Strong word, isn’t it?
When I was little I thought it meant that you could never stop loving someone, no matter how hard you tried because nothing could ever tear you apart.
Turns out thinking like a little kid means your unaware of reality.
“I’m never going to leave you Vi, friends forever”.
That’s what Alyson said to me the day before I went over to her house. I told her I had made her a friendship bracelet at camp, one of thoseÂ stringed onesÂ with the beads on them. It had one letter in the middle, one little letter.
“Hello?” the door to Alyson’s house was cracked open, the lights werent on and the house seemed rather dreary, like it was drenched in morbidness.
“In here”, a small, meek voice whispered.
“You can head on up Violet, Alyson’s waiting for you”.
I was terrified. I’d never seen Marilyn Tucker look so sickly and depressed, sitting in anÂ armchairÂ with her head bent low.Â Everytime I came over she was always smiling and seemed happy to see me, she always said I was like another daughter to her. Now it was as if all the life had drained from her, likeÂ all the happiness had been sucked up by a dementor.
I didn’t respond, just headed up the stairs to Aly’s room, which if possible was even darker then the rest of the house; the root of the despair.
“Aly?” I called, peeking through the door.
“Violet”, her voice was barely audible.
I walked into her room, turning on the beside lamp. She was hooked up to a respirator, holding the mask to her face. She took the mask off, trying to smile with lips that were the same shade as my name; purple as a plum.
I sucked in my breath. I’d seen Alyson look sick but never this sick. This was beyond anything I could ever imagine, it wasÂ something that came straight out of my most horrid nightmare.
“Hi” I choked.
Alyson tried her best to smile at me, “You said you brought me a present”.
I nodded, taking the little pink bracelet out of my jean pocket and slipping it onto her wrist. I held her hand up to her so she could see it.
She laughed raspidly, “What’s the A stand for?”
“It stands for Alyson, silly”, I placed my hand gently on her shoulder.
“I made you a present too while you were gone”, Alyson raised her other hand shakily, her fist clasped around something tightly.
I snorted, “you didn’t have to make me anything”, I took it from her.
“Iwanted too”, Aly whispered, her teeth were chattering.
I gasped. It was a bracelet just like the one I had just given her. The beads were the same type, except they were a light purple shade, my favorite color. The thing that was exactly the same though was the letter smack dab in the middle.
“Aly, it’s beatiful”,Â I breathed.
She swallowed, “I’m glad you like it, I thought you would”.
I put it on my hand, admiring it.
“What’s your A stand for?” I asked, smiling shyly at her.
Aly grabbed my hand, pulling me close to her so I could hear her.
She closed her eyes, revealing that the tops of her eyelids were almost the same shade as her lips.
“It’s stands for always. I’m making you a promise that even though I’m going away from this world, I’m not leaving you. I’ll be in your heart, always”, she raised her hand up to my heart and placed it there.
I was frozen,Â I could feel the hot tears streaming down my cheeks, they stung like daggers. I knew this was it, she was finally leaving me. After all this timeÂ of praying endlessly for her to get better, of begging for just a little more time with her, it was all over. My time hadn’t just run short, it had run out.
I closed my eyes, “Please don’t go”, I whispered, my voice cracking with every word.
“I have to go”, Aly said.
She wasn’t scared to die, I knew that about Aly. She was scared of leaving me alone, scared that I was not going to beÂ able to take losing her like this. She was right to worry too, I didn’t just want her to stay with me, I needed her to stay with me.
I climbed up on the bed with her, curling up beside her and letting the tears just fall and fall.
Aly stroked my hair with her shaking fingers, “Violet, you’ve done so much for me,Â more then you could ever know”.
I couldn’t stop crying long enough to tell her how I hadn’t done a thing, it was her that had taught me so many things about life, things I would never ever forget.
“I love you, Al”, I murmured into her side, clasping my hand in hers.
She squeezed my hand one last time, “I love you Vi”.
Her hand went limp.
The truth about forever: THERE IS NO SUCH THING.