The girl I am before I enter the hospital embodies all that we want youth to mean. This girl has all the time in the world, time to get lost on a road trip, time to enjoy drinking unhealthy amounts. Time to take out more loans, defer big decisions, and to kiss all the wrong people.
But I feel that girl fading away.
The claustrophobia I feel is only somewhat due to the lack of actual physical space. It’s more from being crowded by emotions I thought I had long since buried, far out of reach of my sentimental heart. Emotions that are now resurfacing in the form of ragged breathing and a sheer sheen of sweat beading on my palms.
I try to focus on your face, so that everything just outside my direct vision registers a little fuzzy. I know I am in a hospital; I don’t need the details. Besides, I know I cannot stay in the room very long, and I want to really make it count. I try to stare at your eyes, but the violence of their emptiness shakes me to my core. I quickly shift my gaze, to your ears, your hair, your nose, anything so I do not have to look at those eyes. But it does me no good.
That afternoon I will get an email with a job lead. By the end of the week I will have sent in a resume. In a few months my new co-workers will invite me to a happy hour. I will have made friends with one of the interns, who I enjoy being around because she reminds me of what I used to be. There’s no such thing as wasting a kiss, she’ll insist, and I’ll try, I really will. But I won’t remember how to feel that way.