She stood in the distance, unaware just how lovingly I was staring at her. She slowly glided past me, as gently as the delicate breeze that swayed the few thin strands of hair on her head. The sound of uneasy, imbalanced footsteps echoed in the room, as she lowered herself onto a wooden chair that moaned as she collapsed into it. Little beads of sweat trickled down her once beautiful dusky skin, now botched with black patches, remainders and reminders of the ordeals she had undertaken in the past few months. A look of intense concentration spread itself across her face, as she tried to focus her attentions to the cup of hot tea that lay on the table in front of her.
She reached out ever so slowly, trying to stop it from shivering as her hand clasped at the winter air, trying to grab the handle of the teacup. Her fingers felt around it’s scathing surface, trying to find the strength to lift it to her parched lips. Them a moment of calm, its silence broken only by her heavy breathing, and the gentle clanging of the teacup against the glass saucer. She sighed, as she heaved the cup upwards, the cancer drugs inside her body disrupting her sense of balance and normalcy. The hot tea spilled across the table for a second, but she only chuckled at her clumsiness.
Her hands still trembled, like a candle flame nearing the end of its existence, but that only seemed to make her even more determined. Her eyes drifted in and out of a world only she could understand, trying to speak to a mind so thoroughly drained that it wished for nothing but peace and tranquility. The morphine which dulled her unbearable pain from the chemotherapy, had already sapped the boundless energy that danced in her smiles. Yet she fought hard to keep awake, to keep trying, wanting to do one of the very few things she was allowed to do without feeling handicapped. The strain showed clearly on her face, as the cup of tea came ever so close to her lips. The smell of tea wafted close to her, tantalizing her, as the cup came even closer. Her lips, full of cracked lines running like fissures across the drought stricken plains, anticipated the warm liquid that would touch them, free them from their fate. She closed her eyes as the tea touched her lips, savoring the beauty of her thirst being quenched. She sipped it in utter ecstasy, the most beautiful smile stretching itself across her face. The chair groaned once more and so did she, as she gathered all her strength to stand back up, her slow foot steps now made their way towards me. She smiled once more and looked at me, I smiled back. ‘I love you son’ she whispered, before the echoes of her footsteps faded away.