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Author's note: I was inspired to write this because of my own best friend and her struggles. I watched as she learned to let go of a faily member she had lost to cancer and i wanted to help her in any way I could. I hope that after reading this people will look at Faith from a new point of view and maybe even regain it...expecialy if they've had any experience like Lexie and they need something to hold onto. I really hope in any way that this helps.
“Okay, Lexie today’s the big day.” Danny squeezed my hand and kissed my forehead.
“Make sure you pay attention to the teacher, and play nice with the other kids and I will be back soon to pick you up.” I looked up at my big brother who stood towering before me. He always had the same smile on his face but today he looked sad. I touched his cheek. “Bubba where’s daddy?”
“Not now Lexie, your teachers waiting.” I looked back into the classroom to my new teacher. Her name was Ms. Ally and she was real tall and pretty. She kept smiling and looking our way as all the other grown up’s came and left. I looked at Bubba nervously.
“Don’t be nervous kiddo, look,” he pointed at the big door separating the classroom from freedom with bubba. It was all big and tall with a lot of pictures on it. I decided I liked the pretty pictures they reminded me of home.
“If you’re good enough, maybe one day you’ll have a picture of your own up there.” He smiled as my eye’s got all big. Just then Ms. Ally came running out. I looked over Danny’s shoulder to see a little girl and her parents walking our way. The parents looked nervous as they looked at the teacher nodding their heads. I strained to see the little girl. Finally I saw her. She was real little, a little shorter than me, and had barely any hair. She was sickly pale and had dark circles under her eye’s. She frowned as she caught me starring. I tugged at Danny’s shirt. “Bubba what-“
“She’s just sick Lexie. Make sure you’re nice to her and maybe you can be friends. Don’t you let the other kids be mean to her.” He gave me a stern look and I nodded my head.
“Good girl Lexie,” he kissed my cheek again and pushed me into my new class.
Throughout the day we made play dough and pictures, mine got put up on the wall. At lunch I sat with all the other kids and traded our food. I got a lollipop my favorite, and two candy bars. I looked to the other table where the girl sat alone. She looked so mean and scary looking, no one wanted to talk to her. The teacher kept fussing about her, begging us to go play with her. But every time someone tried, she just got mad and through something at them. And she didn’t even get a time out for it. I sat and watched her, thinking of what Bubba had said before how I should be nice to her because she was sick. But she wasn’t being nice to me? I took in a big breath and walked over to her table.
“Go away,” she yelled. I sat down and pushed my lollipop onto her lap.
“I don’t want it,” she yelled throwing it. I got up and put it back on her lap. This time she just ignored me. For the rest of the day I tagged along beside her, making sure no one picked on her, even when she went to the bathroom and cried thinking no one would hear. I waited for her outside and tried to talk to her. The next day went the same, and the next until finally one day she asked me the one thing I’d never forget.
“Why do I feel so much pain?” from that moment on, I’d ask myself the same thing.
The sun glistened in the spring heat, shining off of our helmets and into our eye’s. The heat was brutal and I could feel the sweat drizzle in and out of my eye’s. I whipped my forehead from the sweat and looked up into the stands. There was a million people here it seemed. Parents, friends, teachers, and Danny. He sat up in the back, face forward all serious like. The girls around him all swooned. I looked up toward the sun and did a silent prayer to God, and took back my arm and threw. The batter swung hard and nailed it back to me. I caught it and shot it to first. She was out. Dang it. I heard the silent “Aw’s” from the crowed. I almost had it.
“Hang in there Lexie,” I heard my brother yell. I focused again and went for the next one, and the next one. Not letting any more girls get to first. Finally the ref called the game and I felt the rush of my team mates before me.
“Lexie, you almost had it,” I turned to see our small and blond Couch Tess running towards me. I looked down.
“Yea, I know couch, I’m sorry I let the team down,” Couch Tess stopped where she was and gave me a death look.
“Alexis Taylor, you pitched an almost perfect game and we won, we could not be prouder, now you stop it you did great.” She hugged me hard. I felt a rush of pride as I watched all my team mates hug one another and give me high fives. They were like my family, my safe zone, how could I doubt them?
“Who wants pizza?” I came barging into Faiths room holding her favorite pizza, Tammy’s. It was our absolute favorite. Ever since we were little Faith’s parents would take us there every Friday night and we’d sit and eat and play bored games. It was tradition.
“Alright,” she gushed as she sat up in bed. She messed with the needles in her arms giving me a chance to evaluate her. Her mom had called me earlier. She said things were getting worse, and from the look of it, she was right. Faith had deep circles under her eye’s again and the hair that had taken her 16 years to grow, was falling out again. She now had a bald spot on the side of her head that she was trying to cover with her hat.
“Here,” I said propping up her pillow for her.
“Thanks, how was the game. I wanted to go so bad but the stupid doctors wouldn’t let me leave, did you do good? Danny said you did great on the phone.” I smiled.
“It was almost a perfect game. I had one batter get to first and that’s it. But the next game will be it, I can feel it Faith.” I took a bite out of my pizza, ignoring Faith picking off all the pepperoni’s on her’s, I took them for myself. “Okay so what’ll it be, Battleship or Monopoly?” I asked wiggling my eyebrows at her. She rolled her eye’s and said, “Monopoly duh,” so I got out the board game and set it on her trey. A nurse came in to check her pulse and give her, her meds. Her name was Nurse Tina and she looked new here. Me and Faith shot each other a look and asked her if she wanted to play. She laughed and said she couldn’t but Faith did her thing were she bribes you into it, the next thing I know we have to whole nursing staff in our room laughing and playing away. I smile and watch my best friend laugh throwing her head back, and I swear, even though she’s as pale as a ghost, and barley has any hair, she looks beautiful.
Later on that night as Faith dirifted in and out of sleep her mom came in. Her noise was all puffy and her eye’s were big and wide. I always wondered where Faith got her brown hair from when both her parents and her sister were totally blond. She sat down by me and gave me a big hug. That’s what I always loved about Loren, she was such a mom. Where as my mom was never there, Loren always was, even when I hit puberty and Danny had no idea what to do with me, Loren sat me down and talked me threw it. In my eye’s, Loren was more a mom to me then my mom ever was. It was a sad harsh truth, but truth in the end.
“Hey hun you did great out there today,”
“Thanks, I’m hoping a scout saw me, I really need that scholarship.” She rubbed her hand up and down my back. The motion was comforting so I laid my head back against her shoulder. We were quiet for a moment.
“Lexie girl, I need to tell you something that I know you don’t want to hear, something we all don’t want to hear but we gotta face it. “ I looked at her.
“She doesn’t have much time left sweetie.” The words came rushing out of her mouth, like rain in a storm.
“The doctors say it’s spread to her bones. It’s only a matter of time now.” I felt the tears start to form in my eye’s. I hadn’t thought it was this bad. Faith had, had this her whole life, how could she stop fighting now?
“But they have to do something, she hasn’t even begun to live yet, she’s just a girl,” I gasped and struggled to take a breath. Loren held me to her and rocked me back and forth. “It’s not fair Loren, it’s not fair, why dose God have to be so mean?” I sobbed,
“We don’t know why sug, we’ll never know why until we die, it’s just the way it is.”
“But why-“ I cut of there because my voice was horse in my throat. I sat there crying instead for a long time, wishing somehow it wasn’t true.
The next two months were horrible. For Faith I had to act normal, for Faith I had to scream and shout on the inside. Clair, Faith’s little sister, who was one year our junior, often helped me bring home homework for her. For some odd reason, she wanted to keep doing it. I wanted to yell at her sometimes, like when she talked about Prom and growing up, because when she talked about it, she talked through me. Saying things like, “And when you go to Prom you have to take pictures for me,” and “You’ll grow old and get married and have kids so get married on the beach for me please. I want to see the ocean.” It was like she wanted to live her life through me. And it just wasn’t fair. Didn’t she know that? Finally April came. Beautiful April. It was warm outside, and flowers bloomed, and everyone seemed happy, all but me. Danny tried to talk to me. He tried everything. Even asking my ex Ricky for help. None of it worked. I was to wrapped up in my own little world. I wanted so bad for Faith to get to go to our senior Prom. We had wanted to go together since we were 10. We always said we would. We pinky promised. I almost got my wish three weeks before Prom. But three weeks before our dream Prom came true, my best friend died from Cancer.
At her funeral everyone cried. There were people from school, who all stayed huddled up in one big group and there was family who took up all the rest. I was in the family part. Danny held me as they lowered her into the ground and said a prayer. And as she went down, I begged God to just make it stop. To just make the pain stop. But it didn’t. And it wouldn’t. Somehow, I had lost my Faith.
Prom was quickly approaching and I got calls from Ricky asking me to go. I only returned one saying I couldn’t. I gave no explanation why, he knew it’d just be a lie. Ricky knew me like that. I stayed at home with Danny. But even he couldn’t cheer me up. He tried reading scriptures from the Bible, and taking me out to eat, but none of it worked. I had lost my Faith. The night before Prom though someone came to the door, thinking it was Ricky I yelled for him to go away.
“I’m not going anywhere.” I jumped up out of my chair to see Clair. Her hair was slid back into a pony tail and she had on a gown. A silver gown. She blushed when she saw me starring.
“Faith said you’d like it so we bought it for you, except I didn’t want to get it dirty…”
I didn’t answer instead I went back to reading my book. I heard her huff.
“She didn’t want you to just sit around all day Lexie,” I looked up at her, was she seriously mad? At me? That ticked me off.
“What do you know Clair? Huh? She’s gone, G-O-N-E, as in NEVER COMING BACK!” I yelled. The tears rose to my eye’s and my noise began to burn. She looked up at me, not backing down.
“Whether you’ve lost Faith in God or not, I don’t care. I think your stupid anyways. My sisters real, and she is here. She’s with me all the time and she’s with you too. That’s Faith enough for me. She wrote you this,” she tossed me a note. It was crumbled and had my name on it. It was Faith’s hand writing.
“And I’ll leave the dress here tomorrow.” I was about to yell some more about how I wasn’t going, but something stopped me, and it sure wasn’t pride.
I know you must be mad by now. Mad and upset. But I don’t want you to be, I really don’t. I want you to know I am here. I am always with you. I want to thank you for the life you’ve given me. The friendship that I’d never thought I’d have. It means the world to me, Lexie. Never forget that. And I don’t want you to be mad at God, in fact I’ll put in a good word for ya. So next time I see you, you’ll be just as happy as me. So go out there Lexie, live life,love yourself and God, get married, have kids, and go to Prom. You have to go for me, we pinky promised. And I’ll be there too. I’ll be by the DJ so listen for our song. But most of all, never forget me. Keep me in your heart because you’ll always be in mine.
Always and forever,
Your friend and sis,