The next morning was grey. Grey shadows sweeping over the grey ocean, under a grey, cold, heartless sky. I pulled on a pair of grey sweats and felt around in the bottom of my closet for a shirt.
My hand closed over a lump of soft, white fabric, and I realized that it was the shirt I had bought when Rose and I had gone to the Paint Country Fair only a few months before. She had one exactly like it. I cried as I pulled it over my head.
It was chilly on the front porch but I decided to sit anyway, in the same spot I had been sitting in the first time Rose got sick. I couldn't believe that in just three weeks, I would be starting school again, probably without my best friend. She'd still be in the hospital. Was she mad at me? Was she angry that I wasn't sick too? I didn't understand her anymore.
"God damn it, Rose!" I sobbed out loud. "Why does it have to be you?"
"I was wondering that," came a voice. I glanced up, startled, and saw a tall, blonde boy leaning against the mailbox, looking down at me.
"Hi," he said, "Remember me? Eric."
"Of course I remember you." My face was swollen and streaked with tears, and I quickly swiped at my eyes with the back of my sleeve.
Eric reached into his pocket and handed me a tissue. I took it greatfully, and stared at his grey running shoes. "How come--why are you--"
"I came to see how Rose was doing," he said. "I didn't want to bother her though, so I came looking for you. You said you lived around here, and then I saw you on your porch."
"Well," I sniffed, "I don't know how Rose is doing. I mean--we had a fight--"
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Not really. But I guess she's okay. I mean, considering."
He nodded. "I guess I'll see you around then, Kylie."
I smiled at him and he waved as he ran down the driveway. With a sigh, I stood up, shoved my hands in my pockets, and headed towards Rose's house.