The Brave Face

December 11, 2008
By Shauna Coyle, Albuquerque, NM

She cried and cried. I sat there holding her telling her that it was okay I rocked her back and forth hoping to calm her down. I was moving, we were all upset but it still didn’t feel real. I continued to rock her because she was my best friend in honesty she was more than that she was like my family. We had been friends for five years. I heard her sniffle and burrow deeper into my shoulder. I rocked as if it would remove the truth that it was real from all of our minds. We all took it differently. In the beginning I took the news like someone who had heard that they were just diagnosed with cancer. My dad came into my room and the words tumbled out of his mouth. But to me they came out in an ugly mess that didn’t make sense. In silence I nodded my head but the words never made sense. He left my room and I sat there staring out the window trying to wrap my head around the words he said. Moving, moving, we were moving. There was no way to stop it or avoid it but that didn’t mean I didn’t try. I crumpled into a ball on my bed and cried trying to muffle the sounds with my pillow so no one would know that it hurt the way it did. I stayed like that most of the night. Everything around me moved so fast and I felt like I was taking baby steps moving in slow motion.
When I told my friend she did her best to keep on the brave face. The kind we make when we hurt more beyond emotional comprehension. I did the same. Eventually the sob broke loose from my body and she was there. Now it was her turn. She was crying and I wanted more than anything for this not to be real but it was so we did as we have always done. We picked each other up from the darkest depths of ourselves. We held the brave face even until the end. I went to her house, one last time. I hugged her and acted like it was another day and when I left I said bye but like I would see her tomorrow. As we drove out of my old life I didn’t look back but looked forward. We still pick each other up even now after two years because we are the best of friends the kind that everyone hopes to find.

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