‘The heart is the brightest’, she said.
Reclining in the summer night, eyes cast north, she began outlining the constellations for the boy she loved. Aligning her arm on Serpens, she pointed to the east and west, describing the head and the tail of the serpent coiled around the body of Ophiuchus. ‘The Romans called him Asclepius, the healer, which is why there’s a snake wrapped around the staff in our symbol of medicine.’
‘I don’t think I’ll ever get better’, he stated matter of factly.
She knew so much about so many things that suddenly seemed pointless, but this one thing she didn’t know. ‘I don’t know’, she said after a moment, defeated.
‘I’m not sure I want to, he said. ‘It hurts to live. I can’t get past the pain. Being alive isn’t really living anymore. I don’t think things are going to get better.’
It destroyed her when he talked like that, so much older and more mature than his single-digit age should allow. But there he was. It was as if he’d learned things from some unseen tutor since being diagnosed.
‘How do you know things won’t improve? Give it time. Have faith. Believe in yourself.’ She was begging now, pride having long since taken a back seat to desperation.
‘The heart has eyes that the brain knows nothing of’, he muttered, almost imperceptible. ‘I heard someone say that in a dream last night.’ He sighed and focused on the gleaming heart of the constellation’s serpent, a dying star that suddenly seemed like a kindered spirit to the boy looking at it. ‘My brain says keep going, but my heart doesn’t see the point.’
Sir @ December 15, 2011