TITLE: ONE LAST TIME
Three pairs of hands fumble at the cords and tubes connecting me to the machines around my bed. The first one they remove is the tube down my throat, the one helping me breathe. If this one goes badly, the whole plan gets scrapped. The hands pause while I take a shallow, ragged breath. It's not pretty, the first time my lungs work on their own in two weeks, but I'm okay.
"Hurry," I say, but my voice is so raspy the word is impossible to make out.
They understand what I'm trying to say, though. The hands go to work again, disconnecting more of the imprisoning machines. The equipment beeps and complains as it separates from me.
"Hurry," I say again and this time the word comes out stronger.
The last thing they remove is the heart rate monitor. As soon I'm free from it, an ear-pounding blare erupts, announcing it can no longer detect my heartbeat. Outside my room, a matching blast sounds
from the nurses' station. Any second now, they'll pour into my room and wreck my plans.
A pair of hands lifts me and tosses me over a shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
"Be gentle," Chelsea, my best friend, admonishes her boyfriend.
I shake my head. Gentle can wait. Right now, I need to escape. I'm tired of the hospital, tired of the doctors and their tests, and tired of being sick. So I'm leaving, even though I know what that means.
Today I'm going to die.