Grayson was a shoulder to cry on.


After crying out all the tears I could, I realized that it was well after dinner and his parents would be mad. No matter how hard I protested though, he would not go home. He texted his younger brother to tell his parents that he was staying over at a friend's.

I knew why he didn't say which friend. I wonder what his parents would do if they found out I'll soon be gone.

They'll probably be happy.

Since Grayson was still a little confused on who what when where and why, I showed him the email's my mom and my private specialist have been sending each other (my mom uses the same password for everything (Browington (Her maiden and preferred name))). The deep, dark, black words still shook me to my core as I read the letter again for the thousandth time.

Dear Mrs. Adelaide

I am sorry to inform you that your daughter is beyond repair. We have discovered a cancerous cell in her throat that is quite large. It is possible to assume that this has been the underlying reason why your daughter has not had the ability to speak since birth. At this point, it has spread to the back of her neck and it is too close to her brain and spinal cords. We cannot remove it. At best she has 6 months left but with continuous watch, that number may go down. Realistically, your daughter has 3 months left. I am very sorry for your loss.

With deepest regards,

Dr. Edward Raleigh, PhD

Grayson was quiet and still as he read the letter again and again. I felt the same thing I always feel whenever I read that letter.


Why would I feel anything else? The doctor told my mother "I'm sorry for your loss" like I'm already dead.

I might as well be.

Grayson's voice suddenly broke my train of thought.

"You know what pisses me off? This guy is saying I'm sorry for your loss like you're already dead. What the hell does he know? There's probably something they haven't found yet, there must be something out there that can fix you. I bet he-"

I put my hand on his shoulder when I sensed him getting madder and madder. It was sweet really, but there was no point. After taking a deep breath, he declared his new notion.

"I'm staying over. No if's and's or but's. You still have some of my clothes here?"

I nodded yes. Of course I did. What else would he wear in case of random sleepover, my nightdress?

He texted his brother again to tell them that he is spending the night at a "friends" house. Our fun couldn't start until my mom went to bed and my dad either went to work in his office or went to work in his office downtown.

That meant he had to wait in my room for a while, until things died down. While he was holed up in my room, I went to the kitchen to grab him some food. I knew that he missed dinner and his alarmingly large stomach would need to be fed. Grayson ate enough food to give an obese man a heart attack and yet he wasn't fat. At all.

His explanation?

"I'm a growing boy, I need food."

Yeah right, he stopped growing in 8th grade. And even if he were growing, he wouldn't need that much food.

As I was walking around, lost in thought, I didn't hear the maid approach me as she made her final rounds. I jumped when she started talking.

For once I was startled. I couldn't believe it.

Someone startled me.

I started smiling with a huge goofy grin when I realized I had accomplished something I thought was impossible. The maid stopped talking when she realized I wasn't listening.

"Are you alright Miss? Is there something you need?"

I nodded yes to the first one, no to the second one and hoped she understood. She smiled an amused smile and bid me goodnight. After I made sure she left the house with a final click of the massive front door, I entered the oversized doorway into the overpriced kitchen.

Everything was stainless steel, marble or cherry wood. I didn't even need to turn on the lights; the moonlight reflected on all of the stainless steel. 3 large windows completely covered the wall facing the garden, opposite of the doorway. All of the other walls were covered with double stoves, double fridges and freezers, a fancy designed pantry, more useless appliances and a painting.

Just one.

It was a painting of my grandmother, my mother's mother.

The last normal one that was left of us.

I passed the fridge with the pre-packed food and went straight for the pantry, right where all the junk food was. The only stuff he'd eat.

I filled my skinny, frail arms with as much as they could take and I made my way upstairs. I checked the left side of the house, where all the executive stuff was, and saw that both office doors were closed and light peeked from underneath. When the a/c turned off, I could hear the clacks of keyboards and the turning pages of old books.

After confirming the coast was clear, I went back to my room not caring about how loud I was. Once they got into their work, there was no use in trying to disturb them. Unless you went and opened their door, you could do anything.

Upon my arrival, Grayson jumped and threw down my journal. Caught red handed, he sheepishly smiled and showed me some things he was writing.

"I had a few ideas for the next few months so I decided to write them down. Are those for I?"

He saw the snacks and instantly focused in like a starving hawk in the middle of the Sahara desert that saw a fat shrew. I smiled and threw them on the bed next to him. While he had the oh so hard decision of choosing which one to eat first, I looked at what he was writing in my journal.

Things to do Before-

I noticed that he trailed off at the end of that word. Reality seems way too harsh at the moment. I brightened up when I saw what he wrote.

Drive a Car

Go to a NORMAL School

Skip a day of class

Dye hair to a different color (optional)

Go to the Beach

Go to the beach on day of skipping class

Eat everything in Refrigerator

Have first kiss?

I smiled at all of the words he wrote.

Grayson is a really sweet guy.

A hesitant voice filled the quiet room.

"I wasn't sure about the last one sooo….I kinda didn't know if you wanted to do that orrr...well um, have you? You know, had one?"

My red face almost matched his hair as I thought on how to answer that question. Of course I haven't had my first kiss yet! My only human interaction is with him and I can definitely say we've never kissed.

I shook my head no and awkwardly looked down. Grayson quickly changed subjects and took the journal back.

"I forgot a few things. You may not want to but I promise you'll enjoy it weeks later." He eagerly passed the journal back and I saw what he added.

Go to a High School Party

Have first drink of Alcohol

Get drunk at first High School Party.

Regret it

Remember it

I silently giggled at the newest 5 additions. They definitely seem interesting. I'm not too sure about the alcohol part but the party could be fun enough.

Grayson smiled when he saw that I was smiling and he gave me a one armed hug.

"I promise these next three months will be the best of your life. And pinky promise me you'll try to do as much as you can."

I lifted my tiny pale pinky and interlocked with his larger and almost equally pale finger. When I looked up, I noticed that he had chips crumbs on his shirt. For the second time today, I giggled.

Maybe the next few months won't be so bad after all.

However, I almost cried when I looked out of the window a few seconds later. I noticed something that was shockingly similar.

My tree's branches were starting to die. The tips were black and the trunk looked weak and frail.

My tree was dying.

Just like me.