Thinking back to that first morning I see myself bright and shining. At that moment I had everything I wanted from life, or so it seemed. Everything was perfect, while I still remained oblivious. Never had I prepared myself for this shock.
Now the knowledge was pressing in on me, suffocating me. It was killing me. Now I can see that the pretence I had kept was no more than an empty promise to myself, a lie I was clinging to, knowing that even though my life seemed perfect at that moment, it was not. In the end not even I could deny the dark side of the truth, suppressed by the bliss of my soul.
It was my first day at a new school, the middle of the sophomore year. How convenient of us to move now. Couldn’t I just have stayed with grandma or something at least until my senior year started? But at the same time I knew that was not possible. I knew that if I had the choice I would not take it. We moved because my mom was sick, really sick. So my dad decided for us to be able to visit her in the hospital as often as possible we would just move closer, which unfortunately meant moving halfway across the country. But I couldn’t blame my mom for this, it was not her fault she was sick. A pang of regret washed through me as I thought of blaming her, no this was not her fault. I would just have to try to endure.
Without warning a hand was in mine. I jolted to a halt, adrenalin started racing through my vanes setting my whole body on end, making me aware of the sudden heat radiating from a person not inches from me. Blood flooded my cheeks making me blush an embarrassing scarlet. My cheek still fiery, I glanced down to my left hand, in it was another’s. Brittle skin but obviously it belonged to a boy.
My pulse started racing as I took in this information, my heart rate quickly increasing as I stole a look at his face. Our eyes looked and his held mine, not letting me go. He raised his free hand, palm up and shrugged his shoulder as if to say ‘sorry’, but an amused smile spread across his face as he took in my shocked expression. Letting me know he didn’t really mean it.
Shy as I was I looked away as fast as possible, but couldn’t resist the temptation of another glance. He was still looking at me, his eyes full of curiosity but obviously not important enough to bother me with it.
I tried smiling but I obviously was not doing a good job because amusement spread across his face again, so I gave up. ‘’Hi,’’ I mumbled. He didn’t say anything, just raised his hand in acknowledgement. The wave turned into a gesture, he was going to walk me to class. Despite myself I smiled and let him lead the way. ‘’ My next class is Calculus,’’ I added helpfully, he just nodded and walked on.
I’d noticed that he was kind of cute. Not handsome, but a slim cute face with deep almond shaped brown eyes. In a weird way he was kind of beautiful. The only thing contrasting to his beauty was the tiered look to his face. His eyes were slightly sunken and they had bruise like shadows painted under them, his cheek bones cut across his face, too prominent, making him look sick. With a start these similarities reminded me of my mother, but that couldn’t be true because then he’d have to be at the hospital.
The rest of the day followed the same pattern. I sat with him when we had classes together always in silence and otherwise I sat alone. It wasn’t that nobody noticed me. On the contrary, I was the center of attention. Not a very comfortable place for me to be. People talked to me and I think they got reasonable answers but I couldn’t seem to get him out of my head. I’d never felt this way before. It frightened me. But at the same time I felt I could not resist it. It started taking root binding me, making me a slave to my emotions. I found I was looking forward to the end of a class knowing he would be there to hold my hand. I was stupid I knew that. How could I feel this way, I didn’t even know him. Still, I could not make myself not feel. I was longing for that next touch.
I felt a sting of remorse as my final class ended. Would he be there when I walked out the door? Should I wait until he came? Would he come? I felt stupid standing there alone in the class room. I decided I would just walk. I had to hurry if I was to reach the buss.
I never got that far thou. He was standing there, leaning against the wall. Without hesitating he took my hand in his and led me out the door. He started leading me towards the parking lot, taking us away from the bus stop.
‘’The bus...’’ I started to say but trailed off when he shook his head. We were standing by a silver VW. It was his car obviously. ‘’Where are you taking me?’’ I asked getting frightened now. He just gave me a sly smile before getting into the car and patted the passenger seat. I got in against my better judgment. The adrenalin from this morning racing through me again. He hadn’t said a word to me the entire day. I pondered this the entire drive not taking my eyes of my hands lying tightly wound in my lap.
My pulse was pounding in my ears by the time we reached his house. I had to concentrate hard on breathing steadily. The house was painted white, it was a normal house. I don’t know what I was expecting. It was fairly identical to the others in its street.
He led me through the door and quickly into the living room not even bothering to kick of his shoes. I followed him and settled onto the floor facing him. I gathered up the courage I had stored to ask the one question that was burning. ‘’How come you won’t talk to me?’’ my voice sounded hurt. He looked ashamed, his head hanging before staring into my eyes again. They were hollow, sad. The expression brought tears to my eyes, he looked so devastated. ‘’Why?’’ I managed to choke out, my eyes brimming. ‘’please,’’ I pleaded.
He was staring into the floor again and I followed his gaze. He started tracing words on the carpet with his finger. Or more specific, two words over and over again. With trembling fingers he wrote; I can’t, I can’t, I can’t… this truth made the tears already brimming in my eyes run over. My assumptions had been true, in those two words he had told me more than I had asked, I could see it in his eyes, he could not speak, and he could also not live. He was dying, just like my mother, but for him there was no hope. He was slipping away from me even thou we had just met. The tears rushed down my cheeks, creating silver waterfalls. Tears as mute as his silent screams.