John learns that there is no symmetry between dying and death. Dying hurts, while death does not. Each breath that he forces in and out of his lungs is a tribute to pain. Each time the warm moist air leaves his body it is a small victory in a war he thinks he cannot win. Each throb of his pulse means that he has not surrendered to death. It's funny, he thinks, that those small things that he had learned to take for granted are the things he will cling to so fiercely now that they might be leaving him.
Forcing his eyes open, he can only see white. For a second, he panics, thinking that this must surely be the end. One blink, then two and his vision clears. He can make out a pale wall, and a tiny corner of a door. With sight, feeling returns. It's strange how death should be so mundane, he thinks again. Beneath his back, there is something soft and warm. He moves his arm, and feels. A thick blue blanket covers him, keeping him warm. The sharp pain he feels as he moves warns him that further movement is a bad idea, but he does it anyway. Turning his head, he looked around the room.
Instantly, he can tell it's a hospital room. A sense of relief floods his body, despite his inbuilt hatred of hospitals. Maybe he isn't dying after all. The room is dark still, and the soft beeping of monitors is strangely comforting. A slim, slumped figure catches his eye and he turns his head a little more, drinking in the sight of Angela. She is sleeping on the chair next to his bed, and even though she is drawn and pale, she is the most beautiful thing he had seen. He doesn't want to wake her, content to lay and watch her sleep. Her dark hair has fallen across her face a little and he longs to brush it away from those delicate features.
This time he doesn't fight it as his eyelids grow heavy and his pulse slows a little. All is well in the world. Angela will be there when he wakes up. With a small sigh of relief, he lets himself drift off to sleep. She'll be there when he wakes and that's alright by him. His lifeline, the anchor that drags him back, is still there for him. It was nice to know, and nicer to be able to trust someone and have them trust him back. A smile graced his battered face and he blinked sleepily, eyes still on Angela.
After all, what was life without symmetry?