It was in Year 5 that I was first properly introduced to this concept of cancer. The big 'C' word. My best friend's mother had had it and survived through it. My mother soon got it afterwards and she battled her way through. Myself and my best friend held onto each other at these points and we fought our own personal emotions inside to stay strong for our parents. Afterwards it was a moment of relief and happiness. We had past the worst... at least we thought.
The summer holidays before I was due into high school my mother asked my father and step-mother to bring my brother and I over to her house. We were most confused, had we done something wrong? Nope, it was just going to be an addition to the family suffering. My mother had got cancer again. This time it was terminal. Before she had had breast cancer and the doctors had said it was clear, turned out the 'sleeping' cancer cells had drifted over to her liver and taken hold their. She was due to die in September, just as I was entering high school.
It was a long couple of months with family and friends popping out of nowhere to finally appear in our lives and play a role as the ever-concerned family members. Where had they been the whole time? It was difficult to grasp a moment with my mother and in the end I never truly did. She made time for my brother but it didn't seem I was worth the effort. My step-father receded into his childlike state and spent his time on xbox and such, shutting himself out from the situation, pretending a simple game could protect him. He lost his time with her too.
Soon September came round and I was preparing myself for high school my mother was preparing herself for death. She was bed-ridden at this point and on a lot of medication. Mainly morphine to try and keep the pain away but we could all see the suffering whispering out of her smile. She was fading away and we all knew it.
My entry into high school did not help the situation. Most of my friends had gone to a new high school and I was left with two other people whom were soon to abandon me to the wolves of the corridors. I was bullied daily for my short hair, my long skirts, my knowledge and my general differences. They made sure I could never recover from the experience and add to my social problems that would stick with me for the rest of my life. The teachers turned a blind eye, noting I was the geeky girl and it was just the way of life.
There were auditions held for the school play, 'Bugsy Malone', in early October. It seemed only natural for me to try and fit in somewhere so went to the auditions. During the acting audition, just as it was my turn to go in, my head of year burst through the double doors and ran up to me, her eyes brimming with tears. The clack of her heels brought the news nearer and nearer to me and by the time she was kneeling in front of me I knew- mum had died. My dad was waiting outside and asked me to get in the car where my brother and step-mother were already waiting. They had been crying. My dad pulled out of the school and drove directly to my mother's house. There we went past the crunchy driveway, into the house and up the stairs to her room.
You would expect a grim scene from all the horror movies you watch but in reality a dead person looks just like they do normally, just a bit bluer and bloated. She had a mocking smile on her face which my step-mother forced us to kiss before we departed. The chill of death stayed on my lips as I left the room, my eyes still dry and my emotions still numb.
The funeral was a few days later. Lots of people came. I re-auditioned for the play. I got the part of a ventriloquist dummy and lost it soon afterwards when my partner didn't show up. I was demoted to a down-and-out. I was motherless. I was bullied daily. What now?