REM – young adult novel, by Cheryl Abbott


It was my choice to make.  I had already decided.  Yet everyone around me felt compelled to dissuade me.  As I carefully selected my most comfortable pajamas from the bottom drawer of the armoire, a sudden sense of concern overcame me.  What if they were right?  What if this was more than I could manage?  I’d be leaving so much behind.

The emotion pushing its way up the back of my throat was unnerving.  I quickly pulled the yellow tank top over my head and lifted my long, slightly tangled, straight brown hair out from underneath and over to one shoulder.  A nervous smile crept across my face as I pulled the matching cotton shorts up over my hips, remembering how my brothers always complained of how tomboyish I appeared, not even bothering to tie them in a quaint little bow.  Yanking the brush through my hair, I could hear the whispered sound of my father’s voice in my head.  You can do this.  You’re strong.  And you’re the only one with the ability to make it right. 

I jumped at the knock on the bedroom door.  Gathering my composure, I let out a deep sigh and prepared myself for the induced sleep I was about to endure.

I hesitantly opened the door and tried to look past the saddened, yet tranquil, green eyes of the one I loved.  I didn’t want to look at him.  I knew if I did, he might stand a chance at talking me out of the task at hand.

My oldest brother stood behind him at the top of the steps with the doctor at his side.  I nodded, giving them permission to enter. It was time.  I didn’t know how long the sleep would last.  I didn’t know if I’d be able to find my way out of the induced coma I was about to surrender to.  I didn’t even know if I would be able to dream the things needed to be seen.  But I was certain it needed to be done.