"Do you think she knows?" Emma's Mum whispered to her husband, gesturing towards her youngest child, Rose.
"Who knows?" He replied. "Rose doesn't say anything. If she does know, she isn't showing any signs that she does."
"I'm scared, George", Lily trembled.
"I know, Lily. We all are, but we have to be brave. We have to be brave for Emma."
Emma was 14 years old, and from a distance, she looked normal. But if you were to look closer, you might notice that she was quite pale, rather skinny, had bags under her eyes from a constant tiredness, and rashes in various places on her skin. This was because Emma wasn't normal.
At the age of 9, Emma was diagnosed with a severe case of Leukemia; a pediatric cancer. Ever since she has been constantly in and out of hospital, that is, until last month. When the hospital released Emma, she was sure this could only mean she was getting better. Her parents; George and Lily, knew otherwise. They knew that Emma only had a few more days on this earth and there was no longer anything the hospital could do.
Emma had a little sister, Rose. Rose was 4 years old, but didn't talk. The doctors were unable to say whether she couldn't talk, or just wouldn't. Emma loved Rose more than life itself. She played with her when she felt well enough, and told her stories of the hospital and the school she went to before she fell ill. She always started her stories with her name; 'Rose' It was hard to say if Rose understood what Emma was saying, but she sat and listened all the same. Emma wished that one day Rose would be able to talk to her.
Emma spent most of her days lying down, exhausted and in pain. On this particular Tuesday, she looked out her window, trying to see if there was a cloud in the sky, but, once again, the sky was clear. She sighed in sadness. All her life, Emma had lived in a drought. It had rained hard once, when she was in hospital, but she hadn't had a window in her room there. She longed to see the rain. To hear the tap, tap on their tin roof, and to see each individual drop as it poured. She would dance in it, too. Oh how she would dance. She would jump higher than anyone, and twirl faster than the wind.
"We are going now. Be good!" Lily called to Emma and Rose from the front door. She and George had gone to a meeting with Rose's kindergarten teacher, although she rarely went. It was just Emma and Rose together in the house. Emma had promised she would look after Rose, but she was so tired. 'Maybe if I just close my eyes for a second.' She thought, as she stifled a yawn.
When she opened her eyes, Rose was no longer on the floor, playing with her dolls, in fact, Emma couldn't see her at all. Emma painfully got out of bed and looked around the house, but Rose was nowhere to be seen. That was when she saw that the front door was open. "Oh no" murmured Emma. She walked out the door and looked up and down the street. She knew she shouldn't be walking, but she had to find Rose.
Half an hour later Emma spotted Rose crouching behind a bush, looking at a ladybird. "Rose!" Emma said, as relief flooded through her. Rose looked up and smiled. They walked home, and Emma was so happy, she chose to ignore the worse-than-usual throbbing pain in her back and legs.
When they reached home, Emma felt awful. She lay down on the couch, her entire being aching horribly.
10 minutes after they came home, she heard a car pull up into the driveway, and Emma felt a bit better. Her parents were home. A little earlier than they had said, but at least they were home. As the came in, they went to check on Emma.
"Why are you home so early?" Emma asked weakly.
"Well, the meeting was outside, and it was raining, so we had to cancel it."
Emma stared at her parents, and, hardly daring to believe it, she looked out her window. And, sure enough, rain was pouring. As I Emma was telling one of her stories, she spoke to Rose; "Rose, look, the rain! Just as I imagined it! Look, Rose, Look!"
Rose looked out the window and back at her sister. "Emma." Her voice was soft, and somewhat uncertain, as if she was trying to see how the word tasted in her mouth.
Emma gasped softly, and smiled her last smile. Then she closed her eyes for the last time. And she went to dance in the rain. Forever.