‘PIPPA!!!’ Came the scream. ‘GO ON PIPPA!!!’
She jumped up and down and watched with pride as a tall teenage girl with long blonde hair tied up in a loose ponytail crossed the finish line six meters ahead of the rest before turning towards the stands and punching the air in victory with a huge smile on her face, and her cornflower blue eyes shining with delight.
‘WOOH PIPPA!!’ she cried, jumping the barrier and rushing down to hug the girl. It was then that it happened, Pippa’s smile faded as she staggered forward clutching her chest, the young girl’s eyes closed and she toppled onto the asphalt track. ‘Pippa!’ she reached her just before the paramedics and saw the peaceful look on her pretty young face before strong hands pulled her back uttering calming words that she couldn’t seem to focus on.
The memory changed again, the colours rippling into each other as the picture reformed in a different place.
‘I’m sorry but unless we can find a donor in less then thirty two hours there is no way she will be able to survive.’
She remembered the sorrowful expression on the doctor’s face as he delivered the news.
‘She’s so young with such a promising future, I sincerely hope that luck is on your side.’ his pager bleeped and he excused himself and hurried off down the white corridor.
She pushed open the door of the room and moved slowly over to the bed. ‘Pip, can you hear me?’
Pippa’s eyes flickered open and she looked up at her in an unfocused daze. Her lips parted to speak but all that emerged was a rattling sound as she tried to inhale.
‘Sssh.. don’t try to talk, its ok. You’re going to make it through this and then you’re going to race in the Olympics right?’
A tear rolled down Pippa’s pale face as she nodded silently.
‘And we’re going to go on our canoeing trip next summer right? And we’re going to travel the world in a few years yeah?’
Pippa attempted a smile and nodded bravely.
‘I have to go but I’ll be back later Pip, ok?’
She kissed Pippa gently on the head and turned to leave the room.
‘L…love y…you’ Pippa wheezed quietly.
She turned around and smiled ‘Love you too Pip!’ then she hurried out of the room before the tears came.
There was a pounding in her ears as her lungs began to burn from lack of air and she felt a terrible urge to struggle as the water above her head seemed to increase in weight and push her down further….
‘I’m sorry, we did all we could.’ the young nurse’s eyes were full of tears as she gently broke the news to them. ‘We’ll miss Pippa, she was such a lovely girl.’
‘No!!’ she screamed, not wanting to believe it. ‘She’s not dead! She can’t be dead’ she whispered, ‘she can’t be….not Pip..’
The nurse looked at her sadly and bowed her head ‘I’m sorry Sarah.’ she said quietly. The nurse motioned towards the room and her father pushed her forwards, knowing that she would want to be the first to say goodbye.
The screech of the door opening was louder then usual. The plain blue room was cold and smelt of death. Pippa lay on the bed, her face peaceful. She could be sleeping but for the fact that her chest did not rise and fall in the rhythmic pattern as those of the living.
She took one of her pale hands in her own and willed her to open her eyes. ‘Pip, I know you’re gone, and your body can’t hear me, but I know you can still hear me wherever you’ve gone, I don’t know how I can live without you, but I’ll try, I know you said there was never a reason to quit when you lose the first round, I’d like to think that you’re still playing Pip, because you lost the only round in this life…I’m going now Pip, I hate to leave you but I know it’s not really you anymore, I’ll miss you for the rest of my life, you’re still my big sister no matter what, I love you Pip…Goodbye.’ bending down she gently kissed Pippa’s cold forehead and then turned and fled the room, tears causing her to stumble blindly as she ran down the narrow corridors and far away from the hospital.