I remember when thinking about the future was more than just a childish dream. It was a wonderful time filled with laughter and joy and beautiful afternoons at the park. I can picture one particularly fun afternoon right now. Emily and I were reading on a wooden bench over-looking the lake in Central Park, and the summer breeze made the weather perfect – not too cold, not too hot. Even ice cream could not have made that moment better. In my own head, I saw Sherlock Holmes carefully observing one of his many clients before deciding whether he would take the case or not. Emily, I was sure, saw Harry Potter about to be sorted into Gryffindor and start his adventure. Both of us were in our own worlds, but at the same time we were together.
At the time, we were ten. A lot happened to us in the years between. My mother died and her parents got divorced. Through it all, we were together. There was a connection between us deeper and stronger than the troubles of life. Emily and I were best friends and nothing could ever change that. Not even death, I guess.
When I was younger, Dad used to say that we were made from star dust. “Every person,” he said. “Was made from a different star, but it sometimes happens that two people come from the same. They are bound to meet and never leave each other’s side.” I like to think that Emily and I were made from the same star.
Dad never told me whether he and mom were made from the same star, but I bet they were. When she died, he held me and told me she had been his missing half. He cried a lot, and I cried with him. There were many times when I though his sadness would take over him, and I hope he learned from that… I hope he became stronger. The truth is, he was always a good father, even during the hard times. And there were plenty of good times, too. I wouldn’t be able to even imagine my life without his burnt pancakes and silly cooking songs before school.
Every time I think of him, I think about me too. There are so many similarities between us. Sometimes I think I am simply a younger clone of him, though I don’t think that’s possible. He made me want to be a lawyer through his respect for law. Being a police man, he was always speaking about doing the right thing for people. I guess I always thought doing the right thing also involved being in court.
It’s weird to think there won’t be any more afternoons at the park or burnt pancakes or… dreams. Always liked dreams and what they implied: an expectation of the future. You can’t dream about the future if there isn’t going to be any, and by the looks of it, there won’t be. I have reluctantly accepted it. Things like this just happen for no reason. I hope others have accepted it, too.
Emily is at the door of my little hospital room, and I pretend I was watching television instead of enjoying memories. She looks sad. Her blonde and beautiful hair frames her flawless complexion. I always envied how beautiful she was, and she never believed me when I told her so. Her eyes are now red, however. I don’t like that. She looks much better happy, with a book on her lap, unaware that half a dozen boys are staring at her.
We talk for a while about school, about books, about boys… About anything that would make us feel like this is normal, but we both know that it is not. This is not normal. This is not supposed to happen. I was meant to live up to a hundred and live in a house with a boy I would fall in love with and have kids and grow old and have tea parties and everything else I’ll never get to do. I’ll never get to do it. I breath to drive away the tears and look away while she complains about how Mr. Brown bored her out of her mind at math class. I smile. I miss Mr. Brown’s boring lessons.
Suddenly, my dad comes in, and he looks like he has been crying too. He asks Emily to go get me a glass of water. She leaves, and he sits down besides my bed.
“The doctors…” he starts crying. “Rachel. Oh, Rachel…” He cries for a bit and I cry too because I know what he is about to say. I have known it ever since I had that attack two days ago. “The doctors say that you are not strong enough. That – when you fall asleep tonight…”
He couldn’t finish his sentence. I wouldn’t have been able to if I were him. I hug him and we cry. I don’t close my eyes. I simply look at him. I want to remember him for as long as I can, even if that is just for a few more hours. He looks back at me and stops crying. He smiles.
“You are perfect.”
I laughed with tears on my eyes. “You are perfecter.”
He laughs too and holds my hand. I hear steps coming towards us. Emily comes in with a glass of water. It is cold, very cold. I always liked cold water even during the winter. I wipe the tears away from my eyes and see my dad looking away towards a window showing the New York skyline. Beautiful.
I suggest we watch movies. Disney. We watched The Beauty and the Beast and Inside Out and my personal favorite, The Lion King. By the second movie, my dad was already asleep in the chair besides me. Emily gave out half way through the third. I watched them all until the end. Then, I took out a little note I had made for them:
Dear Dad and Emily,
I love you both. I love you more than you could imagine. I always wanted to
live more, see more, but I can’t. So do it for me. Enjoy life and every single
moment of it. And when you can, remember me. Don’t be sad for too long.
I don’t want you to be sad. Please be happy for me.
I put the note in my lap and turn off the T.V. I tuck myself in and, in the dark, look at the two people I love the most in this world. A tear escapes me, but I know I’m ready. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. Memories of the good times come to my mind and I fall asleep. I know, that was good-bye.