August 9, 2010
I had come to school determined to stay focused and out of trouble now that I was done with Natalie. It’s not really my fault that my history teacher decided that today’s the day to show the most boring revolutionary war documentary ever filmed. So that with the fact I only got three hours of sleep last night, well, I was asleep by the intro credits.I dreamt of the night before except the cop was British and instead of the alcohol there was tea. He was berating me and then got out his cuffs grabbing my arm.

“Greyson” he said in an oddly feminine voice. “Greyson.”

I woke up really confused, looking up at the school secretary and then back down to the table where my drool had collected. There were giggles across the dark classroom and my history teacher hushed them, “This is my favorite part, Thomas Paine!” a look of excitement on his face.

The secretary touched my arm again. “Come on Hon, I need to talk to you.”

I got up and started to follow her to the door but she turned to me and said, “You will need to bring your things dear.”

I grabbed my backpack and shoved my notebook in which I was supposed to have been taking notes in. As I left Sophie smiled at me, softly waving to me. I nodded back, grinning and thinking I should really ask her out. Who cared what Natalie said. She wasn’t that bad, you know disregarding the braces and the bangs really.

I followed the secretary to the main office where she took out a pad of paper and started writing something. When she finished she ripped it off and turned back to me. I figured it had something to do with the night before and I tried to prepare some sort of excuse.

“I hate to have to say this, Natalie Beck’s mother just called; Natalie has been in a car accident and at the hospital. She’s asking to see you. It sounded urgent; you should get over there soon okay? I’m so sorry, I really hope she’s okay.”

She hands me the note which I see is excusing me from class and then thinks for a second and hands me a box of tissues.

Not really thinking, box of tissues and note in hand, I make my way through the parking lot, into my car and down the main road towards the hospital. I was there in a few minutes and still felt oddly numb. It wasn’t until I stepped through the hospital doors and the air-conditioned air from the waiting room hit me that I started to panic. I ran up to the front desk. After a few rapid explanations the nurse gave me directions and I walked quickly through the halls until I hit room 224.

I rapped at the door and a feeble “Come in” responded.

Natalie lay in the small bed, laying on her back looking up at the ceiling. Without looking at me she said, “Greyson?”

“Yeah,” I said in almost a whisper. “It’s me.” I started to walk over to her, then grabbed the chair to drag it over.

“Leave it Greyson, come sit on the bed. I want you to be close to me, I’m so scared.”

Careful not to hurt her, I sat on the edge of the bed. Her red hair was sprawled out around her pillow, pieces of it sticking to her sweaty forehead. I brushed it back from her face gently and she brought her hand up to mine, holding it against her cheek.

“Does, does it hurt?” I asked.

She opened her mouth as if to answer but nothing came out and tears ran from her still unfocused eyes and down her cheeks.

“They have me on meds but, I-I can’t see anything, it’s only darkness. And, they don’t think I’ll be able to make it through the night. I heard the doctor and the nurses talking.”

Unsure what to say, I squeezed her hand and told her everything would be alright.

We were silent for a few moments and then she whispered something.

“What? I didn’t hear you Nat.”

“I just said, that it’s not the dying I’m really scared of. Just thinking about everything I’m going to miss. I’ll never get to graduate, never go to college, get married.” She paused for a moment, “Sex. Just everything, I’ll miss experiencing everything. Why? It’s so unfair.”

I nodded, and then realizing she couldn’t see me, said it was really unfair. I tried to formulate something to say about the night before, how I was sorry I had yelled at her, that it wasn’t a big deal, we were friends I was supposed to take “one for the team” but she interrupted me.

“Greyson, would you do something for me?”

“Of course Natalie, of course. Anything at all.”

“I-I want you to…” her scarily pale skin flushed slightly. She seemed to be embarrassed, something I had never witness Natalie be.

“I want you to lay next to be here.” I was already sitting on the edge and there wasn’t much room. I told her this, saying I didn’t want to hurt her.

“I’ll be fine, even if you do I won’t feel it with the drugs they have me on.” She chuckled sadly.

I slipped off my shoes and lifted up the plain blue bedspread and crawled in next to her. She pressed up close to me and I could feel the scratchy hospital gown on my arms and her cold bare legs on my own.

How many times had I dreamed of this? To have her snuggled up with me, to be able to smell her hair and hold her hand just like this. Of course, my fantasies had never included a hospital or her so broken. It made the moment bitter sweet, though mostly bitter.


“Yeah Nat?”

“This is nice.”

“It really is.” I grasped her hand again.

“Greyson, you know how I said, well, that it’s unfair for me to miss it all.”

“Mhmm” I said, taking a deep breath, her strawberry shampoo wafting through my nose.

“Maybe I don’t have to.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, maybe I don’t have to miss out on one thing…” she trailed off.

Heat flushed over my neck and to my face.

“Kiss me Greyson.”

I hesitated and she repeated the command in a sad and broken voice.

“Please Greyson.”

Where my hand had been resting on hers, I lifted it to her face and cupped her cheek, turning it to mine. Her eyes were closed, anticipating the kiss and no longer wandering. I began to lower my face to hers, inch by inch. With feelings of both utter lust and absolute agony I brought my lips inches from hers. Right as I was about to kiss her, she giggled. At first it was quiet and then it grew louder. Thinking I had hurt her or something I panicked.

I sat up, hovering over her. “Nat! Are you okay?”

Her giggles turned into outright laughter, she looked like she was trying to say something but she kept laughing. After a bit she controlled herself, gasping in between her giggles, “I-can’t-believe-you-fell-for-it.” Then went back into hysterics.

“Wha?” was all I could manage, confused.

I sat on the edge of the bed for some time until she could completely stop. She sat up to, looking right at me.

“You horn dog. You would have has sex with a dying, blind girl, in a hospital? Get off my bed nasty boy.” She shoved me off and I walked over to the chair in the corner and sat down.

“So, your okay?” I asked, still confused.

“Wow, you really are a smart one Greyson. I mean really, how you lose your sight in a car crash. I don’t even have any bruises or anything.” She pulled a magazine from under her covers and started thumbing through it.

“But-I-you said.”

“You’re welcome for me getting you out of school four hours early.” She looked back down at her magazine. “Ooh, ten ways to lose five pounds in two days.”

“So, you’re not going to die. You’re okay.”

“YES” she said almost annoyed, turning the page.

Anger throbbed though my veins. She had made me believe she was going to die and then could be this nonchalant about it. That was just messed up. Of all the things she had done to me this by far was the meanest. I thought her abandoning me in a car with her drunk friends and her illegal alcohol last night was bad enough. I had a court date; I was probably going to get my license taken away until I was 18. I stood up, making to leave and then stopped at the foot of her bed.

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