I couldn't feel anything. No tears. I was as good as dead. By the time we walked out of the hospital and into the car, I was determined to space myself out. I was getting myself as far away from this world as I could, even if it was just in my head. Still, I could faintly hear my dad talking. I didn't want to hear what he was saying. I focused on the blurry images that went by outside the car window. It was raining again.
"I'm sorry to tell you that you've got approximately just a month to live," the doctor had said. It seemed so surreal a few minutes ago. The shock of it all had me speechless, just staring into the eyes of the man who had just declared my death. I was angry at him - at how they could just pull out numbers at the top of their head like that and deliver the news to their patients. How could they just do that and not feel anything at all? How could they get used to that?
But after I had time to think about it, I understood. They had to be unfeeling. I had to be unfeeling. Or else everyone would just crumble apart. They were trying to tell me something: I had to survive.
The car stopped and the door opened before I could reach the handle. It was Travis Weber, my best friend. His eyes were red and I knew it was more because of him trying to rub the tears off too hard than of him actually crying.
He held me in his arms.
"How did you know?" I asked him.
"Your dad called me," he replied. "I've been waiting here for you. I want to be here for you."
I almost collapsed into his arms, but I regained some of my senses and dragged my feet into the house and up the stairs to my room.
"So, a month?" Travis said softly.
I nodded. "Roughly 30 days."
He suddenly let go of me and he sat down on the stairs with his hands covering his face. I looked down at him. He was getting really thin, almost as if he was trying to get sick with me. He was wearing the same hoodie he always wore since I met him, but today the hood wasn't up and I noticed his wavy brown hair. The strands were beginning to intertwine with each other the way they did when he 'forgets' to sleep.
I sat down beside him. He took a deep breath and slowly lowered his hands from his face. He seemed determined not to look at me.
"I thought it was over, Ivy," he said. "They all said that you were good, that all those therapies worked. I thought we could all just keep you again. But - "
"Bad things happen to me a lot. There are a lot of good stuff, too. Though it never lasts, you know - the good things," I said. "It was bound to happen."
"Jesus, Ivy," he exasperated. "I know all that. It just doesn't have to happen this way."
"Travis, please be alright for just one second and look at me," I told him. "I just want you to tell me that I won't be forgotten."
"What?" he said, looking incredulous.
Suddenly, the words seemed to catch in my throat. "You will remember me, right?"
He just nodded and said simply, "Always."