When I first felt the illness, he listened and told me what was wrong. I had to change my life. But I was young. I wasn't ready to change, to sacrifice. I went on as I had and the pain got worse. All the pleasure I once enjoyed was marred by the constant pain. Eventually, the pleasure became the pain. Every night, the flame of the illness was lit. Every night I burned until I could no longer sleep. I was in constant torment. Now it has reached it's zenith. This will pain unlike any other so far, and he will cause it.
His hand pushes down on my chest and I see a glint in the corner of my eye. It's just out of my sight, but it's there, sharp and shining. Sweat pours from my body. I want to escape, I want to move again. I want to escape once more into the night, just once more. I don't want this. I'll let the pleasurable pain and painful pleasures of the night outside kill me. Just not this. Anything but this.
When the illness got so bad that I could no longer go out, he brought his son. He had always been a friend to me. He always listened, always laughed and always tried to tell me what I was doing wrong. I knew he was right, but I wouldn't listen. I had, at one time, even hit him for what I thought was his nagging. I denied his friendship. But he never left me. When he came that night, he knew the risk, but he did it anyway.
His own father bled him. His red life fled from his body and ran into me. I instantly felt life returning and pain receding. I could breath, move and speak again. I saw the father weeping over the corpse of his dead son. I stayed with him that night. The next night, I said goodbye to my old friend and his father. They left me on my own to handle my own affairs for the evening. I went out that very night. The feeling of life left me. The pain returned, somehow worse than before.
I didn't speak to my friend's father. Often I saw him searching me out, but I hid. Just for one more night, I always thought. But it never ended. When he stopped looking, the pain got worse. I still didn't stop, though I cried out his name all day and all night. He never came. He did not walk where I walked.
At last I went to him and begged for his help. He didn't throw me out. He didn't hit me. He didn't insult me. He asked me to follow him. I did. Now I lay here on his table, dreading that glint. It comes closer and I try to pull my head away from it. It's what I've feared every time the pain pulsed through me. Its pain can be no worse than what I feel now, this I know. But it will be new, it will be sharp and there will be no way to stop it.
Outside in the darkness, I hear the pack of my old friends calling my name, bidding me join them. My dead friend's father hears them, but does not acknowledge them. My mouth, I still can move. I beg to be let free and to join my friends. He will not stop me. Their cries grow louder. They insult the my friend who died and his father. As I hear their call, as I dream of the night I could have, the pain flares up once more. I close my eyes, and wait for the father to do what he will.
I feel the knife cut into me. The sharp instrument inflicts a dull pain at first. It's so sharp, I almost don't feel it break through my skin. But as the father drags it down, I feel my flesh being rent apart. If I weren't tied down, if I could move as I desired, the knife would plunge deep enough to kill me. Instead, I gnash my teeth and scream. My friends hear me in the distance and renew their calls with greater fervor.
At last, the knife stops cutting. I am open, my innards out for all to see. The sharp pain covers that which I felt before with its intensity. I can barely breathe in this torture. I damn the father for cutting into me so. How can such pain bring healing? How can a man who wants my good do such a thing to me? I call him a fool, a trickster. I call him evil. My friends pound on the door and hurl insults of their own at both of us.
His hand passes into me. I feel his every movement, his tightening grasp. He grabs onto the torturing thing inside of me. Once he finds it, his grasps is unbearable. I scream out in pain and horror. I'm going to die. I just know it. I feel his hand pass back through the way it came. I feel the emptiness, the hollow from where he pulled the offending part. I curse him for removing that with which I cannot live without.
I scream nonsense, the screams of my friends becoming louder and less meaningful. I can't see anymore. I only concentrate on the pain. My old pain is gone, but this new pain is so sharp, I can't bear it any longer. Then I feel the needle, breaking more skin. I feel the thread tighten the flesh, keeping out more illness, more pain. Each pinch hurts more and more. The cool air on my innards ceases. There is only pain and stinging sweat. At last, I can bear no more.
With the last drop of blood from my old friend's veins, I cry out "Father!" The pain stops. The sewing ends. My muscles relax. My bonds are undone. I am free, but I remain where I am, where the father lead me. The pain still throbs, but with decreasing intensity. I see the father and he smiles, tears in his eyes. I never realized that he could hear my every scream and felt my every pain. He shows me the source of my pain, a hideous, black thing.
I loathe it and throw it into the fire and watch it burn. The father puts his arms around me, his new son. Outside, the screams of my former friends still pierce the night, but in another language. One which I no longer understand. The pain will go away. The scar will last, but with it, will last the lesson of this night with the father surgeon and his son who died to give me life that I could throw away, or, as now I shall do, live.