Chapter 21 <Dear Tori>
Usually after school Riley hangs out with me but now as Aaron said she had some family to visit. I didn’t want to bother her with my texts either. And Aaron also didn’t have time to hang out. Apparently he had somewhere to be at. I just wish he would talk to me because his mood didn’t get better.
I hadn’t seen Riley all through weekend. Starting to miss her.
I was sitting at my desk near the window when a loud bang came from my window with black spot. I jumped up from my seat, stunned. I look at my window and on the other side there was a bird like fighting to get in my room. He was hitting it back and forth. This was creepy to say the least. Why such a urge to get in? I walked over to my window and the bird flew away. He raised high above and I swore it flew so high I didn’t see him anymore. It seemed like there was almost slight light left where he flew. I think I was going mad.
I didn’t have anything better to do so went out for a walk. I didn’t have any destination to go so I walked wherever I ended up at food market and went in to get myself peach rings.
I got what I needed and in front of me paying for her purchase was Nora. She noticed me “hey...” she said unsure. Her eyes flickered at me and back at cashier.
“Can we talk?” She asked.
“Sure” I played for my peach rings and walked out of store where Nora was waiting for me.
I approached her and she spoke “how have you been?” What’s this sudden care for me? She sure didn’t care when she left me.
“Good” I felt obligated to ask her “you?” A little part of me cared how she was doing, how others were doing. I sort of missed my friendship with Simon, how we would irritate each other, I missed even Layla’s offensive remarks.
“Am... I broke up with Alex, but it’s for the best.” She explained looking at her feet. “Listen Tori. I am sorry, I regret that I abandoned you. You look so happy with your friend group and used to we were that happy.” We were never that happy. But it looked like she talked sincerely. She was really oblivious if she thought I was that happy or maybe I was such a good actress...
“What’s this about?” I asked.
“I am sorry. And I want to be friends again” she explained with hope in her eyes. ″I want to make everything better. we have been friends for long time Tori, we cant let it slip away″ it’s not about who you’ve known the longest, it’s about who was there when you needed.
I didn’t need her. She abandoned me when I needed her the most. I had Riley now, she was my truest friend.
“No. I am sorry. I wish you all the best, I really do but I think its best if we keep our... relationship as it is” I said as strong as I could.
“Oh...” she was hurt. I could tell by her shifting eyes.
“Goodbye Nora” I said not even looking back. I have took so many shit from other people and I think this is the time I do what’s best for me.
I was home alone now. Dad was at work, Cameron was visiting grandmas new apartment. And it was 7.p.m when my doorbell rang. I opened the doors to found Aaron there. I was bored being here alone and was so happy that Aaron is here. Without much thinking I wrapped myself around him. And he hugged me tightly back. “I’m bored. Let’s do something” I broke the hug and lead him in the living room.
I sat down and waited for him to do the same but He didn’t seem so excited to be here. For the first time I looked into his eyes just to see them all red. Was he crying?
“Aaron” I call out worried. Something bad had happened.
“Are you alone here?” He asked me, his voice cracking.
“... Yes...” something wasn’t good. Something definitely was bad.
Aaron put his both hands on his face cursing between.
“Victoria... no.... shit...” he was panicking. And he just got out a card from his jacket. It was folded in half and I saw that there was quite a paragraph written there.
He gave it to me. “What’s this?” I questioned.
He swallowed his saliva hard, I could see his adam apple move. “Just read it. It’s from... Riley” he hesitated saying the last word.
I opened the card and scan it to see that it was neatly done handwritten.
If you are reading this than I am dead. Literally dead, my soul has left my body hopefully to somewhere sunny and warm but also rain is not bad. If there wouldn’t be rain there wouldn’t be flowers I guess, after the rain there is always sun and not only in the nature. People also need to appreciate the rain. when something bad happens it’s time for changes and changes isn’t always bad. it’s only bad if you make it bad. my whole purpose of writing you this, I owe you some explanation. I made Aaron give out these letters to my friends that concludes Max, Harry, Jack and you. You are the first person to get the card because I wanted to make sure you sort of hear it from me and not others. In the time I am writing this, I am sick, I have leukemia. I have been sick for quite a while. I used to be on medication and went to treatments but... one day they stopped working. There was no progress. Since back in my old town I didn’t have any close people except my parents I moved here, my parents moved here just because Aaron’s family was moving here, they thought that it would be best for me and Aaron to reunite our great friendship. They wanted for me to not be alone and I am heartbroken for them because watching your kid slowly die must be hard thing to do. I wanted to be friend with Aaron again I just would never guest that moving here would give me such amazing friend as you. I have written these letters over and over again. Every week I write a new one because I never know when will be my last day. I started writing about month ago, that’s when I noticed that I am getting worse and that any day could end or start fatal for me. I know that you care for me Tori, and that is why I didn’t want you to know about my sickness I wanted you to have a normal friend, at least for some time. I didn’t want you to worry about my sickness, I didn’t want anyone to even think about it. Tori you gave me the most amazing friend I could wish for. When we truly became best friends I started to hate myself, just because I was mad that when finally I have someone I am dying. Aaron has been with me all through this, and please don’t be mad at Aaron for not telling you. He pleaded me thousands of times to tell you. I didn’t want to hurt you Tori. You have been my light in my darkest times. And I hate to leave like this. I am sorry for being so selfish and letting you get attached. I am happy that you were in my life. When treatments stopped working I was told to life my life the fullest and you were the one that helped me do that. You have been the best part of my whole short existence. I love you until I die and if there is something after that even then. I wish you all the best.. Promise me to never miss reunions. Don’t ever stop dreaming! I hope everything turns out great for you. I’ll be watching you!
Yours truly, Riley.
I read the letter, my heart was pounding in my chest.
I laughed as my eyes filled with liquid “Aaron. This isn’t funny. This really isn’t funny” it wasn’t the truth. It was just some sick prank. It can’t be true.
I looked back at Aaron. His eyes were glassy and he shook his head at me.
I stood up and walked over to him. “You’re lying” I state to him still with amusement in my voice but tears already spilling. It can’t be true ‘Riley is visiting her family, ’ I tell myself.
“She had a stroke on Sunday morning 5.a.m.” he explained his voice slowly breaking with each syllable. “I found out Sunday evening, Riley went into coma soon after her stroke.” He washed his face with his hands. “I was with her. And... She passed away few hours ago.”
I was breathing hard my chest was rising up and down. I went over to Aaron and started hitting his chest “you knew! You knew all along. How could you keep it from me? I hate you!! I hate you!” I screamed at him and he grabbed both of my hands and held them in place.
I didn’t have any force in me. I couldn’t fight him “Leave me alone.” I say to him sternly. I wanted to be alone. But he just shook his head.
“Please. Go away.” I demanded.
He pulled me in a hug I couldn’t fight. “I’m not leaving you alone. At least not now, not when you are like this. You shouldn’t be alone “I didn’t hesitate much and broke down in his arms.
“She’s gone” I said more to myself.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked my eyes shut in his chest.
“I wanted to” he explained. “She didn’t want me to know either, her mom was very broke down and she needed someone to speak to and she spoke with my aunt, that’s how I found out.”
“Why didn’t she want others to know? I would have done so much more for her” I cried.
“That’s exactly why. She didn’t want to be pitied, she once said to me ‘the less people know the easier it is to leave’ she didn’t want anyone to try hard just because she is dying.” He tightened his grip on me “she wanted to go away, quietly. As quietly as possible. Riley hated the thought of someone waiting for her death. She had it enough of her parents and her waiting for the dead end” He said.
“But you waited there with her.” I pointed out. Now calmly.
“Yea... I don’t think I have ever done anything this hard in my life and I hope I will never have to do it again. I knew my good friend was dying and there was nothing I could do to stop it.” I heard crack in his voice.
Riley was gone. I had lost my truest friend. Parents lost their only child. The world lost a great artist. Aaron lost girl like sister. So many people lost a chance to meet her.
It was true what Riley said, nothing lasts forever...