a year in stories::fourteen

Another story for the year. Gradually catching up. I think I’m only a few behind now, which is nice. I’ve had very little time this week to do much, it seems. I was going to write a review of Oblivion but have decided against it. It’s a solid film but nothing too special and sort of with a lot of logical leaps and potential gaps, but enjoyable.

Anyrate, here’s the new story. It’s about dying.

I wanted to remember

You’re going to die. You’re dying now. That’s what you’re feeling.

I can’t feel anything.

Look at me and just listen. I won’t lie to you, not now. You’re dying. There was an explosion. You’re losing a lot of blood. You lost a leg.

Which leg?

Your left one.

Oh.

It’s okay. I want you to know that. Everything’s going to be okay. You’re going to die.

Why do you keep saying that?

I don’t want to lie to you like they do in movies. You’re going to die.

Is there anyone else around? I think I want someone to lie to me.

Uh, yeah. Just, um. Just hold on.

Are you all right?

That guy told me I was dying.

He told me too.

Is he a doctor?

He doesn’t look like one but I don’t know.

Can you ask him?

Hey. Hey, man. You a doctor?

What’d he say?

He just, like, shrugged.

WIll you tell me the truth?

I don’t know, man.

Can you see my leg?

Which one?

The one not attached.

What does it look like?

Just like the one attached.

I don’t know, man. It’s real smoky here. Can you see it?

I think I’m blind.

Really? How many fingers am I holding up?

Listen, buddy. Where am I bleeding from?

Uh, sort of all over. Your leg especially but it looks like there’s, like, shrapnel or whatever all through you. Do you feel all right?

I don’t know. I can’t really feel anything.

Can you move?

Is it moving?

What? Yes, yeah, your fingers.

Not paralysed then.

Guess not, man.

Do you think I’ll live?

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. You’re gonna be fine. Doctors will probably even give you a better leg. A new one. Titanium or whatever. You’ll be good as new. Hey, man, you okay.

I thought that’d make me feel better.

Want me to hold your hand?

It’s worth a shot.

You’re gonna be okay.

It’s weird.

What?

I–I don’t know. Will you let go? I think it’d work if you were a woman. Are there any women around?

I guess. I mean, yeah, but, like, people are busy.

Am I keeping you?

No–not, I mean. I’m just here to help.

I think you’re doing a good job.

Thanks, man.

But would you find that first guy again? The mean one?

Uh, yeah, man. You gonna be okay here alone?

Are there more bombs?

Was it a bomb?

I think the other guy said it was.

I don’t know.

You wanna just get him? Or maybe a woman.

Yeah, sure.

Are you okay?

I’m dying.

You’ll be okay.

Your hands are very warm.

What’s your name?

Nathan. Nathan Wei.

You’re gonna be fine, Nathan.

You smell very nice.

Uh, thanks. Does this help?

What did you do?

I made a tourniquet around your leg to stop the bleeding.

Why didn’t the others do that?

It’s done now. I’m gonna get you out of here, okay? Nathan, look at me.

I can’t see.

Then just listen to my voice. I’m going to be right back with someone to help you, okay?

No–please. Will you just stay. Tell me your name.

Valentine.

Shut up. Are you serious?

You look really pale. You need a doctor right away.

No one’s name is actually Valentine.

Mine is.

No, no, come on. I’m gonna die, just tell me your real name.

Nathan, shut up. I need to find someone who can carry you out of here.

The other guy told me I’d die.

You will if i don’t get someone.

It’s okay. Will you just hold my hand. Please? Yeah, like that. I can’t see anything or feel much. It’s like my body’s far away from me. I don’t feel tired, even. Your skin’s so soft but it’s dirty. Everything’s covered with dust, huh? No, please. Valentine. Don’t talk or leave. Just hold me. Can I ask you something?

Yes.

It’s kind of awkward.

It’s okay.

Two questions, actually.

Okay, Nathan.

Will you–I’m embarrassed.

It’s okay. Just stay with me.

Will you put my head in your lap? And, like, stroke my hair?

Like this?

Yeah. Thank you.

It’s weirdly quiet.

I bet it’s always like that after explosions.

Maybe.

Can I ask you the second thing?

Yes.

When I die and shit myself, will you move me so I don’t have to lie in my own shit for long.

Um, sure.

Please?

Okay, Nathan. Okay.

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