I need to see what you cook. I need to be sure.

They say it’s been a while since you’ve had it with me. I know that you’ve been patient enough. I’m not asking for a lot.

In fact, I’ve never asked for any of this long, overdue illness. The third stadium of cancer, the doctor has declared. I was predicted to have only eight months left, but – somehow – I’ve survived ten so far. Not gracefully, though. I’ve lost a lot of weight and my head is bald now. I’m practically a walking, breathing skeleton with saggy layers of skin. A skeleton who occasionally throws up.

They say a sick, broken mind can play mean tricks on you. It’s even worse if your brain keeps being squeezed in by that alien existence inside your head.

I heard you cry on the phone one night, talking to only God knows who. You said you couldn’t take it anymore; you wanted to end my misery, but didn’t know how. You weren’t even sure you had the heart.

Had it all been nothing but my scary dream? I’d wanted to believe that. I still do. I want to be sure that you haven’t given up on me. Don’t you dare. Never.

This is why I’ve been forcing myself to the kitchen lately. No more breakfast, lunch, nor even dinner in bed, hon. I know you mean well; you always do. I know you still love me like I love you. I know you’re tired of struggling every day – and I’ve never wanted to be this kind of burden on you.

However, I still need to see what you cook for me, under the brightest light in that kitchen. My sight has been blurred (and sometimes distorted) quite badly lately. I need to see what you put in your cooking.

When it’s meant to be, I’ll leave this world happily. In the meantime, I still want to live.

Please, don’t give up on me…



(Jakarta, 4/3/2016 – read for The Couchsurfing Writers’ Club Weekly Writing Challenge at Anomali Coffee, Setiabudi One – Jakarta. The topic: cooking lamp)

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