Your heart was slow in your chest. You were withered, old, and grey. And your younger sister was clutching your hand beside the bed.
“How do you feel?” she asked.
“How do you feel?” you retorted.
“Seriously, it doesn’t matter how I feel. My death isn’t about me. It’s about you.”
She looked at you disbelievingly, pitying.
“No one’s death is really about them,” you continue. “Except for those who really have no one, no one to care. Then their death is about them, because they’ll have no one else to carry them. Just a last flash in the pan, then they’re gone. But you care,” you said. “And soon it won’t matter how I feel, cause I’ll be dead. These’ll be my last words. And then you’ll be alone, to suffer. How can that feel?”
She squeezed your hand. “You’re still alive. You still matter, to me.”
“I know.” You stare back into her face, unshed tears in your eyes, and squeeze back. “I’m afraid to go. My mind… I don’t want to lose it.”
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” she quoted at you with humour, and you smile.
You felt yourself slip away, and squeezed her hand tighter. “It’s been real,” you said, unironically. It comes out sincere, full of emotion. “I just wish I had been real for longer, instead of burying it so deep I lost it. You were the one exception.”
“Sisters,” she said, “duh.”
“Yeah, I know. But still.”
She looked at me, eyes soft. “I know.”
“Will you care when I go? When mum died…”
“Of course I will. You’re my sister. Anyway, you remember I cried when dad died.”
“You’re the only one I have left,” she said.
“Don’t be. I was glad to have you as a sister. Still am.”
“Thanks.” You allowed a tear to slide down your face before closing your eyes to sleep; to die.