ANOTHER post you can completely SKIP if you want!! But, Jenny, the first paragraph is for you, so that specific part you might want to read
You really did. I had tons of titles in mind, and normally I would classify them as good titles, but...I don't know. None of them seemed good enough. It's like...when you're writing something and dedicating it to someone, you want it to be called the perfect name, to live up to the person you're dedicating it to. I guess in some cases, like this, I'm never going to settle on one title being "good enough", but...I don't know. Just thank you
And on the note of things being as close to perfect as possible, the next parts I'm about to post are technically the end. I do have other parts written but haven't fit them in. What I'm mainly concerned about right now, after reading this next section: the other things I have written include for the most part, Christmas after where what you're about to read ends, and other aftermath type scenarios. That considered, is the ending a good place to end or should that be included? Again, constructive criticism is very welcome because I'm probably using this for something at school later this year, and, of course, for personal satisfaction.
ONE LAST THING(the absolute last, i promise. haha i know i ramble) I'm not particularly ecstatic about the section beginning with the Keane lyrics(awesome band by the way, chem 'em out, as goes for most of the songs/bands I used to title chapters throughout this) but it was one of those parts that I didn't want to write at all, and were harder than others to write with lots of details, soo this is as good as it's gonna get for now..I don't know. It seemed like something I should say.
Yet another day I can still picture perfectly as if it happened yesterday; I was in the third floor playroom, hunched over my notes with open books spread out all around me. You were sleeping. It was nothing new; I had become accustomed to getting on the bus directly from school and going over to the hospital. We were all over there as much as possible, your family especially. You hadn’t responded exceptionally well to the stem cell transplant, and things weren’t looking good. Then again, that wasn’t a surprise either, when are things ever going typically ‘well’ when a fourteen year old boy is on life support, equipped with feeding tubes, oxygen tanks, and all kinds of other medical treatments normally seen on old, dying, grandparent-like figures? I felt a tap on my shoulder, and when I turned, your mother was standing behind me. She was trying to control the tears that were pouring out of her eyes, and she didn’t seem to be having much success. She didn’t say anything, just pointed faintly down the hall, in the direction of your room. I took it as a signal that you were up, and left your mother awkwardly curled up on a couch, hugging a pillow. Your dad was talking to a doctor just outside of your room, he too looked pained. ‘Go on in, he wants to see you.’ I remember him telling me, his voice quiet and stern. You were staring out the window when I entered your room, and you looked deep in thought. I knocked softly on the wall beside me, bringing you out of your phase. You gave a pathetic attempt at a smile and nodded, inviting me in. I noticed right away that there was a nurse in the room. That was definitely nothing new; you normally had doctors and nurses coming in and out regularly to check on you for various things. But this nurse was standing at the cabinet at the far end of the room, swiping the multiple little orange bottles of pills off of the shelf and into a small plastic bucket she was holding. ‘What's up?’ I had asked, as collectively as I could. You were silent for a moment, the only sounds in the room those of the clunk of plastic hitting plastic as the nurse dumped your medications into her basket, and the steady pace of your breath, slower and louder than usual. ‘Jazzy?’ You asked quietly. Your voice was strained and your words came out slowly; saying just a few words was a struggle. You continued, though, as if it didn’t bother you at all. ‘What am I?’ the question took me by surprise. I sat down in chair beside your bed and looked at you questioningly. ‘What are you?’ I repeated. ‘You’re…’ I tried to figure out what answer you were looking for. You cut me off, responding to your own question before I could. ‘I’m a vegetable, that’s what I am.’ You said, your gaze dead serious. I had blinked, trying not to show discomfort as you continued. ‘These,’ you said, tugging gently at the rubber tubes connected to various parts of your body, ‘and those,’ you pointed to the bottles the nurse was going through, ‘are the only things keeping me alive.’ Your voice cracked a little at the last few words. ‘But why even bother keeping me alive? I can’t do anything; I just sit here all day long. I can’t even feed myself. And everyone is suffering because of it.’ You paused, and the silence was almost unbearable. As I recall, even the nurse stopped what she was doing for a moment to listen. ‘These medical bills are through the roof, now more than ever,’ you said gravely, lowering your voice. ‘My parents are stressed enough as it is. You, and Shannon, and Brian are here almost every day. What are your grades looking like right now?’ You asked me. I had shrugged, although they definitely could have been better. I tried to lighten the mood, and told you I could probably get away with putting my hospital visitation time down as service hours. You didn’t buy it, and ignored the comment. ‘I don’t want to be the reason you flunk 10th grade and end up a high school dropout selling newspapers on the street and living in a dumpster with some hobo.’ Despite the solemn atmosphere, even you cracked a smile. ‘And what about Smarty Pants? She’d be devastated if she doesn’t get into Northside next year.’ You sighed. I shook my head. ‘She’d be devastated if she wasn’t here with you. You know she’s got the grades, she’ll get accepted.’ You smirked. ‘Well, if they let you in, I suppose just about anyone can get accepted these days.’ I instinctively went to smack you on the arm, but stopped myself when you flinched at the sight of my hand raise. Instead, I responded with a snicker, ‘Says the boy who came crying to me for tutoring last year.’ You smiled at the memory. ‘Huh. Yea…’ Suddenly your grin disappeared, and your tone became exceptionally mature and serious again. ‘Well what about Brian? Look at him, he shouldn’t be here.’ I followed your gaze out the window of the closed door. Brian was sitting in a small plastic chair in the playroom, inconspicuously freaking out from the constant noises of the playing and talking children and teens, the doctors running frantically from room to room, and the random alarms that would go off. ‘Probably not,’ I agreed, ‘but he wants to be. Your don’t see him at home, he’s always asking about when we’re going to come see you. He cares, you know. You’re his best friend. He’s just as concerned as everyone else.’ You stared at me; how could you argue? ‘Jazzy,’ your voice got quiet again, and your eyes stayed dark and unmoving. ‘What about me?’ Your had asked. ‘I’m miserable, Jazzy. And everyone else is miserable because of it.’ You gulped and broke our eye contact. ‘You know what's going on, don’t you? And you get it? I don’t need to explain myself again, not with you, right?’ You asked me, motioning subtly to the container of medicines that the nurse had left lying on the counter at some point. I nodded, coming to an understanding of why she had been taking them off the shelves. Your voice shook as you spoke your quiet, slow sentences. And that’s when I broke down crying. I think you did too, but it was hard to tell. ‘I can’t go on living like this, Jazzy.’
December 18. Everybody was there, everybody came. Your friends, teammates, and classmates sat together to one side of the crowded area, quietly making small talk to kill time. Classmates who you hadn’t even been close with, classmates you barely knew. They all showed up. Even your teachers were there. Shannon and Brian were standing together in silence in the back of the room, watching everybody around them. Their parents and mine sat together near the front, also talking quietly. None of them seemed to be listening to what the conversation brought; it was all stupid, pointless chatter. Your parents were there, encircled by the rest of your relatives. You were in the very front of the room, dressed in your best clothing. Your expression was calm, relieved. Flowers surrounded you. There were pictures of you hanging on the wall behind you. The quiet murmur that hung in the air subsided when a middle-aged man made his way to the front of the room, where a podium was waiting. He stood in front of you, and bowed his head as he looked down at you and gave you a quick blessing before turning to the microphone. He asked us all to take our seats and we instantly complied. The pastor began telling us a story. He told us the story of an average, happy kid from the Northwest side of Chicago, a boy who, like many others his age, spent his childhood on the playground with his friends, playing Power Rangers and Incredible Hulk. He told us of how that young boy grew up into a young man, and a great one at that. He told us about that boy’s accomplishments and challenges. He mentioned how the boy was greatly involved in his school, when he was able to be there, earning terrific scores on tests and joining the basketball team. He told us that this boy had always been the ‘nice guy’, having no trouble at all making friends with his classmates, neighbors, and any kid he happened to meet on a daily basis. He said that the boy was loved by many, and whether it was his peers, his family, or complete strangers, he was always willing to lend a helping hand when someone was having trouble. But moist of all, the pastor told us the story we all knew. He told us how this boy was given a challenge in life, he was diagnosed with leukemia. And although times got hard, the boy fought as long as he could. Even when he had all the reasons in the world to be in a bad mood and only be concerned with himself, he went through life with a smile on his face. He would ask his visitors ‘How are you doing?’, ‘I heard that band you like is coming to Chicago next month, I wrote down the website to get tickets, do you want it?’, ‘Did you pass that math test you were studying for last week?’ when they came, rather than complaining of his own problems. He went through his treatment with minimal protest and he did everything he could to keep himself updated on his studies and with his social life. He told us that strength isn't about muscles or build; that where true strength lies is in people like you, fighting silently with a smile on your face, despite the pain. He told us that you were a hero.
The rest of the night was all a blur to me, filled with many hugs and many tears, but also many memories; many laughs. It was a peaceful night; the outside world was quiet when I left as a fresh snowfall covered the ground. The snow was bright and glittering in the glow of the streetlights. The air was crisp, just the way you liked it. Suddenly a hand tapped my shoulder, and I was accompanied in the darkness by Shannon. Her eyes were glistening with wetness and her lip trembled, just the slightest bit, as she held out her arms and wrapped them around my stomach. She rested her head on my chest and sniffled, and we stood in silence until we were joined by Brian and our parents. All four of our mothers walked together, with our dads following close behind. Without a word, we piled into one car and with one last look at the shrinking building behind us, the eleven of us drove away without our twelfth member, without you.
Post by bloodtypeespresso on Sept 9, 2008 4:08:14 GMT -5
That was beautiful, i think you came to a wonderful stopping point, but if it'll help you to write (well revise) an epilogue type thing, sort of a "how life goes on after" thing, then i'd include it. i don't think it would be out of place.
And by the way, you're very welcome, the line about his being a hero was worked in beautifully.
Coffee Bond: it's like no other!
Member of the Official K2 "Three Amigos" What? Oh, the boots? Yeah they do emphasize the butt-kicking-ness