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The sun slowly swept away, leaving its golden blaze in our eyes. Warmth slipped out of our bodies into the crisp night. I pulled Lana close to me, trying to keep her warm. Her shivers spread toward my arms but I tightened my grasp. The top of the hill was closer now as we made slow progress. Being here with her made me smile inside, a warm feeling I can’t describe. I nestled my face in her soft hair that smelled cinnamon. Lacing my fingers with hers, we took the final step. Lana playfully pulled me down as she smiled, her deep brown eyes staring into mine. We rolled onto our backs and looked up at the stars. Chills swept across my body. Remembering how cold it was, I wrapped my arm around Lana, pulling her close.
We probably looked at those stars for hours until Lana spoke up, “There’s supposed to be a comet tonight. What time is it, Corbin?”
Checking my watch, I responded, “Almost ten o’clock. Maybe we should be getting home soon...”
“Wait, I really want to see this comet. It only shows once a year,” Lana pleaded.
I smiled as she put on her sad face, “Sure, why not? It will be cool see a comet together.”
We waited for the comet, staring up at the star filled sky. Lana leaned her head on my chest and a waft of cinnamon swept toward my nose. I was starting to question if the comet was coming or not. Suddenly, a blazing light started sweeping across the sky from the left to the right. Lana nudged me and pointed. Her face was almost as bright as the comet itself. I tried to take it in as much as I could, it was only here once a year.
“This is our comet,” Lana whispered.
Our. The word danced in my head, as I whispered it out loud, “Our comet.”
The comet swept out of our sight and I had a bad feeling in my stomach. I pushed myself up with my arms then held out a hand for Lana. She took my hand as I pulled her up. Her hand swept out of mine and she jumped on my back laughing. I laughed back and held her legs as she wrapped her arms around my neck. There was the cinnamon smell.
I jerked up out of my sleep. Nightmares haunted my head, but I forgot what they were about. Pushing my blankets off of me, I stretched up and yawned. Last night was perfect. The comet was our comet. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I padded down the stairs and into the kitchen. My mother gave me a sorry look, I rolled my eyes. She always gave me that look when something went wrong or bad news.
“Sit down, Corbin,” My mother ordered.
Sitting down slowly, I looked questioningly at her, “What happened now, neighbor’s dog got loose?”
My mother glared at me, “Don’t you dare joke around like that! Very bad news has happened, that affects you.”
“My school didn’t burn down did it? Cause that’s not bad news,” I snickered.
“No, your school didn’t burn down, please stop joking around. You’re acting like you don’t care.” Fire blazed in her eyes now.
I sighed and tapped my fingers on the table, “I probably don’t care, you always do this to me.”
“Lana died!” My mother yelled and stomped out of the room.
I started to laugh, “Mom, really what happened. Now you’re joking around.”
Nobody responded. Silence echoed through the house. The truth hit me, my mom doesn’t joke around. I was in shock, it wasn’t true. It couldn’t be true, how did she die? I stuck my face into my hands, the shock still striking throughout my body. Was it me? Nothing bad happened last night that I can remember. Throwing my chair down, I stood up and rammed my foot into the wall. The pain roared as the fire crept up my leg. My head spun. I was angry, sad, confused, worried, heartbroken, I’ve never felt like this.
I had to get out of the house, walk down the road, figure out what was happening. Grabbing my coat, I headed out the door. The slam pierced the sky as sorry glares from people caught my eye. Did everyone know about Lana? I stuffed my hands in my pockets, the hands that used to hold hers. A waft of cinnamon swept the air. Looking down, I noticed I was wearing the same jacket from last night. Cinnamon. The smell stuck to me, I couldn’t smell anything else.
My steps echoed through the streets, the only noise around. Everyone was still staring at me, haunting me. Maybe they weren’t staring at me, maybe that’s what brain was telling me. A girl turned a corner across the street. Long soft brown hair ruffled from her head. Large, distracting chocolate eyes sat on her face. Her walk was skip-like, every step a hop. Lana? It was her, my mother had to be lying.
“Lana! Lana!” I screamed out as I sprinted across the road.
A girl turned toward me with a confused face, “Excuse me? Who is Lana?”
It wasn’t Lana, blonde hair and blue eyes, how did I think that was her? “I’m sorry I thought you were someone I knew.”
The girl looked like she was a couple years older than me. She gave me a sorry look and shook her head. I whipped my head around and continued down the road. I’m such an idiot. My walk turned into a full sprint. I needed to know the truth and Lana’s house was a mile away. The pattering of my feet turned into a rhythm, nothing was stopping me.
Lana’s house was relatively taller and only had windows on the front side of her house. My gaze turned to the attic, that held almost all our greatest memories inside. We would talk for hours about the silliest things. As I took another step closer, I noticed Lana standing on her front porch. She was smiling while she looked at something in the cracks of the floor. Her face lit up when she noticed I was there.
“Corbin!” her voice squeaky but soft against my ears as she ran toward me.
I smiled as I ran to her, she didn’t die, “Lana, I was so worried about you. I thought you were dead.”
Her arms extended for a hug, waiting for me to grab her. As my arms swept into hers, she disappeared. Gone. Where did she go? She was right there, she was talking to me. I was going nuts, she had to be here somewhere.
“Lana!” I called out to the sky as a group of birds flew off.
A man came out her front door and looked me in the eye questioningly, “What do you want, son? Are you looking for Lana? I heard someone callin’ her name.”
I’ve never seen Lana’s dad, she never wanted him knowing that we were together. “Yes, sir. I’m looking for Lana. Is- is she here?”
“She died last night from cancer. It was something she had for a long time, we never knew. Nobody knew,” he shut the door silently and left.
She was gone. I couldn’t get over it.
The peddles to my bike cried out from agony. I had been going as fast as I could, it was almost ten o’clock. I couldn’t miss it, I couldn’t miss it. The thought kept being repeated in my head. Throwing the bike to the ground, I ran for the top of the hill. I remembered Lana and me sitting here, being happy, not knowing this was our last night. It was exactly a year after the incident, and I couldn’t get over it. Nothing would make me give up the fact she was gone. I hopped down on the ground and looked up at the night sky. A ball of light suddenly started streaking across the sky. Our comet. I didn’t want to let it disappear, go out of my sight. My eyes were glued to it, the memories with Lana flashed through my head. They all were being let out to the night, floating up into our comet. As our comet faded away, I smiled. I’ll always remember her, but I accepted she was gone. I moved on, and the stars were brighter than ever.