FICTION

The Last Walk

Sandi Parsons
Speaking Chronically

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It started as a dare — a simple boredom buster to keep the hospital blues at bay. Now the stakes are higher and it’s time to complete the walk one last time.

Black & White Picture of a Hospital corridor with a chair in the foreground
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

In answer to Saanvi’s raised eyebrow, I shook my head slightly; I had to do this by myself. She nodded and passed me a piece of paper. A lump rose in my throat as I tucked it into my pocket. I gave her a tiny smile, knowing that she would understand why I couldn’t talk. Not now.

Saanvi bent and inspected the level of my oxygen tank as I took several slow breaths, trying to calm myself. As she straightened, I gripped her hand and gave it a little squeeze to express my thanks. Anyone else would think I was crazy, trekking through the hospital in the middle of the night, dragging an oxygen bottle behind me, but not Saanvi. She understood that this was important.

As I took my first step, I focused on the doors at the end of the ward. One step at a time, one foot after the other. If I thought of the whole route, it would overwhelm me. On the other side of those doors was a lounge, I could have my first rest there. Step after slow step, my lungs heaving with the effort, I set off with the wheels of the cart holding the oxygen bottle travelling smoothly over the even surface.

I ran down this corridor my first night. At sixteen my veins were thrumming with

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Sandi Parsons
Speaking Chronically

Sandi Parsons lives & breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller📚 Kidlit specialist, dipping her toes in the big kid’s pool.