Kaidence didn't care that it was four o'clock in the morning.
She didn't care that her insomnia kicked in at the worst possible night.
And she certainly didn't care that Bryan was most certainly asleep.
Grabbing her cell phone from the shelf next to her bed she cruised through the contacts list and found his number. Without hesitation, she hit the call button.
"God, Kai, I'm trying to sleep here." He growled into his phone, eyes closed almost halfway back to his dream.
"Yeah, but I can't sleep. You wanna go on a walk?" she sat up and turned the light back on.
"Does it sound like I wanna go on a walk? Shit, Kai, I just got to bed like two hours ago."
"Good, I'll be at your house in twenty minutes, be outside 'cause I don't wanna wake anyone up." Kaidence didn't care that she hung up on her best friend.
In five minutes she was dressed and heading out the door.
In ten, she was sitting in front of his house with a box of PopTarts and a coffee.
After fifteen an openly hostile Bryan was closing the front door of his house.
"Hey," she said thrusting the cup of coffee at him.
"This," he mumbled, taking a drink, "is not going to make me any less mad at you."
"You're not mad at me," she smiled at looked at his bed head, "'Cause you wouldn't be here right now if you were mad."
He knew she was right.
She knew she was right.
"So, you sharing those PopTarts?"
She nodded and handed him the box.
The two walked in silence, the quiet sounds of the sleepy city not yet ready to come to life, going through their ears.
"You know what I find funny?"
He shook his head.
"That doctors think sixteen year olds are stupid."
"I went in the other day and found out that I had Leukemia, you know, and so I asked what my blast percentage was, right there on the spot and that doctor just spluttered at me."
Bryan choked on his PopTart.
"She's all, 'uhm, well, it's pretty high' and so I'm like 'right, so, how high is it?' and she just looks at me, like how in the world do you know anything about this? And so I just look at her and say 'I'm sixteen, I'm not stupid.' Which gets her assistant guy to start snickering so just to be bitchy I say 'see, he knows what I mean.' And she's like 'we want to start you on chemo tomorrow, I'll talk to your parents about this, blah, blah, blah' and I'm sitting there thinking dude, I'm the one with the Leukemia, why don't you tell me about it? Of course no one asks the terminal girl so I have to listen to some chick who thinks I'm two."
Bryan stopped walking and looked at his best friend.
"What?" she pretended to be oblivious that she had just dropped a huge bomb.
"I can't believe you just told me that." He mumbled his eyes huge.
"Well, it's true." They were stopped in front of the school playground and watched a few moments pass them by.
"Holy shit, Kaidence, I think I'm going to throw up."
"As long as it's no where near me I'll be fine."
Bryan seemed to go pale.
"Hey, why don't we go sit at the top of the slide?" at the top of the slide she was referring to, there was a little red plastic dome to sit under.
Bryan nodded, a few drops of dewy rain falling onto the couple's heads.
And they watched the sun rise higher, through the little plastic slats in the red dome. Bryan held Kaidence close to his chest, protectively, and pondered the change.
"So," he mumbled, his eyes scanning the blacktop that lay out before them.
"So?" she said it mainly to let him know that she heard him, he still needed to think. Bryan was always there for Kaidence to make her feel safe. She relied a lot on him; he was the sane one in their friendship.
"So, when're you having chemo today?" his voice was soft, quiet.
"At seven, you know that chemotherapy is just poison pumped through your veins?" she twisted around to look at his horrified expression.
"Why would you tell me that?"
"It's true." She smiled at him.
"Yeah, quiet time now."
Neither teenager was sure how long they'd sat there in silence.
Neither teenager could tell time by the sun.
Neither teenager cared.
At seven, Bryan took her back home, not saying a single word the entire way. Standing on her doorstep she looked at Bryan's detached expression.
"You wanna listen to music with me today?"
He knew she meant at the hospital during her therapy.
He also knew that he didn't really want to be there, to see all the horrible tales of cancer come true.
"Yeah, do you want me to bring anything?"
He watched the smile cross her face like he knew would happen.
"Does your sister still have that Avril Lavigne CD?"
"The obnoxious one?"
"They're all obnoxious."
"Bring that, we'll dance and scream and stuff. Drive the normal people crazy."
"Are you sure? Won't you be-"
"Shut up, bring that and not your worry, I'll be perfectly fine. I know everyone says it but I'm going to beat this. I'm six foot tall and bullet proof." Her eyes were playful, a façade she always kept up, no matter what.
"Can we not joke about this for a moment?" in those simple words she seemed to deflate a little.
"I'm scared, for you. I don't know what would happen if," he trailed off, he wasn't sure what exactly he wanted to say.
"Don't be, Bry, alright, I want to cry right now, I'm so freaked, but I just can't deal with it now, normally, like other people. I can't, I need to keep all the real stuff that matters really far away. I can't deal with the real factor of this. Just…if I don't joke about it, I don't know what'll happen…"
Kaidence hated hugs, especially those hugs that seem to be more of an attempt on someone's life instead of a normal hug, she didn't like people touching her.
This one, this bone-crushing-lethal hug that Bryan seemed to deem appropriate, actually seemed to make her feel better. Like he stole her problems too and kept them for himself.
"Alright, Avril Lavigne, and any other pansy bands I can find in my sister's room?" he forced a smile as he let go of her.
I know you probably are thinking that most people don't react to something as big as cancer like Kaidence does in the story but she's a different girl, I hope towards the end of this you understand why she's being so weird about it. If you don't, that's perfectly fine, you can message me with any questions or comments or you can even just yell at me. It doesn't matter to me. I would like to know how anyone feels about this though. I've been told I write pretty sad 'short stories/one shots' or whatever it is that people call 'em now.
Remember I wrote this at…about four in the morning so it's going to be choppy and the fluency is going to be weird. Tell me your thoughts please.