The rain began to patter on the window that looked out over my best friend’s small garden.
I was holding her frail hand, the one with her “green thumb”.
I smile at this…
She always giggled when she told me that she could kill a plastic plant…
I’ve seen it happen.
But now her eyes were closed, her breath labored.
….. today was a good day for her, considering everything….
She may have been asleep but, her fingers gripped mine as hard as she could squeeze.
I could barely tell I was holding her hand at all, as weak as she was.
It’s so painful, beyond belief really, to try and imagine strength draining away from the strongest person you have ever known.
….like sand in an hourglass.
I laced my fingers thru hers, gripping them a little harder, tracing the veins on the back of her hand with my other fingers.
I can’t believe I’m losing her….
My bestest friend in the whole world is dying………Dying!
She did it to herself….
I can hear the thunder in the distance, the rain coming and going, the branches of the trees scraping lightly across the panes of glass
In the storm graying light of the small bedroom I turn back into time to think of our lives together.
I have done this more than usual lately….
Six months…..seems like yesterday.
…..Way too damn fast.
Doesn’t it seem weird that when you are about to lose someone close to your heart, a piece of your very soul, that we start to reflect on our memories of them more, as if though trying to burn them deeper into our hearts and minds….
It’s as if though we are afraid that we might forget something important….forget them?
I remember when she was sober.
I look at her face as she sleeps….
She’s so beautiful……..even now.
My flower is fading….
The sun is leaving her eyes.
The rain reminds me that I must not cry……
Cloud tears trickle down, the beads of sky diamonds ornament her window…..
I won’t weep…..she did it to herself; selfish bitch.
I’m not going to cry…not now at least.
She gets upset when I cry.
I sit there, holding my friends tiny hand, staring out the jeweled window as the storm drums the shutters.
The lightning is bright, the thunder is closer….the rain, more insistent…..
I can smell the trees.
I begin the stroll down our memory lane; it isn’t raining here.
There is only laughter, joy and our high school prom.
There is only skinned knees, gum in our hair and boyfriends we shared
I am brought back from my breaking heart to the bedside when I feel her stir under the blankets….
The thunder moves her.
Her eyes are open and I follow my dying friends hooded gaze.
She’s looking out the window, watching the storm.
Shadows of the window panes, rain drops and lightning dance across her face…..
She is quiet….
Dying sober, thank God….
Oh so still…..
God? Where is God now?
I notice a small tear is running down her pale cheek and across her dry lips…
She did it all to herself.
I hate her.
I reach up and wipe the tear away with my finger.
All of a sudden, I feel guilty that I’m alive.
She grabs my hand and presses it to her lips and then drops my hand with a tired sigh.
She turns her face toward me….
I raise my finger to my lips and kiss what’s left of her tear….
She gives me that shy grin of hers and turns back to the storm.
“Will you do me a favor?” she asks in her beautiful, weak voice; the stormy sky reflecting in her dimming, pretty eyes.
“I don’t know” I say “I’m kinda busy” I grin.
(I hate you for dying)
She squeezes my hand again before turning to look at me, her gaze imploring.
“I’m serious” She says.
My face softens, I will not cry….
(You did this to yourself)
“You bet” I whisper, both my hands pressing hers to show my promise.
I can’t squeeze her hand too hard…..
She lives very close to pain that I can’t imagine.
This could have been avoided.
She turns her face back toward the window as the rain dances across the roof, the thunder making the panes tremble….
She says “Think of me when it rains….”
I cannot cry in front of her….
I will not….I won’t!
My best friend in life is slipping away like a dream, like water thru my fingers….
“I hope it rains forever” I say….
Her eyes are closed now…
Her fingers relax in mine….
“It doesn’t hurt anymore…” she whispers.
I thank God for this small answer to my anguished prayers….and I curse him.
“No…don’t go…” I say
I feel like an asshole for being alive.
I never thought that would be the last thing she would hear from my lips.
No God….not her….
Not my friend…..
(I HATE YOU!)
Take me instead, I’ll go. I’ll go right now!
She dropped my hand.
Her heart has finished its toil.
I can’t breathe….I gotta get out of here….
Oh my God! Oh my God!!!
She has gone from me into the storm….
She lives where lightning is born….
Our joined lives will continue as memory….
I guess I can cry now….
But, I think it still upsets her…no matter.
I will dance in the rain with the memory of my friend, and we will laugh…
I rejoice in the fact that as long as I live, she will be there with me.
She will watch our children grow.
She will watch our children become best friends.
It is time for me to weep for my lovely…
I thank God for Heaven and eternal life….
Oh my God, why is it so hard to breathe when I think of her?
I can already hear her voice in my head…
She’s here…..right now.
She is alive in the thunder and rain.
I will think of her….even when the sun is shining.