Those Three Words

June 11, 2010
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Sam was a great friend. I loved him so much, though in a friend way, not in a romantic sense. But we have been best friends since I had moved here three years ago. I met him in English class. We sat next to each other so we might as well get to know each other. But what I remember the most was when he first said those three words, "Hi, I'm Sam."

Those words made my life amazing. I remember his face, how he looked as I told him "Hi, I'm Kirsten." He had a smile on his face and his short hair was perfectly combed down not near touching his eyebrows. From that one look, that simple glance, I knew we would be friends.

We would hang out everyday after school. He would come pick me up or he would walk to my house, once in a while I walked to his. We were within walking distance of each other, just under half a mile, so it was easy to see each other often. We would watch movies, play video games, listen to music, play some sports, anything that best friends do really.

But that all changed. I remember the phone ringing, I saw Sam's last name on the caller ID and when I picked up I was happy and excited. "Hi Sam" I said brightly. He wasn't happy though.

"You need to come over now" he said frantically. I remember quickly putting on my running shoes and I remember running as fast as I could down to his house. I remember him opening the door before I knocked and I remembered his serious face.

"Before I get to what I'm about to say" he told me the slightest of smiles on his face, "I love you, Kirsten. I know we're just friends, but I still can love you."

I started tearing up because I loved him as well. I couldn't say it though and I quickly but back my tears before he could notice them.

"Second" he said quickly losing what little of a smile there was. "I have to tell you three words. These three words are not the words I just told you. These three words are... Life changing. Sad. Horrible."

I remember how he bit his bottom lip, his braces shaving off a layer of his mouth. I remember how he lifted his head a small fraction as if he needed to think of how to word what he was about to say. I remember how I started shaking in my sweatshirt, how the cold sweat started trickling from my forehead... It wasn't going to be good at all.

"I am dying." Those were the three words that changed both of our lives forever. I remember sucking both of my cheeks in just a little so I could bite down hard on them. I remember the taste of the blood seeping from the inside of my mouth. I remember swallowing the blood as if trying to swallow all fear and sorrow down with it.

"I have cancer. Leukemia." I remember how he shuttered as he said the words. I remember how he let one tear escape his right eye. I remember how his blue eyes changed color the smallest amount as the tear rose in front of it.

I remember jumping from his couch and running forward so I could fall on his bed and sob. I remember him coming over and sitting down next to me, stroking my light brown hair, and pulling me up from my stomach to sit on his lap.

I sobbed into his chest and I remember the way his chest moved in and out at regular intervals as he breathed slow and sorrowful breaths. I remember him telling me he was going to fight this disease and that he would love me until the end.

But the most vivid memory of all was when he laid me down inside his bed and tucked me in there. I remember him saying "Excuse me for a moment" and remember him leaving to use the bathroom. But most importantly I remember him coming back and telling me to spend the night with him.

I remember as I slept with him, he stoked my hair as I tried to fall asleep on his chest. I remember hoping that when I awoke it would all be a sick, realistic dream.

But I remember awaking to the sound of a heartbeat, and the feeling of him breathing. I remember him waking up at the same time and saying "I have to go to the hospital now. I need them to save me." I remember telling him that he didn't need saving, that it was all a lie. I remember him saying goodbye with a quick hug and leaving me alone in his house.

The worst part of the whole thing though was when I fell asleep again. Falling asleep meant losing knowledge of what was happening around you. I remember awaking to the sound of my own pounding heartbeat, not his. I remember awaking to the telephone ringing, his telephone. I remembered the sick dream I had that he had died and I had killed myself.

"Hello?" I answered his phone trembling. "Hello" said the man on the phone. "Is this Kirsten?" I remember awaiting the news that Sam had been saved.

"Y-yes, it is" I said breathing extremely heavily.

I remember him saying "I'm sorry to say but..." And I wish I couldn't remeber him saying those three words.

"Sam is dead."

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm
Aw this is so sad!! I loved it though(: It was a bit rushed...
hiddenpoet replied...
Jun. 17, 2010 at 9:07 am
Thanks for liking it. I'll keep in mind that it was rushed and next time I will lengthen the story, or at least make the story actually show what happened in the time that the story takes place. In this one I kind of just showed how they met and what they did together, then I just skipped to the end. You know what I mean?
dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm
Exactly!! I want to know why he was so special to her, and vice versa(: Keep up the good work, though!!
hiddenpoet replied...
Jun. 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm
Thanks for the constructive critisism. I loved your story "Smile."
dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm
I loved your comments on Smile, too  Thanks!!(:
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