The monstrous thing

Photo by Can Anh Khai
“Oh dear,” the doctor said, “oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.” They were looking at the x-ray, pacing back in forth in that small, neutral-colored room. Their hysteria was rising higher and higher with each step.
“What,” I asked, still laying down on that little patient’s table.  Instead of replying the doctor just said oh dear some more, causing my blood pressure to rise till it felt like I was close to exploding.
“Really doc, what’s wrong?”
“This,” was all the doctor said, looking at the x-ray in her hands, her pacing and oh dears increasing tenfold.
“What the doctor meant to say is,” I almost jumped up, I forgot that there was a nurse in the corner of the room. Ever still, ever silent, ever frowning. “That you’re slated for surgery soon.”
“Surgery?” Surely, whatever the x-ray showed couldn’t be that bad, could it?
“Yes, surgery.”
“But why?”
He only looked at me like I was stupid, but I’m not stupid, “to remove that love bug. It’s gotten longer since your last visit.” Oh, that. I forgot that was there.
“Okay,” I replied. His frown only deepened.
“Are you not worried that you could die from this Mr. Porter if  left untreated?”
“But, wouldn’t it be better to die in the name of love?” He only frowned, while the doctor continued to say oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

To prepare myself for my operation next week, I found myself watching videos of love bug removal surgeries. It was horrible, seeing them slowly take out the long, icky, yellow love monster. White teeth up and down its eel-like body, continually biting onto something to hold. I bet it smelled like nuclear waste and tasted like oil in salt water.
The aftermath left unprecedented results, different for each person. Whether it was multiple holes in the heart, one single hole, stab wounds in its lungs, or even no mark at all. That was when the bug was caught early on before it could do any actual damage. The longer the bug resides in you, the deadlier the damage.

I was glad when they told me that my surgery was next Saturday, but sad too. The monstrous thing made me feel oh so light and genuinely happy. Especially when I got to see him. Crazy haired, wild-eyed, looking like any famous K-Pop star. It was bad, it shouldn’t have happened, but it did, for months on end.
Months spent time growing the monster so it could kill me. Months full of wistful sighs and heart eyes. Months full of denial and rejection. Months spent wishing for something that could never have been mine.

And now the weather:
All I Want Is You by Tristan Prettyman
~ Stacy N.


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