When Hope Dies

Image of Set Stories Free - 2018
Image of Short Story
Apathy was a woman who didn’t feel anything. Apathy didn’t feel any emotion, making it hard for her to feel things, even the most simple things like eating brought her sadness. The things that most people do or enjoy was more like a burden to her. All Apathy wanted was to feel emotions, she longed for it more than anything. All the people around her laughed while she could never feel the joy of laughing. No one around her knew that she couldn't feel anything, they just thought she was an extrovert, not realizing that she had no choice. Apathy tried to imitate others’ emotions in an attempt to find the feelings she's missing deep down but it never worked. Apathy wasn’t always like this though, it developed over time. She had been through trauma as a child which shut off all her emotions, her feelings faded and never returned, and with that she lived most of her life not feeling feelings. She was just numb.

Apathy worked as a neurosurgeon. She didn't know if that's what she wanted to do because she never felt the feeling of passion, so she just claimed a degree in what she knew would make the most money. She did at least 5 surgeries a day never feeling tired and she did her own research on the hippocampus, the part of the brain that regulates emotions. She thought that she was broken and she could develop a surgery that could fix her brain, that she could fix herself.

Every morning Apathy went running in the park. She took the same route every morning, but this morning was different. Her route was closed for construction so she went a different way. In doing this she went by the parks recreation center. She had never seen the center before and didn’t think much of it. Apathy stopped inside the recreation center to get a drink of water. She went inside and heard music playing out of a room in the back of the center. She went closer and opened the door to the room seeing a man playing the piano. She recognized the piece he was playing. She had minored in piano in college, listening to her professors say that she had a gift for playing. The man was playing Nocturnes, Op. 9: No. 2. by Chopin. Suddenly she felt a pang in her heart. She didn’t know what it was, but continued to listen to the man play until he was done. She didn't know it but she was staring at the man and he stared back at her. Realizing that she left.

The man was stunned. He didn’t know she had been there, he had always been wrapped up in his music when he played, so he didn’t notice her there. His name was Hope. Hope loved music since he was small, he started learning the piano when he was four, and never got bored of it. Hope was a man of many tragedies. His mother died before he turned five and his father abandoned him when he was twelve. He lived the rest of his childhood in the foster care system and had been beaten by his foster parents. Even though he went through hardships he always found a way to play the piano. He would find a way to play even if it meant breaking the rules. He poured his emotions into his music. It was his passion that fueled him everyday, and he has kept that throughout is whole life.

Apathy went home and thought about the man at the recreation center. She thought about the way his hands played the piano, she had never seen anyone play so beautifly. She decided that she would go back and find the man, and ask him where his feeling came from. She could tell he was a passionate man from the way he played.

The next day Apathy went back to the recreation center. She went inside and heard the music again. She walked to the same room and opened the door seeing the same man there from yesterday. She wanted to listen again. She waited until he was done playing, He was playing 2 Arabesques: No 1, Andantino con moto by Debussy. After he had ended the song he looked up at Apathy. Hope looked at Apathy and Apathy looked at Hope.

“What is your name?” Hope asked.

“My name is Apathy,” she was staring at him again not realizing.

“What is your name?” he just looked not knowing that it was just a simple question, she had only asked his name but Hope wanted to tell Apathy his life story, Hope felt he could trust her.

“My name is Hope,” and they just started laughing. Not for a specific reason, they just laughed. And without Apathy thinking she laughed. Apathy hadn't laughed in a long time.

“Play another song,” Hope smiled at her and patted the seat next to him.

“What song would you like?” he asked her, but she just wanted to hear him play again.

“Anything is fine, I just want to hear you play,” and he did, he played until the sun set and the moon snuck into the sky.

Hope asked Apathy if he could walk her home and she agreed. They talked the whole way there. Asking about each others’ days and what they did for a living, just small talk.

“I want to see you again,” Apathy felt a beat in her heart and jumped a little. Hope asked if she was okay and she nodded him off “Sure,” that was all she could say.

The season started to change into autumn and the leaves started to fall off the trees leaving them naked. Hope and Apathy had been seeing each other more often everyday. They had planned to see each other later on that day. Apathy called Hope to make sure that she would get to see him later on and they confirmed it. Apathy couldn't help but smile when the call had ended. Apathy’s heart beat twice and she couldn't figure out why. Her heart had been doing that more and more each day and it was all new to her. Once it beat she went numb again, going back to her daily routine.

Apathy went out to meet Hope nearby so they could walk together and talk. Apathy smiled the whole time not even knowing, she couldn't think of what her heart was doing. She didn't mind the feeling though.

Hope was falling endlessly in love with Apathy and he knew that. It had been 6 months since they met and he couldn't be happier. But his mind always wandered off thinking about if she felt the same way. He however was too afraid to ask Apathy so he kept his feelings to himself .

7 months passed and Apathy hadn’t heard from Hope in almost a month. She didn’t know but she began to feel worried. Her heart started to feel drops, Apathy didn’t know why her heart was doing this. It was nothing like when her heart started beating, this was different in a bad way. She couldn't find Hope for another week and cried every night for him.

The next day Apathy finds Hope laying in a hospital bed with only seven days to live. He was sick and there was no cure. Apathy was angry at Hope, crying on his hospital bed in utter shock that he hadn't told her he was sick almost a year ago. Hope knew that he was sick but was afraid that Apathy would leave if he told her.

Apathy hated what her heart was doing, she hated whatever was going on, she didn’t care for whatever this was and wanted it to stop.

Apathy was still crying and Hope touched her hand to get her attention, “Apathy I only have seven days to live and I want to spend these seven days with you.” Apathy looked at Hope not knowing what this meant, “Apathy, I don’t want to die without you,” and Apathy stayed with him until he died. On his deathbed Hope admitted that he loved Apathy and Apathy said the words back not knowing what they truly meant but knowing that it was something they shared. And in his last moments when his breath started to fade Apathy held his hand crying not knowing the feeling she felt. And he died. And when he died Apathy's heart started to beat and this time it didn’t stop beating it just kept beating.

A year later and Apathy found the courage to feel again and not be ashamed of her feelings, Apathy visited Hope’s grave everyday telling him how her day was and how she felt that day. She found the courage to let go of her past and move on. She dreams that one day she will get to see Hope again. Apathy's heart jumped at that thought. She was glad that it jumped, she was also happy that it didn’t stop beating either. This is life after Hope

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