My best friend's name was Jen. When we were kids, Jen and I did everything together. As we grew older we found our own likes and dislikes. She was a talented artist who painted and sketched master pieces regularly, and I became a leader, always in the student council, or being a manager of a school sports team.
Jen would have never admitted it, but she had always been prettier than me, in every way. She had delicate, gentle features. I had sharp, rough ones. She had beautiful soft hair. I had choppy short hair. She was short in a good cute way. I was tall and lanky. She had a perfect shape. I had one that wasn't to bad, but not really that good either. The thing was, I never cared. Neither did she.
Our personalities were almost complete opposites. She was quiet, friendly, and sweet. I was loud, hard to approach, and opinionated. However, when we were together, we became one and the same. One dynamic duo of dimwits.
We loved each other like sisters. Every Saturday night without fail we would be at one or the others house. We would dance to our favourite songs. Watch a chick flick, then a comedy, and then a horror. We would stay up all night afraid of every sound and we would talk until our voices hurt. Then in the morning we would make pancakes with chocolate chips. When it was time to say good bye, we would do our lame handshake we made up when we were five.
We never missed a Saturday unless it was a holiday or we had commitments that involved family. We even missed parties for our Saturday night slumbers.
One day things changed. Like they always seem to do. It was as if something decided that I was too happy.
Jen was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She was only given one week to live. That Saturday, instead of having our slumber at one of our houses, we had it at the hospital. It wasn't the same. Poor Jen had gone so far down hill that she wasn't the same girl. The tumor in her brain was growing fast, crushing her memories and her basic skills, like eating with a fork. That week I read to her, all night. Even after she fell asleep I kept reading. When I ran out of books, I just held her hand and wept silently.
Poor Jen. She lost her beautiful hair as they tried for a miracle on chemotherapy. As she got sicker she got thinner and thinner. She lasted longer than the week they gave her. We got two more slumbers than expected.
One Monday while I was at school, my mom came to my math class. She spoke to my teacher in a hushed voice then told me to get my things. I understood. Her eyes were red and swollen. I broke into tears, collected my things and left. My whole class staring after me not understanding.
We reached the hospital within minutes. My mother tended to speed when she was upset. Jen's parents were in her room. They graciously let me have a minute alone with the body that had held Jen's soul. I held that cold hand and wept on it. I whispered my good byes, and told her all the things that were amazing about her. I don't care if she couldn't hear me. I had wanted say these things before she died, but better later than never.
My life will never be the same. I will never have another friend like Jen. Since her death I have began to take art lessons. I will never be the artist she was, but I believe there is a chance that she is still with me. So if she continues her journey with me, I want her to be able to do the things that she likes as well.
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