that the air felt unusually cool. When I noticed the impending storm clouds looming above the town I recalled the that the forecast called for thunderstorms. Rather than dawdle in the cold and wait for Augustus to come out, I decided to, yet again, save my crap lungs the panic of breathing in the abnormal air by getting in my car and driving home.
My parent’s had already retired to their room when I entered the house. I decided not to bother them, but I really did want to apologize for the way I’d acted earlier. All they wanted was to see me more often, and soon they will…
In my room, I hooked myself up to the BiPAP and laid in bed. For a while I just stared at the ceiling and listened to the rain beat against the window. I eventually decided to close my eyes and attempt to sleep. In all honesty, I couldn’t let my mind relax with all that was running through it. Despite that, I slipped into a restless slumber.
My eyes shot open with searing pain singing through my head. I sat up and held my hands on my forehead. It had happened again. I hadn’t gotten enough oxygen to my brain and now I was experiencing a sensation that Augustus would describe as a one-legged fat man wearing a stiletto heel standing on my temple. This shouldn’t have happened. I was hooked up to the BiPAP. That should have forced oxygen into my lung whether they liked it or not.
While making a sound I assume wouldn’t sound unlike a wounded pterodactyl’s mating call, I flipped on the light switch on the wall beside my bed. Nothing happened. It remained dark, and while I guess that could be an affect of my brain going into red alert, I presume something else is the cause. Then I realized that my once whizzing and whirring pet dragon had fallen silent. His glowing eyes lost their luminescence. The storm had knocked the power out.
Soon enough, my shouting alarmed my parents and they whisked me into the car and began driving to the hospital. Just like last time, dad drove and I rested my head on mom’s lap while floating in the dark space between unconsciousness and reality. Then, in record time we arrived at the hospital and the hospital workers heroically leaped into action.
The doctors and the nurses did their usual fabulous job of pumping me so full of drugs that I couldn’t even speak. I could feel my lungs taking on water at a furious pace. My throat panicked as the windpipe realized it’s useless without lungs.
They wasted no time hooking me up to as many gizmos and gadgets that they could. They stuck heart monitors onto my skin and an I.V. tube into my arm. All of this was done while the gurney was in motion, so if I could move my arms, I’d applaud them.
My bed was being wheeled down a hall that the nurses and patients had appropriately renamed from Hall 3B to The Final Stretch. When I made it to the end and through the doors, I silently celebrated. It’s not often that patients see the other side of that door as they usually pass out from pain or die. I made sure to bask in the glory before letting my heavy eyelids droop down and grant me a bit of peace from my painful reality.
I slowly opened my eyes to see the familiar vacuum tube protruding from my scarred chest with a steady stream of disgusting dark fluid flowing through. My mouth was covered by an oxygen mask. I took a deep, painful breath in through my nose before closing my eyes again. I’d come to hate the emergency room.
My parents were sitting beside my bed holding each other in a huddle of self pity. It took me a moment, but I eventually mustered up the air and the courage to ask my parents to leave. They looked absolutely crushed, but obliged. I wasn’t thirteen years old anymore, and I’d decided I didn’t want their guilt inducing gazes to haunt my decent into oblivion.
I apologize if I sound a bit mad, but I am. I’m mad that didn’t subtly rebel against Patrick’s ridiculous sermons as much as I wanted to. I’m mad that I didn’t get to pick out the outfit I’d be buried/cremated in. I made that I didn’t specify that I wanted to be buried. I’m mad that I didn’t apologize to my parents when I could. I’m mad that I didn’t wait for Augustus to get out of the Literal Heart of Jesus so I could have seen him on more time.
I presume most people would pray about now, but I decided that cursing everything I hate would make me feel much better. Curse the support group. Curse the nurse that let my parents stare at my unconscious body. Curse this nail polish for chipping. Curse the man that didn’t design a back up battery for a life support machine. Curse Augustus for not reading me the epilogue he wrote for An Imperial Affliction.
Almost on cue, the most amazing guy I’d ever met appeared from behind my privacy curtain.
Augustus waters stood (well, he barely stood) in the doorway. He was thin and sickly. He looked a million times worse than he did several hours ago. His lips, blue and chapped, still pulled into the crooked smile I’d fallen in love with. His eyes, despite the rings around them, were still as bright and blue as I’d remembered. He was only covered by a hospital gown holding himself up with the I.V. stand.
“Hazel Grace,” he breathed. “I’ve come to take your breath away.”
I gave as enthusiastic of a chuckled that my lungs would allow. “Too late.”
He looked on the verge of crying. He shuffled over to the my bed and climbed aboard. He weakly put his arms around me and began stroking my hair softly. His eyes were laden with tears that killed me to think I’d caused. I refused to believe I was making my love cry.
“Hazel Grace,” he choked out. “I heard you were in peril, so I left my life support and rushed to your aid.” Now I was teary eyed.
“Augustus, no.” I squeaked desperately. “Go back. Please don’t,”
Augustus raised a finger to my lips and shushed me. “I wrote you a eulogy, but we don’t have the time for me to read it all to you. So, I’m gonna read you the best part.” he said quietly. I nodded. “She’s so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she’s smarter than you: you know she is. She is funny without even being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have a say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”
By the ending, Augustus had tears running down his face, and I was no different. I put my face in his shoulder, and he put his in mine. I didn’t care if we looked pathetic, I was dying today and I damn well deserved this. I cast off any peeping eyes looking at the oddity of a cancerous romance coming to a sweet painful end. We were going the same way our little journey began. Together.
I forced out an “I do, Augustus. I do.” through an oncoming sob.
He held me a little tighter and nodded. I could feel his panicked heart fight to beat. Every tiny breath I took was an inch closer to the bittersweet end. He gritted his teeth in what I presumed was pain. “Okay.”
I nodded. “Okay.”
He took a deep breath. “Okay.”
This continued on until his was a faded ‘Oh-’. I sobbed out a final “Okay.” I was alone, but soon after I began to get a feeling of drowning. It felt like I was being pushed under water and pulled back up. I’d fade in and out. When I faded out, I saw nothing, felt nothing, and thought of nothing. When I faded in, I went over our love story on replay.
I went down, and this time I wasn’t coming up. Not now, not tomorrow. Not ever.
#tfios #the fault in our stars #john green #fishingboatproceeds #edwardspoonhands #Hank Green #Nerdfightaria #nerdfighters #augustus waters #hazel #hazel and gus #hazel and augustus #hazel grace #hazel grace lancaster
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