The next afternoon was an average one that required all my strength to keep me from flipping out on someone. Since when had everyone become so clingy and nagging?
Hoping to find relaxation, I walked next door and knocked. Sorain answered, her eyes red and puffy.
Guess relaxation wasn't going to be in todays books.
"Sorain? What's wrong??"
She stepped out and shut the door behind her, pausing for a moment before throwing herself into my arms and hugging me tightly.
Cautiously and slightly hesitatingly, I hugged her back, resting my head slightly on top of hers. Sorain was never like this. She was an independent individual that was as UN-touchy-feely as you could get. Hugs were a rare and practically non-existant action by Sorain.
"Taylor, I don't want to die...." She burst out. Her sobs almost camouflaged it but I heard it distinctly just the same. My lungs turned solid, nod expanding, not inhaling air at all. My heart refused to pump and beat, and my stomache was tying itself up in knots so that it was a miracle that I could speak.
"What?" I rasped, hoping she hadn't said what I thought she just said, but knowing in the back of my mind that she really had. I could feel a stinging in my eyes and tingling in my nose, a sure sign that if she didn't bust out with a "SIKE!" pretty soon, I was gonna cry.
"I...have...I'm sick, Taylor. Very sick." She pulled back and looked at me, all traces of honesty and fear evident in her eyes. I wanted to stop the world and rewind it just to savor every precious moment I had spent with Sorain, my best friend. As she said this, my mind began playing like old film footage and I could see pictures in my mind from the last couple of years that she had lived here, clicking in my mind and hurting me even worse. It felt like someone had knocked a hole out of me, draining everything until I was hollow.
"How sick?" Dare I ask? Dare I know? Is it better to know what you are afraid of, or to be afraid in mystery, never knowing what was stalking you down?
"Sick as in, I have lung cancer Taylor. And we caught it too late. We caught it too late." She let out another heart wrenching sob and clung to me, as if I was her last strand of life. Her last oppurtinity to grasp the world and breathe the fresh air, drink the water, taste the foods that she had a passion for, and live the life that she hadn't lived yet.
But most of all, I didn't want her to go. She had to be lying. It was too close to Christmas. The season of giving. God wouldn't do this to me. He couldn't. He just couldn't!
"Sorie," I used a nickname that she had long ago requested that I never used, "how long do you..." I gulped back the ocean of tears rising in my voice. I couldn't stop the cracking, but I could stop the waterworks. "How long do you have to live?"
She paused for a moment, trying to gather her breath and statements properly.
"The doctor says that if I'm strong, and if I fight, I'll make it into the new year. But I will never see another Tulsa spring."
Her eyes flowed with fresh salty tears, soaking through my shirt with an icy chill that stuck to my skin. An icy chill that was similar to the one that flowed through my veins. An icy chill like the grip that was tightening on my heart. I was losing Sorain.