It’s been three months since your last trip to the hospital, and the pains have started again. This time, they come with an intensity that brings water to your eyes. It won’t be too long now.

One morning you’d wake up and your legs would have lost the willpower to support your lanky frame. You’d have to be carried to the car. The drive to the hospital is a familiar one now. You know every single store that lines both sides of the road, but still you concentrate on counting, and try to stop a scream from tumbling out as yet another bout of pain courses through your being. When she tries to helps you out of the car, you do not attempt to do it yourself, do not tell her that you’re grown and you can take care of yourself, because you can’t. You are grateful for the support. 

The nurse is angry, you can tell from the look she gives immediately you both walk into reception. Or is it frustration etched so deeply into the lines on her face? Perhaps she is simply tired of seeing you like this. You manage a weak smile.

“Why do you always let her get like this before you bring her here, you have appointments Madam, keep to them. Stop making her suffer like this.”

Your mother does not reply her, does not argue. Instead she bends her head and stares at her toes. You want to tell the nurse that it’s really your fault. You’re the one who keeps hoping that every time will be the last time. 

It’s been three months since your last transfusion. One down, three more to go before the year runs out. Or aren’t there 12 months in a year, still?

It’s not the way you want to live. You do not want to have to drain another to stay alive. Because what if one day they run out of blood to give.

But in times like this, when the pain brings a fogginess to your brain, when it becomes hard to have a conscience, all you want really, is relief.

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