How to Save A Life..

The Fault In Our Stars Competition Entry!

When Zach and Tara met, it was magic.
They've been dating for 4 years now, and they're both 17.
But Tara has cancer. And she's been told she probably won't live for much longer. They live hours away, and Zach is in care, but he leaves his carehome to live homeless on the streets in Dover, 4 hours away from his hometown, just to be with Tara for her last year. A touching story of love, loss, and death.

Based on the song "How To Save A Life" by The Fray.

Please like, favourite and comment to help me win, thank you so much!x


2. Pain

This can't be right. I pull my duvet over my head, and it shields away the light streaming through a gap in the curtains. Why Tara? Out of everyone in the world, why her? I don't even bother to hold back the tears pricking my eyes. Her last year to live. It feels like it takes every effort in the world to breathe. There's an endless ringing in my ears. I scream, and it feels as if I'm letting everything out. So I do it again, but louder. And again. I push myself out of bed, and pick up my lamp, and throw it. It hits the wall, sending shards of glass everywhere, and a slight flicker of a flame which disappears instantly. My eyebrows dig deeper, and my screams disappear into tears. I fall to the floor, shaking. My fists batter against the wall, and I cry out in pain. This can't be happening. Mum only died of cancer last year. My fingers reach for the only picture I have left of her. I stare into her big grey eyes, identical to mine, and press my forehead against the glass covering her smiling face. Tears trickle down the frame. I swear, and throw the photograph across the room, and it breaks, her face now scattered across the room, no longer in one piece. Is cancer trying to steal everyone I love? Is it haunting me? Taking everyone special to me before coming to take me? No!! Suddenly I hear a rapping at the door.

"Zach?" It sounds like Janeth, one of the careworkers. She sticks her head round the door, and gasps. "What happened?!" She sees me in the corner of my destroyed room, huddled up and shaking. "Oh my! I'm going to call for Ruth, okay?"

I don't even look at her. I keep my eyes tight shut, and my arms gaurding my face.

"Oh Zach..." I hear her leave the room, but still don't move.

"He what?!" It's Ruth's voice this time. "Is he okay?!"

I hate living in care. The staff get their nose into business that isn't theirs. But my dad doesn't love me, so when mum died he left me here. I would do the same, if I was him. I feel a cold hand shake my arm.

"Zach?" Ruth's voice is gentle and soft.

"Get OFF me!!" I yell, thrusting my arm towards her. It knocks her leg, and she stumbles back. She sees my pale, tear stained face, covered in bruises from banging against my door.

"Oh my word..." her voice trails off. Her forehead wrinkles as her eyebrows raise.

"Leave me ALONE!" I boom, flexing my fingers. I am willing to punch them if they don't do as I ask.

"Zach, listen to me. I'm going to call the social wor-"

"Don't you f*****g call any social workers! I don't need the world to know my problems. Get the f*** out of here, Ruth!!" My voice cracks, and tears stream down my cheeks.

She opens her mouth to speak, but shuts it again, and raises her arms to shield her body.

"We need to get you help, Zach, please understand what I'm saying. Now, will you tell me what's wrong?" She whispers. I see the pleading in her eyes, and take a deep frustrated breath.

"You all think you need to know. You don't. It has nothing to do with you," My voice is low and dark.

"Except it does. Think of us as your parents-"


The gentleness in her face fades to hurt and fear. She nods, and backs out my room, Janeth following, shutting the door behind her. I wish I had enough money to move away from here, to Dover, just to be near Tara for the last year. No...I will move. I'll get out of this place, and whether I have shelter or not, I will live in Dover, just to be with Tara. Even if it costs me my life. My fingers fumble across my phone, and I diall Tara's number. She answers it almost instantly.

"Zach.." Her voice is weak.

"Tara...are you okay?" I realise I'm crying again. She giggles.

"'s the last day I get to keep my hair."

"Oh my god," I gasp. "Tara, I'm going to move to Dover."

"Zach- you're miles away, living in care with no money, you aren't even eighteen yet, it's impossible!"

"I'll go homeless, I don't care, as long as I can be with you!" My voice is desperate. I slam the phone down. I don't want to hear her tell me "no". I want to see her, I want her to tell me I'm an idiot for moving to Dover to be next to her, and I want to hold her hand, even if she has no hair on her head. I empty my money from an old jam jar, stuff it into my pockets, get my phone, and storm out of my room, slamming the door behind me. Goodbye, "home".

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