“Killi, promise me you won’t use me as a reason not to love again.″ He grips my hand as tightly as he can, which is about as strong as a frail older person on their deathbed. “Promise me.” he pleads.
“You know I can’t do that. I love you. You’re my best friend, my soulmate. You are my true love, my butterfly.” my tears flow like a stream down my face.
“Killi.” he whispers, “I need to know you won’t run away from your next great love. No matter how long after I die. I want you to be open to it”.
“I can’t promise you that I won’t run away or that I’ll be open to it. What I can promise is I will try my best not to completely fall apart without you”.
He nods his head and cuddles up next to me. We know it’s almost the end. I’m not ready. I want more time, he deserves a full life with a wedding and kids if he wants them. He deserves the world because he’s perfect and the world is in desperate need of sweet, pure humans like him.
“Jonah!” I sit up in bed and cry.
Before all his hair fell out from the chemo I used to constantly run my fingers through it. I miss running my fingers through his soft, dyed blond, curly hair while staring into his perfect ocean blue eyes. But I also miss my beanie wearing baby and his smooth bald head.
It’s only been a few days since he passed and I can’t get our last day together out of my head. I want him back. He was too young and beautiful for this horrible existence. The most angelic smile used to grace his pretty pale face.
I knew I was gay before I met him but I wasn’t willing to accept it until he fainted in my arms. Jonah was the most beautiful human being if ever laid my eyes on. I immediately knew I wanted him to be mine. But I was shy and I couldn’t seem to work up the nerve to speak to him.
He was in line at the hospital café for something to eat with his mom. From what I overheard standing in line behind them she had just been given a clean bill of health from her doctor and wanted to eat before she went home. She had to fast before her final tests but barring anything new from the last round of tests she was healthy.
Jonah was just talking to her when he started to fall back towards me. I caught him and then picked him up and set him in a chair. He was so petite; he even looked thin and a bit sickly but when he opened his dark blue eyes he smiled and reached up to rest a hand on my face and asked if I was an angel. I smiled and said no. I wanted him to be mine even more than before. He really is a beautiful young man.
Moments afterwards he was seen by a doctor and I was so worried I waited with his mom, Heather. She broke down a few times thinking it was his anorexia. That broke my heart. I asked what happened that caused it and she said it started out as just skipping breakfast after his father left, after he’d told his father he was gay. Then puberty started and he didn’t like the changes he was going through so he stopped eating all together.
She said at first she thought that maybe he was transgender but soon realized that was not the case. He just wanted to be the same as he had been. Jonah wanted the body he already knew and felt comfortable with. I couldn’t blame him but I was concerned for his health. My sweet Jonah had so quickly become important to me.
A few weeks after our initial meeting he was at the hospital again. I was sitting in the waiting area waiting for my mom to finish talking to the doctors when I heard his voice.
“It’s my angel.” he said to his mom while pointing at me.
“Hello again.” Heather greeted me.
“Why are you here again?” Jonah inquired.
“Oh my sister has cancer so we pretty much live here. She’s just meeting with the doctors about another experimental treatment”.
“Oh that’s terrible. I’m sorry”.
“Thanks.” I smiled.
He had to run after our short conversation but when he walked by again he looked awful. I had tried to talk to him again but they both just shuffled by like zombies.
I saw Jonah a few other times over the next weeks but he didn’t stop to talk. He didn’t even acknowledge me. He just seemed so shattered.
More time went by and when I came to visit my sister I walked in and saw Jonah sitting with her. He looked even worse than before.
“This is my little brother, Killian.” Skylar smiled, “Kill, this is my new friend Jonah”.
Immediately I knew. He had the same cancer as my sister and like her his life would be cut short.
“I know, we’ve met before.” I choked out.
“Oh… oh. This is the one you were telling me about!” she seemed giddy and genuinely happy for once.
He blushed a bright shade of red and tried to hide his face. He looked so very pretty when he blushed.
Over the next couple of months the three of us became best friends and after weeks and weeks of harassment Skylar convinced me to ask Jonah to be my boyfriend. I never told her but she knew me better than I knew myself so I wasn’t very surprised.
Skylar was so happy for us but it made me sad. She declined so much in the following months but she smiled every single day.
“Kill. You’re the best brother I could have asked for.” she said to me, “make sure you cherish every moment with Jonah. I’m sorry that inevitably he will leave you too.” she silently cries.
We hugged and watched movies until the nurses told me it was time to go home. I hated leaving her but Jonah is going to be moving into her room with her and then they can keep each other company.
A few weeks later my sister and I had our fifteenth birthday. She was so happy there was someone else here to celebrate with us. It was a great day. It was one of the last great days she had. She started to get sicker and then she just suffered for her last six months. I was at a rare day of classes, I did online classes so I could be there with her but I had a test I had to take in school.
My Mom called me and told me Skylar was gone and that she’d meet me outside. I’d finished the exam just a moment before and was going to quickly go over it again but I grabbed my things and left the moment the phone rang.
When we arrived at the hospital Jonah was standing with his mom crying. He looked up when he heard my mom and he walked to me as fast as he could.
“I’m so sorry,” he cried.
Heather hugged my mom and the four of us stood together weeping. A couple of the nurses had struggled not to cry as they stopped and gave their condolences.
I wasn’t ready to lose her but she left me with Jonah so I could survive. Now I just have to figure out how I will survive without him.
I knew this was going to happen when I asked him out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I did but I will miss my beautiful butterfly.