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One Love

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Every Wednesday for the past four months, Sydney had been going to Johnsons medical hospital. She had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia December of her senior year. No one at school really knew what was going on, and if they did, they didn't talk about it. Her parents took the news in a fashion that was more dramatic than Sydney had ever thought. She was scared, not mad. Her mother blamed it on the hospital for not catching it soon enough, but she didn't blame anyone. She believed in fate, and fate chose her to get cancer.

“Hey Syd!” Sydneys' best friend Anika said while pulling up a chair to the lunch table.

Sydney and Anika have been inseparable ever since 7th grade science class with Mr. Winkle. He was a balding old man with a lisp and somehow helped form the bond between the two girls.

“Do you mind if I ask you about you know what?” Anika shifted in her seat uncomfortably.

“Just say it,” Sydney looked at her.

“I don't want to, you already know what I'm talking about,” Anika whined. She hated believing that her best friend had cancer.

“It doesn't bother me,” Sydney said.

“Fine! Cancer! How is that cancer goin' Syd!?” Anika was being sarcastic now.

In Sydneys' head, she wasn't worried about dying, she was worried that she will never have someone to go on a date with, someone to hold her hand and tell her everything will be okay. She wanted a boyfriend but, who wants to date someone with cancer?

When she was finished eating, she grabbed her things and started walking to her 4th period, Anika walked with her.

“I'm sorry,” Anika said quietly. They both stopped and stood outside Sydneys class.

“Oh, stop, It's okay” Sydney reached over to give her a hug. She turned around and walked into the class room. Her seat was in the front row right next to Mr. Worths desk. When she took her seat, Mr. Worth came over.

“Hi Miss. Sydney,” That's how he called on all of his students, “Miss. Allsion”, “Mr. Tyler” he tried to make them feel important.

“We have a new student today, and I've seated him right next to you. His name is Alexander.” Mr. Worth smiled and motioned Alexander to sit down.

Sydney smiled “Hi Alexander.”

He laughed. His teeth were beautiful. “You can just call me Alex”

“Okay, Alex, I'm Sydney”

She couldn't stop looking at him. His hair was dark brown, with a few waves that made it lay perfectly against his head. His eyes were bright green with little hints of blue , and his skin was sun kissed. Her guess was that he was from somewhere along the coast.

When class was over, she helped him find his next. Right when she turned around to go to her own class, he stopped her. Sydney turned around, and looked at him.

“Do you maybe want to go somewhere after school with me? Like show me a cool place to get something to eat?” he gave her that smile again.

“Sure,” she smiled back. “Meet me down in front of the office when school get out,” she turned around without a good bye and went to class.

When the bell finally rang, Sydney felt her stomach flip. She had been texting Anika about Alex instead of reading along in class, and now she was nervous. Anika was convinced that this was a date.

The walk down to the office was torture, she took as long as possible. She stopped and read every poster, talked to Mr. Wright about the Calc homework she had that night, and stopped to tie her Keds shoes. The office was finally in her visual range and she saw Alex leaned up against the wall, looking just as good as the last time she saw him.

“Hey Alex,” Sydney waved as she approached him.

“Hey, did you decided where we are going to eat?” Alex said as he gave her another one of those smiles.

“Yes, you can ride with me there” Sydney motioned him to follow her. They both walked out to her car. It was a 1998 Jeep Cherokee, the passenger side door had rust in the corner of it and the windshield had a spiderweb crack along the right side.

“Nice car,” Alex grinned.

Sydney giggled, “I like it, and it runs.”

. . .


They pulled into the parking lot of a cafe & bakery. It was a little red brick building, with two old gas pumps in the front. Grape vines grew, crawling up the side of the building. The chimney leaked puffs of smokey air. As they walked inside Alex took in the smell of freshly baked bread. Sydney went up to the counter and ordered two cinnamon rolls.

As they sat there a heavy set man who looked to be in his 60's played acoustic, while a women with long silky gray hair sang.

“This place is nice,”Alex said looking across that table at Sydney.

“Thank you, my parents own it,” she smiled. “That's my grandma and grandpa up there playing”

“Wow, that's amazing” Alexs' hand reached across the table and touched hers.

Sydneys stomach dropped. She knew Anika was right, this was a date and Alex did like her. They sat there talking for two hours. Talking to him felt natural for Sydney, though she hesitated to tell him her medical condition. She thought about holding it back, and hiding it, but she knew he would find out on his own if she didn't tell him.

“Do you mind if I tell you something important?” Sydney said turning her head away to avert eye contact.

“Anything you want, lemme' try and guess,” he sat there in thought. “Please don't tell me you have a boyfriend,” he looked concerned.

Sydney grinned, “No, that's not it, I have Leukemia.”

“I'm sorry,” he frowned, “I didn't mean joke around, I didn't realize it was so serious.”

“It's alright, I promise, I wish more people would joke around about it, or at least ask me about it.” Alex let out a sigh of relief. He could tell by the tone in her voice that she truly didn't care.

“So what does that mean?” Alex asked.

“It doesn't mean anything, It just means that I have cancer.”

After that night Sydney didn't expect Alex to talk to her or text her ever again, considering he didn't say a word after she told him. Sydney was wrong, the next day at school he sat right next to her. Not that long after, everyone began to noticed that they were the hottest item in the school.

A few months passed and Sydney had started her Chemo treatment. Alex went to every one of them and held her hand. The treatment made her sick. As she hunched over and let everything inside her stomach drain out of her onto the floor, Alex gently rubbed her back and a pulled her hair out of her face. She hated letting him see her like this but, in his eyes she could tell he thought she was just as beautiful as the day he met her.

Getting out of the shower one day, Sydney noticed the wad of hair down in the drain. It hit her that this was it, she fell to the ground and cried. She felt useless and ugly. She wanted to die. No body would want her once her hair was gone.

“It's happening” she sobbed. “My hair is falling out, I cant do this!”

Sydneys mom sat there with her, rocking her daughter back and forth. “Hun, we knew this was going to happen, we are trying to make you better.”

“Why did this happen to me?! I never did anything to deserve this!” Sydney yelled, gasping for air between her sobs. Her mother broke down, a tear fell down her cheek. She knew Sydney didn't deserve this.

There was a knock on the door. Everyone knew who it was. It was Alex, he was there to pick up Sydney for the prom. She had been upstairs in her bedroom for the previous three hours getting ready. Her dress was a soft yellow, with one strap that went around her right shoulder. It was long enough to hit the floor, but just short enough to show off her silver heels. She wore just enough make-up to make her cheek bones pop, and her eyes sparkle. It was her fairytale night. She knew Alex loved her for how she was and what she looked like but, she wished she had hair. Sydney was going to be the only 'bald' girl at prom. She tried not to let it bother her.

She opened her bedroom door and walked over to the stairwell, she looked gorgeous. When Alex saw her, his jaw dropped. He had never seen anyone as elegant and beautiful as Sydney. Sydney looked at Alex waiting for her, she was in shock, her knees buckled and she almost fell. She rushed down the stairs and looked at him, she pulled him closer and put her head on his shoulder.

“You did this for me?” Sydney reach up and touched his freshly shaven head.

“Of course I did,” Alex looked into her eyes and gave her that smile. “You can't be the only one tonight without hair.”





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