Three Months to Three Days

October 19, 2010
Lights are bright, fans are loud, and the air is thick with rivalry. The big game is here and the smashing of the Panthers shall begin. Ads keep flashing on the screen and almost all of them have been about cancer or 'how to save a life'. I'm beyond bitter. Tonight was supposed to clear my mind, but it continues to remind me that my grandmother is dying in a hospital bed and there's nothing I can do about it. Tears trickle down my cheek as I try to fight the turmoil inside.

Saturday morning pops in my memory. My mother sits in the kitchen, alone and crying. The house is eerie as I walk down the carpeted hallway and onto the newly furnished wood floor approaching her. Traces of mascara still linger from her recently tear filled eyes. Her nose is red from irritation and her cheeks are flushed. I have never seen my mother cry. Forcing a weak smile, she looks up at me. 'You may go back to bed. We aren't cleaning today', softly escapes her lips. If you know my mother, that's her cue for 'I don't want to talk about it'.

I hear shouting in my ear. The fans have started in on a new chant and the student section is wild with excitement. I've decided this night will not be ruined by something I simply can't change. I join in the with crowd, shouting at the top of my lungs in hopes that my mind will blank and the pain will numb. The night continues in a blur, as I so joyfully live in denial. My phone vibrates in my pocket. I try to ignore it because I'm sure it's my dad trying to get a hold of me again. I don't think he's caught on that I really don't want to speak with him. Ring, ring, ring. Fed up, I reach around and tug my phone out of the back pocket of my new silver jeans. Too soon am I brought back to the reality that I was so desperately trying to escape. I glance at the phone, heavy with regret. Emily is calling. I don't understand why she's calling, considering she's at the game too, but I answer anyways. "Come find me" said so quietly, rings so loudly in my ear. Her tone was heavy with concern and I knew why. Every time I don't answer my parents phone calls they resort to her. I know where Emily sits. She's at the top of the bleachers, away from the crowd. I am standing on the bleachers closest to the field in the middle of the student section.I knew the trek to meet her would take some time, but I decided to further my time by talking to every passing person. I spot Emily and take few deep breaths. I push my shoulders back and stroll towards her. "Well, what did he say?" Emily hands me her phone. "Sarah needs to come home" illuminates the screen. I look at my best friend whose eyes are saturated with pain. "You ready to leave?", she asks. "No", callously escapes from my lips as I turn and retreat back to the student section. Ten minutes pass when I suddenly feel completely alone and realize the student section is the last place to provide comfort. I stare at my phone for what seems the longest time and reluctantly text 'let's go'. I walk to the car in a trance and ride home in complete silence. Reaching my house, I quickly thank the her parents for the ride and walk to my front door.

The house is eerie again. What lies inside are answers to my most taunting questions. I turn the antique door knob and step inside. The lights are off except for the television dimly lighting the living room. I make a quick break for my room when a rough voice and a slight tap on the empty seat next the man staring blankly at the television screen breaks my momentum. "Have a seat" floats through the chilled air. I have no where to run, no place to hide, and knew it was time to face my fears. I sit down at the far end of the brown, leather couch staring fiercely at this man that I sadly recognize. He has the same red eyes and shaking hands and stares right through me for about twenty minutes. Finally, breaking the silence, he slides closer and grabs my hands. Tears swell in his eyes and he struggles to recite "Your grandmother has passed away". I knew he wanted to say more, but he didn't have the strength. My heart breaks as he wraps me in his tight embrace. I long to scream in the silence. My mind races as anger builds deep inside. The doctors told us she had three months to live. Can anyone tell me how three months turned into three days? I will never be able to tell her how much I love her or how much I would miss her. I will never be able to beg her to hold on, to not let go, just so I could see her bright eyes, infectious smile, and rosy cheeks one last time. "I...I need to get out of this house," I hear myself stammer. My father squeezes me tightly and let's go. I knew he was giving me permission to run. I pick up my phone, dial Emily's number, and before I could speak she says, "I'm coming".





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