Wipe off the repugnant smell like you haven't cleaned it off your clothes for the thousandth time that day.


Smile and count the raindrops on your window as if they were the days she has left.


Treasure all of the messages she writes down and hands to you even though you're right next to her.


Laugh as she tells everyone jokes that they can't find funny.


Try and forget the white walls and voices over the loudspeaker as you read her really bad poetry about a really bad topic.


Cherish her hands because they've always been your favorite thing about her aside from everything.


Make fun of the birds for flying because they don't know what they're missing down here.


Tell each other "It really could be a lot worse. We could have cancer or something." And laugh.


Believe you'll eventually stop visiting her and take her with you instead.


Become a master of faking smiles and avoiding looking at the tubes awkwardly jabbed into her.


Convince yourself that there aren't less beeps interrupting your now quiet conversations every time you got to see her.


Deny her relapse because there's no way she could possibly get worse.


Call her for the third time in a row after she sent that goodbye text.


Stop using the present tense when referring to her.


Re-read all of those notes and cry for the thousandth time that day as you watch water drip down your window and finally forget about the bad jokes and poetry, the white walls and birds, the tubes and the steadily growing silence.


Instead you think about her hands, because they really were beautiful.

Alex Pearson