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In our lifetime, some of us have an unplanned miracle, the greatest mystery, an unspeakable secret, a scarring regret, an untouchable dream, a vast chance, or an unforgettable love. A miracle where your life is changed forever. A mystery which you can’t wait to discover. A secret that is so horrendously shocking if it was ever found out, you feel your life would be over. A regret that makes you wish you wouldn’t live another day. A dream so worthwhile that is the faintest glow at the end of the dark tunnel. A chance you took which had a million ways to end. A person who makes you love others, in a world of hate. Some of us think we have it all and only notice the truth as we begin to fade away...
The hospital bed where I lay is so small. It is too distant to reach out and touch. I can barely see my chest rise and fall in a steady beat. I am asleep. My mind is somewhere else. I’ve watched the doctors come in and out… they say I may never wake up. They say it is my choice whether I stay. The specialists think that if my life isn’t worth what I want it to be, I may never wake up. I may never want to come back to the world of hate and pain. I may sleep forever.
At eight, thinking of a reason why something happened was in the back of my mind. Now that I am fourteen, I know this is untouchable after going through years of science class. However, back when we were kids, Noah, this was my favorite dream.
It was a spring day and Noah and I were digging in the yard. We had decided to go visit his father who was all the way on the other side of the world according to his mother. So we dug deeper and deeper to get to your dad, when the rain began to fall. First, it sprinkled, and soon it poured. We threw down our shovels and danced in the spring rain. We would slip and slide until our white clothes were invisible. Then, we held each other so tight as your mom snapped a picture of us grinning from ear to ear.
To a nine year old, it was a big world. I had so many questions and very few answers. The greatest mystery to me was where that shiny red balloon went when you let them go.
Like the time when I went to a fair with Noah and we each got a balloon. We waited until we could only hear the crickets sound before we crawled out of bed to meet each other. We sat in front of your lawn and let them go.
“Mine’s going to a tropical island far from here,” I whispered to Noah.
“Well mine is going to the artic so the penguins have something to play with,” Noah said back to me. We would go on and on, never really knowing where our balloons might end up. But we let our imagination take over, and that was okay.
What happened when I turned ten was unspeakable. I had long blonde hair cascading over my shoulders tied back in a loose bow. I had innocent dark blue eyes as peaceful as the sea. Although what I saw changed my innocence forever. In my backyard I hopped back and forth in the faded hopscotch drawing my mother made. I skipped to a commercial tune with my ratty doll bobbing along my side. All was quiet….
“Give me the keys!” an angry man yelled.
“Why? So you can go sneak off again? I am tired of putting up with you Rick! Just tired of it!” the woman yelled back.
I poked my eye through the hole in the fence. There were my neighbors, Rick and Kathy. They argued for a short time, and then I saw the tall man pull something glossy from his coat. It hurt my eyes as the sun reflected off of the knife, but I didn’t dare turn away. The woman backed away, pleading for her life.
“AHHHHHHH!” she wailed in agony. Gasping, I clasped my ears, wishing it would all go away. My mother moans from inside which startled me. I stumble backwards over a root. My mother surpasses me not seeming to note that I am on the ground, and opens the gate.
“Help! Help!” my mother cries out as she holds Kathy.
I shiver and crawl back, holding my doll close to my heart. Rocking, I wait for my mom to return. But she never did. It was you, Noah. You came to me when I was scared and alone. You never asked what had happened that day. And even eight years later, you never asked. I never told you how guilty I felt. The pain had flowed into my heart as I sat there shocked by what I had seen. I should have helped her. I should have stopped him before she got hurt. But I didn’t, and now you may never know…
At eleven I had the biggest chance in my elementary years. I had to make a choice, and I know I chose the right one.
Noah and I were on the playground when Ali, Lilly, and Hailey came up to us. They gave you a fake smile, and then took me away from you. The girls wanted to know if I wanted to be in their posse. Of course I wanted to say yes. They were the queen bees of the school. But what would happen to you Noah? What would happen to us? It wasn’t worth it, so I said no. Ali slapped me right there in front of everyone. The pain stung but went away quickly. However, the hurt in my heart lasted forever. It was worth it though Noah. For you, that was the best answer I could have given anyone.
Miracles are the most special gift to ever give. To witness, to accomplish, to desire; miracles can change someone entirely.
At twelve years old, mom allowed me to walk home as long as I was with you. She knew you would protect me. We were walking home one fall day and we heard a thud from behind. We both turned so fast. The robin was on the ground and the blood soaked into the yellow leaves where it lay. We carefully picked it up and brought it home. Noah, we saved it. We nursed its wing and kept it safe. The day we set our little robin free was truly a miracle. It was our miracle.
We all have stupid crushes and fairy tale stories. We always have a knight in shinning armor sketched into our math book.
Last year, I was thirteen and in love with Johnny Pedson. He was the greatest rock star to ever walk the planet. I completely idolized him. I had posters on the wall and a CD always playing his voice. You would make fun of me, Noah. You would joke and tease, nevertheless I knew I would never forget him. He was my first obsession. What I thought was love.
What if I didn’t go to that party the other night? What if I didn’t get into that car? If only I was buckled. If only we didn’t crash.
Noah, you wouldn’t go with me to Jason’s party. You told me not to, but I pushed you away. I went anyways. I didn’t know that the cops were going to come. It wasn’t even me who did anything wrong. All I did was hop into a car with some kid from school and he hit the brakes. If I knew he had been drunk, I would not have got in. I would have buckled if I knew. I just didn’t want to get caught. Noah, he drove so fast. I was so scared when I saw a light coming around the bend. I reached over to try to get control of the wheel. He pushed me, Noah, he pushed me away. If only the car hadn’t gotten out of control. Maybe I would not have been sent flying out of the car, bringing the shards of glass with me. What if it wasn’t me in this hospital bed with the monitors and wires? If only I would wake up.
BEEP.BEEP.BEEP.BEEP. The monitor by my bedside is increasing, like the beat of a jackhammer. The doctors rush in. The static lines of my heart beat begin to decrease. The lines are fading to almost a one hundred eighty degree line. I am fading.
As I watch you Noah, I think about how they say that the truth can set you free. When you begin to fade the truth is clear. I see it now. I see the truth. The truth is that the bird we saved wasn’t a miracle…it was you. The truth is that my greatest mystery wasn’t what happened to the balloons when they left our fingers…it was you. The secret wasn’t that I could have saved someone’s life…the secret was that you truly are my life. We dreamt to make it to the far side of the world…but the truth is I dreamt for you to notice me when I first moved here. I had a chance to be someone new… that chance was taken when I became someone with you. I worshipped Johnny Pedson…but I realize now it was only you I love. I regret going to Jason’s party I really do. I ache just watching you and mom hold my hands. It scars me internally to think about how I went behind your back...but the fact is…I would never regret meeting you.
BEEP.BEEP..BEEP…BEEP... The monitor is slowing down. My chest is rising and falling once again. There has been a change. Now I know my seven secrets, the true seven secrets. You are my unplanned miracle, the greatest mystery, an unspeakable secret, a scarring regret, an untouchable dream, a vast chance, and an unforgettable love. You Noah… have saved me.
The bed is getting closer, everything is coming into focus. There is a shocking connection I feel as my soul has found its place. Now, for the first time in almost two days…I breathe the forgiving air rushing through my lungs. I lift my heavy eyes and see your smiling face smeared with joy. I can’t keep myself from smiling back.