He's dying. Dying. Why didn't he tell me sooner? How long was he going to wait? Would he even have told me if the circumstances were different? I doubt it. But I'm getting ahead of myself, I'm sorry. I guess I should start at the beginning.
It started out when we were in the Kiva. The Kiva was a big room at our school, kind of like a small auditorium. It had many chairs, and four rows of tables to sit at. All of my friends and I tried to sit in the back row, but that was back when it mattered. Back when everything mattered. Anyways, so that's where we were. All of us. My friends, him, a few of his friends, and I. I had finished my work eary, as usual. I was helping him with his work. He was not the best of students by any means. He slacked in school, wasn't very good at any subject. I tried to help him as much as possible. We had dated before, but had recently broken up due to a few complications. That isn't really important right now, however, so I'll continue on. So there we were. I was standing on one side of the table, he was on the other. His book and paper were in front of him, and his notes were sprawled out everywhere. I was attempring to explain to him the math problem, but it wasn't working. I finally cracked and just told him what to write down. He smiled, and wrote down what I had said. He smile had always sucked the breath out of me. He could find Hell on Earth, raise it up, smite everyone, and then smile and all would be forgiven. He closed his books and looked up at the clock. It was almost time for study hall, and he had to leave then. He always did. He was either in trouble with some teacher, or something along those lines. So, I was about to walk away when the bell rang.
Something told me to take one look back, so I did. The look on his face was crushing. He looked as though someone had just stabbed his entire family to death in front of him. I was so taken aback, I guess he was shocked. "What?" He asked, the depressing look on his face vanishing. It was replaced with a look of caution, anger, almost. Then it returned.
"What's wrong?" He asked once more, softer than usual. My ex-boyfriend, Jordan King, asked me what was wrong. Again, I was taken aback. He was usually very self-centered.
"With me? Nothing. With you, something is up. Obviously." I answered. The expression on his face went from that sad look to pained. Like someone had stabbed a pencil into his stomach or something.
"What? What is it?" I said, at his side in a moment. He just shook his head and rose unsteadily, most likely off to the teacher's classroom he was in trouble with. I rose my hand and asked to go to my locker, but I just followed him. He noticed about hal way down the hallway that I was actually following him.
He tried to walk faster, but the pain he was feeling kept him from moving too fast for me. I caught up with him before much longer. I put my hand on his shoulder, pulling him to a halt. He did not look happy to see me.
"Jordan, what's wrong with you?" I asked in a hushed tone. I didn't want teachers to catch us out here. He rolled his eyes and removed my hand from his shoulder. He looked as if he was going to walk away, but took a good look at me and decided that I was worthy of his presence. He told me later it was my eyes that made him stay, how worried they looked as they scanned his face over and over again.
He opened his mouth, as if to speak, but then closed it again. He was, for once, at a loss for words. I eyes him suspiciously, waiting for an answer. After an eternity, or so it felt like, he answered. And much to my displeasure, as it turned out.
He took one more good look at me and sighed.
"Lynn, I'm dying." He said, his eyes drifting away from my face. I blinked twice, then smiled.
"Shut up, Jordan. That's not funny." I answered, relief was aparent in my voice. He looked back to my face, and, to my surprise, put his hands on my shoulders. He looked me straight in theye, and I knew he wasn't lying. I shook my head. He nodded his, his eyes not leaving my face.
"Lynn, I'm... I'm dying." He said once more. His voice cracked mid-sentence, but he had managed to smooth it out again. I only shook my head, and hugged him tight. I was afraid to let go, afraid to loose him for good. When I finally did let go, he just smiled at me. That everything-is-gonna-be-alright smile. I smiled back, though it hurt. He was, after all, dying.
We walked home together that day. Usually walking home involved playful shoves, happy laughter, and shocking rumors. But today, we just walked. He kept looking at me, and I, at him. I knew he was worried I'd start bawling my eyes out right then and there. I didn't blame him. So, finally, he got mad. He just stopped, took me by the shoulders, and kissed me. Right there, on the sidewalk. On the corner of Summer and Pine.
That was pretty much it for me. When he stopped, I just looked up at him. Now, you have to understand that I am much shorter than him. I wasn't short by any means, actually, I was average. I was 15, exactly 5 feet and 5 inches tall. He was 16, exactly 6 feet and 2 inches tall. So when I looked up at him, it was like a mouse looking up at a lion. I felt that way, too. I felt so weak, so small, so insignificant. He looked so strong and tall, almost invincible. I could only wish he was.
After a while, we finally reached his house. My parents thought I was at an after school program, so that problem was covered for. The bigger problem, however, wasn't. Dying. Jordan King, me crazy ex-boyfriend, was dying.
We walked in the door and he told me to wait in the hallway leading to his house. He wanted to make sure no one was home. After a minute, he waved me inside. His place was empty.
I walked in slowly. I had been here before, but it surprised me everytime. It was so dark and old, it smelled like old ladies. That would, however make sense. he lived with his dad and grandmother. We walked into his room, and I sat on the chair to his desk. He sat on the bed. He told me every detail, every excrutiating thing. He explained what he had. He had some heart disease that made his heart beat irregularly, I forget the name. Or is it that I don't want to remember? Both, I suppose. He explained how bad it hurt when he breathed too deeply. It explained how bad it hurt to know that he was dying. He explained that he couldn't, or wasn't supposed to, tell anyone. His dad didn't want anyone to know. I couldn't even speak, so I just listened. When I finally spoke, it all just went downhill from there.
"How long do you have?" I asked him, my voice barely higher than a whisper. He looked at me, his sea green eyes turing cold and serious.
"Two months. That's what the doctors say." He said quietly. He looked at me an. He must've seen the hurt in my eyes, the pain and suffering. He patted the bed next to him, motioning for me to sit next to him I did, and he just put his head on my shoulder. I couldn't think of nything to do, so I just rubbed his head like a dog. I felt so numb.
Dying. He was dying.
It's amazing how fast time flies when you just want it to stop. In one month, Jordan had gone from strong, vibrant, and funny, to coughing, aching, and scared. Month one was way too hard. I was watching him die, and I couldn't do not none thing about it. Not one thing. It killed me, no pun intended. I don't think I ever left his side willingly. But he said he was happy to have me around, so it was alright. I also don't think he ever let go of my hand. He also said that he was afraid to let go, because he felt tat if he let go he'd drift away forever. He said a lot of things that hit home. But that day, that one, stupid day, all those words ceased to hurt as bad as this.
One day, when we were walking home, we were talking about the usual. We always talked about him dying, he didn't mind. He said it made him ease into it. He kept trying to think of epic ways to go out, like saving a kid from in front of a train and sacrificing himself. I just rolled my eyes and dismissed his ideas. But on this day, it was different. It was nearing the end of the month. He knew it was coming. He said he could feel it.
"I don't wanna die." He said one day, a single tear sliding down his cheek. Throughout this whole thing, he had never cried. Or at least, I hadn't seen him cry. I wiped the tear away with one finger, beginning to cry myself. He attempted a smile, then repeated his line.
"I know. I know, I know." I said, trying hard not to burst out into tears. he had erupted into coughing, doubled over in pain. I put my hands on his shoulders, showing that I was here for him. He just kept coughing. Longer than usual. He finally caught his breath, right when I was getting worried. Or more worried than usual.
"Call 911." He said, and began coughing again. I was momentarily shocked, but recovered wthin the miute. This was Jordan's life at stake. I ripped out my phone, and speed dialed 911.
The ambulance was there in moments. I went with him in the ambulance. We somehow managed to wheze out between coughs for me to call his dad. I did that, too. He said he would meet us at the hospital. I was crying softly, and I never took my hand off his shoulder.
He was out cold before we hit the hospital. The ambulance people said he shut down due to lack of air to his lungs. They tried to revive him, and successfully did. he jumped up with a start, but they pushed him back down. They pulled the stretcher out of the ambulance, and Jordan called for me. But a man wouldn't let me go any further. They said since I wasnt family I couldn't go this way. It was heart-breaking to watch him flailing around on that stretcher, calling my name.
"Lynnnnnnnn...." He called, dragging out the 'N' sound of my name. Over and over again. I was crying, calling after him.
"Jordan, I'm right here! I'm right here! I'll see you soon! Just stay with me, please, stay with me!" I called, breahless by the end. I raced around the building, a sense of fear and dread building inside of me. By the time I reached the doors, I knew it was too late. He was gone.
I tried to find his room, despite the ominous feeling of death around me. I cried silent tears the whole time, but I finally found his room. Just in time to see the nurse pull a sheet over a still, unbreathing body. I shook my head, falling to my knees. I let my head fall into splayed hands, and cried. I felt a hand on my shoulder a few moments later. It was his dad.
"I'm so sorry. I knew how close you two were." He said, a tear falling from his eye as well. I nodded my head, stood on shakey knees and looked at him.
"I... I'm... sorry." I said, catching my breath in short gasps. The man smiled weakly, and walked away. he lifted the sheet from Jordan's body. He took one look and turned away, looking towards me. He motioned for me to look as well. I did so, somewhat reluctantly.
He looked so peaceful, at ease. Happy, even. I looked away. It was the exact opposite of how I felt. A nurse walked in, handing me a peice of paper. She told me his last words were 'Give this to her.' I opened it, and it read, in big letters, shaded in in pencil;
I LOVE YOU
- Title: I Need You
- Artist: Kyden Sarita
- Description: A sad short story I wrote.
- Date: 12/10/2008
- Tags: need