I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger. Whenever I wanted, I could get him out and he'd look at me the way boys do in films, as if I'm beautiful.
I love you. I love you. I send this message through my fingers and into his, up his arm and into his heart. Hear me. I love you. And I'm sorry to leave you.
I love you. It hurts more than anything ever has, but I do. So don't you dare tell me I don't. Don't you ever say it again!
It's all right, Tessa, you can go. We love you. You can go now.''Why are you saying that?''She might need permission to die, Cal.''I don't want her to. She doesn't have my permission.
It's really going to happen. I really won't ever go back to school. Not ever. I'll never be famous or leave anything worthwhile behind. I'll never go to college or have a job. I won't see my brother grow up. I won't travel, never earn money, never drive, never fall in love or leave home or get my own house.It's really, really true.A thought stabs up, growing from my toes and ripping through me, until it stifles everything else and becomes the only thing I'm thinking. It fills me up like a silent scream.
But all that is warm will go cold. My ears will fall off and my eyes will melt. My mouth will be clamped shut. My lips will turn to glue....No taste or smell or touch or sound.Nothing to look at. Total emptiness for ever.
It's as if a child with a brush and too much enthusiasm has been set free with a tin of black paint inside me.
It was only one man who had gone, but it felt like forever, something so permanent and unstoppable that it blasted her. If she were a tree, she would drop all her leaves.
I lean back on the pillows and look at the corners of the room. When I was a kid, I always wanted to live on the ceiling - it looked so clean and uncluttered, like the top of a cake.
I sit up in bed and watch her fiddle about in the back of my wardrobe. I think she's got a plan. That's what's good about Zoey. She'd better hurry up though, because I'm starting to think of things like carrots. And air. And ducks. And pear trees. Velvet and silk. Lakes. I'm going to miss ice. And the sofa. And the lounge. And the way Cal loves magic tricks. And white things- milk, snow, swans.
Help me, Mikey, she wanted to say. I’m afraid. More afraid than you’d ever believe.’ And he’d take her hand and they’d fly across the rooftops and up into space and sit on some planet and watch a double sunrise or maybe a star being born or some other event that no human had ever seen, her head on his shoulder, his arm around her. And she’d tell him everything.
Instructions for Dad.I don't want to go into a fridge at an undertaker's. I want you to keep me at home until the funeral. Please can someone sit with me in case I got lonely? I promise not to scare you.I want to be buried in my butterfly dress, my lilac bra and knicker set and my black zip boots (all still in the suitcase that I packed for Sicily). I also want to wear the bracelet Adam gave me.Don't put make-up on me. It looks stupid on dead people.I do NOT want to be cremated. Cremations pollute the atmosphere with dioxins,k hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They also have those spooky curtains in crematoriums.I want a biodegradable willow coffin and a woodland burial. The people at the Natural Death Centre helped me pick a site not for from where we live, and they'll help you with all the arrangements.I want a native tree planted on or near my grave. I'd like an oak, but I don't mind a sweet chestnut or even a willow. I want a wooden plaque with my name on. I want wild plants and flowers growing on my grave.I want the service to be simple. Tell Zoey to bring Lauren (if she's born by then). Invite Philippa and her husband Andy (if he wants to come), also James from the hospital (though he might be busy).I don't want anyone who doesn't know my saying anything about me. THe Natural Death Centre people will stay with you, but should also stay out of it. I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things. Say I was a monster if you like, say how I made you all run around after me. If you can think of anything good, say that too! Write it down first, because apparently people often forget what they mean to say at funerals.Don't under any circumstances read that poem by Auden. It's been done to death (ha, ha) and it's too sad. Get someone to read Sonnet 12 by Shakespeare.Music- Blackbird by the Beatles. Plainsong by The Cure. Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw. All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands by Sufian Stevens. There may not be time for all of them, but make sure you play the last one. Zoey helped me choose them and she's got them all on her iPod (it's got speakers if you need to borrow it).Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got £260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it-lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding-sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money.And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream.Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that.OK. That's it.I love you.Tessa xxx
I don't give a shit, Dad!Well I do! I absolutely give a shit! This will completely exhaust you.It's my body. I can do what I like!So you don't care about your body now?No, I'm sick of it! I'm sick of doctors and needles and blood tests and transfusions. I'm sick of being stuck in a bed day after day while the rest of you get on with your lives. I hate it! I hate all of you! Adam's gone for a university interview, did you know that? He's going to be here for years doing whatever he likes and I'm going to be under the ground in a couple of weeks!
Death straps me to the hospital bed, claws its way onto my chest and sits there.I didn't know it would hurt this much. I didn't know that everything good that's ever happened in my life would be emptied out by it.
You want some sweet and lovely things, Tessa, but be careful. Other people can't always give you what you want.
It comes and goes. People think if you're sick you become fearless and brave, but you don't. Most of the time it's like being stalked by a psycho, like I might get shot any second. But sometimes I forget for hours.''What makes you forget?''People. Doing stuff. When I was with you in the wood, I forgot for a whole afternoon.