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Presented by State Library Victoria

Fight for me

I tried not to think about how much you were struggling, but the sound of your breath catching on each exhausting drag was enough to scare me. The pallor of your face was a washed-out grey and the tiny bow of your mouth a dull blue. The heavy lines under your eyes covered the dash of freckles that dotted your cheeks. As much as I wanted to wake you, I knew it would make no difference.
You were gone from the moment you arrived.
I miss you, but I’ve never known you. I never will.
I reached across the bed frame for your hand dangling limply in front of you, tucked into your chest. I wished I could’ve latched my fingers through yours, but they were folded into your wrists. Your fingers curled, grasping at nothing. Your nails were digging into your soft skin. Tiny, pink bows carved into your wrists, came so close to drawing blood. That was the way things were for you.
I should’ve been used to it.
Those hands that had never held a pen tight in it’s grip or reached out to stroke the fur of a dog on their own, were cold and as soft as a newborn’s. I moved my hand to stroke a loose curl that had escaped your unkempt ponytail, but you didn’t even flinch. You were a world away; someplace safe and comfortable where you weren’t in any pain.
For some selfish reason, I wanted you here back with me. Please, little big sister, don’t leave me.
The doctors have said your condition will only get worse. What do they mean? You won’t get any worse than this, will you? I know you’re strong enough to fight it so why won’t you fight for me?
Maybe we could make a deal.
Your little pinkie is sticking out so I reach for it, latching it with mine.
I’ll fight for you if you fight for me.
The slightest shake.
I promise.