It was just another boring day in April. The sun was out and the sky was a brilliant azure colour. Yukimura Seiichi lied in his hospital bed, staring out the window. Being on the third floor of the hospital was nothing eventful. It was too high up for him to see the ground, but too low for him to see anything flying by. He tried to reach for the glass of water on the table beside him, but found it much too difficult to grasp the glass firmly with his failing nerves and deteriorating muscles. The only other people in the room with him were his hospital roommate sleeping heavily after his third chemotherapy treatment and his own doctor.
“Yukimura-kun, do you want to drink your water?” Doctor Hayashi Kagerou asked him after she looked away from the other patient’s saline drip.
Yukimura nodded as he felt himself lose more control of his extremities. He managed to surround the glass with his fingers, though the grip was rather weak. Doctor Hayashi walked over and supported the bottom of the glass as he brought it closer to his mouth. He tries his best to drink it on his own with Doctor Hayashi watching carefully. Yukimura downs the whole glass in a matter of seconds, savouring the taste of the chilly water as it chilled his throat as it went down to sit in his stomach. He dropped the glass into his lap after he finished, as he could not support the weight of the glass anymore.
“It’s getting so much harder to do this, Doctor Hayashi.”
“Yes. Unfortunately, that’s a side effect of Guillain-Barré.”
“It’s a side effect of dying, you mean.”
“You are not going to die, Yukimura-kun. The chemicals just need more time to work.”
“Stop lying to me, Doctor Hayashi. You said that a few days ago, but that hasn’t happened. I can feel Him looming over me, waiting. I can feel it.”
“Please, just get some rest. The best way to fight off your sickness is sleep.”
“Nothing will save me from this demon, Doctor Hayashi. I’m sorry, but the medicine is failing. I won’t be around for much longer.”
“Please stop thinking so negatively, Yukimura-kun. It will work. Please, just believe in me. In the science.”
Yukimura tries to grab onto the hem of Doctor Hayashi’s lab coat with all the strength he could muster into his grip. He looked at her dead in her eyes. “I know when my time is up and it’s coming soon.”
Doctor Hayashi looked at his eyes, which were full of anger and fear. She sighs and reaches for his hands. She slowly pried his weak hands off of her and places them onto his bed. The fire and passion in his eyes disappeared and he became a hollow shell; empty and void of purpose. It pained her to know that he was right. The experimental medicine didn’t work. He was dying and there’s nothing that could be done. Despite the 95% survival rate of the treatment, Yukimura would be a part of the 5% that didn’t make it. He would become another statistic in the ongoing study. She knew his Guillain-Barré was more fast and complicated compared to anything else she has ever seen, but she tried out the experimental drug on him regardless. Yukimura knew she was lying to herself and refusing to accept the truth that he would be the first failure in her research.
“I wrote some letters for people about a week ago.” Yukimura reached behind his pillow and pulled out the stack of envelopes, all bound together roughly with a dainty lilac ribbon. He tried to hand the stack to Doctor Hayashi, but the letters dropped onto the floor, scattering everywhere as the ribbon came undone. Doctor Hayashi kneeled and collected all the letters together and stood up. Yukimura’s eyes began to water as he fought off his frustrations. “Please give these to Yanagi-san when he comes to visit the next time. That’s all I want.”
“Yukimura-kun, why can’t you give these to Yanagi-san yourself?”
“Because I’ll be dead by the time he comes to visit me.”
“You are not going to be dead. Yanagi-san will be here tomorrow. You’ll see him.” She tried to hand the letters back, but Yukimura shook his head.
“It will be emotionally easier if you gave them to him. He’ll know what to do with them.”
Doctor Hayashi sighed as she put all the letters into her lab coat pocket. “If you say so, I’ll give these to Yanagi-san when I see him tomorrow.”
“You won’t be seeing him tomorrow because I know you will be seeing him later today.”
As the sun was setting, the orderly on the third floor was walking from room to room, delivering meals to patients. He arrived at Yukimura’s semi-private room, where the cancer patient had gone out to the courtyard to get some fresh air and Yukimura lied still as a rock in his bed. His breathing rate slowed to the point where he became a very dull and pale purple-grey. The orderly tried to stir him awake, but there was no response. His hand lightly touched his fingers, which were a very dark purple-blue and colder than the air around him.
With a swift motion, the orderly pressed the panic button and began to do chest compressions as Doctor Hayashi and an army of nurses rushed into the room with the crash cart. One tried to give him a shot of adrenaline to jump start the heart and muscles as the rest of them charged up the paddles. After many unsuccessful attempts of trying to resuscitate him, one of the nurses found that the cannula in Yukimura’s nose was purposely cut at the connection to the respirator he was using to live. A pair of scissors were found under his bed.
He was long gone before anyone had the chance to see him go.
Yanagi Renji walked through the visitors’ entrance of the hospital and found his way to Yukimura’s room. He just had some unexplained discomfort in his gut that he could not rationalize unless he visited Yukimura. His eyes opened wide as he saw Yukimura’s family in the hallway outside of Yukimura’s room. Doctor Hayashi walked out of the room and sighed; a bitter and sallow face plastered over her usual determined demeanor.
Yukimura was right. Doctor Hayashi was going to see Yanagi today after all.