Pretty Blue Skies

Susie. Susie. Susie, the voices taunted; calling her as she bent over in pain.

She sighed, coughing. Her breathing was irregular, coming out more like gasps.

Trying to escape the pain, she looked beyond the window sill and out of the window.

Out there children played beneath the pretty blue sky, playing freely without a care in the world. To any outsider it would seem that Susie was somewhat jealous, watching them as if she were judging to see if they were worth playing with. She used to be but now, after everything she didn't want what they were doing, she just wanted to be free. Like a dandelion, flowing through the wind.

A teenage couple, caught her gazing at the children, smiled and waved at her. She waved back at them and watched as they got onto the motor bike. Maybe if Susie were older she might have wanted that, but now she couldn't think of anything else but the sky.

Susie's breath stilled as she heard the faint knock on her door.

Without truly knowing who it was, she guessed and imagined her instead. A tall woman with luscious red hair walked into the room, watching her across the room. The woman had once been extremely gorgeous, but now that her blue eyes didn't contain the life they used to, she was just dull; never truly there. "Susie."

Susie kept staring past the window towards the pretty blue sky.

If there was ever a place she truly knew about, it'd be that pretty blue sky. It was the only thing she had woken up to when she was kept in the sickly white room and it was the only story her mother ever told her about. It was the only story that made them both happy.

'Up there,' her mother would start in a soft voice, soothing Susie's cold body. 'Up there, they make it better.'

'How?' Susie would ask.

'They take away the pain. They take away what hurts most and they make you what you truly are meant to be.'

Usually, when her mother would tell her things like these she'd look back towards her and smile. 'So if you went there, you'd be an angel?'

Her mother would let out a laugh and then sigh, Susie was growing closer to her every day.

Sometimes, after visiting hours would finish, Susie would lie in her small bed and wander if her mother had a reason for telling her these things.

"Susie." The woman waited for her to turn around, but Susie stayed still; not turning because if she did her mother would know instantly that there was something terribly wrong. "Susie!"

"What?" She breathed out, trying to disguise the shakiness in her voice.

"I brought your medicine to your room an hour ago, why haven't you taken it?" Susie shrugged and heard the uneasy breath escape from the woman's lips. She heard the trembling breath of her mother of her mother as she said, "Just make sure you take it okay?"

Susie stayed still. She couldn't make promises, not when she could barely even walk to her bathroom that morning to puke out the nothingness that was in her stomach.

The woman brushed a shaky hand through her hair. "We're going out, do you need anything?"

For you to stay, she thought but she dared not voice it to her.

"Susie, answer me!" The woman yelled, trying to get her daughter to finally look at her.

I can't.

Susie. Susie. Susie.

Letting out an outraged breath, her mother exited the room, slamming the door behind her. Susie could hear the weight leaning against the door and knew that if she could walk her seven year old body out into the hallway, she would find her mother crying against the wall.

Susie.

Looking towards the bedside table where her mother said she'd placed the medication she tried to move her legs over to it.

She couldn't.

Tears of pain stained her cheeks and she didn't have the energy to wipe them away.

So instead she continued the imaginary list she had kept imbedded into her mind.

The things she wanted: A cure. A life. For the pain to go away.

Things her parents needed: Money. Happiness. To laugh.

And Things she wanted them to have: Someone to take away their tears and replace them with smiles instead when she was gone. A child that didn't spend their time coped up in hospitals or their bed all the time, and instead went outside to play with the children.

Susie. Susie, the voices laughed watching her gasp in pain as she felt the horrible stab in her body again for the billionth time that morning. She concentrated back on the outside world right then, watching her mother walk out the door and into the car her father sat in. They locked eyes and when her eyes widened, she had a feeling that she knew what was happening.

Before her mother could come back outside though, her father had begun to reverse the car and drove off. They'll be back in a few minutes, she thought but didn't dwell on the fact that her father would be forced to come back home, because of her.

Instead, she opened her window.

And even though it hurt to do so much at one time, she did it because she had to.

Climbing onto her window sill, she began to crawl along the rough tiles of the roof. Once she was at least thirty centimetres past the window, she had to stop, grasping for what little air she could.

As she did she couldn't help but think, For once I'm outside on my own.

Susie. Susie. Susie. Susie. Susie.

The voices were trying to call her back but she was trying to savour this moment. A moment where it could be just her and the pretty blue skies.

Children stopped, looking towards the sick little girl on the roof. Parents were called, running towards the girl on the roof trying to call her to come inside. Her parents came, her mother already in tears, knowing exactly what was happening and through those tears she smiled because for once her baby girl was going to be free and at peace when she'd be a part of the pretty blue skies skies.

Susie didn't know that anyone was there, but by the impact of the blue eyes gazing into her side she knew that her mother was right behind her.

When she felt the tears staining her nightgown, she knew that she was there, hugging her- trying to make her last moment with her daughter somewhat happy.

Susie. Susie. Susie, come be free and join us. The voices were turning softer and she smiled, knowing that they were the voices that she should answer.

So she looked up, gazing deeply into the pretty blue sky.

She could see everybody she had once met and folks that she was yet to met.

And all she could think was, 'I'm coming.'

A/N: Just a brief account of a child living with an illness that limits her to doing activities that involve not moving. In a way , she has cancer.

This is just recording her last few minutes in her life.

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