In An Instant

January 25, 2018
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I haven’t been myself since the incident. I didn’t know my whole life would change that day. well there’s no going back now so I guess I will just have to admit that it has changed my life.
      About two years ago I was at a party at the beach with my friends. A whole group of us were just having a great time running up and down and dancing. The excitement, the energy, and the thrill just made that day so much better. Oliver, a blond haired freckled attractive teen whom I used to crush on back in grade school, had just thrown Jessica, my best friend into the blue green ocean. And in that instant everyone had ran into the water. everyone but me. “Kelly! Are you coming?” Rachel, my cousin, screamed to me from the huge group of frolicking high schoolers splashing about .Rachel has lived with me for as long as I can remember. Her mom died when giving birth to her and the stress of being a single dad pushed her father to the edge of insanity. “In a second!” I yelled back from the shore. Reluctantly, I took off my cover up and ran to the water. For hours, we just played and for that time being, we completely forgot about our crazy, stressful lives. When the sun went down we all went our separate ways and me and Rachel began our walk home.  As we walked down the street, we got hungry so we walked into the Quicky Mart. We knew we didn’t have money but Rachel, being the firecracker she is, made a plan. I was to distract the store clerk while she snatched the snacks and bolted.  I walked in first and started a conversation with the clerk. Sneakily Rachel crept in and began i stuff food into her clothes. “So, do you sell Jolly Ranchers but only the red ones, you see I’m  allergic to grape and blue raspberry.” I explained to the store clerk. Unamused, the clerk muttered, “Check Aisle 4 young lady.” “Okay sir thank you! I really like your tie, where is it from? My dad’s birthday is coming up and I-” “GO!” Rachel screamed as she dashed out the store. I ran as fast I could behind her. “Hey!” The store clerk chased after us. We ran, turned down several roads. Wisping and writhing throughout the neighborhood streets. Finally, we had lost him and out of breath, we began our journey. Laughing, we stuffed our faces with Cheetos. “That was so great Kelly you really distracted him.” Rachel began to say. “Thanks that was-” My legs fell from under me. I felt me slowly falling towards the ground. My breath quickened and my heart was beating faster than I could blink. My vision went blurry and I couldn’t hear anything. I laid there on the asphalt helpless. My body was numb. The world felt like it was ending.  Slowly I couldn’t even keep my eyes open. I blacked out and the world around me did not exist.
         I woke up to bright lights. I looked around and found myself with all sorts of tubes hanging out of me. I was in a hospital bed and I was alone. I felt alone. The doctor came in the room and told me everything was fine, but I could tell that it wasn’t. “Hey Kelly, how did you sleep. Last night was rough, huh?” “Yes, I guess where’s Rachel? Where are my parents? Am I gonna be okay? What’s wrong wit-” The doctor interrupted me, “Kelly we are still running tests and your family is on the way.” I panicked. “Just rest honey, everything will be okay.” She said. She proceeded to fix my tubes and the next thing I knew, I was dozing off again.
     This time when I woke up, I was surrounded by my family. My mother was crying and my dad couldn’t even look at me. “Hey Kelly.” Rachel said with remorse as if I had already died. “Hi is everything okay?” I asked with concern.  “Um, honey the tests show you have cancer in your heart. And that’s  why you collapsed.” I was in total shock. So many questions; Why me? How could this happen? I bursted out into tears. “Can it be fixed? Am I gonna live?” Thoughts ran through my head faster than I could even mutter them out. “You will start chemotherapy soon” My father tried to assure me.

     I was at home when the phoone rang. My mom answered it with a serious "hello" so I knew it was the hospital. There was a long moment of silence, then a whimper. I leaned over the wall to see my mom, the strongest person I know, curled up on the ground. I was frozen. From that day, I knew I was not going to be okay.

      The news finally reached me; I was expected to live for only 8 months. Less than a year. The chemo was working but not as fast as the cancer. My fate broke Rachel. It hurt me to see her this hurt. She had lost everyone and I was her family. 

         A month later I had to make my way back to the hospital for my chemo. I tried to keep it a secret from all of my friends but somehow everybody knew.  The hospital began to feel like a second home to me since I was there almost every other day for tests and check ups. Chemo was not that bad but I slowly began to lose all my hair. The worst part of it all was the fact that I had to start going to school soon and I could not show up with no hair. Many of my friends started to visit me. Although I loved their presence, they could not stop feeling sorry for me. Things weren’t the same. Jessica was reluctant to tell me the gossip I was missing because she didn’t want me to feel left out. I couldn’t  deal with being the sad puppy all the time. I desperately wanted the attention to be off me but no one understood. And that’s when I met Gracey.
     Gracey was a 17 year old girl who had just gotten into a car accident. She was only two years older than me, but something about her made me feel as if I was a kindergartener. She had lost all mobility of her body from hips down. She used to be a soccer player with two college offers but that all changed. We met at the vending machine on the first floor of the hospital. “Ugh where can a crippled girl get a cold soda?” she said while ramming into the machine with her electric wheelchair after it ate her dollar. At this point I had lost almost all of my hair and I began to wear beanies constantly. She looked at me and said in a curt manner, “Oooh what happened to you?” I stood a little shocked. I hadn’t been talked to like that since cancer had grabbed me by the ass. Without me realizing the words slipped out of me. “What about you? You look like a bus hit you.” “Because one did.” She busted out laughing and I found myself laughing with her. I hadn’t felt that comfortable since the accident. “I’m Gracey, Crip of the second floor pleasure meeting you.” “Kelly the Cancer Kid” We stood there in front of the crappy vending machine and told each other about how diseases sucked. After an hour, we found ourselves sitting there in the snack room laughing and letting loose. It felt good to finally be able to talk to someone who understood.
    The next day, I went down to the snack room with Rachel in hopes of seeing Gracie and sure enough she was sitting at a table eating a Honey Bun. “Hey Crip, how has your day been?” I asked jokingly. “It was going good until Cancer Kid decided to sit down.” Rachel stood there confused and shocked. We sat laughing and Rachel had joined in. We sat there and caught Rachel up on all the crazy things in the hospital and surprisingly she was enjoying it. The rest of the day we sat and laughed until we just couldn’t anymore. I knew I would have to break the bad news to Gracey soon but I didn't know how to.

      Soon, I was going to have to go to school. I had lost all my hair and I was so far behind in schoolwork. Rachel tried to assure me that I will be fine but it was hard for me to believe her. The day was coming quick and I was not prepared at all.






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