Martha's Degrading Life

Martha's Degrading Life

A Story by bruisesandbrokenteeth

the true story of how my best friend died from leukemia at the age of eight please tell me what you think


The nurse's perfume smelled like tangerines that day. And the scrub color was blue. Sunday was always blue. As the nurse squeaked out of the room on her bouncy, white shoes, her hand swayed back and fourth the way Martha's couldn't anymore. Since the cancer had become so strong, she couldn't do anything anymore. Martha's hair had already been stripped from her head, leaving her to look like a helpless little poodle that's lost in the center of a big city like Chicago or New York. Only eight years old, she sat and looked up at me in her hospital gown. The wires on her face almost made her look inhumane. My friend looked like a completely different person.

"Are those hospital dresses comfy?" I asked, looking at her perplexed as to why she was wearing it and not her usual pajamas.

"I guess..." she replied, nodding her head to the side and shaking her shoulders to the side while sitting with her hands under her thighs, palms down, her legs dangling back and fourth above the tile floor.  

We didn't do much speaking those days, we mostly just watched movies or played a card game when she had the strength.

I noticed the change in her hands. Her hands used to be alive. They used to have plump eight year old fingers, with untrimmed nails and slivers of dirt accompanying them. Over time, her hands began to degrade. They became greyer, the blue and green veins in them becoming more and more visible. Her hands were never dirty. They were never sweaty. They were never moving. Her hands just sat there over time. Once, they had been the most alive part of her body, her hands doing everything that they couldn't anymore. Her hands went from more alive than anything in her tiny, helpless body, to the most worn down part of her. They died before she did.

Martha laid back on the white hospital sheets. She lifted up the blanket and slid her feet under the knitted piece of cloth. Her eyes closed as she folded her hands on top of the blanket pulled up to her bellybutton. You could see the veins in her eyelids. Her eyelashes fluttered as we chatted about school and how much everyone missed her.

"Does your head hurt?" I whispered, while watching her look up into the hospital light. She had her left hand on her head the way she always did before she started to get a headache and would begin to throw up. It seemed to be hours before her eyes then switched their focus to me in a swift blink. She looked down at me with a faint smile that quickly vanished just before she answered.

"No," she replied.

After what seemed like forever, but was only a few milliseconds, her heart rate went flat. Her parents and I were ushered out of the room as a rush of tangerine nurses rushed into the room. We were locked out, but we could hear here trying to revive her. It was explained to me that she was dead, and not coming back, but I still seem to be waiting for her everyday. I have been only two things since that day. Numb and hurt, and yes, I have had other feelings, but their bliss only may last for seconds, not being fathomed into a feeling, but rather a taught.

I'm still waiting for that person to come and make me feel that happy again. I'm still waiting. I'm just afraid that day may never come.


© 2013 bruisesandbrokenteeth

Author's Note

tell me what you think please

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I am so sorry.

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Added on April 1, 2013
Last Updated on April 1, 2013
Tags: childhood, friendship, death, letting go, love, relationship, friends, cancer, hardship, sad, depressing



I have been through a lot in my life, writing has always been an outlet for me. I often like to bring my personal experiences into my writing. Writing provides somewhere to escape. It lets me create a.. more..