Morning was tense and quiet. Mum shuffled around me, doing nothing in particular; I think she was just trying to be near me. I didn't taste the toast and butter I was shoveling into my mouth and was done quickly.
As I brushed my teeth in the mirror, I stared at myself. Physically, I hadn't changed much. But inside I felt totally lost. My whole body seemed so expendable, like I could take risks and it wouldn't matter if I got hurt. Faced with the certainty of death, I felt invincible. I laughed at myself. How backwards could one person possibly be?
My school uniform was getting a little tight, I wondered how long before it would be loose, what with the tumor devouring me. I felt sick, as always. Dr Basely had given me some tablets to take to ease the headaches. I got so much relief from that. No screaming head to deal with, hooray!
But today was the day. The day I would have to tell my friends that I was going to die. Me. The one who was rarely serious and always laughed and joked. Doomed.
The word echoed inside me as I entered my tutor room where everyone gathered before school started. I stared at all of them.
Different heights, different hair colours, different eyes colours; all one. My best friends. I loved them all and they didn't know it, and wouldn't until they read their death letters. I saved Heidi for last, she was my very best friend. The one who knew everything about me and still smiled. I smiled weakly, doing so alerted everyone that something was up.
"What's wrong, Alli?" Lottie asked, frowning slightly.
"Hey, guys. I have a bit of bad news, you might want to sit down." I bit my lip as they obeyed, ignoring the chairs we were not obliged to use before school started.
"What's going on?" Chelsea asked.
I shook my head. I couldn't believe I was doing this. I couldn't do it. I almost decided to wait until after school, but it was time now. For the first time in my life, I had stage fright. Ten pairs of eyes were staring back at me, expectant and totally unprepared for what I was about to tell them.
"You know I went to the hospital about my headaches a few months ago?" I prompted. They nodded, "Well they did some tests which we got back yesterday. I can't believe I have to tell you this, but I have a brian tumor and they don't think I'll survive." My voice broke, I wasn't crying, I was just so ashamed of myself because of what I had just done to my friends.
"What?" Heidi whispered. I could only nod my head pitifully.
Then the tears started. Some tried to hold them back, but they only fell faster. Soon my arms were finally full of the people I cared most about. My tears joined theirs and everyone stared at us as we howled with grief and anguish.
"Why? Why you?" Heidi whimpered; mum had said exactly the same thing, but somehow it was much more comforting and loving to hear it from her.