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


1. Truth

My fingers run through my tangled brown hair. I lean back onto the fence, overlooking the sea that's been painted gold from the suns tears. The sky is going orange, and stars are staring at me, watching as I dig my feet into the grassy sand. A little silvery head breaks through the water surface, and slips back under, leaving nothing but a spray of droplets breaking as they hit the water once again. I hear nothing but the rush of waves, and the faint sound of footsteps behind me. A smile tugs at my lips, and my head swings round to see Tara clambering up the rocky slope. Unaware of my peering eyes, she closes her eyes for a brief moment, and takes a deep breath, and smiles at the sun, now melting into the horizon. Finally, she meets my eyes, and her face lights up. She leaps off the last rock, and runs into my waiting arms. My strong hands cling to her, and I squeeze my eyes shut. I've been waiting for this moment for 2 years. It's not the same over Skype calls, or texting, or facebooking. This is how it should be. I'm surprised at myself to find tears staining her top where my face is. I pull away and search into her brown eyes and smile. My fingers slip down her arm until they find their place in between her fingers. "I missed you," I whisper. She nods, then pulls me down the beach, which stretches out for yards. Soon, our stomping feet are sending up ferocious splashes of water as we run through the sea. I laugh, water now rippling round my chest, and let myself float on the surface.Tara does the same. "Zach..I'm so glad I'm here," she says, happiness and honesty filling her voice.

"Me too," I say truthfully. Our hands meet again as we lie ontop of the water. A strand of seaweed tickles my back. "This is our fourth year..." my voice disappears.

"Yeah," she says, this time sounding hurt. I stop floating, and look into her eyes.

"What's wrong?" I say, placing a hand on her shoulder. She stares into the sky, then shuts her eyes and shakes her head. "What is it?!"

"Zach..." She says, waving a hand dismisively.

"No, Tara, tell me," my fingers tighten round her shoulder. She takes a deep breath, and presses her eyes shut.

"This..." she starts. "This will be our last year together."

My eyebrows furrow. "What?! Why? Do you want us to..."

"No! I don't want to break up!" She says, her voice trying to fight off tears.

"Then, what? Is it this long distance thing? We've managed fine until now-"

"Zach, no!" She says, giving up on fighting the tears, and letting them rush down her cheeks, sweeping inky mascara down with it.

"Tara?" my voice softens. "What is it?"

She sniffs, and wipes her eyes. She looks at the stars desperately. She covers her face with her hands and turns away. "No...I-I can't say..."

Then it hits me.

"Tara, you're seeing someone else, aren't you?" It takes effort to say those words. I'd never thought I'd have to.

"No!!" She cries, still facing away. She sniffs. "You're an idiot to think that, Zach."

I get sick of playing games.

"Fine, don't tell me."

She seems relieved. "It's nothing anyway," she says, turning to me, her big glassy eyes meeting mine. I pretend to smile.

"It's cool," I lie. "If you don't want to tell me-"

"Thank you," she breathes. Irritation itches inside of me. So this is our last year...and I don't even know why. After four years it comes to this. She wraps her arms round my neck and leans in to kiss me, but I pull away.
"Tara, if you can't tell me things, I can't be with you."

I push through the thick water, not looking back. When I reach the sand, I break down, and take deep breaths. Did I just finish with her? I hear the sound of a crying child, and look up. Tara is looking down at me, teary eyed. "Just go, Tara-"

"Zach," she says. "I have cancer, and this is my last year alive."

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