'Swan Song' by Henry Lu

Angela, keep your head in my field of vision. No, I cannot wiggle my toes, or blink. How come you are asking me those questions so mechanically, as though you do not expect the answers to be yes? As though you are merely repeating a routine for the umpteenth time?

No, don't believe what that doctor is telling you. He's probably some secret government agent in disguise. There has been no car accident. I stumbled on a classified government experiment in the lab today. I asked my supervisor whether such experiment is constitutional. Next thing was three FBI agents escorted me to my car. I remember the funny smell from inside the car when the door swung open. 

I have no recollection of the rest. When I came to, I could not feel a thing on my body. I cannot move a single muscle of my body, not even my tongue. But strangely, I think I am still alive. Can you see my chest heaving? Am I still breathing? Have you tried to feel my heartbeat?

How long have I been like this? I wonder if I have a big hole in my memory. Maybe what happened in the lab was not today? No, it cannot be. You look tired, Angela. You look like you haven't slept in weeks. Your bloodshot eyes look so dried out. I wish you still had tears in them. I wish you could rest your head on my chest, wet my mock with your warm tears. I can recall the taste of your tears. I fell in love with you because you were such a crybaby. 

I know I have Do Not Resuscitate in my will. When I signed that will, I did not know it was a death sentence under the current circumstances. No, Angela, do not sign that form. Please don't! I am still alive!

No, please! At least do not sign the second page. If I heard the "doctor" correctly, that's the form for organ donations and cremation. I know I cannot utter a word. I know you cannot hear me. But remember we used to flatter ourselves for being telepathic? Like that time when you went to Trader Joe's and I texted you to add French onion soups on the list, and you came home with French onion soups although my text message never went through? Remember how we high-fived?

I need you to stop what you are doing with the pen right now. Heed that telepathic calling. Angela, I am alive. Do not let them cut me open, and then burn me into ashes!

Angela, why is he blocking my view with his hand? Oh my God, now I cannot see a thing. Why has that constant humming noise stopped? Was some kind of machine turned off? 

Maybe it's my fault. I should have focused on sending you a telepathic signal. I am doing it now. Angela, do you copy?

Angela …. Ange ….An …

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