Jack and I walked down the hallway together, books in our arms, stride slower so I could hear what he had to tell me about his trip.
"It was great," he said. "We went all over the place. And that place is definitely a theater city. Productions everywhere, musicals, plays, concerts..."
Jack was a theater nerd. And, I'll admit, that was what had drawn me to him the past few years. He loved theatre, I loved theatre. He acted out the scenes, and I acted behind them. We were what people called "a Perfect Pair" at our school. Everything we did went together... and that was why many kids asked us when we were going to go out together.
We finally reached our class together, and I sat down next my twin sister, Molly, and gave her thumbs-up. She smiled and returned the gesture. We always did that when we saw each other, either in school or at home. Molly was deaf, but she could read lips pretty well. But if she was in conversation with someone, she liked to use sign language.
Molly was my very best friend, next to Jack. She was always there for me to help me through everything. And that's how it always was.
As the Algebra teacher introduced herself (Mrs. Zakes), I took Molly's hand and squeezed it. She squeezed back. First days of school were hard on Molly, because she didn't have that many friends because of her shyness. But, this year, we had the same classes together and breaks. Molly had decided years ago to go to public school, which had nearly given a heart attack to my mother.
As Mrs. Zakes was giving a tutorial to the class, Molly started coughing. I squeezed her hand and gave her an "Are you okay?" look. She nodded and smiled.
But the coughing didn't stop. Finally, she went up to the front of the room and grabbed a tissue. She coughed into it, and when she pulled it away from her mouth, it sparkled with blood. Molly gripped the table that held the tissues. But then her knees buckled and she fell to the ground.