Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The Lesson of the Brick Wall

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
This is a story about a wall. But don’t worry. It’s not going to be one of those long, emotionally drained educational articles. In fact, this story is about a friend that changed my whole world.

My name is Gracie, and I seriously injured my back in a car accident not too long ago. So much in fact, that I was sent to the Emergency Room immediately, and now have to lay in bed for the rest of my life in a boring, one windowed doctors office. Although it’s a miracle I survived, I often cried myself to sleep with wishes of death. It was amazing how a color-drained room could make you want to die.

When I was in the Emergency Room, and I had just begun the long healing process, I was given a roommate to help me with my emotional struggles. Her name was Aliza. We had similar injuries, but Aliza had been in therapy for a longer time, so every day, Aliza was allowed to sit up in her bed for exactly one hour to help her back heal. During that time, we could make eye contact, and talk to each other. Over the course of the first few weeks, we bonded, and became best friends. We never ran out of conversations, despite our drab surroundings, and I never heard a single complaint about our dreadful conditions from my newfound sister. I looked up to her, but also envied her. Oddly enough, it was not because she was healing faster than I, but it was because during that one hour Aliza got to sit up in her bed, she could look out of her window. It was a small, hidden window, and she’d have to crane her neck, and tilt in an uncomfortable position to see through, but despite her back pains, she did it. Aliza’d describe the beautiful flowers blooming outside the window, and tell me all about what the world looked like outside our gray, monotone cell.

“Oh look, Gracie!” she’d exclaim, when the nurses would leave. “There are a bunch of kids playing outside the hospital!” On other days, it was, “Aw. . . somebody’s walking an adorable puppy outside!” Nothing negative came from Aliza’s mouth, and I began to anticipate the time that my friend sat up in her bed so she could describe to me what life was like. What real life was like. I no longer cried myself to sleep. I smiled more, laughed more, and actually enjoyed life, and it was all because of my best friend, Aliza. One memorable night, we talked until two in the morning. “You are a beautiful person,” Aliza would tell me. “I love you so much. I know you will heal,” she would say. Aliza never complimented people. She said what she knew, and felt.

Just when I thought that life was getting better, disaster struck. One late morning, I woke up, barely able to move, and slowly looked over at Aliza’s bed. . . It was empty. My best friend had died. The nurses had cleared out my beautiful friend in the middle of the night, and left me alone in the cell. I felt like all hope had abandoned me. I remembered my last night with Aliza, and sobbed what seemed to be a lake of tears. “You are a beautiful person,” I whispered to myself. But I didn’t feel beautiful at all. I felt devastated. Who would talk to me? Who would put up with my outbursts of sobbing? Who would love me? No one could love like Aliza. . .

Three weeks later, a nurse visited me. Her overenthusiastic, plastic-like voice squealed and said, “Since you are the only one in here now, you get this whole place to yourself! Is there anything I can do for you?”

Nothing could fill the hole Aliza left, gaping, and vacant inside my already broken heart. But when I thought about the past few weeks I was able to spend with Aliza, there actually was one thing that the nurse could do. . . “Excuse me?” I said, making sure she was still there, “can I actually switch beds?”

“Haha,” she giggled, prancing about the doorway, “of course sweetheart!”

I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I realized that I could experience what Aliza did. I could gaze out the small, hidden window in the secluded corner of my room.


A week and a half later, I was moved. I now slept, and ate in Aliza’s old bed. It brought back sweet memories of friendly talks, girly gossip, and my best friend's lessons. I would never forget her. There was one order of business that I had to take care of to be satisfied with my stay, though. I just had to look out of that window. I had to see life outside.

That evening, my nurse entered, and set my mashed potatoes, and peas on a tray by my bed. “Thank you,” I said to the tall, athletic nurse. She could walk, and that, to me, was an Olympic accomplishment. “You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with?” she asked. I had been waiting for that question all day! “Yes!” I exclaimed, almost falling out of my bed. “Can I sit up?”

The nurse hesitated. “Well, I suppose so. It would be good for your healing process.”

I squealed in delight, but then stopped short as I realized that I sounded like my nurse. She smiled, and propped me up on lots of pillows.

Finally. It was my moment of truth. I craned my neck, and leaned to the side. . . and. . . there was a brick wall.

You may be telling yourself, “That Aliza girl was mean! She didn’t tell Gracie the truth about what was outside!” But in reality, Aliza made my life a whole lot more colorful by making up her own little world outside of our hospital room. She made my Emergency Room life a whole lot more pleasant, and I will always remember my beautiful, best friend, Aliza.

Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Wolfshadow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm:
That is so sweet! Aliza sounds like the most wounderful person ever!
iTide replied...
May 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm :
Thanks!  I like her too!
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Site Feedback