The Gift

October 8, 2010
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“Cancer?!” I ask looking at the doctor in his crisp white jacket. I grip my mother’s hand.
“The Tests show you have Colon cancer.”Replied the doctor. His expression was grim.
“So, So what does that mean?” I ask. I can feel my cheeks getting warm. While I try to hold back the tears as he explains to me about the cancer. When he is finished I look right into his eyes and ask “Am I going to die?”Tears start rolling down my mother’s check. The doctor looks at me with his cloudy eyes.
”If the treatment fails, then there is a possibility that you won’t make it through the Cancer.”
“Well how long do I have?!” I ask with panic in my voice.
”Probably 9-12 months.” It hits me like a wall. Only 9 months? I ask myself 9 months! I’ll barley make it through my junior year of high school. I clench my fits with anger, yet my hands shake with fear.

When I get back to class all I can think about is what did I do to deserve this? I mean I haven’t always been the nicest person to people but it’s a sacrifice to become popular at our school. Gossiping and laughing at people isn’t exactly a crime. Or is it? Finally I get to my last class of the day-English. My teacher Mrs. Hamist always helps put me in a good mood. She Writes “The gift of giving” on the board. For the rest of the hour she talks about how powerful the gift of giving is. She calls on me to read part of the story. It’s about how a man gives all his money and belonging away. Before he dies of his illness, but the gift of giving saves his life. Then it hits me just maybe it will save me too! I look around the class room for a candidate. This can’t just be any old' loser. I mean this cancer is harsh I need a big gift, and now. As my eyes pass from person to person. I stop as I come across Tara. She is an exceptionally skinny girl with stringy black hair. She wears the same shirt almost every day and who knows when the last time she took a shower was. She was perfect; she was going to be my new best friend. But getting this past my friends was a whole challenge in its self.

The next day during lunch I pick at my pasta with my fork waiting for the right time to go and talk to Tara. She sits by herself at the end of an empty table. Slouched over drawing something and chomping on her garlic bread. When everyone is dismissed from lunch I linger back and wait for Tara.
“Hey Tara!” I say sliding in beside her. I twirl my thick curly red hair around my finger. She gives me a confused look.
“So I saw you drawing something at lunch today. Can I see it?” She opens up a worn green notebook, flipping through the pages until she gets to the sketch of a girl picking flowers. “Wow! Tara I didn’t know you could draw like this!” I was surprised! Who knew this lonely girl could be such an artist?
“Thanks” she muttered shoving it into her backpack.
“So I was wondering if you wanted to go to the mall this weekend?” she stopped and looked at me.
“Why are you being so nice to me? You are always so mean.” I couldn’t tell her I’m being nice so I can live I thought.
“I'm just getting tired of all the drama with my friends. And it looks as though maybe you need a friend.” I said with a smile on my face.
“Um ok” she muttered.
“So, when do you want to go to the mall?”
“I’m free on Saturday.” She says with a slight smile on her face.

Over the next week or so Tara and I became great friends we hung out almost every day after school. I sit with her every day for lunch. And it never crosses my mind why we became friends in the first place. Tara and I go out to the park and draw for hours every day. We give each other’s makeup and do each other’s hair. It’s so much easier being friends with someone who doesn’t care how much money your parents make or if your clothes don’t really match. I never realized how two people are so different are acutely so alike. One day after school Tara and I go get ice cream from our favorite store. I get my favorite flavor Mint chocolate chip. The soft, smooth ice cream cools my mouth with a slight mint flavor with a crunch from the chocolate chips. We eventually make our way to the park. The air is still and the sky was a vivid blue. The leaves in the trees rustle to a relaxing melody. We both lie in grass gazing at the clouds. Tara sits up and asks
“Why were you friends with those girls at school?”. It makes me think. I sit up next to her and smooth my purple vintage shirt.
“Because I didn’t know who I was so I just followed the crowd. But now I know who I truly am.” I smile at her and we go back to cloud watching.
Some times at school girls make fun of Tara and I, but we shrug it off. I think of all the times I picked on other people and how insecure I felt at those times. Months fly by and soon enough it’s the end of the school year. I have missed quite a bit of school due to treatments but Tara visits me. I arrive at the hospital for my final treatment. I open my eyes after almost 10 hours of Chemo therapy. I have been moved to a regular hospital bed, and Tara sits in the chair next to me. She is drawing balloons floating to the sky.
“Hey” I say trying to sit up.
‘“Hey!”She says with a big smile on her face.
“How ya feeling?” she asks.
I shrug my shoulders “Ok, I’m still a little woozy.”
The Doctors interrupts with my parents. They have big smiles on their faces. “Good news Addie” The doctor sets his papers on the end of the bed. “Your cancer has remissioned!” My mother hugs me as tears of happiness string down her face. After everyone has gone through several hugs I think maybe the gift of giving saved my life. But I know it did not, the gift of true friendship saved my life.

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