I let her die.
I’m sitting in my office, my desk cluttered with pages marked with events and chapters. Every inch of my office is decorated with my characters, the events that happen to them, the chapters that contain them. In front of me is the last brush stroke of my masterpiece, the end of my story.
I stared at my gray handwriting, wondering if that’s how I should end it. Or if that’s really the best way to end it. I reread my words, imprinted on the page, over and over again, trying to calm myself, to convince myself that this final resolve, was the right way to end the story. However, is it good enough? Will my audience be satisfied? Will I be satisfied? All those nights, tossing and turning, trying to find another way to end the story, my story, her story. Was it the ending that I truly wanted to write, the ending that I truly wanted everyone to see, to understand, was it the way I wanted her story to end? Was that how I wanted everyone to remember it?
I close my eyes and lean back in my chair. It’s close to midnight. My editor is probably awake, but I don’t want to bother her into reading my finished work. I decide to read it again, just to make sure. I pick up the papers once again, and stack them into a neater pile before rereading the last chapter of the story once again, checking for errors and mistakes.
The main protagonist is a young girl that dreams of being a famous violinist. She’s very young, in high school, but she’s a young child with large dreams. In school, she struggles to make friends, mostly because of her social awkwardness, but also because she had recently moved into the area. Her inability to make friends forced her to focus on becoming a musician and to do better in her studies. Her other struggles, such as the divorce of her two parents, her best friend going to college, and her loneliness add in her determination to complete her dream, and to not give it up. Throughout the story, the main protagonist’s talent is recognized, and students begin to befriend her, and her parents support her dream, driving her to concerts, helping her choose which college to go to, encouraging her to pursue her love and passion for music. Then the last chapter.
In the last chapter, the main protagonist is driving with her mother to a concert where she is supposed to perform. It’s in New York, somewhere in the Lincoln Center. The main protagonist and her mother are both incredibly excited, but due to traffic, they would have to rush to get there. However, as the mother parks the car, the main protagonist is running in the rain, towards the Lincoln Center until she is hit by a car. Meanwhile the protagonist’s father is waiting at the Lincoln Center for his daughter and ex-wife, counting the minutes to clock. It’s a rainy day, so her father holds a red umbrella just so that he would be easy for his daughter to find. He would wait for a few hours before realizing that there is something wrong, that his daughter won’t pick up the phone, and would later learn that his daughter is at the hospital, struggling to breathe. The story ends with the main protagonist dying in the hospital and her two parents grieving the loss of their daughter and their daughter’s future.
I reread the words, the old memories returning to me. I remembered the hospital room, where I held her hand. I remembered my mother struggling to stay alive, my father by my side. I remember my father praying that she would stay, promising that he would be a better father, a better husband, my father tearing himself into pieces while we watched my mother disappear, left out of our lives. I remember that after my mother passed away, I could no longer play the music I had so much passion for, and all that filled my heart was sorrow and grief. I struggled trying to find a way to pass the pain, that many many times I would wish for my mother to return, and to give comforting words for me to pursue my dream again.
After my mother’s death my father was the one who helped me get back to my feet. After she was gone, he didn’t give up on my dream like I did. He picked it up, and replanted it for me, just so he could see my love for music again. I’m sure your mother would be happy to hear you play again, he said. And he was right.
I read the last line of the chapter, and place the papers down on my desk. Tears are streaming down my face, from the memories and from the words that are set on paper. Some part of me still wonders if this was the ending that I wanted, the ending that suited the story, the ending that was good enough. But for the most part, I believe this is the best ending for now.
I gather my papers into a pile and find a paperclip to keep them together. I look at the clock again, the long and the short hand both pointing to twelve, midnight. I decide that it’s time to leave, and I turn off the lights in the room, my office, my writing place. I grab my coat and close the door behind me as I leave. Tomorrow, I’ll show the editor the last of my work. Afterwards, I will take a flight to another country to perform at a concert, another concert belonging to one of my dreams, another dream of mine becoming true. As I lock the door behind me, I walk down the halls, checking my phone for any messages. There’s one from my father, but I know he prefers me to call when I have the chance. Some part of me still looks for another number, another name in my list of contacts, but it’s not there anymore.
A part of me wishes that my mother was still here.