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One Last Time
“Are you sure this is safe?” Lacey asked me, her voice trembling.
“Yes, sweetheart. I promise it is safe.” I squeezed her hand and we continued up the mountain. Once we reached the top, I told her to close her eyes.
“Now open them.” I smiled at her as her bright blue eyes slowly opened. She gasped when she saw the perfect view of the sunset.
“It’s perfect.” She sighed and leaned into my side. Just like you are. I thought to myself.
I made my way through the many halls of the hospital that led to Lacey’s room. The smell of medicine and cleaning supplies filled my nostrils.
“Hey, gorgeous!” I said when I walked into the small room. Instantly her eyes brightened. I walked over to the side of her bed, kissed her forehead and squeezed her hand gently. “How is my princess?”
“I’m better now that you’re here.” She smiled even though I knew it hurt her. “Dr. Sloane said I’m getting worse.” I felt her words sting my chest. I sucked in my breath and composed myself.
“I’m sure everything will be fine, Lace. You’re a tough cookie.” I had to stay positive. For her.
“Come sit by me, Jaden.” Lacey whispered, her eyes closed. I grabbed her hand and squeezed it. They were so frail and white. She fell asleep before I left. Even with the tubes busting into her skin and her yellowed paleness, she was beautiful. I squeezed her hand, kissed her gently on the lips, and walked out.
Saturday morning I woke bright and early. I was planning on spending the whole day with Lacey. Just as I was about to head out the door, my mom stops me.
“You can’t go to the hospital today, sweetie.” She said calmly. “Something has happened…” I looked into her eyes and could see the tears forming.
“Is she….?” I couldn’t finish my sentence. My mom nodded slowly. I could feel the tears running down my cheeks. I tried to breathe slowly but I couldn’t. They came out as screams. She was gone. My beautiful girlfriend was gone. I picked up the vase full of flowers that has always stood next to the front door and threw it. I threw the table cloth, the table, everything I could get my hands on.
“Jaden!” my mom says over my shouting. I stop and fall to the ground.
“The funeral is next weekend.” My mom says gently. I nod and stand up. The rest of the week passes in a blur. I only got out of bed to eat or at least pretend to eat to satisfy my parents. There was no point in going to school. I wouldn’t have learned anything, anyway.
The day of the funeral approaches. I feel weak and heavy. I stagger down the stairs. The drive to the funeral home is slow and monotonous.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Jaden.” That’s all I hear when I arrive. I politely nod and try to focus. My thoughts drift to the memories that Lacey and I had over the years. The perfect sunset that I showed her, the night we first made love, the times we made each other laugh.
In the corner of the room was her open casket. I slowly walked over to it. She looked fake. Her skin was pasty from the makeup they put on her. She was dressed in her favorite jeans and the shirt that I gave her. Her favorite outfit. I reached into the casket and touched her face softly. One of my teardrops landed on her cheek. I didn’t wipe it off. I wanted her to still have something of mine on her. I placed my hand over hers and squeezed it, one last time.