36 comments

Oct 16, 2020

High School Romance Sad

By the time I stepped outside, the leaves were on fire. Brilliant ruby reds, bright golds, and fluorescent oranges danced across the trees, giving the illusion of flickering. It has been so long since I’ve smelled the fresh, clean air of autumn. A long time since I’ve smelled any fresh air, actually. 

“Are you alright, Eliza?” Noah asked, putting an arm around my shoulders to comfort me. He had been there through it all. The falling, the diagnosis.  I don’t know if I could have done it without him. If I didn’t have Noah, there would be nothing else to live for. About two years ago, I had been on a bike ride with Noah, when suddenly my head had begun to spin and I passed out while still on the bike. I had woken up a few days later in the hospital, scared out of my wits. Noah had been there, holding my hand when the doctor told me I had leukemia. And that I would most likely not survive. 14 was too young to die. Now I am 16, and I have an estimated two more days to live.

“As well as I can be,” I say, weakly, looking up at his dark blue eyes. I had met Noah when I was in elementary school, and we had been good friends ever since. 

I look up at the seemingly infinite blue sky, wondering at how I’d never noticed just how beautiful it was before. I had never noticed how detailed each ridge and dip in the clouds were. I had never noticed how warm and bright the sun was. Oh, the things we take for granted.

Noah tightened his grip around my arm as he led me down the path. The hospital staff had decided it was okay for me to get outside in my last few days. My last. Few. Days. Those words. Four words can carry so much sorrow and fear. For me, for the hospital staff, for Noah. I can’t imagine life without him. And now he will have to live life without me. I want to comfort him, tell him I’m not afraid. But I’d be lying. To him, and myself. 

“Here, let’s go over here,” Noah says, pulling me over to a rock so I can sit down and rest my tired, aching body. As I sit, I notice that my fingers and toea have begun to go numb. It must be the chilly autumn air. I look over and see that Noah is trying to hide the tears in his eyes. 

“You don’t have to be strong for me, you know,” I say, giving his hand a weak squeeze. Noah squeezes back gently and doesn’t say anything for a moment.

“I know, Eliza, I’m sorry,” his low voice seems to be trying to tear itself apart as he speaks. His tears are coming faster now and I have to swallow a lump in my own throat. 

I gaze out at the landscape of autumn leaves. I can see people, running and laughing with each other. It must be wonderful to have the strength to run. I can hardly remember what it’s like. The numbness is beginning to spread up my arms, and I suspect it’s from how hard Noah is squeezing it. I shift, and he loosens his grip, though it doesn’t help. 

“Remember,” Noah says shakily, “when we did that play about Peter Pan in fourth grade?” I laughed remembering how I had wanted to be my favorite character, Wendy. Instead, I got the part of a lost boy and Hailey Gillman got the part. I was furious and on the night of the play, when Hailey was walking out on stage, I unbuttoned the back of her costume, so far down that you could see her underclothes. No one had noticed until it was too late, and Hailey never got over it. After the show, my mom had yelled at me so loud that I’m sure the people all the way across the world could have heard it.

“Her face, when she noticed,” I say, cracking up. 

“Yeah! It was a mixture of I just drank spoiled milk, and what is that smell?” Noah said, laughing as well. Then his face suddenly changed. He stopped laughing and looked at me.

“What?” I said, thoroughly confused.

“I shouldn’t be laughing. Not now,” Noah says, looking away. I lift my hand and turn his chin to face me.

“Now is the exact time when you should be laughing. Let’s enjoy our last few days together,” I say, kissing him on the cheek. Noah nods. We sit there for a while longer, sharing each other warmth. The numbness has now overtaken my arms and is spreading through my chest. I don’t kid myself now. I know I am dying. And that I only have a matter of minutes left.

“Noah,” I say, grabbing his face in my hands and turning it towards me, pressing my forehead into his and closing my eyes. We share the air between us, our breaths are one. “I love you,” The numbness is now spreading across my chest, creeping up my neck. I press my lips against his, fighting for feeling, though I know it won’t return to me. I open my eyes, staring into his. At that moment, an understanding passes between us. He knows that I am dying. Tears fill his eyes and he kisses me. His fingers run over my hairless head and wrap around me. I circle my arms around his neck. He pulls away and looks at me.

“Please don’t go, Eliza,” Noah says, his voice cracking. “I can’t live without you,” 

“It’s okay, Noah,” I say, pressing my forehead against his again. 

“No, it isn’t,” he says. Tears are now streaming down both of our faces. I hug him tightly, trying to ignore how the numbness seems to be dulling my mind, causing my thoughts to become sluggish. My hands begin to tremble and my arms feel weak. There is black in the corners of my vision. I know it is almost time.

I run my fingers through his hair and give him a weak smile, “I love you,” I whisper. The last thing I see before the darkness takes over are his deep, blue eyes.

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36 comments

Hello Felicity!! If you read my last comment, I am back again and like last time, I read this story too, and I just want to say that this story is so good! Honestly, I had a hard time coming up with a story line for this prompt specifically, but I think you did a great job! :)

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01:31 Oct 18, 2020

Hey Haripriya! Thank you so much! It's okay, me too! Some are a lot harder than others. :)

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Well, I have to appreciate you for coming up with such an interesting story! :)

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Elizabeth Inkim
20:21 Oct 19, 2020

Wonderful story, with a very touching ending. The dialogue and the rehashing of their shared childhood was lovely, it made me really pull for the characters. I think “brilliant ruby reds, bright golds, and fluorescent oranges danced across the trees, giving the illusion of flickering” would have read better as, “brilliant rubies, golds, and amber hues danced across the trees like flickering flames,” just a thought, but other than that it was a sweet story. What were you inspired by to write it? I noticed that you recently read my short st...

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20:45 Oct 19, 2020

Thank you so much! Thanks for the tips as well! I was inspired by my aunt who passed away due to leukemia. I did! It was so fantastic!! I actually just left a comment on there!

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Elizabeth Inkim
20:52 Oct 19, 2020

Oh, I see, it also reminded me of "My Sister's Keeper" the movie too, but nevertheless, that doesn't take away from its impact.

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Ari Reynes
19:47 Oct 19, 2020

This one way great! I seriously almost cried. Great job! (I'm also a Hufflepuff and child of Athena!)

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19:49 Oct 19, 2020

Thank you so much!! Yay!

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Ari Reynes
13:14 Oct 20, 2020

No problem!

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Lynn Penny
15:59 Oct 18, 2020

I loved your trip down memory lane. It fit perfectly with your interpretation of the leaves on fire. Keep up the awesome work!

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21:08 Oct 18, 2020

Thank you so much!

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15:25 Oct 18, 2020

Wow, good job!! Although your last story was good, this one was a lot better. I really really enjoyed it. A few things: You begin with past tense and then almost, but not quite, immediately switch to present. I understand how it has to be present, the way the story is written, but the tense should remain consistent throughout. I know the prompt is in past, but you could, if you wanted, change it to present. Just a thought :)) In the second paragraph, it's actually spelled "all right," two words. Don't worry, it's a very common mistake and ...

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21:09 Oct 18, 2020

Thank you for the tips and helpful comments! I really appreciate it, Ink! :)

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Viktoria Love
03:25 Nov 24, 2020

Yo, this broke my heart. From a writer's perspective, that means gooooood. Like, it hurts. a lot. From the very first paragraph too, everything is just so vivid. The goodbye,,, oh, the goodbye is so heartfelt and the ending too is just,,,, beautiful. This is my favorite story so far.

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14:00 Nov 24, 2020

Aww thank you so much, Viktoria!! :)

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Nora K
20:55 Oct 21, 2020

Wow, I mean just WOW!! :) This story is so incredible and it really moved me!! I’m really so wowed and I think that this is my favorite of your stories so far! Sad but heartfelt! 👍

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20:59 Oct 21, 2020

Thank you so much, Nora!! ;)

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Tempest Wright
18:09 Oct 21, 2020

Very moving and sad. I love the way you develop your characters in such a short time. It was beautifully done.❤

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19:06 Oct 21, 2020

Thank you so much! :)

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Raymond Kelly
14:10 Oct 21, 2020

This is a sweet story! Super sad though... I really like how you took the time to develop the relationship between the characters, and actually had them share a memory. Maybe it would have been better to have a memory not making fun of someone else? Either way, it helps strengthen their perceived long-term relationship, which helped me buy Noah's sadness when she is dying. I think that you could build on the thought in the paragraph about "My last four days" and experiment with other ways to phrase things. Good job!

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15:26 Oct 21, 2020

Thank you for the tips!

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Teresa Sullivan
05:07 Oct 20, 2020

ahhhh so good! almost was crying. keep it up Felicity!

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13:31 Oct 20, 2020

Thank you, Teresa!

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04:08 Oct 20, 2020

Hello Felicity :-) This story is just beautiful. I can't write for tears ....

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13:32 Oct 20, 2020

Thanks, Mary-Clare!

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This entire story felt tight, drawn in, and weary. The character felt truly devastated, probably surpassing anything I could have thought of. Excellent work!

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20:52 Feb 01, 2021

Thank you!!!!

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Keith B.
20:54 Jan 13, 2021

sad, touching and poignant. Well done.

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22:55 Jan 26, 2021

Thank you :)

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Caren Krutsinger
06:27 Dec 02, 2020

"Now I am 16, and I have an estimated two more days to live." This was so funny to me until the end. It was interesting how your writing twisted so many emotions in me - from joy to despair. Bravo! I mean WOW! Incredible gift you have Felicity. I am amazed by your skill.

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15:27 Dec 02, 2020

Aww, thank you so much again, Caren! You are so sweet!

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Great story! Your description of the color of the leaves was tremendous. You painted a vivid picture from beginning to end. Would love for you to check out my newest (and first) story. Thanks!

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14:19 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you, Antonio! I will be sure to do that!! Congrats on your first story!

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02:18 Oct 20, 2020

Wonderful job, this story is just filled with emotion and description. I feel like you perfectly captured the emotions someone would go through. Loved the relationship between Noah and Eliza...maybe we could get a part 2 from Noah's perspective or something:) Also...would you mind reading my most recent submission "Blue Flames" if you have a moment to spare? It would mean so much! One more question, sorry, could I use your bio format? I thought it looked cool and I got a lot of info about you. If not, totally cool. Amazing submission!! Cant ...

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02:21 Oct 20, 2020

Thank you so much! I will definitely do a part two. I would absolutely LOVE to read your story!! And yes you can! I don't mind at all! :)

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13:32 Oct 20, 2020

Yay, so excited for a part 2!!! And thank you so much!!

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