The Ones Left Waiting

You know when someone gets sick? Isn't everyone's first thought automatically about them? Worrying about them, wondering if they're okay? Of course, this is how it should be. But sometimes we forget the people closest to the patient: their best friend, their boyfriend, their brother? How does it affect them?

Jackie Bianco has a brain tumor. She has mere months to live, unless a miracle occurs. But this is not her story. This is the story of Daniel, her twin brother, who needs his calm sister to keep him under control. This is the story of Mia, her best friend, who is like a lost soul without her partner in crime. And this is the story of Firth, the love of Jackie's life, who will surely die without her.

This is the story of the people sitting in the waiting room, the people with nothing left to do but worry. The ones left waiting for news, good or bad.


15. Daniel

May dragged by. Soon it was time for graduation. I passed twelfth grade, amazingly. Mia came out well and Firth passed with flying colors. I honestly don’t know how that boy does it. He planned on doing a Master’s degree in Literature and his parents were insanely proud of him.
The day of our graduation dawned. We were excited to be finally finished with high school, but the mood was dampened by Jackie’s absence. We were a quartet missing its best and brightest performer. A car with three wheels. A table with three legs. We couldn’t function properly.
After the graduation ceremony, we went to the hospital to be with Jackie. We sat in silence, just watching her unmoving form. Mia suddenly punched the arm rest of her chair, tears trailing down her cheeks.
“This isn’t right! Jackie should be here, with us! Not lying in bed in a coma!”
I glanced at Firth and he shrugged. Nodding in Mia’s direction, he mouthed,
“Comfort her.”
I hesitantly put my arm around Mia. She snuggled into my side, sobbing harder. Suddenly I’m crying too and we just held each other.

I know I hate her. I know she hates me. But with Jackie the way she is, that seemed to have gone out the window for good. Mia glanced up at me, her face streaked with running mascara. I gently wiped some away and she smiled weakly. Shifting slightly, she tried to break our embrace, but I held on tighter. At that moment, I needed her as badly as she needed me.
Mia nodded and took one of my hands. Her fingers traced the still healing cuts on my knuckles and the Jackie butterfly.
“You haven’t cut since?” she asked.
“No once.”
I held her hand tighter, noticing angry red marks on her palms.
“What did you do?” I asked, indicating her hands.
Mia colored and bowed her head.
“Broke one too many karate boards. We’ll leave it at that.”

Eventually Mia fell asleep, worn out by all the sobbing. I must have passed out too, because the next thing I knew, Firth was shaking us awake.
“Come on, guys.” He said.
“Nurse Isabella’s kicking us out.”

Aforementioned nurse frowned.
“I’d let you stay if I could.”
“We know, Izzie.” I muttered sleepily.
I sat up, rubbing my eyes. I always take about five minutes every morning to just get moving. But Nurse Isabella wasn’t waiting for anyone.
“Visiting hours are over.” She said firmly.
“Now go!”
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