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Will You Miss Me?
The teenage girl was sitting on the cold, hard chair, in the poorly lit room. The walls were too white, and the maroon carpet worn down after years of pacing visitors. A number of stiff, uncomfortable looking chairs were scattered around the room. An old, beat up coffee table was standing in the middle of everything, with a large pile of out dated magazines scattered on top.
There were two other occupants in the silent room. A middle aged woman and what looked to be her son. The older woman was medium height, and pudgy. Her curly brown hair had flecks of gray in it, and was held back with a couple of pins. Her crocheted sweater and faded pants made her look inviting. She had seated herself near the door in one of the uncomfortable chairs, and was clasping her hands together tightly. Her son sat next to her. He had brown hair, the same shade as his mothers, which fell just below his eyebrows, just covering his eyes. He was dressed in baggy jeans, and a black hooded sweatshirt, which looked tattered and well worn. He sat with his head in his hands, making it impossible to see his facial features.
The teenage girl was separated from this pair by five of the stiff metal chairs. She sat up straight, staring at the clock. Her dark brown hair seemed almost black, and fell just past her chin. It was straight, and parted to the side, sometimes falling into her eyes. She wore dark eyeliner and had scores of bracelets on her wrists. Her jeans had a rip in the knee, and were too long, falling in puddles around her black Converse. Her black sweatshirt was too big for her, and was zipped all the way up, due to the low temperature in the room. Her big blue eyes kept traveling slowly from the clock to the closed door across the room, which had a sign on the front, reading ‘Dr. Bergstrom, Pediatric Oncology’. Silence reigned over the waiting room. No sound was leaking through the heavy door. The teenage girl continued to stare at the wall.
Twelve years ago the same girl was four years old. She was jumping up and down, tears streaming down her chubby cheeks.
“Give it back!” she was yelling. An older boy was standing above her, holding the girl’s doll just out of her reach. A five year old boy appeared at the scene. He kicked the older boy’s shins and grabbed the doll from him.
“C’mon!” he yelled, grabbing the girl’s hand and running off. He pulled the girl after him, away from the bully. When they stopped running both of them stood, trying to catch their breath.
“Here’s your doll,” the boy said softly, looking down as handed the doll to the girl.
“Thank you! I’m Lizzie! What’s your name?” she asked.
“I’m Adam,” he replied, looking up finally.
“Well, Adam, you’re my bestest friend!” Lizzie cried, tackling Adam with a hug and knocking him over.
Ten years ago a six year old girl stood in front of a big school, holding a seven year old boy’s hand. The two were standing front of a the giant front doors, looking up at a sign reading ‘Dixon Elementary School’
“Why can’t I go to first grade with you Adam? I don’t wanna be in kindergarten,” Lizzie said, clutching onto Adam’s hand tightly.
“C’mon Lizzie, please don’t cry. I’ll walk with you to your classroom. You’ll be okay. You have to be in kindergarten before you can be in first grade. I’ll come find you at lunch time and you can tell me all about what you did this morning,” he told her, stepping forward and opening the doors. As they stepped through the doors Lizzie spoke.
“Adam, will you miss me?”
“Of course I will Lizzie,” The door closed behind the two.
Two years ago a fourteen year old girl stood in the parking lot of Dixon High School. The overly large high school was framed in the morning sky behind her.
“Adam, I don’t wanna start high school,” Lizzie stated, slumping against the hood of his truck. “Why can’t I be a sophomore like you?”
“Because, just like kindergarten, you gotta be a freshman before you can be a sophomore,” he replied, shaking his head. “C’mon Lizzie, you don’t want to be late.”
The two walked silently across the parking lot. Lizzie was holding onto Adam’s hand tightly. Her arms were shaking, and she was walking as slow as possible. Adam pulled her along until they reached the double doors at the top of the steps. As he pulled open the door and stepped through the doorway, Lizzie spoke.
“Adam, will you miss me?”
“Of course I will Lizzie,” The large wooden doors closed behind them.
One year ago, Adam stood alone in his messy bedroom. The bed was unmade, his large blue quilt, half on the bed, half on the floor. Clothes and school books were scattered around the floor. Pictures were taped to the dark blue walls. On a white shelf above his bed was a solitary picture frame. The picture inside was of himself and Lizzie, during her freshman year. Lizzie was sitting on his shoulders, and he was half falling over, trying to keep his balance. Adam stood in front of his full length mirror, wringing his hands as he looked at his reflection. He pushed a hand through his brown hair, making it stand up on end.
“Lizzie, wi-no, that’s not good enough. Lizzie I lo-no, too forward. Lizzie, would you be my…” A voice came from the doorway.
“What are you doing Adam?” Lizzie was leaning against his doorframe, her hands in her sweatshirt pockets. Adam whipped around quickly.
“Lizzie, will you be my girlfriend?” Lizzie went still, then tackled Adam in a flash.
“Yes!” Adam hit the floor with a loud ‘thump’
This year, Lizzie sat silently in the cold waiting room, watching the clock. The door opened, and her head snapped to the side. Adam walked out of the small office, into the waiting room, his head hanging. Lizzie stood up and went over to him.
“Well?” she asked, holding her hands together so tightly her fingers were turning purple. Adam looked up at his girlfriend. There were tear tracks on his cheeks.
“I have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” he said, shoving his hands deep into his jeans pockets. Lizzie hugged Adam tightly, her whole body shaking. As she pulled away tears began making their way down her cheeks. “I have six months to live,” Adam finished, pulling his hands out of his pockets. He grabbed Lizzie’s hand, holding it tightly. Her tiny hand was dwarfed by his big one. Adam led her to the door, and opened it. He stepped through slowly and Lizzie followed him. For a moment bright sun light filled the dreary waiting room. As Lizzie walked through the doorway a pudgy woman and he son heard the last of Lizzie and Adam’s conversation.
“Adam, will you miss me?”
“Of course I will Lizzie.” The door closed with a slam behind them.