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It Just Happened Part One [EDIT]
The date was April second. April second was the day her life changed. April second was the day my life changed. She found out she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
The first day of my junior year of high school I had AP Chemistry first and second period. All I could think when I walked into the lab was how am I going to stay awake? I saw the teacher standing by the door and walked over to her.
“Name?” She asked with an annoyed tone.
“James.” I said.
“James do you have a last name?” I contemplated telling her off but I decided not to. It was too early in the year to already have teachers hating me.
“I’m not kidding. Give me your last name.”
“I’m not kidding. My name is James Bond and it should be the second or third from the top.”
It took her a moment to look at the list and check off my name. She then told me, “See the girl with the blonde hair? That’s your lab partner for the rest of the year. No substitutions or swaps.”
“Alrighty.” I said and sulked off to meet my lab partner for the rest of the year, I sat down next to my new lab partner.
I hadn’t had a lot of luck with lab partners in the past. My freshman year, the girl I was paired up with didn’t let me do anything. Last year well let’s not talk about that. All I’m going to say is that I ended up in the hospital for a week with a major acid burn on my arm, and this year I was not expecting much better. When I sat down and saw the girl I was partnered with I was amazed. She was very pretty and looked extremely smart.
“Hi, I guess you’re my lab partner for the rest of the year, no substitutions or swaps.” She said with a smile.
“Hi. My name’s James, James Bond.”
“Your name is James Bond?” She asked with disbelief.
“Yes. My parents are huge James Bond fans and my father’s surname just so happened to be Bond. They where enthralled when they found out they were going to have a baby boy.”
She smiled and laughed. “Well my name’s Emma Craig. I moved here from Bath, England just a few weeks ago. I came from a public school in Bath and I have no clue if I’m going to be able to keep up.”
“Well Emma, if you ever need help you know where to find me.” We both smiled and began to listen to the lecture.
When Mrs. Bingham finally let us loose with the Brunson burners and extremely dangerous chemicals it was chaos. The table next to us managed to melt the glass beaker spilling all of the contents onto the table leaving a small cat sized hole in the lab table. The table behind us exploded the contents of their beaker everywhere burning multiple innocent bystanders. We weren’t doing too well ourselves.
Emma had beautiful long blonde hair and she forgot to tie it back before we started. About five minutes into our experiment I looked over and her hair was sizzling and smoking. The smell of her burning hair was overwhelming.
“Emma.” I said.
“What?!” She cried. We were both becoming flustered with the assignment.
“My hair? Oh God.” She sprayed her hair down with the water that was sitting on our lab table for events such as this.
“Miss. Craig, I see that you did not follow one of my rules. Do you know what the penalty is for not following my rules?”
“Yes, Mrs. Bingham.” Emma said. People all around Emma and I began to snicker.
“And what would that be?” She asked Emma, a cruel smile beginning to form on her face.
“I am banned from the lab for the rest of the semester.” I couldn’t let Emma fail the class.
“Mrs. Bingham, I distracted Emma and she forgot to pull her hair back.” I told Mrs. Bingham.
“Alright, Mr. Bond, detention for a month, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I‘ll be seeing you after school today to start your detentions.” She told me.
“Yes, Mrs. Bingham.”
“Oh, Emma, next time, I will kick you out of my class.” She chastised Emma and returned to the front of the room.
When Mrs. Bingham’s back was turned Emma whispered to me. “You didn’t need to do that. It was all my fault. I’m lucky I didn’t lose all of my hair. It’s actually a good thing that this happened. I’ve been meaning to get my hair cut short for such a long time. This was the extra push I needed.” She told me in a rush of words. I had a hard time following what she was saying.
“Well if it counts, I like your hair long.” I told Emma. I hoped I hadn’t freaked her out. I’d only known her for an hour and a half and I was already giving her creepy complements.
“Thanks, I’ll take that into consideration.” She smiled and returned to her lab report.
The bell rang half an hour later and we packed up. I walked her to her locker. I watched her try to pull her books off the top shelf of her locker. She was up on her tip-toes. I reached up to help her and everything on the top shelf fell to the floor. I quickly stooped to the ground and started to collect her things.
“Calm down.” She said. “I’m perfectly able bodied and capable of picking up my own books.” She laughed and took her pink notebook from me. She came a step closer, her hair brushed against my cheek, and she whispered in my ear ‘thank you’ and hurried off to her next class.
I was stunned and shocked. My heart pounded. My palms began to sweat and the bell rang. I was late for the third class of my junior year.
I couldn’t believe that I could have so much homework on the first day of school. It was crazy. I slowly walked back to my locker and dumped what I needed to bring home into my backpack.
There was no need to hurry; I wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. I could sense that somebody was behind me. I turned around to see Emma’s beautiful smile and golden hair.
“I just wanted to thank you again for covering for me in chem today. Before you go report to detention, I owe you big time.” She smiled, kissed me on the cheek, and went to her locker to get ready to go home. I was beginning to wonder if Emma had this affect on all guys or if it was just me.
The next morning I couldn’t get to chem. quick enough. Emma walked in ten minutes later with her hair pulled back into a low pony tail with a dark blue ribbon. It was almost as if she was mocking Mrs. Bingham. She sat down next to me, my non-substitutable or swappable lab partner. I could never imagine switching Emma for another partner. I hoped she felt the same way.
“I see you remembered to tie your hair back.” I said, half laughing.
“Yes I did.” She smiled. Her smile was radient.
“Your hair looks nice today.” I told her.
“Thank you James.” She said to me and began to work on our newest lab assignment.
Three broken beakers and two hours later we had successfully completed the experiment and lab papers. Mrs. Bingham came around to our table and looked impressed. She passed by without saying a word. Emma and I hi fived when she had her back turned, and was over critiquing some other kid’s experiment.
This little ritual of chem class went on for months. After I finished my detentions she asked me to come over to her house and do homework and study. Her mom would make dinner and ask the both of us how our days went. It was the same old answer every day.
One day Emma was showing me this amazing pianist on Youtube and we eventually ended up on his Myspace. We scrolled down through his comments and saw this Chris Townsend kid. Emma clicked on his name and it brought us to his page. The first song on his play list, off of his CD, was Stay Positive. Emma clicked the little icon that stood for play and turned up the volume on her laptop.
We sat there for a few moments, quietly, as the beginning of the song played. We looked at each other, and then at the computer screen, and then at each other again. I think at that point Emma and I both knew that this was how it was supposed to be. We knew that we were supposed to be us, not just Emma and James.
“What do you think of this song?” Emma asked me.
“Ehhhhh-” Emma glared at me and stared at me down with this very scary death stare. I’d never seen anything like that come from her before. It was truly scary
“It’s the most amazing song I’ve ever heard.” I back pedaled.
“Good.” She smiled and continued sitting contently.
After that I really began to listen. I immediately felt like Emma and I could get through anything, the thick and the thin. That we would in fact be together forever as tacky and clichéd as that is. We listened to it for a bit longer. The song was amazing and beautiful.
Emma turned to me and said. “James, what do you think about having a song?” I was confused and had no idea what she was talking about. “I’m confused.” I told her.
“I mean like a song that’s our song? A song that no matter where we are or how we’re with we will always think of each other.”
“It’s a little clichéd but I like it.” So Stay Positive by Chris Townsend was now our song.
The last week of Christmas vacation I finally worked up enough courage to formally ask Emma out. We had gone to many movies and the Christmas Dance together just as very good friends. We weren’t officially “going out” yet. We were sitting in her room reviewing for mid-terms.
“Emma.” I called over to her, in between AP US History questions.
“I was wondering if you would like to go ice skating with me tonight.”
“Like a date?” She asked turning around in her desk chair to face me.
“Yes.” I told her.
“I’d love to.” She smiled and came over to me and kissed me on the lips. It felt like nothing I’d ever felt before. It was a mixture of pure love and joy.
There was an outdoor ice rink set up for the weekend at the museum in our town. You could skate around and then by some hot chocolate and sit by a bonfire. I decided to take Emma there.
Later that day I picked Emma up at her house. She came down the stairs in an adorable blue jacket and white knit scarf, hat, and gloves combo.
I walked her out to the car and opened the door for her. She smiled, fixed her hair and hat, and got into the car. I went around to the other side car and got into the driver’s seat. She smiled at me again. She was always smiling.
When we got to the rink I opened her door and got her her skates. When we stepped out on to the ice Emma turned to me and said “I don’t know how to skate.”
“I’ll teach you.” I told her.
“Thank you.” She said and grabbed on to my arm for dear life.
We had an amazing time. She quickly learned how to skate and was practically skating circles around me, literally. I wish that I could relive that knight over and over again. That feeling I had that night was the best thing I’d ever felt.
April came and went without a glitch at first. For a few days Emma hadn’t been feeling very well. Her skin had a pale tint and her hair wasn’t as golden. She was feeling very weak and tired. She just didn’t smile.
The next day I got to chem. and Emma was not in her seat. I worried the entire day. After school I stopped by her house and rang the bell.
Emma answered the door and told me to come in. She took me up to her room and told me to sit down. I did what she said. She did not look like she wanted to be disobeyed.
“James, I went to the doctor today.” She told me, sitting down next to me.
“And?” I asked trying to prompt her.
“They found something strange in my blood work, something not good. They say that I have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. They need to do more blood work but-” I cut her off.
“You have cancer?” I asked.
When I heard this I was furious. Why Emma? She was so beautiful and happy and alive. She didn’t deserve this. Not in a million years did she deserve this. Cancer shouldn’t happen to people like Emma. It’s not fair. She didn’t deserve it.
Emma began to cry. “Yes, I have cancer.” She said matter of factly.
“You have cancer?” I said again.
“Yes, James I have cancer. There is nothing I can do about it but accept the fact that I have cancer and start an extremely aggressive chemo. regimen and hope it works.”
“Are you going to loose your hair?” I asked her.
“Yeah. I guess I’m going to get that short hair cut that I’ve been wanting.” She laughed.
“Are you going to live?”
“They say I will since I caught it so soon. There is an 85% survival rate.”
“There is still 15%.”
“I know. I’m going to kick that 15% in the butt and make it wish it never thought of saying I was going to die.”
“Are you afraid?” I asked her.
“I’m very scared. Are you afraid?”
“I think I’m even more scared then you.” I told her.
In the background I could hear our song playing, Stay Positive. At the same exact moment we looked at each other and said, ‘stay positive’. That was the last time I saw Emma cry.