“Mom is still in the hospital, Aunt Cathy took my notebook away and told me to keep my journal entries in here, on this laptop. she said if i have them on paper, they could be burnt and could disappear forever, but i’m pretty sure the same thing could happen on here, just a click of a button and everything is gone.”
CHAPTER ONE: the truth
April 23, 2014
Mom is still in the hospital, Aunt Cathy took my notebook away and told me to keep my journal entries in here, on this laptop. she said if i have them on paper, they could be burnt and could disappear forever, but i’m pretty sure the same thing could happen on here, just a click of a button and everything is gone. but whatever makes her happy. she’s been really grumpy lately about taking care of me since Mom is in the hospital, it’s a bummer really, Mom’s been in the hospital for three months now, her cancer isn’t going away, or getting worse, either so thats good i guess. Aunt Cathy is calling me down for dinner, better not make her wait…..
I turned off the computer, watching the screen turn black.
“Desiree! Dinner is ready!” Aunt Cathy yelled from downstairs. I rolled my eye.
“Coming!!” I yelled back, slowly walking down the wooden stairs, the white carpet covering them felt soft under my bare feet. I stopped halfway down, staring at a picture of mom and Aunt Cathy when they were six, hugging each other in front of a crashing wave at the beach. Mom wore a small pink ruffled one-piece bathing suit, Aunt Cathy had the same one on in green. Mom had always been more of the tomboy of the two, Cathy always loved pink, fancy drinks, and clothes.
I began walking down the stairs again, turning down the hall and emerged into the kitchen. Cathy was sitting at the round black wooden table eating cooked salmon and carrots and rice.
I sat in the chair across from her.
The same dish was placed in front of me by Jess, Aunt Cathy’s stay-at-home maid. She had long curly brown hair with piercing blue eyes and freckles covering her nose. She smiled at me and laid a napkin on my lap. I nodded my thanks and picked up a scoop of rice with my fork and swallowed it.
“So, Desiree, how are you dear? You’ve been upstairs most of the time, clicking away at that computer, you know I’d rather you type your entries instead of write them, but-”
She took a big bite of salmon and chewed, holding up a finger, then swallowed and continued. “But, you also have to get a social life darling,” she said. I frowned.
I took another bite of my salmon. “Are you going to say anything?” she asked, a little annoyed. I shrugged.
“See? This is what I mean darling!” she said a little louder this time. She began a speech about how having a social life is important and how she wants to introduce me to some young girls my age. I ignored her, staring at my plate.
“My gosh child, speak!” she yelled this time, which got my attention. I looked up. she was glaring at me, her eyes filled with annoyance.
“I want to see my mom,” I whispered.
She stared at me, shocked. I was shocked too. I can’t believe that just came out of my mouth. I was never allowed to see her, the doctors wouldn’t allow it. Until four weeks ago, when he offered a chance to see her, I refused, afraid of what I would see after not seeing her for two months. But I guess i had enough of my Aunt Cathy, I guess I needed to get away from her, to see my mom, to be comforted with the sight of my mother. I felt like a lost puppy searching for its mother.
Aunt Cathy dropped her fork. She looked at her lap and wiped her hands on her napkin awkwardly.
“Umm..” she said, not looking up.
I noticed that Jess had stopped washing the dishes like she was frozen.
“What?” I asked a little worried but mostly angry. She has been wanting me to talk and now that I have, they give me nothing?!
“What!?” I asked again.
Aunt Cathy finally looked up as Jess came over and put a hand on my shoulder. She stared at me, I ignored her and looked at Cathy. She took a deep breath and let it out.
“Your mother, darling,” she said very softly, “she’s in a coma.” She winced as she said it, like someone was going to hit her for using that word.
My jaw dropped when I heard this. I felt tears welling up inside me, and Jess hugged me.
“I should’ve told you sooner, but i didn’t want to hurt you,” she whispered.
“How long?” I asked in a trance.
“How long has she been in a coma?” I asked more clearly this time looking at her directly.
“What?!” I stood up from my seat, the chair falling over.
“Oh!” cried Jess, stepping back from my sudden burst of anger.
“You kept this from me for two weeks?” I yelled, anger engulfing me in a cloud of rage. “How could you do this?!”
Aunt Cathy stood up. “I’m sorry bu-”
“No!” I yelled, my voice scratchy. I stopped, and turned away from her. I loosened my fists. “I still want to see her, we go tomorrow,” I said walking up the stairs. Before I started walking up, she said, “If that’s what makes you happy.”
I sighed, and ran up the stairs.
* * * * *
April 24, 2014
Aunt Cathy lied to me. i asked her last night if i could see mom, she told me she was in a coma. i have never felt this angry and sad before. i dont know what came over me, i yelled at her and Jess, now i regret it. i told them that we’re going to see my mom today, i’m not sure if i want to now though.
we are going to go see her at 12:00 right now it’s 11:43 so we’re going to leave soon.
i wonder what she’ll look like. what if she looks different? will she even look like herself? i dont know. guess that’s what life’s about. to discover things on your own.
I climbed into the car. Cathy was driving. Jess wanted to stay home, so it was just me and my aunt.
We drove for fifteen minutes. We passed a field of grass, in the distance I could see black and white cows and brown bulls grazing in the field. I rolled down the window to smell the countryside air. The smell of manure usually irritates Aunt Cathy, but today, she stayed silent and just kept driving.
We drove for ten more minutes until we drove back into another city. We drove up to a big white brick building. Many windows covered the building and in bright red lights, letters on the front read: “Nature’s Hospital.”
We parked in the parking lot and got out of the car.
The air in the building was very cold and stale, it smelled of plastic and medicine. People in white robes ran around with clipboards. I stayed close to Aunt Cathy as she checked us in to see Mom. A nurse wearing a purple shirt and pants came up to me. She too had a clipboard.
“Hi Desiree, follow me, and I’ll take you to your mom,” She said with a sympathetic smile. I followed her down a series of hallways, Aunt Cathy following close behind.
Coughing was all I heard. That and footsteps running around on the white tile floor. It was so shiny I could see my reflection.
She lead us to a door with a small window and a paper taped to it. I didn’t get to see what was on it before the nurse opened the door to let me in. Cathy stayed out with the nurse to talk about something with the door closed.
Now it was just me and my mom.
She was laying in a bed with rails on the side to keep her in. She had clear, wire-like things coming from her nose. Something was attached to her finger, with a wire attached to a big machine on the right side of her bed. It had a screen with a green line going up and down, beeping.
The heart monitor.
I forced my eyes to settle on my mom. She looked the same for the most part, just skinnier and a little more pale. She was dressed in a rough looking sheet-like dress. Her hair was pulled up in a bun. Her eyes were closed and she was breathing. She just looked like she was sleeping.
Tears welled up in my eyes. I sat next to her on a stool. I grabbed her hand, the one without the weird thing on it and grasped it tightly. A single tear rolled down my cheek.
After ten minutes, I couldn’t stand looking at her any more. I stood up, wiped my tears away, and opened the door. Aunt Cathy was standing right outside, waiting for her turn to see her sister. I let her in and closed the doors, leaving my aunt to see my mother.
CHAPTER TWO: Anne
April 28, 2014
it’s been four days since i saw Mom. i’ve decided i don’t like hospitals, at all. i haven’t really been socializing at all lately, even less than usual.
Aunt Cathy said she was going to introduce me to a girl my age. she didn’t tell me anything else really. she’s coming at two. which is nowish.
I heard a knock on the door. I walked down the stairs, stopped on the second to last step to see out the door.
Jess opened the door. At the angle I was watching at, I couldn’t see anything, so I didn’t know what she looked like. “Oh hello!” Jess said.
Jess turned and saw me. She motioned with her hand to come. I slowly took the last step down and walked to the door.
What I saw was not what I expected.
A girl, my age: thirteen. She had golden blonde hair and sharp green eyes. She had rosy cheeks and small purple glasses. she was wearing a purple ruffled shirt that matched her glasses and jeans. The only odd thing out about this girl, was that she was in a wheelchair. A big wheelchair with handles on the back to push it around. Behind the chair was an aid. She was short and plump with a bandana and a thick sweatshirt.
“Desiree, this is Anne.” Jess said.
I smiled and gave a little wave. She smiled back. She had a big goofy smile with white teeth.
“Lunch is in an hour. I’ll call you when its ready.”
The aid left and so did Jess. They headed to the kitchen to cook.
“Hi!” Anne said happily. She acted as if she didn’t even notice that she was sitting in a wheelchair, forced to sit and stay put.
I smiled again.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what happened?” I gestured to the wheelchair.
“I was in a car crash,” she said. “I broke both my legs so badly they had to cut both off in order for me to survive. They replaced them with fake ones.”
“Wow,” I said, not sure what to say exactly.
“Yah, but please don’t treat me differently, I like to feel like a normal child, not a child that has no legs. Please.”
Anne stayed for the rest of the day. She ate lunch and dinner with us. She was quite enjoyable to have around. She was happy and funny. I have never been one to make friends very easily, I’ve always been so shy around new people. But Anne was different. I felt like I could tell her anything, I knew I could trust her. I told her about mom and how I felt about living with my aunt. I even showed her my journal, the one on the computer since i still can’t find the original.
When she left I was so tired I could barely see where I was walking. Aunt Cathy helped me up the stairs and tucked me in.
That night I had a dream of Anne. I witnessed the car crash in my mind. I dreamt about my mother too. I woke in the middle of the night crying. I stared at the ceiling, tears falling down my cheeks. It was two before I finally fell asleep again.
CHAPTER THREE: journal entries
April 29, 2014
anne came over again today. we went in the backyard. we had a picnic on the grass. i had to help her out of the wheelchair with Aunt Cathy’s help. we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with tomatoes. we made lemonade from the lemons on our neighbor’s tree. i had to climb the fence in my backyard and reach over to grab them. it was really fun.
i also raced her on the street.she won. it was very sad. we also got ice cream. i wanted to punch the ice cream guy in the face. he looked at Anne like she was an ugly alien that came from another planet.
April 30, 2014
today i did nothing.
May 1, 2014
Anne went to a bakery and brought back a chocolate cake. it was really good. i feel like Anne is becoming my best friend now. i’ve never had a best friends before. so this is something new. i enjoy it.
May 4, 2014
I haven’t seen Anne for three days. i know it’s not much but i miss her.
may 8, 2014
Anne called, she said she couldn’t make the picnic we planned today. now i’m getting a little worried.
may 13, 2014
i went to see my mom again. she was getting better. at least that’s what the doctor said. but she still hasn’t woke up.
CHAPTER FOUR: Why
I woke up to the sun shining in my eyes. I turned on my side, groaning. I heard some shuffling in the hallway. I kicked off the covers and slowly made my way out of bed.
I opened my door.
No one was out there, but Aunt Cathy’s door was opened a crack and I could hear muffled voices.
I tiptoed across the hall, resting my head near the door to hear what she was saying.
“I’m sorry. That is just so unfortunate…yes…my grandmother, and my sister…no…of course…I’ll break the news to Desiree when she wakes up…all right…bye now.”
She hung up and I could hear her standing up. I tensed up as she opened the door. She gasped when she saw me. I could tell she was close to tears, I was too.
Whatever she was going to tell me, it had to be bad.
“Oh, Desiree. Come here, come here,” she said motioning me into the room.
We sat on the bed.
I stared at her, she stared at her lap. “Um, Anne’s mother called with some…news…” she said quietly. I moved closer. “The reason why Anne hasn’t come over, is that, um, she-”
“She what, Aunt Cathy?”
“Anne has been diagnosed with cancer. She is in the hospital right now, it’s really bad, Desiree, it’s not likely that she will survive.”
I stood there shocked. Sadness clouded my vision as tears started to fall. i curled up in Aunt Cathy’s lap, crying like a baby that tripped over his own feet. Aunt Cathy tried to comfort me. It didn’t work.
* * * * * *
The next day, I was too sad to write in my journal, so I asked Jess for some chocolate ice cream and watched Spongebob (which I never do) the whole day. I cried and sighed, and watched and ate and slept and did nothing.
I sat on the couch, chewing on some licorice and covered in a soft pink fluffy blanket.
Suddenly I heard a knock on the door. “Jess!” I yelled.
Jess hurried over and opened the door. She let in a tall woman with blonde hair and green eyes. She looked like Anne’s mother, which she was. She came over to me on the couch while Jess closed the door. She hugged me, I hugged her back and we cried. I barely knew this woman, but I felt like I had known her for years.
She pulled away and looked in my eyes. Sadness. That’s all I could see in her eyes.
“Desiree.” she whispered.
I started crying again. Anne had died. She was gone. I would never see her again…
CHAPTER FIVE: A MIRACLE AND A FUNERAL
Two days later, I was dressed in black. I wore a short loose black dress with black flats. My hair was braided down my chest.
We were driving in the car to the funeral. Her funeral.
We entered a parking lot of a church. It was Anne’s favorite place for picnic in the field in front of the church under a big cherry blossom tree.
Aunt Cathy, Jess, Anne’s aid, and Jill, Anne’s mom, and I were walking across the field to the big group of people surrounding Anne’s body.
When we reached it, I went straight to her. I leaned on the small stool and looked in. She was dressed and beautiful pink dress. Her hair was curled and her eyes were painted with eyeshadow. She would’ve hated that.
I held her hand and stayed there for a few second before standing up again and walking away.
* * * * *
I stood up at the podium. I stared down at my paper I had written.
“Anne was the best and only friend I have ever had. I don’t know who to react to her death. I was a wreck when she got cancer, but I enjoyed every second of my time with her…”
Two minutes later, I was done with my speech, and two hours later, we were heading to the car.
Aunt Cathy’s phone buzzed. she stopped and pulled it out of her pocket. Putting it up to her ear she said, “Hello…what!?” she asked excitedly. I moved closer to her, eager to find out what she had heard.
“This is wonderful! Thank you! We’ll be there as soon as possible!” She hung up and smiled. A big aggressive smile. “What?” I asked gloomily.
She hugged me. “She woke up. Desiree, your mother is alive.”
“What!?” I screamed and hugged Aunt Cathy tighter. “What are we waiting for? Let’s go!” I smiled so hard it hurt.
We jumped in the car, and Jess drove us to Mom’s hospital.
* * * * * * *
The hospital room was just as it was before. But it was different this time. The woman laying in the bed was now awake. She looked really tired, yet her eyes looked excited. When she saw us come in, she sat up in her bed.
I rushed over to her and gave her the biggest hug. She kissed my head and stroked my hair.
“It’s a miracle,” I said to her.
“You’re a miracle,” she whispered. “I love you darling,” she said.