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For years life for Krystal Dunn has consisted of medication and needles with no end in sight. After another failed treatment, hope for a life outside the hospital walls evaporates completely. Krystal must face the cold reality of death with open arms. But just as she welcomes the darkness, Krystal is transported to another planet to take part in a secret event. An event that will end with her being made to mate whoever chooses her. Can Krystal be happy finally, or will she miss her home planet and mother too much? Will Krystal like the alien who chooses her? Let the Harvest begin.
The cold fluid seeps from the IV into my arm, and I press the button to call Kaci back into my room. She takes a few minutes to answer the call, but I don't mind. I'm used to it.
"You buzzed, Honey," Kaci asks as she pokes her blonde head into my room, and I nod.
"Yes. Can you bring me a warm blanket? This new bag is freezing. I can't sleep," I reply as I gesture to the bag of fluids hanging from my IV pole.
She nods and shoots me a smile before leaving, and I lay my head back against the pillows I have fluffed a million times. This has been my longest hospital stay yet, and I am so done.
I miss my soft bed and my pile of warm blankets. I miss homemade meals and mom's whistling in the morning. I miss being able to curl up on my window seat with a good book. But most of all, I miss having energy. I forgot how tiring chemo is. It zaps every ounce of strength from my body and leaves me feeling like a zombie.
"Here you go, Krystal. Do you need anything else," Kaci says as she comes back into my room like a scrubs-covered tornado.
I shake my head as she spreads out the warm white blanket, and she smiles at me.
"Okay. I will see you in a few hours then," she says, and I give her a weak grin.
I instantly feel better as the heat from the blanket warms my bones. I close my eyes, and sleep washes over me within seconds.
"How are you today, Krystal," Doctor Ho asks as he and his colleagues stand at the front of my bed with mixed expressions.
"About the same. Weak," I answer with a slight shrug, and Dr. Ho nods before glancing at Dr. Blaylock.
"We got your test results back, and the numbers aren't looking too good," Dr. Blaylock says, and my eyes connect with his.
"Meaning," I ask, and Dr. Trott moves to the side of the bed.
She gives me a sad little smile, and a lump forms in my throat.
"There are experimental treatments, but it doesn't look good. Your cancer is fast-growing, Krystal. The radiation and chemo don't seem to be as effective as we thought...And your MRI has revealed a tumor on your spine. We have a few options involving removing it, but all will result in the loss of mobility... As it stands right now, your body is too weak. We are hesitant to schedule the surgery," Dr. Trott explains softly, and tears spill down my face as my eyes drop to my lap.
"Don't tell mom. Let me do it," I whisper after a few seconds, and the doctors I have known since I was seven all move in closer.
"We will make sure you are comfortable," Dr. Blaylock says, and I nod while wiping the snot from my nose.
"I know. I'm okay with dying. I knew when the cancer came back, there was a really big chance of it winning this time. I'm just worried about mom. I was her miracle. It's just her and me against the world. I'm going to have to leave her, and that hurts more than having no future," I say as I look up into their teary eyes.
Dr. Trott immediately closes her eyes as tears begin to escape, and Dr. Ho gently takes my hand.
"You will always be her miracle. Every day you are on this Earth, you are her miracle. You beat the unbeatable before and gave her more time with you. I am so proud to be your doctor, Krystal. I am so blessed to have seen you grow into the woman you are today. It's not very professional for me to say, but you are one of my favorites," Dr. Ho says, and I give him a sad smile.
"I am pretty loveable," I reply, and three sad-sounding laughs come from the doctors around my bed.
"We will stop your chemo immediately. The morning shift nurse should be right in after we leave with your pain medication. The dosage was upped a little bit, but we will wait until closer to time before raising it again," Dr.Blaylock says, and I nod.
"How much time do you think I have," I whisper, and Dr. Trott sniffles.
"Maybe a month. Maybe less, depending on how fast it spreads once your medication stops," she replies softly, and I nod again.
"I feel tired, so I know my body won't fight for long," I mumble absently, and the room goes still.
I know without raising my head, my mom has arrived. Her perfume is already filling the room.
"Krystal," mom says, and I reluctantly look up to find her staring at me with a terrified expression.
"What's going on," Mom asks, and the doctors all step away from my bed.
They give me a parting smile for encouragement, and mom watches them as they file out of the room without answering her question. Once the door closes, her scared eyes zoom back to my tired face.
"Krystal? Tell me what they said. Was it about your test results" Mom asks, and I nod before moving to the right side of my bed?
I pat the free space, and mom sits down. Her eyes are searching my face, so I grab her hand and give her my best smile.
"Don't be scared. Everything will be okay," I whisper, and my mom squeezes her eyes closed instantly.
She begins to shake her head back and forth while mumbling to herself. I patiently wait it out.
Denial is my mom's go-to when bad things happen. She will often deny the information and have an episode just like she is having now. But if I just wait, she will calm down and let me explain the facts.
"It's not true...You will get better, just like last time. You beat it then. You will beat it now," mom mumbles, and I rub her knuckles with my thumb.
"This time is different, mom. The cancer is spreading. I have a tumor on my spine, and the treatments aren't helping to slow it down anymore. It's time for me to rest and enjoy what time I have left," I whisper, and a loud sob explodes from my mother's mouth.
"No! No. You will get better, baby. You will. Nineteen years isn't long enough. It isn't long enough," Mom screams, and I yank her to me with my remaining strength.
She collapses into me, and I stroke her hair as we both cry. After a few minutes of loud sobs and disgusting sniffles, mom begins to pray.
Sadness for my mother fills my heart as I listen to her beg the heavens over and over again to heal me, but I stay silent. I know it's my time, even if she doesn't. My body just can't take anymore, and I want to be free of it. The only thing I hate about the fact I will die soon is leaving my mom alone.
She had me young and raised me with nothing but love. She never dated, even though guys asked her out everywhere we went. She said she was happy with it being just us. She would joke when I asked her about it. But she always said the same thing, "I was given my miracle early in life. What would a guy be able to offer me when I already have you?"
As my mom continues to pray, anger enters my heart. It was cruel of God to make her love me so much, but at the same time give me cancer. She didn't deserve this pain. She deserved a healthy child that would take care of her in her golden years. Who will be here for her then?
"I love you, mom," I whisper, and her sobs get louder as she hugs me tighter.
I tilt my head and stare at my sunken appearance in the mirror. I look awful. I have lost so much weight since starting this last treatment, and it shows. I look similar to the black and white images of Jewish WWII victims. Even my hospital gown reminds me of them.
I lift my hand and trace my cheekbones with my fingertips. It's been so long sense I felt beautiful. I cried when I relost my hair two years ago. I stopped doing by makeup shortly after because well what was the point. I had no one to impress and I was too tired to do it anyway.
Maybe before I die, mom could have a make up artist come give me a makeover. That would be cool. We could do a photo shoot to give mom some more memories before I am gone. I smile at the idea, and watch as my dry lips crack a little. I will ask mom when she gets here at eleven. It will probably make her sad at first, but I think it's a good idea.
I wash my hands and walk back to my bed. It's nice to
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