Everything happened in a sort of unstoppable blur. One minute I was lying with Rob, the next I was knocking on a closed door.
"Hello?" Came a weak but bright voice.
"Oh. come in!"
I pushed the door open and stepped inside. Her room was exactly how I had imagined it. Knowing her more than I should, I knew her room would not be pink; and I was right, it was blue. Her chest of drawers and wardrobe were white and get well soon cards littered the window sill. Most of the posters on the walls were of bands I liked, even though I would have deemed them a little too dark for her.
"Hi." Dana smiled at me from her nook on a rocking chair beside the window. For a moment I could imagine her as a grieving widow, lost in her despair wrapped up in a blanket and just searching the sky for answers.
"HI." I laughed back. I had talked to Dana over MSN many times and it never ceased to amaze me how utterly natural our friendship was. Effortless.
"Come see this." She beckoned me over and pointed out of the window. Obeying, I saw nothing but the empty blue sky. Maybe there had been some truth to my earlier thoughts.
"Won't be long now until I can go outside." Wishfully, she sighed.
She turned to look at me.
Her skin was very pale and I was struck hard by the resemblance she had to her brothers. Covering her hairless head was a brunet wig that seemed much to healthy to belong to her body. But it was her eyes that caught my attention. Burning eyes. Eyes clouded with the ferocity of the fever burning from her. I felt a searing urge to, once again, protect her; like I not only had no other choice, but I wanted to. I inhaled quickly.
"How are you feeling?" I asked.
"Better, thank you. But you should not have done what you did, what you are doing."
"How did you-?" I wondered how she knew that at that moment I was praying to God to give her more of my strength.
"I can feel you, well you or Him," Her eyes travelled upwards, "Inside me, it's...weird. I didn't know what was going on at first."
"I don't regret anything." I found myself saying.
"Well you should. You're more important in the world anyway." She crossed her arms and sunk lower in her chair.
"Me? No, Dana. My time here was coming to an end anyway. Besides, I'd rather die in the place of another."
We both winced, me so because she did.
"Do you love my brother?" She came out with.
I hesitated, not quite knowing the answer; but I had always known at the same time, "More than he will ever know." I whispered.
"Knew it." She smiled to herself.
"It's still so strange... so unreal."
"Yes, it is a bit at first. Have you got everything planned?"
"I think so. You'll come to the funeral?"
"Of course," It was surprisingly easy to talk about my own death to Dana, not so pressing. I knew I could not hurt her.