Author: Love Eternally PM
Unwinding is the mortal coil that drives the gears to tick and toil, until at last, it rests, unwound, and we lay silent in the ground. R&RRated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy - Words: 3,050 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 05-30-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2369249
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: I know I should be writing on Healing Wounds, but I wanted to get this out sorry.
On With The Story:
"To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise. It is voluntary to throw away one of the greatest comforts of the weary pilgrimage." ---Unknown
"Time. The enemy of us all. Hold a watch to your ear and listen. Tick tock. Tick tock. Those are the hoof beats of the reapers pale horse. "Half past eight, he's at your gate. A quarter to four, a knock on the door." Unwinding is the mortal coil that drives the gears to tick and toil, until at last, it rests, unwound, and we lay silent in the ground." ---Unknown
Nicole laid her head against the window on her bus. She hated riding the bus home. It wasn't so bad in the morning when everyone was still asleep, but after school everyone acted like animals. People were standing up in their seats yelling back and forth to each other, while others hang their hands, arms, or sometimes even their heads out the windows. Sometimes she wandered if they were taking crack with their lunch. She wasn't usually in such a bad mood. She usually rode the bus with her friend Amanda, but she'd gone to the doctors office after third hour, leaving Nicole to ride the bus on her own, and in the rain, which really irritated Nicole. She hated the rain. Amanda loved the rain, the crazy girl that she was, Nicole mused.
She sighed as the bus pulled to a stop. She picked up her back pack and followed the line of students off the bus. She froze in her footsteps as a flash of blond hair stepped into her line of vision. Standing in front of her was Amanda. She was holding an umbrella in her hands, and there was wet streaks on her face. Nicole had a feeling it wasn't from the rain.
"Mandy, are you okay?" she asked softly.
"Can we go to your house?" Amanda asked with trembling lips.
Nicole nodded and she quickly led them to a little yellow house at the end of the street. She led Amanda inside and they walked up the stairs to her bedroom. Amanda sat down on Nicole's bed laying her closed umbrella on the floor between the nightstand and bed.
"What's wrong?" Nicole asked quickly.
Amanda looked down at the comforter for a minute picking at the lose strings.
"Remember when I had to get that blood work done last week?" she asked softly.
"Yeah," Nicole said slowly.
A sinking feeling was forming in her stomach. She had a feeling she didn't want to know what Amanda was about to tell her. She wanted to close her eyes and suddenly be somewhere else.
"We got the results back today, and . . . Nikki, I have Cancer," Amanda said brokenly.
Nicole felt the world end. There was no way she was hearing Amanda right. Amanda was too good of a person to be suffering from such a horrible disease. Ever since she and Amanda had met in kindergarten she'd been the good one. They'd met decorating a picture with colored macaroni, and became best friends because they both liked the color blue. Amanda had been the sweet blond hair girl with big blue eyes that did whatever she was told, and Nicole threw crayons at the little boy sitting in the front of the room, her dark black hair matching her temper.
They'd always been like that. Amanda shouldn't be the one with Cancer. She couldn't lose her best friend. Amanda had been with her through everything. She'd been there when Nicole's parents had divorced, and she'd been there when Nicole had fallen in love and gotten her heart broken. She'd even been there when Nicole was up getting sick in the bathroom the first time she'd gotten drunk. The next morning she'd been the devil though, telling Nicole how retarded she was for drinking. That didn't stop Nicole from going out the next weekend though.
"Are you sure," she finally managed to say.
"They're positive. I start Chemo tomorrow," Amanda said tucking her legs underneath her.
"Have you told Trevor?" she asked softly.
Trevor was Amanda's boyfriend. They'd been dating for nearly two years. Nicole swore they were a married couple even if they were just seniors in high school. They were never apart unless Amanda was hanging out with Nicole on purpose.
"No," Amanda admitted. "It would kill him."
"He's going to find out eventually Amanda, you might as well be the one to tell him," Nicole told her.
"You're right, I know you're right," Amanda said with a sigh. "I'm actually kind of worried he won't want to date a sick girl."
"He loved you Mandy, he won't leave you," Nicole told her with a smile.
"Thanks Nicole," she said with a sad smile. "I better go tell him huh?"
"That'd be a good idea," Nicole said dryly.
Amanda nodded and said her goodbyes before walking out the house. Nicole threw herself down on the bed as the tears filled her eyes. She wouldn't let Amanda see her cry. She'd cried on Amanda's shoulders enough, it was time for her to be strong for her friend.
The next day Nicole rode with Amanda's family and Trevor as they drove her to the hospital. Trevor was in the back seat looking as if he was suffering from shock. She didn't blame him. She felt as if she was walking in a fog.
She watched silently as they wheeled her best friend into the hospital room and felt tears fall down her cheeks.
"She's going to be okay right?" Trevor asked softly beside her.
"Of course she will. Amanda would never leave us behind," she said.
She didn't know who she was trying to assure more, Trevor or herself.
The months dragged on and Nicole couldn't bring herself to see her friend in the hospital. Every time she walked through the doors of the hospital her heart would break and she would have to leave. She'd call Amanda's parents and ask them how Amanda was doing, and luckily for her, they seemed to understand what she was going through.
It was a week before Christmas when Nicole received the call. She walked into her home after school and her mom cornered her in the door way.
"What's wrong?" she asked confused.
"It's about Amanda, they don't think she's going to make it sweetie."
Nicole's stomach dropped.
"But, she's on chemo, it's supposed to cure cancer!"
"Baby it's not a hundred percent effective," her mom said softly.
Nicole felt a storm of rage feel her. It was Amanda they were talking about, beautiful, sweet Amanda; her best friend since kindergarten. Amanda didn't deserve any of what was happening to her.
"How long do they give her," she managed past the lump in her throat.
"A couple more months, her mom wants you to come see her."
Nicole nodded and walked upstairs to her room. She wanted to crawl in bed and never wake up. She wanted her friend to be okay, and out of the hospital. She threw herself on the bed and pulled a pillow over her head.
Christmas morning Nicole walked into the hospital slowly with a bag in her hands. She slowly made the trek up to Amanda's room and knocked on the door. She fixed the hat sitting atop her head and waited until the door opened. Standing in front of her was a very surprised Trevor.
"Hi," she said sheepishly.
"Come on in," he said quickly giving her an odd look.
She didn't blame him. She hated Christmas and the last thing anyone expected was to see her in a Santa hat. She walked into the room and looked towards Amanda's bed. Her heart broke at the sight in front of her. Amanda's long blond hair was gone and she was incredibly skinny. Nicole forced a smile and held out the bag.
"I come bearing gifts!"
"Yay!" Amanda beamed and Nicole sat down on the edge of the bed.
She knew from Amanda's smile she was forgiven. She really didn't deserve to have Amanda's friendship but she was glad she did.
She pulled a wrapped box out of the bag and handed it to her.
"I feel so loved," Amanda said with a grin. "Trevor come sit down and open presents with me."
Trevor walked over to the bed and sat down beside Amanda. Nicole smiled and handed Trevor's present to him and watched expectantly as they opened it. Amanda gasped as she pulled the silver necklace out of its box. Nicole knew that Amanda had a great love of Irish history, and she would love the necklace with it being a Celtic cross.
"Oh Nikki it's beautiful," she said softly and wrapped her arms around her in a hug.
Nicole hugged her back and looked at Trevor who smiled at her.
"Thanks Nikki," he said putting on his watch.
She'd had no idea what to get him so she just bought him a new watch.
"I'm glad you finally came to visit me Nikki, I was beginning to miss you," Amanda said softly.
"I know. I should have come, it was just so hard," she admitted.
Amanda smiled at her again and nodded. Nicole sat on the bed for a while talking to Amanda. She really had no idea what to say to Amanda anymore. She loved her friend to death but it was so hard to talk to her about normal everyday events. All she could think about was her friend was dying, and she hadn't been there when she needed her most.
"Alright Mandy, I better go," she said looking at the clock on the wall.
"Alright," Amanda said with a nod. "You'll be back soon won't you?"
"Of course," she replied.
Amanda smiled and Trevor stood up from the bed.
"I'll give you a ride home Nikki," he said softly before turning back to Amanda. "I'll be back tomorrow okay?"
"Okay," Amanda said with a smile.
Trevor leaned down and kissed Amanda before walking to the door with Nicole. They walked out the room and Nicole let out a long sigh.
"Hard isn't it?" Trevor asked softly and Nicole looked at him confused. "Pretending that everything is fine. Keeping a smile on your face even though seeing her like that is destroying you a little more every minute you spend in there."
Nicole nodded and looked at the ground.
"At least you were brave enough to be there from the beginning. I chickened out," she said softly.
"She understands, trust me," he said to her.
Nicole nodded and was silent the rest of the way to the car, and on the way home. As Trevor pulled the car to a stop in front of her house, she turned and looked at him curiously.
"You really love her don't you?"
"Yes," he replied easily with a smile.
"Good," she said and smiled back. "I have a feeling she's going to need that."
Trevor nodded and she got out the car and walked towards her house.
The months passed slowly for Nicole. Her and Trevor spent every minute they could at the hospital with Amanda. It seemed so strange to her that her friend never lost her cheery attitude. She'd spent all of her senior year in the hospital, and she wasn't allowed to go on dates with her boyfriend and yet she still acted as if things were great. Around Valentine's Day Amanda confided in Nicole that Trevor had given her a promise ring and told her when she went into remission they would get married. When Nicole asked Trevor about it he simply replied he loved Amanda and wanted to give her something to fight for, and that if she did go into remission he planned to keep his word.
A couple weeks after Amanda received her promise ring, Nicole found out her friend would have to get a bone marrow transplant. Nicole didn't know much about bone marrow transplants but she did know they were dangerous. She also knew that for it to work right the person had to have siblings. Amanda was an only child so her dad had offered to donate bone marrow making the transplant only a partial match transplant.
The day Amanda was scheduled for her transplant Nicole sat with Trevor in the waiting room. Amanda's mom was waiting for new on how her husband's surgery went. Trevor's face was pale and his hands were shaking. Nicole knew she looked just as scared as he did. When Amanda's mom walked into the waiting room.
"Craig's surgery went well. They're taking Amanda back now," she said softly.
Nicole and Trevor both nodded slowly and waited the next few excruciating hours until the doctor came with news about Amanda. As soon as they found out Amanda was okay her mom rushed to see her in the recovery room but was held back until she'd been dressed in a sterile white outfit similar to the doctors and a face mask.
"Her immune system has been destroyed. It keeps her body from rejecting the foreign bone marrow," the doctor explained. "However, for the next six weeks she is very susceptible to childhood and mild diseases. A simple cold could kill her at this point so you have to be extra careful. To keep the risk down, there is only one person allowed in at a time."
When it was Nicole's turn to go in, she couldn't keep her hands from shaking. She was terrified for her friend. As she stepped up to the bed she took a deep breath and slipped her hands into Amanda's.
"Hey Mandy," she said softly looking at Amanda's sleeping form. "We're all going be here when you wake up you know. Trevor's out there looking as if he's seen a ghost. He loves you so much and he's already planning your guy's wedding. He has your parents approval. He told them earlier you know. So hurry up and get better."
She had no idea what to say to her friend after that so she just sat quietly for a few minutes before walking out the room. The weeks slowly dragged on for Nicole. While everyone was planning graduation and prom at school, she was waiting for the bell to ring so she could run to the hospital.
Then the unthinkable happened. Amanda developed an infection. Nicole didn't know what infection it was, all she was that one day she went to the hospital and wasn't allowed to see Amanda. They were flushing her with antibiotics and doing everything in their power to try and help her. Trevor gave up on going to school after that. He wasn't able to concentrate on classes, and graduation was in two weeks anyway. He camped out at the hospital night after night, and stayed by Amanda's side. Nicole still stopped by everyday after school but Amanda showed no signs of recovering. About two weeks later Nicole received a phone in the middle of the night. It was Trevor and he sounded as if he'd just stopped crying.
"Nicole, it's about Amanda," he said weakly. "We've lost her. She passed away in her sleep."
Nicole's heart stopped.
"No," she said softly.
"Yes, her mom wants to know if you'll come to the hospital," he said and sounded as if he was about to cry again.
"I . . . I'll try," she said before hanging up the phone.
She stood still for a minute before launching the phone from her hands to the wall. She knew it wouldn't help anything but it made her feel better. As she heard the phone shatter she fell to the floor in tears.
"Nicole what's wrong?" her mom asked walking into the room.
"Amanda," she brokenly. "She's dead."
"Oh god," her mom replied pulling Nicole into her arms.
A few minutes later Nicole arrived at the hospital with her mom to say her goodbyes to her friend. The next few days passed as a blur. She hardly remembered Amanda's funeral. She was still in shock as they buried her. Trevor seemed to be handling it worse than she was. They'd both lost a part of themselves when they had lost Amanda. She understood that perhaps better than he did.
Nicole walked briskly down the brick path in the gardens. She'd walked this path so many times, she was sure she could with her eyes closed. It was always the same turns, the same flowers, and the same spot shaded by the giant oak tree. She traced her fingertips over the large stone in front of her and sat down with a sigh.
"It's been five years since you've left us Amanda," she started slowly. "I still don't accept that you've left. You didn't deserve what you got out of life. You were too kind, to loving, to be taken from us like that. I don't think Trevor will ever love someone like he loved you again. You were it for him you know. I don't know what to do without you. You were always there to help me when I lost my way, and I've lost it so many times since I lost you and it's been hard. I miss you so much Mandy."
Nicole broke off. She couldn't speak anymore. She traced the letters on the grave stone one last time before standing up. She dusted her pants off and quietly walked out of the cemetery.