The flight was at 21:30, so I decided to stay the night with a friend in Manchester and get the train the next day. Just as I had bought my train ticket, my sister whatsapped me.

>Get a taxi from the airport. I’ll pay.

I called her. She told me that they were putting in the syringe driver that evening (which is like a battery powered morphine drip). She had already told me that that was the final stage in a palliative care patient’s life, when someone can’t swallow all their meds anymore and needs them intravenously.

Throughout the whole trip, all I could think was really stupid things, like why the word “funeral” starts with “fun”. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, or make eye contact, or smile.

I hadn’t paid extra to choose a seat, so I was right at the front, which was annoying because it was cold while the airplane door was open, and being an emergency exit meant I would have to put on my coat and put all my bags up. I don’t really like to put my handbag in the overhead lockers, so I took out my passport and put it in my pocket, just in case. I listened to the stewards chatting quietly to one another calmly, gossiping and sharing jokes, as if it were just a normal evening flight.

As we landed, I realised that being right at the front meant that I could get my bag and be off the plane without waiting for everyone else to finish faffing in the aisles. My belt was undone before everyone else’s, and I was off that plane like a rocket. I saw curious glances from my fellow passengers. All I could think about was the taxi waiting for me, and giving my mum a kiss when I got to her house.

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