Chapter 23: Best Friend
Joey sat in the waiting room; the newspaper crumpled in his lap. Samuel was so young. The obituary had a picture of him before the cancer had robbed him of so much. The cause of his death was listed as complications due to a medulloblastoma. Joey made a mental note to research whatever that was when he got near a computer.
Amarea spent the next week in the hospital. She spent most of the time sleeping and trying to gather enough strength to recover. Every afternoon, Joey faithfully waited in the waiting room. Joey showed up the day before she was to be discharged. He wasn’t able to go into her room. When he knocked on the door, a nurse opened it and informed him they needed privacy to prepare Amarea for discharge.
I have a feeling this is going to take a long time, Amarea sighed.
Think about it Mar, you may have hours to spend torturing me, Joey smiled.
Well, I guess that could be a positive side. You think they can tell I’m talking to you? Amarea asked.
Yup, Joey grinned, I bet they are getting play by play tweets right now.
Oh shut up, Joseph, Amarea rolled her eyes.
Joseph, is it now, Joey laughed. I thought it was stud master supreme.
You wish, Amarea paused, ARGH!!! She cried out.
Deep breath, Mar. Inhale. Exhale, Joey coached.
I’m not giving birth, you silly boy, Amarea laughed.
What’s going on? Joey asked. He was ready to burst through the door and save her from whatever torture they were inflicting upon her.
They’re removing all the lines. It hurts, it hurts, she groaned meekly.
Did I tell you about what Mrs. Righman did? Joey tried to take her mind off of the pain.
NOOO! Amarea screamed.
Come on Mar, stay with me, Joey pleaded.
I’m here, barely, she replied.
Um, barely, bare naked, without clothing, Joey grinned.
Joseph! Amarea exclaimed. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Um, gutter, Joey teased.
I mean it! She managed to smile. What did Mrs. D. do?
She fell asleep, Joey replied.
No, she didn’t! Amarea said in disbelief. When?
It was the Thursday before we got out of school, we were working on the yearbook during fourth period when we heard her snoring, Joey replied. Her head was on her desk, and she was out cold.
No way! You’re joking! Amarea said.
Way! Joey grinned. She even had drool running out of her mouth, pooling on the desk.
Yuck! ARGH!!! Amarea screamed again.
Come on Mar, stay with me! He pleaded again.
Why does it have to hurt so much? She asked, in agony.
Because your arms are like twigs, and your veins are like limp noodles? Joey tried to jest, but Amarea didn’t reply. He could tell she was crying. Don’t cry, love.
Did you just call me love? Amare sniffled.
Yes, my dear, Joey said, I love you. You’re my best friend.
Amarea smiled. She didn’t feel any more pain. She felt like she was floating.