My old friend Lee came over today, he sat there looking so familiar and calm that there was no doubt in my mind that he would be by my side,
"How are you?" he asked, his voice low, his big brown eyes looking straight into my soul. No lie would do.
"I'm scared Lee."
There was a moments pause, perhaps I had been meant to lie, but there was no point. Cancer is hardly something one can say is going to just go away, acceptance is the only way forward, or so mam keeps telling me. Plus, it isn't just me that needs a chance to accept, it's the people around me. Friends, family.
"You're bound to be." He leaned closer to me, we were both sitting on the huge leather sofa in my living room, This Morning was on TV, but neither of us were watching it. We were at the very beginning of our Study Leave. Yet, what should have seemed like the biggest problem in the world, seemed tiny, insignificant.
"I suppose. I just...I don't know what I'm supposed to do, or say. I don't know what's going to happen next and all at the same time I want to cling onto normallity."
"Normality." whispered Lee.
I nodded, shrugging slightly, he might not get it. A whole week spent with worry hanging over me, three days at the hospital, being asked questions over and over again, it had broken my first week as a sixteen year old. All of my plans, shopping trips with birthday money, reivison days with friends, going to see that horror film we'd been waiting for weeks to come out. They were all canceled. I wanted to go out, but didn't even dare ask my mam if I was allowed to, for fear the answer would be a stark No.
"Get your coat." Lee jumped from the sofa and marched of to the kitchen, where mam was sitting at the breakfast counter, drinking coffee and talking on the phone. She had spent hours on the phone, seeking solace in the calm words of friends, or asking Grandma for advice.
I stood up, unsure of whether I should walk upstairs for my coat or not, then, deciding that with acceptance came bravery I marched up the stairs and grabbed my short jacket, perfect for the summery weather that was starting to come through the grey clouds left over from the winter. Spring was slowly merging into summer and you could feel the happy excitment, the calling of summer and its possibilities in the air.
Ten minutes later, I was stuffing painkillers and anti-sickness drugs into my handbag, being told to be out no longer than a few hours and to have plenty of rest periods.
"Don't worry Mrs. Grey, I'm going to look after her." smiled Lee.
There was a pause as my mam looked Lee up and down and mumbled under her breath, "That's what I'm worried about."
Outside, I was almost surprised to find everything normal. People were walking along the street, letting the light early May sunshine dapple their faces and the light brease pull their hairs out and around them. There was an excited hussle and bussle about everyone, the fact that winter was gone and the onset of summer was there, in the air, in the soft fragrance of lavender, and the bright colours of sunflowers that lined the houses.
"Where are we going?"
"Where do we normally go?"
"For food, the cinema, the park?"
"Which would you prefer?"
My tummy grumbled as a reply, Lee laughed, "Your so bloody presictable, especially when I'm paying." He pulled me forwards down the street.
I new where we were heading, Lucianos, the little Italian resteraunt a ten minute walk away, on the bank off the river. The food there was fabulous and it was an old favourite.
Before you get the wrong idea, me and Lee aren't...romantically connected. We used to flutter towards it but then as we came through puberty my suspicions that Lee might be gay became more and more assured.
He ordered me a diet coke and sat me at our favourite table by the tall window, before going to see his Uncle, who owned the place.
The whole time we were there, eating Carbonara and Margherita Pizza, we never once mentioned it.
This wasn't a resistence, a purposeful non acknowlegment, but our way of dealing with it.
There is ALOT to be said, for normality!