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.

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14. Mia

As soon as I got home, I ripped off my T-shirt and threw it into my wash basket. It smelt of him. It smelt of Axe and whatever cologne he used and- UGG, WHY DO I CARE! I threw myself on my bed and shut my eyes, willing sleep to come and take me away from my own thoughts.
Nope, Daniel Bianco is in my head and he’s here to stay. I groaned and reached up to tug the hair that was no longer there. I could still feel the ghost of his arms around me and could still hear the steady beat of his heart. Why was this happening? He was Daniel, for God’s sake! We kissed once. Uno. It was a spontaneous thing that never should have happened.
But it did happen. And now it’s all I can think about. The scariest thing was how right having his arms around me felt. Like I belonged there. Like I wouldn’t be happy anywhere else.
If I dreamt about him, I was going to be very pissed off.

I dreamt of him. Of course. Whatever person up there who controls my life couldn’t just make my best friend fall into a coma. Oh no. That would have been too simple. Now I’m dreaming of her hateful, arrogant, completely attractive twin brother!
At school the next day, Daniel and I didn’t speak. I think if we had, something catastrophic would have occurred. Firth just seemed relieved we weren’t yelling at each other anymore. I can’t say I blame him. Firth has enough issues of his own to handle. He shouldn’t have to deal with mine and Daniel’s as well.


At home, my parents approached me hesitantly. I was in my basement, practicing on some karate boards.
“Mia?” my mom asked hesitantly.
“Yeah?” I replied, splitting a board in half, enjoying the satisfying crack.
“How are you handling all of –this?”
I looked at my mom, her forehead creased with lines of worry. I wanted to climb up on her lap and just cry. I wanted her to hold me and tell me everything was going to be okay, the way she would when I was little.
But instead, I smiled brightly and squeezed her hand.
“I’m fine, Mom.” You don’t need to worry about me. I’m just fine.”

Yes, acting is among my many talents. Because I’m the complete opposite of fine. So much so, that I hauled my karate boards outside in my back yard. It had started to rain and I tilted my head back to soak it in. Thunder boomed and I attacked another board. Crack! The two halves of the boards fell to my feet and I laughed wildly. This felt liberating. Like each splitting board was one of my troubles.
Crack! Jackie… Crack! Daniel…Crack! Myself…
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