The music played on | By: ken makepeace | | Category: Short Story - Other Bookmark and Share

The music played on

Rebecca lay awake listening to music on her ipod. It had a calming effect, making her forget sad things, the latest being about her brother. The doctors had said there was little hope of recovery. Rebecca felt she would not be able to cope with the news she and her mother had been told.


'Are you sure it's a wise thing to do?' their mother had said, when he mentioned to her about getting a motorbike.


'Oh, mum, don't worry. I know what I'm doing.'


The words still echoed in Rebecca's mind. He only wanted a bike because most of his mates had one. He had to copy what they did, didn't he? It was always the same. Why be influenced by them? Why couldn't he just have been himself and do his own thing. If he had he wouldn't be lying in that hospital with little hope of coming out, would he?


Every visiting time she and her mother would sit by his bed; Rebecca holding his hand, telling him what she had been up to that day, talking to him as though he was sitting up listening, but he wasn't. He just lay there motionless. They were hoping that his eyes would open and he would look up and stare at both of them, reaching out to touch them, knowing that they were there and had been since he had been taken into the unit.


Rebecca prayed for the day he would be able to leave the hospital for good, and be able to lead a normal life as possible; do the normal things lads did at his age. But she knew it wasn't going to happen. They were dreading being told that it would be for the best to switch off his life support machine and let him go. If it was for the best that is what they'd have to let happen. They wouldn't want to see him suffer, although she doubted he was suffering. He looked as though he was in a deep and peaceful sleep.


On their latest visit to the hospital, Rebecca and her mother were making their way through the corridor when Rebecca had this thought come to her. It was not a happy one. She knew this was going to be their last visit. Her fears were confirmed when they arrived into the unit.

'Oh, excuse me, Mrs Hamilton, have you got a moment?' the doctor said as they were making their way to his bedside.

'You are going to tell us bad news, aren't you?' Rebecca asked in a calm manner.


The doctor looked at Rebecca and her mother with sympaphy for a moment, before saying:


'I am so sorry,' he said, before putting a comforting hand on Rebecca's shoulder.


Rebecca pulled away. She didn't want this. She couldn't handle this. She wanted her brother. She wanted things back to how they were.


Many turned out for the funeral. He was a popular lad. He loved life; he loved everything about it. He was such a joy to be with. And it was taken away from him. Rebecca and her mother cried all through the service. A few people got up and spoke about him, but it was too late, Rebecca thought. All the kind things said could not bring him back. It was so pointless. Why did this have to happen? That was all that was going through her mind.


They all made their way out of the church and in to the rain. Rebecca pulled out her umbrella, opened it, then positioned it above her mother's head, before making their way to the to the graveyard at the rear.


Everyone gathered around the grave. Fortunately the rain had eased. Rebecca could put her umbrella away. At least she could see what was going on around her.


After leaving the graveside they returned to the front of the church, and to where the cars were parked. People were still coming up to Rebecca and her mum, saying how sorry they were. Rebecca couldn't take any more. She just left her mum standing there as she took off and headed towards the park.


Peace at last, she thought, as she sat down on a bench. She then put in her earphones and listened to the calming music, until she felt a tap on her shoulder.


Come on, love, let's go home,' her mum said to her.

She linked her mother's arm as they carried on out of the park and towards home, with the music still playing in her ears.


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