Wilting Lilies

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“Checkmate! I win again!” Lillian Connelly took a long sip of her chocolate milk and stood up from the table in the commons room.

“No fair, you cheated!”

“Oh, I never cheat. Cheaters never win,” replied Lilly.

“Whatever you say little girl. I want a rematch tomorrow, ” Mr. Young paused, “If I’m still alive.” The old man stood up from the table and shook Lilly’s soft, tiny hand.

“Deal!” You and I, both, will be here tomorrow. Well, I have to go now, Dr. Stewart awaits! I’ll see you tomorrow Mr. Young. Goodbye.” Lilly skipped away, chocolate milk in hand, toward the nearest elevator.


Lilly was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia about a year ago. After suffering from abdominal pain, her parents brought her to the doctor. They relayed to the Connellys that their daughter has been suffering from abnormal blood cells accumulating in her kidneys and that she does in fact, have cancer. Naïve, six-year-old Lilly sat with a bright smile on her face as her parents began to cry. The cancer became increasingly worse over the next year, and Lilly is now staying at the hospital throughout her treatment. Never once has Lilly complained.

She stepped off of the elevator on the tenth floor, where her mother was waiting for her with a kind smile. They walked hand in hand to room 109 and saw Dr. Stewart waiting patiently in his chair. “How are you doing today Miss Lilly?” he asked as he stood up.
“Wonderful! I won a game of chess, the nurse gave me an extra chocolate milk, and it’s raining! I love it when it rains Dr. Stewart!” Lilly said as she sat on the table. Her mother stood beside her, with her hand upon Lilly’s bare head, still with that same kind smile upon her face.
Lilly and Mr. Young played chess the next day, as they do everyday, and everyday for the next week. One rainy Tuesday afternoon, old Mr. Young sat at their usual table and sipped his coffee. He waited for an hour, but there was no sight of little Lilly in the commons room. He figured she was having tests done or that her family was just visiting, so he sat and read the paper. It was the first week of spring. He opened the paper and saw a picture of beautiful, pink lilies. He remembered when Lilly told him how she got her name. When her mother was in the hospital after giving birth to her, her father brought her a vase full of lilies, and she thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world. When she finally saw her baby girl, she knew she wanted to name her Lilly, because she was so beautiful, like that flowers her father bought. Mr. Young smiled at this thought. He admired Lilly’s strength. At only seven years old, he had never seen her cry. Well only once. One day she came to the commons room, for their daily game, sobbing. He was worried that something terrible had happened, so he waited until she was ready to talk. Ten minutes later, Lilly told Mr. Young about a robin that had built a nest outside the window of her hospital room. She said it was the most beautiful thing and it brought her joy to watch the mother care for her four blue eggs. That morning Lilly went to check on the birds, and all she saw was the remains of the blue eggs and a single feather blowing in the breeze. Mr. Young began to cry. He remembered Lilly telling him that she knew the birds were in a better place and that everybody dies. These birds just died young, like she will.
After a week of not seeing Lilly, Mr. Young grew worried. He knew not to bother her, because she probably wasn’t feeling well. The next day, he saw Lilly’s mother in the cafeteria buying two cartons of chocolate milk. This saddened him. Not only was he worried about Lilly, but also Mr. Young’s cancer had spread to his brain. Every second of every day his thoughts were filled with the fear of dying. He knew this was unfair because he had gotten to live this long and little Lilly would probably not make it to the second grade.
Mr. Young sat in the second pew, behind Lilly’s parents, and listened to Lilly’s teacher speak. She talked about how much of a joy Lilly was to have in her class. She said that she made friends easily and was extremely smart for her age. Then she pulled a paper from her purse. “My name is Lillian Connelly,” she read, “I am seven years old. My favorite color is blue. I love the rain and my mommy. My biggest fear is dying.” She stopped reading and wiped the tears from her cheek. She then turned and placed a pink lily on the tiny casket behind her.





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Melliana said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm
Quite honestly, I'm not sure what to say. I'm used to the overly-complex writing styles on here; however, yours is rather simple. It's a nice change. The simplicity of this piece is what makes it so beautiful. I'm going to keep an eye out for you. Keep up the good work.
 
waiting_to_be_found said...
Jul. 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm
Awh beautiful story! It was a very beautiful idea, and I definitely loved it. I like the way it started, it wasn't immediete, you had to read farther to figure out what it was about, and it was subtle. The only suggestion that I have is to add more detail, and to work on the flow of it... it seems more stream of conscience tham anything else... but otherwise the story is very beautiful but it just needs a little work, I think something like this could of been published with merely a bit more wor... (more »)
 
Jaeda R. said...
Jul. 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm
That is really sad. Quite well written though. There was a boy at my church who died from cancer. He was so young...
 
..RJ.. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 11, 2011 at 11:24 am
that was so sad.. it made me cry :')  very well written, thank you :)
 
Book_addict said...
Jul. 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm
Still, it's very well written =)
 
Book_addict said...
Jul. 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm
But it's so sad!
 
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