My New Neighbour

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about the risks we take and sacrifices we make to be with the people we love and care about. Hope you enjoy!!!

Submitted: April 07, 2019

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Submitted: April 07, 2019

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I have a new neighbour. It’s been the same for a while now. I wake up, my nurse checks my schedule, gives me the all clear, I read, go to sleep and then it all happens again. Oh and every now and then I get new neighbours. They’re always either old or small. Always pity me for who I am and who I will never be.  But this time it’s different. I can feel it.

 

As expected, Kit walks in precisely 10 minutes after I have woken up.

 

“Good Morning, Cas,” she chimes, “How did you sleep?”

 

“Very well, thank you,” I say, “And you?”

 

“Oh, you needn’t ask me. But I slept well, if you must know.”

 

I sit quietly while she skims over the report, checks my clipboard and punches in a repeated sequence of buttons on the monitor. She gives me the all okay and I make a questioning face at her while she glances up in between her routine. She raises her eyebrows.

 

“What’s up with next door?” I ask, because she’ll never tell me otherwise.

 

“Ah, yes. The girl.”

 

“The girl?” I ask.

 

“Yes, can’t tell you more than that though,” she adds quickly, “Sorry sweetie.”

 

“Please?”

 

“No.”

 

“Please. Pretty please? Come on!” I’m so frustrated that I’m almost shouting right now. “The one time someone my age comes next door and you can’t tell me anything?”

 

“I’ll see what I can do,” she says as she exits the room and the door clicks shut.

 

After I finish my routinely health check saga, I creep outside my door and stand awkwardly in front of the new girl’s door. I want to go inside, but that would violate protocol. So instead, I reach for her clipboard and dash back inside my ward.

 

Name: Paige Walter

 

Age: 19

 

Diagnosis: In Progress

 

Admission Date: 27th November

 

The rest of the sheet is empty, probably because of her late arrival. I open my door to replace her clipboard but bump directly into Kit.

 

“Hi, Cas,” she says slowly, catching a quick glance at the clipboard in my arms. She pries it away from me and urges me back into my ward.

 

“You know, more than anyone, that is confidential information!”

 

“Sorry,” I mutter.

 

“This is not the first time!” she has a stern look on her face. “Don’t let it happen again.”

 

The look doesn’t suit her well.

 

She heads back outside and leaves me, alone and bored in my empty ward. I never bothered decorating the walls. Maybe because I was hopeful I wouldn’t be here long. But even after 17 years of the hospital hell life, I haven’t given up hope. Or just haven’t bothered.

 

I read for a while before I get bored. I am ready for Kit to come in so I can rant to her again. The infamous knock comes 10 minutes later. I look up, expecting to see Kit, who stands quietly with a smug look on her face. And in front of her is Paige. I’m not sure how I know this is her, but I just have a feeling.

 

“Hi, Pa-,” I almost finish the sentence but the warning look on Kit’s face stops me.

 

“Hi, I’m Paige,” she says. Her voice is soft, like feathers dancing in the wind.

 

“I’m Cas. Do you…wanna come in?” I have never “hanged out” or “chilled”, so I’m kind of new to this thing.

 

“Yeah, thanks.” She pushes into my room. “Why are your walls so empty?”

 

“Um…I don’t know,” I say because I truly don’t, “Why? What are yours like?”

 

“Oh, well pictures of me and well…me.”

 

Our conversations draws to an end after a few minutes. But only because Paige’s nurse wants to check on her.

 

****

 

The next morning is different. I feel excited. And I’m ready to meet Paige. The infamous knock comes at the same time it did yesterday. I open the door to Paige, smiling, with Kit standing behind her, a pitying look on her face.

 

“Hi Paige!”

 

“How did you know my name?” she asks.

 

“We met yesterday,” I am so confused. What is going on?

 

“No we didn’t.”

 

“Anyways, come in.”

 

I’m about to ask her what’s happening when Kit whispers in my ear.

 

“Alzheimer’s.” which explains the pitying look, “Sorry, sweetie.”

 

The hope inside me burns. Like a candle flickering out in the harsh winds.

 

“Thanks, Kit,” I murmur, because there’s nothing else to say.

 

I sit down opposite Paige on the sofa.

 

“So, I’m Cas,” I say to a new beginning.

 

And this might be the only way it will work. That I will have to introduce myself and answer the same questions every day. But I’m willing to do it if that’s what it takes. I am willing to give up a piece of me every day. For Paige.

 


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