Chapter 16: Libby
“Libby,” my best friend sighs, looking at me from her spot on the hospital bed with the most inspired look in her eyes.
“Yeah?” I say, struggling to sit up straight in my the chair beside her, leaning my head on my hand that’s resting on the arm of the chair.
“Let’s-” she pauses, looking up at the ceiling and curling her lip in her mouth, as if bashful about what she’s about to say. “Let’s go to New York... and fall in love.”
I smile, reaching to take her hand in mine, but she tugs at it, silently lecturing me to join her on the bed. Obediantly doing so, she maneuvers her way to the far edge of the mattress to make room for me and I squeeze onto it, laying ontop of the sheet while she lies freezing underneath it. “I think that’s a great idea, Liv,” I say, staring at the speckled ceiling above us as well. “But first, we need to get you out of here.”
She groans, as if remembering all the pain she’ll have to go through to get out of this hellhole. I find her hand and squeeze it three times, reassuring her that I’m here. That I’m always here. “But just think about it, Lib - just for one moment,” she says, letting go of my hand and spreading her arms out above us as if engulfing her dreams. “Imagine finding the one. Or not even ‘the one’, but your first one. Your first love.
“We would see each other and automatically fall in love - before we even meet each other, I mean. And we would go to a coffee shop nearby and talk about anything and everything in between. We’d talk about our future, our dreams, our wishes, our goals... we’d talk about our past and how hard it was for the both of us to get to where we are now...”
She hesitates, and I sit up slightly in my spot to make sure she’s alright. But she’s not. There are tears streaked down her face, and her eyes are squeezed tight as if to supress a memory from blockading into her mind. Brushing a few tears from her cheeks, I whisper repeatedly, “It’s alright, it’s alright,” but she just shakes her head no. No, it’s not alright.
Kissing the top of her bare head, I hug her close to my side and lie my head ontop of hers, feeling her shake with sobs against me. I supress my own tears for the moment; I supress them to be strong for her. I can’t break down and have us both be weak... no. I have to be here for Liv. I have to because that’s what best friends do.
“Maybe,” she attempts to say, but she chokes on a sob. “Maybe,” she tries again, ”you’ll fall in love, Lib! Maybe you’ll meet the one. That’s my true wish for you. I want you to meet you’re true love and I want you to be happy, even if I can’t. And it doesn’t even have to be in New York! It can be in tired ol’ Texas for all I care. I just want you... I want you to accomplish things that I can’t. Alright?”
She’s looking up at me with her hazel eyes, tears creeping out from the corners, the most hopeful and demanding expression I’ve ever seen on her face. “I... I’ll try,” I come out with. “Thanks.”
I didn’t know then that her wish would come true three years later.