"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars. But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
Easy enough to say when you're a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!) but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.
The world has many truths, more than the stars in the sky or the sand on the beach... but coincidence has never been one of them.
Have you ever heard the idea that everyone has a star? The theory is that when a new person is born into the world, he or she inherits a star. And that star influences the paths in our lives, the people we meet, the experiences we receive. At least, that's what our ancestors used to believe; which meant that when something was wrong, it was due to a fault in the stars. The first time I heard it I thought it was just another myth, another silly invention of mankind to explain the unexplainable. Now, I'm not so sure.
Somewhere, the bell tolled for the 21st time in the day. A siren wailed across the streets, red lights flickering on and off, signalling to anyone who could see that there was a life in danger as the ambulance dashed ahead at full speed, racing against time to reach the hospital.
Inside, it was a scene of chaos. Paramedics shouting here and there, moving heaven and earth in their attempts to withhold yet another soul from the clutches of death, even in the tight space of the ambulance. On the taut stretcher lay a child, a machine pumping air into her nostrils, chest rising and sinking as her lungs tried their best to hang on for dear life. A heart rate monitor beeped softly through the entire process, a bright neon green line spiking every now and then to ascertain the, albeit fading, life of the patient...
Elsewhere, doctors and nurses worked tirelessly through the night to diagnose and treat, patients sitting at the waiting rooms and others in the beds, recovering or dying. With an ever familiar swizzle, the emergency doors flew open and a single patient was pushed through by alarmed paramedics. Someone shouted for a doctor in the disarray and within minutes, white coat and all, a doctor rushed into the emergency room.
Standing beside the patient was a man and a woman, parents of the girl who was lying on the bed and for lack of better words, dying. Her lips were blue, face pale and everything about her shouted under-oxygenation. The first course of action was to identify exactly what was causing all this. It didn't take long. Pneumonia, which was bad enough, in conjunction with cancer in the lungs, had taken to endangering her life. The doctor took a deep breath. Whatever the case, he had to be calm. If he made a mistake, it would cost this young lady her life. Parenteral introduction of antibiotics into her bloodstream was the immediate response, followed by an assessment of the situation at large.
Fluid was building in her lungs. A lot of it. If they didn't do anything, she would drown to death in her own lungs. She was already suffocating. Her parents, not so much at the verge of tears as already bawling their eyes out.
"It's okay to let go, honey. It's okay."
They had pretty much given up. All the right to. Stage IV cancer and the state she was in, she might as well have been dead. Her lungs however, would not give up on her, leaving her pathetically hanging onto life. Tears streamed down the faces of parent and child. It was heart-wrenching to watch.
And yet out of this misery, hope shone through, just like in Pandora's box. Moments later, the doctors had been able to drain the amber liquid out of her lungs, allowing her to breath and by some divine intervention the antibiotics kicked into effect, saving her life if at least temporarily. All that was left, was to wait for the girl to recover and pray.
Somewhere else in Indianapolis...
A boy lay on his bed, flipping through a book he had just bought. The words on the front cover read 'The Price of Dawn', and just below in smaller font 'based off the game of the same name'. It was a typical sci-fi action novel that had a nigh-invincible character killing bad people and saving lives with his impossible handy arsenal of skills and insane firearms, something that would interest a typical boy of his age. It had been hours since he had started and as he reached the final pages, he yawned and put the book down, hopping out of the bed and up the stairs. The clock beside his bed flashed 21:00 in bright green numerals.
"Dad, I'm going to shoot some hoops."
He walked out of the house and for a number of minutes before arriving at the neighborhood basketball court. He could hear an ambulance sounding off in the distance, but nonchalantly continued. It was hard being sick, he thought. He had a friend, Isaac, who had lost one eye to cancer. He couldn't imagine losing anything to any disease really. It was bound to be a horrid experience. Still, he was rather optimistic about anything, as was Isaac and they had both agreed that even if he did somehow contract cancer, there was nothing to stop him from living life the way he wanted to.
Finally arriving at the court, he bounced the orange ball on the concrete. It had a lost a little air, but it was good enough for play. He would have to pump it later, he thought to himself before landing a three-pointer. It was rather late at night, so there was practically no one there. The neighborhood was safe enough that he didn't need to worry about thugs or whatnot and he could always run a couple minutes back home if anything happened. Plus if anyone did try to mess with him, he could at least fight them off temporarily.
The boy smiled slightly at the thought, in a rather crooked and goofy natural smile, before shooting again, missing the hoop by an inch. His aim wasn't all that perfect, but he was still pretty okay at basketball in his own opinion. Running over to grab the ball, he looked up into the night sky, to see two stars twinkling next to one another. And once again, he smiled before throwing the ball again.