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A Brief Encounter

A Brief Encounter

By SheLexisYang

There was a journal placed on the dresser, obviously for recording memories. Upon inspection, Mich immediately discerned that the flower on the cover was a tartarian aster. He grabbed the pen laying down on the dresser beside his hospital bed, and scribbled on a random page in his journal - just to test it out. Satisfied, he began to write.

"January 1, 20XX..." 

His ears perked as the door quietly creaked open, in which a sharp shuffle proceeded. He glanced over and found a boy, not much older than he, hunched in front of the door that was now closed. The stranger wheezed rapidly - but softly - giving Mich reason to be somewhat concerned. Mich was shushed by the boy as he attempted to confirm his health. Outside, frantic voices and footsteps rushed across the hallway. As soon as the commotion passed, the boy sighed and plopped onto the ground, hands in his lap. He looked straight up at Mich with wide and mesmerizing eyes, and grinned, "I'm Esther. I saw you on your way here. You know, in the hallway." Mich was taken aback. "Yeah," he mused. 

Esther raised himself slowly and pranced over to the bed, and perched himself beside Mich. Uncomfortable, Mich scoot over.

"I know this is sudden," began Esther, "but I want you to be my friend!" 

Mich's eyes widened considerably. He felt the air around him turn hot; his ears as well. His heart was beating rapidly, loudly. If he complied, he would make his first friend ever! He felt a feeling of excitement emerging from within himself.

But he knew full well that such a friendship would only cause pain. "Impossible..." he muttered, "I will forget you." He felt his eyes well up. It was so very unfair that an illness inflicted upon him by people he could no longer remember would hold him back from making his first friend.

"It's okay," quavered Esther, resting his hand on Mich's shoulder, "it's okay to forget me. After all, I-" he paused with a pained look. "Well," he uttered, "I lied, sorry. It's not okay. Even if this friendship will hurt you, I don't care." Mich was dumbfounded. "You must have misunderstood me, Esther," he proclaimed, "You will be the one who gets hurt. I will forget you! Does that not bother you?" "No," Esther replied, "that is the least of my concerns." 

"Well, why don't you enlighten me, then? What are you so concerned about?" 

He turned away. Mich waited. After waiting for a couple of minutes, Esther got up and walked toward the door. "This is stupid. I was stupid. I shouldn't have walked in here." 

He flinched as the door slammed shut. Mich didn't want to look up. After all, he could no longer hold his feelings in. He pulled out his journal and snatched the pencil and wrote. As he wrote, tears and snot dripped onto the pages. That night, he quietly wailed himself to sleep.

The next morning, an unfamiliar nurse strode into his room. "Esther talked about you all night, you know." she smiled as she took an emptied tray from the side-table by the bed. "Oh." was all he could say. He had dark rings under his pale blue eyes. "He said it didn't end well," she started, "but please forgive him. You know..." She paused. She turned away and looked at the ground. It was only until she sniffled that Mich noticed she was crying. "What happened?" he asked. 

"Esther... he," she hesitated, "Esther passed away last night... He couldn't breathe, and we came in too late. We were right outside the door, and yet..!" She sobbed and fell to the ground. 

She's lying! Mich thought as tears streamed down his cheeks, If I knew this would've happened, I-. He didn't know what to think next. He could only open his journal and reread last night's entry over and over again, wishing he had conveyed those words to Esther before he had left. It was too late now. 

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14 May, 2014
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