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The Interview: Chapter 9


The lights overhead flicker as they move faster and faster like some reverse runway. A girl in blue bends over me.

“She’s tachycardic, looks like VT, we need to defibrillate…”

It’s too late, I think to myself. I’m not on a plane. Did I even get on one? Did I make it to London? Did I get what I was looking for?

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

I put off living, and now it’s too late.

They said my choices were foolish, that I was making a mistake. But I told them—I shouted it from the top of my lungs—there were other ways to die. Fear is the death of choice, and a mental death has to be just as agonizing.

I want to laugh at the irony, at my foolishness, but a mask covers my mouth. I want to laugh and laugh and laugh, but I don’t have it physically in me.

I wanted to live my life on my terms. I refused their fear when I should’ve listened because now it’s too late.

The lights blur bright against a pale-yellow ceiling. Machines beep as my mother wails that I just wouldn’t listen.

I feel fear. I feel anxiety. No, those don’t feel right. Enough. This thing I’m experiencing, it’s something else. Something stronger.


The word comes to me with a cloaking of black.

My life is over before I get a chance to really live it.

Something brushes against my fingers, and I physically recoil at the sensation. It all happens so quickly, this sense of a happening from someplace else. Some other time and space. I inhale a life-filled gasp, my body jerking upright as though yanked by a force greater than my own.


I press my hand over my heart as I begin to laugh. I can feel it pounding under my skin—it’s still there, it’s working, I’m okay—as I glance down. Aunt Doreen’s ginger cat stares back at me through the gloom.

“Oh, it’s you.” I press one hand to his thick fur without moving the other from my still-racing heart.

Just a dream.

Just regret.

It’s not real.


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