As I lay in Brenna’s small room, the darkness of night enveloped me like a suffocating blanket. I could hear my own ragged breaths, distorted by alcohol and despair, as they struggled to escape my throat. My body was sprawled across the canopy bed, the once-comforting fabric now feeling like a cage that trapped me in my grief. My head rested on a pillow soaked in tears, the dampness a constant reminder of the storm of emotions that had consumed me throughout the day. My eyes were fixed on the ceiling, the blank pattern providing a canvas upon which my mind painted horrifying images of my sister Angie lying motionless in her hospital bed. I blinked away the tears that welled up and blurred my vision, my heart aching with the weight of the impending loss. Every minute that ticked by felt like an eternity, the hands of the clock mocking me as they continued their relentless march toward the moment when Angie’s life would be ripped away from us. Despite the alcohol that coursed through my veins, my mind refused to find solace in the haze of inebriation. Instead, it replayed memories of Angie in a cruel montage, each scene tinged with the knowledge that these moments were all that remained of her. Her laughter, her warmth, her love – all would soon be reduced to mere echoes in the recesses of my heart. The guilt of having neglected our bond in the pursuit of my own ambitions gnawed at me like a ravenous beast, leaving me to wallow in the bitter taste of regret. The room seemed to close in on me, the shadows in the corners appearing to reach out and wrap their cold tendrils around my soul. The canopy above me felt like a shroud, as if it sought to suffocate any remaining hope and joy from my being. I felt like a hollow shell, drained of the will to fight the encroaching darkness that threatened to swallow me whole. In the wee hours of March 12th, my phone buzzed beneath me, the screen casting an eerie glow in the dim room. With trembling hands, I reached for it, my heart pounding in my chest as I prepared to read the message that would confirm my deepest fears. Angie hadn’t waited for us to turn off the machines; she had passed away just as March 11th had come to an end. A fresh wave of tears flooded my eyes, and I buried my face in the tear-soaked pillow, my body convulsing with sobs as the reality of my sister’s death crashed down upon me like a tidal wave of pain and sorrow.

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