December 22, 2011
By , Tallamdge, OH
I walked out of a club in downtown LA. I flipped open my phone. 12:24 a.m. My curfew was eleven and I blew it. I climbed into my silver Porsche and drove home. It's hard to drive, drunk. My phone rings. "Hello I answer?" "Kylie, where have you been?" "Mom” I Stuttered. Trying to think of a good excuse why I was an hour and a half late. "Kylie your curfew was eleven and you blew it, your grounded!" I hung up on my mom. I have no reason to listen to her anymore. She just doesn't understand that I'm seventeen. I can handle myself. When I get home I creep quietly into our house. I walk into the kitchen because I'm dying of thirst. Our house maid Maxie was finishing dishes from dinner. The room smelled like soapy water. “Maxie, can I ask you something?" "Sure” Maxie replies. "Well I sorta, kinda stayed out a little too late and I need your help on a good excuse." I really couldn't believe that I was asking our house maid for advice, but I was stuck and needed an escape plan. "Kylie you need to tell your mom the truth, even if it is not what you want her to hear” says Maxie. Maxie pushes me up to my room because she knows that my mom will be up there. Sure enough she was. "What is wrong with you” screams my mom? “Mom I lost track of time” I yell. "Kylie you have to understand that those clubs can turn ugly." “People have and can get hurt there." "I will make sure that you will not be one of those people." With that my mom walks out and tells me to get to bed. I pull of my vintage Loui Vuitton dress. I slowly start to drift off to sleep and hope my hangover won't be that bad tomorrow.
I was wrong. My hangover was worse than I ever thought it would be. I climbed into my mom's red Lamborghini. We are going to pick up my dad from the airport. He's the vice president of Nike and he travels a lot. I barely see him. I can pretty much say I have grown up without a father. When my dad gets off the plane, he doesn't do what a typical father would do. He grabs his phone out and begins to send emails. The typical father would hug his family and tell them he loved them. I have only dreamed of having that experience. The whole car ride home he was sending emails. Once we arrived home we find that Maxie has prepared lunch. My dad goes to his office to make some calls. But my mom and I sit down for lunch. "So! How badly is the hangover?” snaps my mom. I can tell she's still angry because she has a snickering smile across her face. "It's fine." Thank you very much” I snapped back. "You better get a grip on reality Kylie” shouts my mom. "You're seventeen." “You don't need hangovers.” “What you need is a job." And with that my mom gets up and stomps out of the room. "Honey, are you ok?” asks Maxie. I nod my head and wonder why my mom is not getting over this well. Usually she lets it go.
All Sunday my mom was mad. She barley talked to me. If she did talk it was mostly one word sentences. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. I wake up Monday with a headache. To make the day worse I was running late and it was raining. Maxie dropped me off at school because she had to run some errands. Plus my mom took my car away because she's afraid I will be driving drunk. "Bye Maxie” I said as I stepped out of the car. The minute the wind hit my skin I could tell it was going to be a cold day because goose-bumps grew up my arms. Later at the end of fourth period my best friend Kourtney came up to me. ”How’d you like the club?” asks Kourtney eagerly. “It was ok” I answer grumpy. “Well we don't have to go back again, if you don't want too” she said. I shrugged my shoulders and walked away. I really was in no mood to talk about a club that I would never be at, let alone think about ever again.
After school I look for Maxie. "Oh-No” I shriek. My mom pulls up and wants me in the car. I get in without saying a word. My mom is still in her work clothes. I really didn't understand why my mom left work to come pick me up. After a longer ride than usual, we finally pull into the Hearts Hollywood Hospital. It's a hospital for kids who are close to dying or have severe illnesses. "Why are we here?” I demand. "I told you, you needed to get a job." “What, I thought you were joking” I scream. “Kylie calm down” says my mother. "Lisa is a friend of mine from college who works here." “She organizes games and crafts for the kids to cheer them up." “She needed somebody to help her who had a creative mind and I told her you were perfect." “You what” I holler. I was beside myself and I didn't even know if I knew what my mom was talking about."Mom” I whine. "Kylie stop." "This will be good for you." "You will see." ”Go up the stairs and ask for Lisa” says my mom. With that my mom kicks me out the door. "I can't believe this” I groan.
I follow my mom's directions and try to find Lisa. The stairs were nauseatingly, filthy and I almost passed out by the sight of it. How could anyone stand this? When I finally reach the top of the stairs, there is a lady sitting at a desk. Her hair was pulled back into a tight, stiff bun and she looked mad. “Hi” I said to the lady. “Hello, can I help you with something?” “Yes I am looking for Lisa.” “I will call her down in a moment.” “You can have seat in the chairs over there.” She pointed her delicate finger across the room towards some chair in the far corners of the room. “She will be with you in a minute” said the lady. I take a seat in a washed out, gray chair. The waiting room was dull and pretty much empty. I set my bag down and try to get comfortable. I notice that there were a few other signs in the room that pointed to the physical therapy area and blood work. In the room were a mother and her son. He had a black knee brace on and was probably going to physical therapy. I pull out my cell phone and pretend to look occupied. I saw a women start to approach me. She was wearing tacky yoga pants and a stained yellow t-shirt. "Hi” says Lisa politely. "Hi” I mutter. Lisa takes me into the room were the kids can come to have fun. "Ok well I'm gonna go finish a few things” says Lisa. "Well what do you want me to do?” I ask. "I have a special project for you my dear." "There is a girl in the hospital here." "Her name is Jessica." "She is dying of liver cancer and only has a short time here” Lisa explains quietly. "She really does not want to talk to anyone or come play games." "She’s around your age and with a free spirit like you, I can tell you can and will cheer her up." I'm shocked that Lisa is making me sit in a hospital and babysit some girl I don't even know. "Her room number is 106." “Just knock and go in” says Lisa. “You can go meet her now." "NOW “I said surprised.
After a long while of trying to convince Lisa why I should not meet Jessica, it didn't even work. So now I'm walking down some stupid hallway, trying to find some girl, I don't even know. When I arrive at the door Lisa told me to go to, I just stood there reluctant to go in. But eventually I knock and enter in slowly. When I walk in I see pale girl lying there with her eyes closed. She looked almost dead. I was about to leave, but then she woke up. "Hi um are you um..." I lost my train of thought and stood there. Her cold green eyes looked at me, for what seemed like years. "What medicine is it snapped Jessica?" I really didn't understand why she was mistaking me for a nurse. I was clearly not dressed like one. "Hi I'm Kylie, I was told to meet you here." Oh” said Jessica. "I knew you were coming, you can have a seat anywhere you like." I was really happy that she was being kind to me. I sat down in the corner on a hard, black chair. I wasn't sure if I should start the conversation. All Jessica was doing, was reading a magazine. We barely talked. "Knock, knock said a nurse." "Here Jessica, it's your medication." The nurse dismissed me and told me I was free to go. I stood up and ran out of the room. I met my mom downstairs in the parking ramp. "How was it?” eagerly asked my mom. "Fine” I reply. "Did you meet Jessica?” asked my mom “Yes" I replied. I was surprised my mom knew I was meeting Jessica. But I didn't ask any questions because I'm still mad at her.
A few weeks pass by and I start to enjoy going to see Jessica. Jessica and I start to become good friends. "Hello I say” as I enter Jessica's room. Jessica's room seemed to be emptier than usual. Her face was paler too. "Hi” she says in a faint voice. "I have to tell you something” she begins. “Doctors are going to start putting me on life support soon and well I really don't have much longer here with you." I understood what Jessica was saying completely. She was dying and she was trying to tell me goodbye. "Jessica” I begin but she cuts me off. "Kylie you don't understand." I'm almost dead and the only thing that is keeping me alive is a machine." I stood there quietly. I was not sure what to say. "It’s my entire fault I'm here” whispers Jessica. "It's not your fault Jessica, you got cancer and nobody can prevent it” I said trying to comfort her. "It is." "I got liver cancer from too many overdoes of alcohol." I sat there in disbelief. I had no idea that alcohol put here her. "I was living it up” explains Jessica. "I had it all, a nice house, a nice car and a lot of money." "I went to parties and clubs every night." "I drank any alcohol I could get my hands on." I thought I was dreaming. Jessica's life before the cancer was just like mine. This is the day I promised myself that I would never, ever drink alcohol again. Jessica and I talk for a few more minutes until was dismissed to go. I took one last glance at Jessica because I may never see her again after today.
I run into Lisa's room the next day to let her know I'm here. "Hi Lisa going to see Jessica “I said. I was almost halfway way out the door when Lisa shouts "Wait Kylie”. "I'm going to need you to sit down." I sit on a chair across from Lisa. Her face was wet from tears. "Kylie” Lisa began, “Jessica passed on this morning." "The doctors decided to take her off life support." "No this can't be” I scream. I jumped out of my chair and ran to Jessica's room, to find that her room was empty. I ran down to the parking ramp to wait for my mom. I sit down and tears begin to stream down my cold, harden face.
"How was Jessica” asked my mom. I start to cry more and then my mom realizes. "Oh Kylie” she says as she steps out of the car to hug me.”I'm so sorry” whispers my mom. "I wonder how Lisa's feeling about all this” asks my mom. "Why?" "Lisa didn't tell you” ask my mom. "Tell me what” I scream. "Jessica was Lisa's daughter." All of a sudden my stomach drops to my feet and nothing else seems to matter at this point. I was so mean to Lisa. "Lisa”, continues my mom, “was working at the hospital to help pay for some of Jessica's medical bills." "She also wanted to see Jessica as much as possible” says my mom. I start to wonder why Jessica never told me. I tell my mom I forgot my jacket upstairs. I run up and find Lisa. She was crouched in a corner sobbing. "I'm so sorry” I tell her as my arms fly around her.
For the next few days I felt terrible. The day Jessica's funeral came I didn't even want to go. But my mom tells me to go anyway. My mom drops me off early, so I can tell Lisa I'm sorry again. "Hi Lisa” I say faintly. "I just wanted to apologize again for the other day." "Don't sweat it” says Lisa. "I can only imagine what it is like to lose a friend” says Lisa. "The reason Jessica never told you I was her mother was because she was embarrassed that I had to take another job to pay for bills." Lisa and I hug and sit down for the ceremony to begin. I sit down next to Lisa. The first half was about Jessica's life before cancer. Lisa went up to say a few words. "Jessica was my daughter” cried Lisa. "She was depressed for so long after she found out she had cancer. The only person who could cheer her up was her new friend she recently met. "Kylie do mind coming up here to tell us how you meet Jessica and your experiences with her?" I could not believe that I had to go up there and talk about Jessica. I don't do crowds. I slowly walk up, trying to stall for time. I had no clue what I was going to say. "It all started”, I began, “when I walked out of a club in downtown L.A. ….

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