The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

By Claire North

SOME tales can't be informed in exactly ONE LIFETIME.
Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.
No topic what he does or the choices he makes, while dying comes, Harry continually returns to the place he all started, a baby with the entire wisdom of a lifestyles he has already lived a dozen occasions sooner than. not anything ever alterations.
Until now.
As Harry nears the top of his 11th existence, a bit woman appears to be like at his bedside. "I approximately ignored you, medical professional August," she says. "I have to ship a message."
This is the tale of what Harry does subsequent, and what he did ahead of, and the way he attempts to avoid wasting a previous he can't swap and a destiny he can't permit.

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I had in basic terms got the analysis of a number of myeloma a number of months in the past, which used to be unusually overdue in my lifestyles cycle, and my enthusiasm in my mid-sixties for a way little I looked to be loss of life a sluggish and inconvenient dying had ended in me taking larger care of my physique than I frequently did. i used to be even a member of a tennis membership, anything I’d by no means been in all my lives long past prior to, and that i taught arithmetic at a college within the mountains of Morocco for 3 months of each 12 months, probably in an try and benefit from the corporation of the youngsters that i may by no means name my very own. My stopover at to this eminently well mannered room during this eminently well mannered health center at the fringe of a extra well mannered Chicago suburb, the place the yankee flag flew proud and clean flora have been placed on the finish of each patient’s mattress, each day, with no fail, used to be now not by myself account. I have been summoned, and the lady who had summoned me was once demise. Akinleye. I hadn’t obvious her on account that that evening in Hong Kong whilst her maid danced out around the water and he or she had fled prior to the sunlight rose. they'd me wear a sterile gown, and wash my arms in alcohol earlier than going into her room, however the degree used to be fairly half-hearted. the wear had already been performed. How a girl with so few white blood cells left in her physique used to be nonetheless alive bewildered me, and stepping in the course of the door into the room the place she may quickly be deceased, i may see how evidently, how sincerely, loss of life approached. Her hair had fallen out, leaving a pocked cranium of crude bones sticking out up like mismatched tectonic plates. I hadn’t ever visible her with none hair earlier than, yet now I realised how egg-shaped her cranium actually was once. to assert her eyes had sunk into her sockets will be a lie, particularly it used to be that each ounce of flesh, each line of softness in her good points have been eroded away, leaving not more than a cranium thinly covered in muscle and sticking out remnants of nostril, ear, lip, eye dangling off it like baubles off a withered Christmas tree. She was once bodily more youthful than I, yet in that position, at the moment, i used to be the sprightly little one, she the traditional one, loss of life by myself. “Harry,” she wheezed, and it didn’t take a doctor’s education to note the crackle in her voice, the holes in her breath. “Took it slow. ” I pulled up the empty chair via her mattress, sat down rigorously, bones creaking a bit regardless of my workouts. “You glance good,” she additional. “Old age matches you. ” I grunted in answer, the one sound I felt was once sensible. “How are you, Akinleye? They wouldn’t inform me a lot outdoor. ” “Oh,” she sighed, “they don’t comprehend what to assert. It’s a race as to what's going to kill me off first. My immune procedure, you recognize. And sooner than you inform me that AIDS is a life-style illness, i believe you have to understand that you’re an fool. ” “I wasn’t going to say—” “The others examine me, you recognize, as though i used to be evil. as though having this–” she could have desired to gesture, however the flow was once little greater than a twitch on the finish of her fingertips “–is someway end result of the being morally bankrupt. rather than the fucking reasonable condom splitting.

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