Tainted. [Short Story.]

Another pained, sleepless night that I awake from. Staring up at the ceiling, I whisper a name under my breath, cursing it as best I can with my weak, hoarse voice.

"Adam."

The name of my previous doctor. The one who misdiagnosed it as something as serious as a fever.

I suppose I can't blame him; This disease is something unknown.

Hearing the click of the door made me aware of someone's arrival. I sigh, expecting my nurse, Elena, but instead a new face enters.

Rachel.

She smiles at me somberly, sitting in the seat next to the hospital bed and take my IV'd hand in her's.

"How're you feeling?" Her familiar grin sweetens the sorrow, but not much.

How do I feel...? How shall I answer that question?

Confined. Sick. Abnormal. Dead. I don't even know which word describes it best.

"Fine." Forcing my lips to turn up a little in a half-hearted smirk, I reply.

A moment of silence passes. Rachel seems a bit unsure of herself for a minute, then gathers up the courage to ask her question.

"Have they found anything new?"

I shake my head no.

Just then, Elena walks in, along with Eli, the doctor.

Eli gives a long, pity-filled look at me while Elena seems to be trying to hide a frown underneath her plastered smile. The doctor pulled Rachel aside. I watch his lips move, though I can't hear his sounds. I decide to look around at my room for the millionth time. Light blue curtains over the one window. White-titled floor, machines with cords attached to various areas of my body.

A loud sob comes from Rachel's throat and she flees the room, after looking at me with an expression of horror.

This is what I've been waiting for.

Eli turns and looks at me, gazing at my face for a while. I blink, waiting for him to spill his news.

"Angelle..."

He starts, then fades out, seeming like he lost his voice. He then clears his throat and speaks once more.

"Y-You're... To die tonight... Otherwise, You'll only be living in this torment. It's untreatable, and I'm sorry."

He finally finishes.

I nod slowly in understanding.

I knew this would happen.

I feel something hot and wet roll down my cheek. I touch my face lightly with my fingertips and realize that I'm crying, though I have no idea why. It's over, and nothing can be changed.

Eli puts his hand on my shoulder and lets out a shaky breath, while Elena sniffles.

"You're a good kid, A-And... I'll miss you."

He walks out along with Elena.

After a few minutes, Rachel walks in, along with Alexander.

"Angelle!" He chokes out and rushes to my side. He looks down at me sadly, biting his bottom lip nervously.

"You always were my best friend." He lets out a melancholy chuckle. Rachel looks away, not being able to stand seeing me in my condition.

I smirk, for the first time since I've been in this hospital. A real smile. I examine his face, his light skin tone... His newly-dyed black hair and hazel eyes. His eyes shone with a sympathy, like when my parents were killed by the same disease.

And now I was next.

And finally, for the first time-- It actually hit me.

My life ends... Tonight.

I let out a small whimper and hide my face in my pillow. Tears soak the pillowcase and I can't help myself. I grip onto my blanket and the teddy bear that Rachel bought for me tightly. Thinking that I could escape death and hang onto life if I held these material items.

Rachel's hand meets my face, brushing away a few tears when I turned to face the two.

"Oh, Angelle.." She sighs. Her light brown locks bounce a little off her shoulders as she leans forward.

Her lips meet mine, only for a brief moment. She pulls back, though I wish that she didn't. Her lips were so soft and pretty and perfect against mine. Suddenly, our memories faded into my mind. Our first date, when I was so nervous I spilled tea on her lightl blue dress; Our first kiss on the 4th of July; Holding hands and walking through the hallways at school...

She turns away and gives a stupid excuse.

"I need- Need some water."

I watch as my girlfriend heads out the door. Alexander tilts his head to the side and pokes my cheek.

"At least you'll be out of this hell-hole, right?" He smiles, giving a light laugh.

That type of cruel humor was something that had always brought Alex and I together. Laughing when I had made a stale-tasting cake for Home ec., and failing the class; Laughing when my mother had accidently added salt to her cookies instead of sugar; Laughing when my first love had dumped me...

"I suppose so, hah..." I reply.

For the rest of the hour, Alex, Rachel and I remembered such good times. We never let a tear fall, only a sorrow-filled chuckle.

Alex and Rachel left, leaving me alone until executing time. I grab the iPod from the table next to me and put in my headphones. Drowning myself in music seemed like a good way to pass the time.

Conscienceness slipped from my fingers as I drifted into a restful sleep.

I awake once more, this time feeling rested.

Doctors surround me, wheeling my bed and machines into another examining room. They check my pulse, take my temperature and blood pressure. They press the stethoscope to my chest, and suddenly I get a cold feeling across my entire aching body. Starting to feel dizzy, I tug on Eli's sleeve before fainting.

"What happened?" Elena's voice rings through my ears like clashing bells. I clench my eyes shut.

"Angelle? You awake, kid?" Eli asks, touching my shoulder. I grunt a reply and open my eyes after the headache relents.

Bright, blinding lights. White lights. Hospital lights. Operating room lights.

The room is equally as blinding with everything clean and shiny. I look down. Operating table; It's silver.

Eli starts to talk with Elena privately. Or so he thinks. I can hear well as to what they're saying. Doctors always seem to get away with keeping secrets from their patients by talking in hushed tones. Not this time.

"He had a faint-spell-- We need to get this over with quick and painless... I don't wanna see him suffer." Eli explains.

"Yes, but if we inject him too quick... It may just worsen the pain and cause him to live in agony until we figure out what we did wrong." Elena quickly snaps her reply.

"I know what I'm doing, Elena."

I see a window from my bed. It's wide, and two familiar faces are standing there, looking at the poor sap inside.

Rachel and Alex.

Eli heads back over to my side, along with Elena. He shoves the sleeve of my hospital gown up to my shoulder. This is it. The Injection of air to stop my heart.

Just as he's pressing on my arm, searching for a vein, I turn my teary gaze to my loved ones, watching. Then comes something that worsens the pain.

Alex turns toward Rachel...

And kisses her fully on the lips.

My heart breaks. I bit my lip, as I come to the horrible realization--

I have nothing. I own nothing. No possessions to my name.

Not Rachel, Not Alex, Not even my own life!

Eli raises the needle. I'm about to die and I don't care. My tears stop.

The needle enters my body and I feel the rush of oxygen in my bloodstream.

Everything goes black and once again, I don't care.

End