The pale blue eternity of the day is fading into a night filled with more light than any day before. We watch the moon rise as the sun dies, illuminating the darkness with white light. The scratchy roof holds onto us as we stare at the stars above, no longer having to sneak out onto the roof in the city to do so. She's home.
She's speaking words I never thought I'd live to hear. When we'd both leaned of her leukemia when we were in seventh grade, we never thought we'd make it this far. Apparently we did, the optimistic cancer patient, and her desperate best friend.
My hands start to shake, trembling from the force of the words in the air. Her thin hands intertwine with mine, and I can't help but reach out my other hand to hold onto her fingers. With her hand clutched between mine, she leans her head on my shoulder, trying her best to comfort me.
The words are in the air. I can taste them in the chill breeze and smell it in her shampoo, fresh from this afternoon after she was released from the hospital. Trembling fingers grip hers tighter, trying to feel something besides the jacket weather sneaking into my skin through my tee shirt and skulled pajama pants.
"I can't believe it." Fog wafts from my pale lips as the letters reach the atmosphere. My head leans against hers, laying my mind closer to hers until the end is here.
Wait… The end is here.
"Neither can I." She curls up further into my side. I can practically feel her trying to etch her prominent bones into my skin.
Somehow, I lift my head off of hers, my mind being weighed down with the information I've just been giving. My lips part, trying to speak, but my vocal cords are disagreeing with my head. I need to say something. Anything. But my body refuses to function when I need it to.
She lifts her head off of my shoulder, her deep brown eyes, matching the night with her beautiful darkness and light, boring into the blue on my face. For the first time since we were children- which seems eons ago, although we are graduating from our small town high school in two weeks- she knows the words to say before I do.
"For the first time in my life, I know that I'm going to live. You don't know what to make of this, do you?"
A laugh escapes the cage of my chest, rattling my ribs with joyous tears. When she sees the state of my eyes, her face falls and she starts to panic. She throws her skinny arms around my broad shoulders and pulls me into her chest, murmuring comforting words that do not need to be said.
"M-my… G-God…" I laugh some more, pulling back from my best friend's embrace and staring into her confused eyes. She tilts her dark head to the side, her short hair just barely long enough to flop over her forehead with the motion of her head. My still trembling fingers reach up to brush her black hair off of her pale face, no longer sickly, but just paler than most peoples.
"I-I can't believe that you get to see us graduate. I can't believe that you get to go to college without worrying about what'll happen to your dad if you don't make it long enough to pay off the debts. I can't believe that I get to go to your wedding, pick fun at your husband, and be that weird uncle that your munchkins will love to see, 'cause I'll get to spoil them rotten, and you will too, because you'll get to live long enough to see them."
She laughs, her frame shaking as she collapses against mine. She stays against my side, and I let her, feeling the reality that she's here, and she'll still be here in a day, a week, a year, and maybe even a decade or two.
Here we are, lucky us, having made it this far. And that's not even the best part. The best part is knowing that we'll get to make it farther then either of us have ever imagined. We get to live. We'll make it, even if it kills us, and this time, w know that it won't.