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Ruby's Song

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Ruby had long brown curls that fell down her back and flowed perfectly with every movement that she made and it even shined in the sun. I only knew this because I had a crush on her that started when I was six years old, and like a devoted crush I used to watch her from my bedroom window every summer day that she sat in her back yard playing with her puppy, Bells. As Bells slowly grew into an adult dog, Ruby began to get more beautiful, and I would find myself fantacising about being the boy friend of a girl that was three years older than me more often than not. As I reached my teenage years, I began dating and my crush slowly vanished; having a girl friend didn't stop me from smiling as I passed by my window and her laughed floated into my room. One day, I looked out of my window to see Bells lounging in the backyard, alone. That was the day I found out that Ruby had breast cancer.

The next summer, I bought a guitar with the money that I had earned from shoveling sidewalks the previous winter. I took the guitar out into my backyard and began to strum on it, attempting to make music. My concentration was interrupted by laughter that had been missing from my summers for far too long. I peered around the privacy fance to see Ruby, but she looked nothing like I had remembered. She wore a hat to protect her bare skin from the sun, because she no longer had any hair. She also wore a baggy shirt, which I assumed was to cover up that she no longer had the two things that symbolized a woman for years-Boobs. Even though all of this was missing, I saw her smile and her glittering eyes and realized that all the beauty I had seen in her before was still just as intense.
A boy sat on the porch watching her with devotion and love, as she routinely chased Bells around the yard. Bells barked triumphantly; she had her Ruby back.

I went back to my guitar, letting the frustration of being clueless about the instrument settle over me. That's when the boy peeked around the fence. "Are you a beginner?" he asked. That was a start of a whole new summer tradition. The boy, who was Ruby's boy friend, was named Daven. We would sit in her backyard and he would teach me everything that he knew about the guitar while she watched us from behind a book, with a smile. Bells would lay on her lap, gazing at us wearily.

One day, while Ruby stepped inside to make lemonade, I finally got up the courage to ask Daven about her illness. "Is she getting any better?" I asked, realizing that she seemed to get skinnier with each passing day. He peered into the house before shaking his head at me. "She's actually getting worse, but she's a fighter, my Ruby. She'lll get through it. I know she won't let something as silly as cancer bring her down." He smiled at me weakly.
A week later, after living seventeen short years and blessing us all with the gift of knowing the vibrant person that she was, Ruby died.

The night of her death I found Daven sitting in Ruby's favorite lawn chair with Bells laying in her lap. As I walked into the yard, she looked at me with droopy eyes and I could see the grief; even the dog was sad. Daven looked at me through teary eyes. "How are you, bud?" "You were right," I told him. "She didn't let the cancer bring her down. My grandma says that she went to heaven and she's going to be an angel now." He gave me the same weak smile, before saying. "You're still so young kid. Don't lose that." I put my guitar strap around my shoulder, before smiling at him in defeat. "I finally know how to play a song."
On the last day of Ruby's life, I played my first song. I call it "Ruby's Song." I think that the name is appropriate.

Now, three years later, it's another summer. I'm sitting at my window playing the same song and watching Bells waddle around the yard. Sometimes, I hear her laughing again. I swear.





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