Day 9: One a day:


The Challenge


“Remember the dead hot summers? The ones when we lived with our super soakers and perched on top of Dad’s gritty shed roof for six weeks? We sprayed ‘mas’ on this electricity monitor thing, because the spray can ran out before we could put the H at the end. Remember how much we both loved mash and we wanted to tell the whole world. Mam went spare when she found the spray can in the bin, and neither of us could lie to save our souls. We got the hiding of a lifetime, but she never told anyone. Not even Dad. Remember the endless and mindless small talk we’d have when we went to the opticians, the doctors, to Morrisons with mum. We were never quiet kids. We always had something to say to each other; otherwise we’d get very unhappy very quickly.

“It’s time.” I’ve been challenged since I sprinted into the hospital. Mentally, emotionally, physically. I’ve ran to the look seventeen times in the past two hours, but have never been able to go. My head is crushing in on itself with horrible thoughts and de ja vu from the accident. The black, oil slick on the newly done road. The smell of the leather in the car as the sun beat down on the car. The terror in Paul’s eyes as he struggled to keep a hold of the wheel. The screams of the cars behind as they tried to break.

“Do you want to know the last thing he said to me?” The nurse tucks her hair behind her ear. “Don’t give your heart away easily. He was dropping me off at this girl’s house.”

“He was a deep feeling person your brother. We went out in Uni.”

“He had a good heart.”

“Did you know he was an organ donor?”

“Yeah.” This old girlfriend straightens the duvet around Jamie’s neck. His face is still bruised from the accident, his lips still in shreds. “Can I talk to him a while longer?” I catch the name on her uniform. “April?” Her own eyes have misted over.

“So long as I can stay.” I nod. She pulls the blue curtain around the three of us.