I scrutinized at the light of the tungsten-halogen incoming right through my room’s window. There was some construction work happening, loud noises of workers and machinery couldn’t enfold the only sentence persisting in my mind saying, ‘You are cured.’ That sentence was a lie. I was resting on my bed, wondering why me? Asking god, folding my legs while the cushions supported my back, ‘What sins did I do in my past life to face this demon in my life again? I thought I was past it two months back. Please, let me die this time. I was afraid to give up my life back then, but all I want now is to die, and release my parents out of the misery they gain by watching me suffer.’ I shed tears as if I was mourning myself. My parents came rushing into the room hearing me, and my mother asked, ‘What is happening to you, Ava?’ I handed her the paper I was holding. When she read it, she was surprised. She spoke in a broken voice, ‘But... but you were cured. Are you reading this, Micheal?’ continued in anger, ‘OUR BABY GIRL WAS CURED. THE DOCTOR INFORMED US TWO MONTHS AGO. HOW CAN THIS DISEASE APPEAR AGAIN’ and she sobbed.
A week ago, I buried a time capsule, which stated, ‘Do not open until 2080.’ I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years back. I was pessimistic about it from the start, but when the doctor ushered me towards hope, I began to feel healthier. I had lost faith in my life. But as I was recovering day by day, each day, I felt nearer to my dream of becoming a not-so-famous journalist and marrying the love of my life, having two kids, and living in the country-side. I could actually believe in my dreams again. Two months back, when the doctor spoke the pleasing words to me, ‘You are cured,’ I felt as if I was on top of the world. All the headaches, the hair fall, the body pain, nausea, and vomiting, and such torment felt just like a trifle against the gift of life. Two weeks later, with my best friend, Annie, I gushed to the park and buried that time capsule. Inside it, was the last report of my chemotherapy, and a question for the people in the future, which was as follows, ‘Is cancer completely curable in 2080? I only asked it since I had pancreatic cancer, and it took me three years to recover. I am cured today, but it was torture. I hope the entire disease of cancer is extinct by today. No one shall ever encounter such agony in their life, ever. This was written by Ava Fisher in the year, 2022. I hope the future is great.’ Two weeks later, I went alone for my weekly checkup as my parents had some chores to perform. They were relieved that I was safe now. That same day, I was again diagnosed with cancer, and it spread so fast that it outstretched the third stage, and that broke my heart. This leads us back to the present, where I am in my room, and my mother is struggling to stay sturdy, obscuring her tears behind a smile. She consoles me while I am lying on her lap, whimpering. She strokes my hair and says, ‘We will face it together as we did earlier, my princess.’ I still couldn’t feel any better as I was aware of my mother’s awful pain hidden behind her smile. I am a 13-year old today and am keeping tabs on my father, who is talking to the doctor on the phone at midnight. He seems extremely worried and anxious while I doze off blubbering.
The next morning didn’t seem the way birthday mornings are supposed to be. It felt like a survival examination. My hairs weren’t even grown into locks yet, and they were rolling to detach. Instead of wishes, there were deprecating observations on me. I sensed pity from strangers and sorrow from the known ones. But, he.. he wished me. I was flattered that he remembered. He wore a loose jacket and underneath was his all-time favourite grey hoodie above his black jeans. His smile and messy black hair were the cherry on the top. We were in the hospital’s lobby where he strolled towards me with a bunch of my treasured chocolates. Handing them to me, he whispered, ‘Happy Birthday, Ava. Don’t eat all of them together. You will grow fluffy, and then I will remain the only attractive one here.’ I blushed and was annoyed at the same time. So, while receiving the chocolates, I squashed his feet in return for his chaffing behavior. I wanted to seize that moment and never let it go. But as the doctor called out my name, I felt distant from Charles. We gazed into each other's eyes while I parted. And it hit me, OH GOD! I AM GONNA DIE. I WON’T BE ABLE TO SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’ TO CHARLES. PLEASE LET THIS DAY BE A DREAM. After all the checkup, the doctor pontificated, ‘I am sorry to say this, but such cases rarely occur. Ava’s cancer returned just as we stopped chemo. This wasn’t expected as she was healthy. She doesn’t have much time left. Cancer will reach the fourth stage soon.’ We all gasped. Mother cried out loud, while my father sat over the chair, unspoken and traumatized. I shockingly asked the Dr., ‘How much time?’ He spoke, ‘1 or 2 months probably.’ I felt dizzy and collapsed.
It was evening already, and I was lying over the bed. When I opened my eyes, I noticed Charles sitting beside me. I said, ‘Is this a dream?’ He smiled and told, ‘Of course, or else why the hell will I be here?’ and he pinched me on my cheeks. I swear it hurt. That wasn’t cute. I sat on the bed, and when I was about to speak, he told me, ‘I know you don’t have as much time as I have on this deadly planet. I, unfortunately, got cured, but you are the lucky one. Save a seat for me in hell.’ He winked and caressed me. OH MY GOD! He is about to kiss me. ‘We didn’t know what to do, so we brought him with us as he insisted. I hope you feel better. Father is calling another doctor. We will get you cured, my baby.’ said my mother, coming in and served me a cup of tea and medicines. She sat beside me and kissed me on my forehead. I got emotional. ‘Mrs. Fisher can I please get some water?’ asked Charles. As she left, he advised me, ‘Avoid getting fragile in front of her. She blames herself for your pain.’ I cried, ‘I don’t want to die.’ He looked me in the eye, and hugged me tightly. I never felt better. ‘Everything’s going to be alright. I won’t let you leave me alone here.’ He said, and I giggled. I told, ‘Two weeks ago, I secretly buried a time capsule below the banyan tree in the park nearby. I hope cancer is cured by then, if not, the dreams of some other little Ava might get crushed.’ Listening to this, his eyes were about to leak out tears, but as my mother entered the room with that glass of water, he sunk them back in. She left the room as he finished drinking it, with the empty glass. He came very near to me. I could smell his enchanting pheromones as our breaths met, and he kissed me. We gazed into each other’s eyes for a while, and he said, ‘I... I should leave now, but I will visit you every day now. Take care and don’t die until tomorrow.’ He winked, and I smiled. Silly me! I thought he would say that he loves me. I said with a proud face, ‘I hope Annie lets you take her BFF time from her.’ He confidently spoke, ‘You bet she will.’ And, he left.
Days passed, months passed, years passed, and one day someone dug out that time capsule. It was the year 2080. He put it in the car beside him and drove. As he stopped the car and stepped out, four kids were playing in the fields while he entered the house beside it. There she was, Ava with her daughter, and son. She was in her 70s probably, living the life she dreamed of in the country-side. Those kids outside were her grandchildren. And, the man who brought the time capsule handed it to Ava and whispered, ‘Happy Birthday, my love! I hope you remember this.’ ‘Of course, she does, Charles!’ Outburst Annie with delight. Ava giggled, with musty eyes.