Haley

December 23, 2011
Autumn was a distant haze. Trauma swiftly melted. There was a sense of negligence. Even my mutilated wrists seemed trivial. All that mattered was the brisk tepid air swiveling through the city streets. I found myself overcome with exhilaration. I forsook my baggage and flashed a lopsided smile and a sanguine complexion. For the first time in months, I was truly happy. My blissful state was caused not by season but by opportunity. I could act before a camera. That was enough to keep a grin plastered on my face for weeks. I wasn’t familiar with acceptance. Introversion isn’t a crime, I thought.
To my surprise, I befriended almost everyone I encountered. Apparently a sweet and friendly disposition goes a long way in film school.
A slender girl with russet eyes invited me to Bryant Park for lunch. Her twin brother “Coy Mike” was known as the “boy scout” and she “the rebel child” who bent the rules. I’ll always recall the two so fondly. Both had such looks of sincerity. She had ruddy cheeks and he had eyelashes longer than mine.
Haley and I were paired together for Shakespeare. I was to play Olivia from Twelfth night. You’d think a girl of beauty and charisma wouldn’t have brains too. Well, she was wise beyond her years. She interpreted the text effortlessly and explained the meaning of my every word. We had our share of laughs until…
“Is your arm alright?” She said staring at my bare scars. Someone cared about me. I said “I’ll be fine.” and hid myself. I didn’t exactly believe I’d be alright but how comforting it was to see concern. There was uneasiness in her voice. I was ashamed of myself.
We said our farewell at a burger joint. We giggled and hugged and exchanged stories. She spoke of ballroom dancing and modeling. I listened intently until the clock struck 6 and I rode the train home, sniffling and inundated with tears for the entirety of the ride. Sadly, I haven’t seen her since our departure but we’ve managed to keep in touch. I recently found out about her disease. There is no cure. “I don’t want to be treated like a piece of glass and every day I live is a blessing” she says. I don’t understand. She does not deserve to be ill and frail. Why must she suffer? Why her of all people? She is so undeserving. Why not me? I’ll gladly take her pain. Bring it upon me for I am more deserving of such affliction. And to think a few months ago I was writhing from anguish. My life had not been at stake the way hers’ is. All she wants is a normal life, a life of health. I have that. I’ve been taking everything for granted. I am lucky. I am lucky and there is no reason for it. I don’t know much but I do know that if anyone deserves to live it is Haley. No one is braver than she.





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