After a few months of treatment, an appointment was set up with the doctor for his assessment and advice. They waited impatiently for the doctor to arrive. Sameer watched Arya as she paced up and down.
Arya was fuming, “The nurse informed us that the report is ready but I don’t know why they don’t let us have it. We can read it ourselves.”
Sameer tried to calm her down, “Why don’t you have a seat? The doctor will be here any minute.”
Arya wasn’t the one to be assuaged so easily, “He should have been here half an hour ago. Doesn’t anybody respect time here?”
She did eventually take a seat next to him, allowing Sameer to rest his head on her shoulder. Minutes passed like years until the doctor did arrive.
“I apologise for the delay,” the doctor said, “Why don’t you take a seat? See, I have gone through the report. So have you been feeling this pain for a long time?”
And he went on to ask a few more preliminary questions before finally giving his verdict.
“I’ll be honest with you,” the doctor’s tone turned grave, “the malignant cells have spread throughout the body and even chemotherapy hasn’t helped in diluting them.”
“Surely we could have a surgery?” Arya probed.
“There are treatments available. But considering all that, I am saying that Sameer has not more than two months.”
Arya grabbed Sameer’s hand instantly, “Two months for what?”
The doctor continued, “We could treat him but that won’t be enough. Even if we were in USA or UK, where they have the finest treatment facilities, we can keep him for six months at best.”
Arya was too afraid to turn and look at Sameer. She was afraid that they’d both break down if they looked at each other. She wanted to break down right there but she held her nerves.
“Instead of making Sameer go through any more treatment, it is my suggestion that you keep him home and spend whatever little time he has together,” so saying the doctor took his leave allowing them a moment alone.
Arya felt her blood freeze from head to toe until Sameer touched her arm, “Let’s go, Arya.”
None of them spoke a word on the way home. Arya wondered if this was the last time she was taking a cab ride with Sameer, if this was the last time he was resting his head on her shoulder, if this was the last time they were going to spend a moment together, if this was the last time she was hearing him breathe.
As soon as they reached home and locked the door behind them, Sameer erupted like a volcano in tears. Arya wanted to do the same but that was not the right time for it, “Do you believe in miracles, Sameer?”
“No, I don’t believe in miracles, Arya. I don’t. I don’t believe in anything. This pain just won’t go away and there is nothing I can do about it. I can feel it eating me every minute. I can’t bear it anymore. I simply can’t. I am too weak for all this. I am not made for this. The doctor is right. I won’t be able to survive. I can feel it. This pain has overtaken me. Please kill me, Arya. Please kill me. I don’t want to live with this pain anymore. If you love me then please kill me. I want to jump out of the window and kill myself but I can’t bring myself to do it. Please kill me, Arya. I know you are strong enough to do it. Please free me of this pain. I beg of you, Arya. I beg of you.”
Arya was too overwhelmed to comfort him. She buried her head in her hands and cried uncontrollably. “We’ll go ahead with more treatment. Miracles do happen.”
Sameer cried at the thought of having to go through more pain during the treatment. He could not decide which was worse: death or suffering. He kept crying until he fell asleep on the couch — all curled up and shivering. She put a blanket over him and then went to the bedroom to rest her aching head.
She closed her eyes and wept again.
“How can You be so cruel?” she asked. “What pleasure do You derive from making someone suffer like this? Where is the mercy in Your heart when You make a good man go through a disease like Cancer? Are we merely Your playthings that You can choose to treat us as You wish? What’s the meaning of this all? Is this why we were born? For your entertainment? Why don’t You just take him away instead of making him suffer like this?
“Take him away, just take him away now. Are You going to make him suffer like this for two months? Take him away, but don’t make him go through this, I beg of You.” She bit her lip so hard, with guilt overwhelming her heart, that it started bleeding. Unsurprisingly, she didn’t feel a thing. Meanwhile, a little butterfly fluttered across the room.