By Krsana Asnani
Tears dripped down my eye. I sat on my bed looking at the picture of myself and Julie, my best friend who had just recently passed away. I closed my eyes. I had not left my room for three days. I wouldn’t even talk to my mom. My mom and I were extremely close. I just sat in my room on my bed, staring at that one picture. I sat up and took out the scrapbook that Julie and I had made last year. We were in the sixth grade and had been best friends since birth. The moisture and redness spread across my face. I flipped through the pages and closed my eyes as I remembered the time Julie told me that she had a week to live.
The leaves blew in the wind. The ice cream truck parked in a corner. Every one heading home before the black clouds came in. A drop fell from the sky followed by many more. Julie and I were sitting on top of our tree. Both our clothes getting soaked but no one cared.
“I um,” Julie had started to say. I asked her what and then she told me. “I um have only one week to live”. My mouth dropped open and tears streamed down my eyes. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. My best friend had a week to live! I was sure she was playing a joke on me. I knew she had leukemia but a week to live! That was just unbelievably stupid of her to make up something like that. She just couldn’t joke like that now. And even though it was true, how was I supposed to believe her on April Fool's Day. Seriously. That was just completely utterly stupid. I mean I get the joke, but a joke like that is pointless.
Then came the tears flooding down Julie’s eyes. How could I not believe her now? Though I still doubted this, I started to believe her. My mouth dropped open. I jumped off the tree and started to run to the ice cream truck. I couldn’t take this right now. Especially with my parents’ divorce coming along. First I find that out and now I find out my best friend, in the whole entire world, has a week to live. I mean c’mon could things get any worse?
“But, you can’t just die. We are only ten. People are meant to die at old age not young,” I tried to say.
“But I am dying. This stupid leukemia is killing me. And I know you are going through a lot right now but you have to promise me one thing.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“You cannot tell anyone. This is our little secret.”
“What! You mean your parents don’t know?”
“Oh they know. It’s just that I am not meant to know. I overheard the doctor telling them. I don’t think they want me to know. It’s just that, even if they told me, I want this week to be completely normal. Nothing special.” She told me.
“How can there be nothing special when you are not going to live long?”
“I know what you mean but I want a normal week. Promise me no surprises or anything of any sort.”
“Fine, I promise,” I assured her. She smiled and kept on walking. Ice cream in one hand, we turned the corner and headed home. This was not going to be easy for me. I wanted to talk to her. I needed to talk to her and I didn’t want her to feel insecure.
“Are you scared?” I asked.
“Of dying?” Nah. I am only scared of the time.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that every one lives once and dies once. But I am dying at a young age and don’t have time. Like, I had plans. But now that is never going to happen.”
Her answer didn’t really make sense but was smart. I didn’t want to talk any more. I nodded my head and kept on walking.
My tears dripped on the scrapbook. There was too much going on. My best friend had just died. My dad was living all the way across town and my elder sister had moved with him and I couldn’t talk to her anymore.
I turned the page. I smiled. There was a picture of Julie and I jumping when she scored a goal during recess at soccer. Ms. Jones, the manager of all extracurricular programs, was outside taking photos. She gave the photo to me after the accident. I remember the day very well. The day Julie scored the goal. The day of the accident.
“Goal!” The whole sixth grade was screaming. Everyone crowded around Julie and I to congratulate her for her goal. But as the seventh graders came out doors, the little huddle got more and more crowded. Which meant that Julie’s Closter phobia would react. And I was right - it did. Then the asthma actually came in. and that got so bad that the leukemia kicked in. Next thing I knew, she was on the floor. Body still until the ambulance came.
My bed was now soaking with tears. Soon my whole room would be flooded. I couldn’t take this anymore. I needed Julie. I needed her by my side. I was never going to live through the divorce and just life without her. She had helped me through everything. The next page was a new page. A new page I had added in just the day of her death. A page that showed the note I had left her at the hospital. They couldn’t put in her grave because it would just not work. Instead, I put in a little cardboard box with a few memories and pictures in it.
I remember how I left the note in the hospital. How I had been rude to her parents. Asking for a moment alone with their daughter’s body. Though they had given me the permission, it was still rude of me. The flashback stung my mind and just made me cry harder.
“She is gone! She is gone!” The doctors from inside the surgery room were shouting. I threw my hands up against the door and ran in. My howling noise echoed through the whole hospital. She was actually gone. I ran over to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, Julie’s parents. I hugged them so tightly you would have thought they were not breathing. I knew it was hard for them too. But I still felt the pain.
The doctors walked out of the room with a simple, ‘I will leave you guys alone’. I wanted to yell at them. Tell them that doctors were meant to save lives not take them. So they should come back and fix Julie right now. But I knew there was no point on arguing. Like Julie had said, every one lives once and dies once. Sadly it was her time. Her time to die and leave me.
My eyes were bawling with tears. Julie’s parents were also crying. I had never seen them like this.
“Even though Julie is gone, will you still come and visit us?” Julie’s mother asked me. I nodded my head and gave her a hug.
“I know this is rude of me to ask,” I started. “But can I have a moment alone with Julie please?” Mr. Johnson nodded his head and took his wife’s hand as they walked out the door. Tears streamed down my eyes like never before. I had never been this upset. I walked over to the bed and hugged Julie’s body. As I reached for my pocket, I grabbed the pen on the doctor’s desk. I wrote in my neatest handwriting. On the piece of paper I wrote:
We have been best friends since birth. I know we have had our disagreements but I am extremely sorry for all of them. You were right, we had fun together, but there was not enough time. I should have listened. I didn’t want to believe this day was going to come. I will never forget you.
Luvs your BFF,
I walked over to her body and placed it on her chest. As I walked out the door, I looked back and knew that Julie had always been there for me and always will be. Even though she won’t be there personally, she will be there in my heart.
I rubbed my hands over the note in the scrapbook. As I lay down in bed and closed my eyes, I saw her. Her soul. I was right. She was going to live on forever. In my heart.