'Today was the day,' , the teen thought silently as he walked up the old stone stairs and onto the graveyard, gripping the bouquet of roses of red, black and white. 'Three years, since the accident.. and when he passed onto another life, far greater than what life here has to offer.' He walked and passed through any obstacles the path had to offer him. Deep cracks into the ancient cement, large broken pieces of branches off of nearby trees, you name it. That's all he did, walked and walked until he came upon a certain tombstone, covered with vines and some rose buds nourishing the sun's rays. 'Here lies Liu Woods, 1997 – 2010', he read the carved words in his mind. His mind instantly fogged up with memories, no older than 3 years before, back to that faithful day..
The 13 year old boy walked in the halls of the hospital, doctors and nurses passed by once in a while, As well as patients, ready to go home in their wheelchairs. Unfortunately, Liu was not one of those people. Eventually, the boy came across a room, the room his brother, Liu, stayed in for his final days. He twisted the knob and opened the door, the dirty blonde inside slowly turned is head to see who it was and welcomed his slightly older brother with a smile.
“Jeff?” , Liu spoke in a harsh whisper. “What are- What are you doing here?” He coughed a bit.
Jeff frowned, “I came to see you, because..You know.” His voice grew quieter as he walked towards Liu, dragged a chair nearby and sat on it, close to Liu's bed.
Even Liu knew why he was here. Today was the day, the doctors had to turn off his life support, and quickly end his life. Nothing but bliss he would feel. But on the other hand, what would Jeff feel? The answer is quite saddening really.
Liu's face went blank for a few brief seconds before smiling at his brother again.”Yeah, it's that day. I'll finally stop.. living as I do right now. Isn't that great, Jeff?” , he kept his usual bright tone in his voice.
“Great?” , Jeff spoke as if he were offended. “ You're dying here, right in front of me. My own best friend and brother, and you think that dying is great?” Jeff's breathing got a bit heavier and his clenched his fists firmly in his pure white hoodie. “Liu, since when was dying a wonderful thing?”
Liu kept on smiling, regardless actually knowing that he was going to die here, alone. The thought made Jeff sick to his stomach, Liu being all by himself while moving onto another life far beyond greater than what life on earth has to offer... Would him being all alone in the other world lead him to be happy? Or is he actually scared and wants out? Does he actually want to stay here, or does he want to stop suffering from the nuisance that life support is?So many questions ran through Jeff's head at a rapid speed. He hoped he could get out all the answers from Liu's look in his hazel eyes, but it's hard to tell when all that's being bored into Jeff's mind was his torturing, bright smile.
“Yes, Jeff.” , Liu spoke again. “I'm completely fine with this. Why do think that I'm not?”
“Because, people are usually scared of that fact. Knowing that they'll die and never see another day again. How can you be so happy and not show the slightest hint of being scared? You lived a short life Liu! Thirteen years, Liu. Thirteen..years of living.” , Jeff's lip quivered and shut his eyes tight. He didn't want to feel weak, he didn't want to let his brother see him like this. It'll only make the situation even more worse than it is now. If he had the chance, he would switch roles with his brother, he didn't deserve any of this. He just wanted a happy life, and here he is. In the hospital, on the bed, hooked on life support, ready for life to end before him. And Liu seemed to be completely fine with it, nothing, no feeling related to scared seemed to slip out of him. What a brave young man. And the older one was here, about to flood the room with his own tears because of this. He grabbed one of Liu's hands and clamped it between both of his own.
“Dude,” Jeff couldn't take it anymore, Liu's smile tore his heart right out of his chest and stomped on it. It was as if it were carved onto his face, he wouldn't stop. Not even for one second. Jeff felt more and more tears gather in his eyes, until he finally let them go. He didn't care what he looked like or sounded like to his sibling at that point. He just wanted his brother to live, but life was just too cruel to let him have that chance.
“I don't want to lose you.” Jeff's voice was shaken up and his breathing was loud and unsteady. “You're the only one, my one and only friend.” He tightened his grip on Liu's limp hand. Crying, whimpering and small sniffles came out of the young man, Liu grabbed onto his hands as well.
“I know Jeff,” Liu's voice lowered. “But trust me, things will get better. As bad as it might seem now, always remember that there will always be a bright side to these things.”
'I should've been there..” Jeff growled a bit. “This wouldn't have ever happened if it wasn't for me Liu. Those bullies did this to you, and I wasn't there to protect you. I promised that I would look after you and I just broke it. I broke it...” His voice trailed off once again.
”Don't worry, everything will be fine. That was the past, you wouldn't have known if I were to be jumped by them anyway. Don't blame yourself Jeff. You're better than that. And, I am scared. I'm scared because I know that I'll never see the dawn of light again. I'll never live up to go to high school, grow up and get married, and have a family of me own. But still, I want to be brave and just accept that I'm just not meant to live any longer. I need to accept faith. And no matter where I end up, I'll always look over you.” He coughed after finishing his sentence, starting to tear up a bit as well, it seems that he couldn't stop smiling at all at this point, it made Jeff's heart ache and ache into it's breaking point. And right when Jeff was about to speak up again, their parents walked in.
“Hello boys,” Their mother said softly and looked at Jeff, who was still crying his eyes out. “My goodness Jeffery..” She rushed over the his side and brushed some of his hair off of his face. “You're face is flushed sweetie, and you're crying..” She frowned.
“I don't want to lose him..” Jeff whispered hastily.
“I know darling,” She hugged him and stroked his hair gently, hoping to comfort him. But he just couldn't stop himself, he was too far into crying this moment.
His father frowned as well and walked over to Liu, ruffling up his hair a bit. “We're going to miss you..son.”
“I'm going to miss you guys too.”
“Well,” Their mother interrupted. “It looks as if it's going to rain cats and dogs outside, and Jeff. Why don't you talk more to your brother while he still has time.”
And they did just that. They talked about all the memories from middle school times and laughs to back when they were in kindergarten, riding around in their tiny tricycles and stopping others from doing crimes such as breaking the crayons and kids not playing fair. They laughed just thinking about how childish and clueless they were back then. Jeff thanked Liu for all the memories they've shared for the past thirteen years, he had every right to thank him for always being there for him. They hugged and then, the doctor walked in.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Woods, Jeffery.”, he smiled softly to them and shook their parents hands.
Jeff knew what was about to happen, the doctor was here to take Liu away and end his life. He tightened his grip on Liu's hand and looked back at him with sorrowful eyes.
“Remember me, Jeff, remember me as your brother who loved you no matter what. But then again, don't. I'll always look over you.”, even if the doctor just walked, he was touched to his these two brothers sharing a bond that would've lasted a long time, but he was here to change that fate.
The doctor walked over to the other side of the bed, Jeff looked away to prevent himself lashing out and attacking the doctor. “I hope you like your new home young man.” He smiled softly at Liu.
“I bet I'll be happy wherever I end up.”
The doctor took a deep breathe, and pulled the plug, Liu's life ending before anyone in the room knew it. His mother buried her face into her husband's chest and he held onto her, Jeff was no better. He was crying, harder than before, he practically screaming. His parents came to him and hugged him, and then Jeff hugged Liu's dead body. Even with him gone, the smile looked permanently attached to his body.
'12:00 A.M.' Today was the day Liu passed on. The teenager set the bouquet down on the tombstone, looked up at the sky. Then a large, peaceful gust of wind passed by, making his black hair dance all the way to the back of his head. He smiled up to the sky, being filled up with hope that what he actually said three years ago was true. Maybe he really was watching over his from up above, the feeling made Jeff at peace, Liu deserved a better place and he got it. He dug his pale hands into his white hoodie and kept looking up. Shortly being interrupted by a familiar voice.
“Jeff, dude.” He turned his head to see his best friend, Ben. “Are you okay man? You have tears in your eyes.”
Jeff nodded and wiped them away. “Yeah.. I'm fine.”
“You need more time?”, the blonde tilted his head a bit.
“..Nah, it's okay.” He smiled at him, then followed him back to a large tree another friend was sitting behind, enjoying his McDonald's chicken nuggets. The wind toyed with their air a bit, making them ruffle and blow, blissfully.
“Jack, c'mon.” The blonde pointed his thumb behind him as he looked down onto Jack. “You can finish your chicken nuggets as we walked.”
Jack shrugged and got up, walking alongside them.
“So,” Jeff spoke up “What now?”
Jack used his usual sign lauguage he always would do when he was eating. Ben frowned.
“No Jack, no water fights. You how much I hate water.” Jeff and Jack laughed, soon Ben laughed too. They walked further and further away, the tombstone disappearing from sight. And one of the rose's petals fell off and flew off into the beautiful sunset.
'Days pass, but nothing lasts.'