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Her dark hair was like a halo around her face. Her lips as soft as the tulips in hands. Her cheeks looked warm against her pale face, like a fire in a snowstorm.
“Sandi, who gave it to you?” Lara poked her rib cage playfully.
Sandi rubbed her palms against her ripped jeans. “Dunno.” Her words were serious, but she was giggling.
I stormed out. I have a thing for doing things like that.
“Rebecca?” It was Lucas. I bit my lip and turned to see his face. I wished I could smile, but all I could say was, “What do you want?”
“To apologize.” He dragged his feet down the hallway like one of them was injured.
“Lucas. I can’t look at you.” I paced to the water fountain.
“Listen, I just gotta show some gratitude to Sandi. I mean she saved my life.” I avoided his eyes.
“But do you like her?” I thought of Sandi giving mouth-to-mouth CPR on him.
Our relationship is difficult and everyone doesn’t seem to get that. Since the Spring Fling where I left, mascara trailing all over my face, everyone thinks that we are over. I twisted around.
Suddenly, I felt his lips on mine. I felt his tongue on the roof of my mouth.
“Sorry to be interrupting here, but you two need to get to class…” Mrs. Wreath scanned Lucas and me over and then motioned us down the hall. Lucas wasn’t blushing, but my ears were burning.
Lucas turned to his locker and mouthed bye. I waved.
Everyone was bustling around to get to their class. I saw Gen, but she was talking to some emo girl.
“Hey. You just vanished, didn’t you?” It was Lara who was gracefully skipped passed me.
“Hi.” I peered past her hoping not to see Sandi.
“French?” She glanced at me.
“Yup. Not to mention I’m failing.” Lara laughed like I was the funniest thing.
“I, um, have to go.” I started to walk away, until I saw it, Lucas talking to Sandi in front of the lockers. I stopped to listen for a second.
“… So, the flowers were was just a thanks?” Sandi said, hands crossed across her chest.
“Babe, I am hitting rough spot. I can’t fail Rebecca again.” He looked at her briefly and then walked away. Sandi shoved the bouquet into the trash. She glared at me and slammed her locker. “Didn’t your mother teach you not to stare?”
I blinked. “I don’t have a mother.”
I saw a tear run down her cheek as she walked away. Suddenly I heard a loud bang, she had fallen to the floor. Luckily, George Kreegly was there to catch her. People gathered around quickly. I pushed to the front where George was screaming, “Get a doctor!” Sandi’s looked dead, with her eyes closed and her floppy arm wrapped around George’s shoulder. I looked for Lucas in the crowd, but he wasn’t there. Mr. Yonker came and picked her up.
All through French, English and Art class everyone was talking about Sandi. News came quickly that she was in the ICU. I couldn’t bare to hear one more word about that b****.
Then at lunch as Lara and I sat down to eat, Gen ran over. It was a long time since she has even looked at me.
“What?” I said a little bit to loudly.
“Holy s***.” Lara gasped. I stabbed my fork into a piece of lettuce.
“No. It’s not possible. I don’t believe it. It’s not true. It’s a rumor, Gen.” I convinced Lara, but Gen scratched her head. “What?”
“Rebecca, Lucas gave her mono,” Gen’s eyes were closed.
“I’ve heard all sort of bulls*** all day. Like that she has rabies, cancer or she was on meth and also that she was just too drunk to take another step.” I was screaming now. Kayla Ryans rolled her eyes like I was a freak.
I stormed off again. I ran out of the cafeteria doors and then I saw Lucas.
I went black and I felt my body slam to the ground.
“You there?” It was my father.
“Dad?” I sat up on my elbows. I was on a stretcher and I was attached to an IV.
“My sweet girl.” He sighed. “You have out for four days now.”
“Really?” I coughed.
“ You're HIV positive. You have AIDS.” He stroked my head.
I didn’t respond to it.
“Your friend, Sandi, also has it. Had it.” His voice sputtered.
“Dead?” I said.
“She had it for a long time…” He pushed strands of my hair behind my ear. “But yours is fresh.”
I lay my head on the pillow. I began to cry until I heard the door close. I sat up looking around in the hospital room.
I tried to close my eyes, but I just thought of Lucas. And Sandi.
I fell asleep thinking about him. And I woke up seeing him on the foot of my bed. He looked at me with his swollen eyes.
“I want to spend my last couple hours with you.”
“Why me?” I was smiling though.
“Because she might be better… But I am better with you.” He kissed my forehead.
“You won’t die soon. You will live… forever.” My voice was dry.
He was silent as he lay beside me.
“You cheated… right?”
“I did…I feel terrible.” He turned to me.
“I will never forgive you, but I will always love you.”
The door opened. I sat up, but Lucas still lied.
“Rebecca? I am Dr. Bronson, your doctor…” Her voice trailed as she looked at Lucas. “Is that Lucas Elliot?” She gasped.
“What?” I could see how frantic she looked.
“He needs to leave now.” I looked at Lucas who was still.
“Please, can’t he…” I begged.
“He is going to die. He is going…” Dr. Bronson was now checking he beeper intensely.
I held him near until a stretcher came and interns placed him on it.
“He’s dead though…” One said, flopping his arm around.
Dr. Bronson checked his pulse. “Dead, d***it.”
My heart stopped. My lungs were clogged.
“So?” Another intern said.
“Just take him to his room for his parents to see him.” Dr. Bronson didn’t even look at me as she walked out of the room.
A scream pushed up my throat. I laid for a second just letting my cheeks soak then I got up and crept down through hospital, pulling my IV behind me.
“Miss, I’m sorry, but…” One nurse tried to stop me.
I stormed as fast as I can, checking each room as I passed by. It was only the 3rd where his parents stood, crying. I looked at him and then my eyes came across a scalpel.
“Miss, please…” The nurse looked out of breath.
But she was to late.