When I heard the news I ignored her. Sarah. I pushed away from the sweet memories of our laughter-filled nights and let her go.
I didn't want her to cry and see me small and helpless.
I didn't want anybody I loved to see that.
Leukemia is serious. Very serious. Everybody is nicer to me. Everybody asks me "my story". It used to be one of a normal girl, profession, interests, favourite foods, etc
Now it's, "I received the news a month ago........ Leukemia."
It's who I am now and I've got to deal with it.
Everybody is so sorry for me. Whenever we go to Old Navy or Indigo, my mom buys me whatever I want. I used to take advantage of it but now I know it sucks. Everything does. Every happy thing I do feels like the last.
We went to the doctor today, she gave me her usual smile, teeth and all, but this time she didn't say the usual. By that I mean,
"You're good to go, Layla! Have a nice day."
"She is on Stage 2 of Leukemia. Take these pills for now and make sure to eat clean."
She smiled a shallow smile at me then whispered some words to my mother. All I saw was a sad frown drawn on my mom's wrinkled face.
I felt like screaming and howling. I want to do something memorable. I wanted to yell until all the windows cracked. Instead, I asked,
"How long will I live?"
I love those movies. The ones where someone is going to die and they do all those bittersweet things. Sometimes they laugh. Sometimes they cry. Then, in the end, you sob until you're eyes are red and watery. But in the end, you always think reassuringly that
"Oh, that's never ever going to happen to me."
Then your mom tells you to brush your teeth and go to bed. You do that and sleep happily.
I was now feeling pity for myself.
"Oh honey," the nurse replied softly, "If you're eating healthy and taking the medicine, Everything will be alright." She smiled and started to wheel her cart out of the room.
"HOW LONG AM I GOING TO LIVE!!!" I was yelling like a psychopath and my mom tried to hold my hand and calm me down.
"The 5-year survival rate for all cases of leukemia is 61.4 percent. 5 years, if you're lucky." She said softly.
5 years. Less. 61.4 percent.
"I'll only live to 21. If I'm lucky." I thought out loud.
"Don't think like that honey." my mom whispered in my ear.
I knew I better get out of here. I started to grab my bag and stomp out the door. I didn't feel like eating. I didn't feel like sleeping. I didn't feel like doing anything. I just didn't want to die.
Keeping a journal is making me feel more depressed. My teachers give me free "homework passes". Everybody offers me seats. I feel like an over acknowledged ghost. Not someone. Just "the girl who has leukemia" or "The poor girl".
I have insomnia. It's been going on for a week. Every time I lie in bed and grab Teddy, I don't want to sleep. It feels like I'm wasting my life. But then, I waste my life awake too.
I go to the hospital every day. They pump weird fluids in me. Names of which I feel alienated if I think about them.
It's interesting how life can change so fast. First, you're watching feel-good movies and overdosing on icecream. Then, all of a sudden, you know you're going to die.
I woke up in the middle of the night with screaming pain in my leg. That's right "I woke up". I slept.
It felt like someone was taking my bone and smashing it against a hard rock.
I screamed so loud that my dad put off the burglar alarm.
I told my mom my leg was hurting. My mom kept cradling me and sobbing quiet tears and my dad sobbed more.
We rushed to the hospital. In the car, I sank onto my mom's lap.
Right then, I did want to die. I wanted to die fast.
They wheeled me into Emergency but it turns out that bone pain is a side effect of insomnia.
Yay, another "side effect".
Technically insomnia is a mental side effect. It's just my heart. Mentally.
I am in the hospital. Staring up at the bright white lights and fake 'Get Well' cards. Everybody just seems to drop them because they have to. They know I am going to die. Well, guess what I'm not lucky. If anything, I am unlucky. I was the other 40 %.
My mom is just staring at me. She doesn't cry, she just sits there. She doesn't reassure me. She knows I will die. My dad quit work. I guess he realized that the income rate doesn't need to be that high anymore.
Sarah is coming into the room. On the outside, she's just a tall blond girl, but on the inside, she's my everything.
Sarah smiled and cried. She is a good friend after all. I knew it all along. I just don't want her to watch me suffer. It's torturous watching other people weep for you.
"Do me a favour," I said.
"Anything." she cried.
"Ok." she smile-cried again.
"One, stop crying."
She wiped her tears and tried to smile.
"Two, when I die, don't feel sad. Make a new best friend."
"Never. Our roots will be tangled. Like those of trees. No matter if alive or dead."
"Three, don't get cheesy."
"You can count on me."
"Four, don't have a funeral, please. Just get white roses and sprinkle them on my grave. You see, when you're born you get yellow roses, when you marry you get red, when you die, you get..."
"You never got the red roses."
"Are you trying to make me feel better?" I smiled.
"When I die, forget."
I don't have time. They're kicking in the emergency things. I don't want to write. I just want Sarah to have this. I know she'll break all of my rules, but that's what friends are for. They break em' no matter what you say. They're all lined up on a few chairs. My mom. My dad. Sarah.
"In heaven, can you eat endless chocolate cake?"
"Layla, everything you imagine is real," Sarah whispered in my ear.
I grinned, "I'm excited."
They stopped the UV rays. The tubes stopped flowing. I was incurable. Not to mention, one in a million. I'm pretty sure she will break all of those rules.
That's what friends -