I looked in the mirror. I was as white as a ghost. I couldn’t bear to think of where I had to go to. I remember the night he told me what was going to happen to him so well. I couldn’t think of anything else.
It was eight o’ clock on a Saturday night. I was going out with Liam. We met five years ago when we started secondary school. He was in my class. He was the captain of the hurling team, one of the most popular lads in school. I didn’t know him that well. I knew he was an only child and he lived with his mum after his parents split, but that was it really. We were in English class and we were put into pairs. Liam and I were put together. We started talking and instantly we clicked. We were laughing and giggling. I looked over at my friend Orla and she was smiling at me. I think she knew I was falling for him. After class he asked me did I want to go out some time. I was over the moon! Why would the most popular guy in school like me? I of course said yes and I gave him my number. We went on our first date that Friday. We headed to the cinema and I loved hanging out with him. For the first time in my life, I was happy. He walked me home and at my doorstep he kissed me. It was like fireworks going off in my head.
Since that night we were named the cutest couple in the school. I was totally in love with him. But I never told him that. I think he doubted whether I loved him or not. Still, we were happy. Five years on and we’re still together.
The past couple of days he hasn’t been himself. I have barely seen him smile and he has hardly spoken to anyone. It was like his lips were glued together. I asked him what was wrong; he told me nothing, he was just feeling sick. I knew it was more than that though. I could feel something was wrong. It was like a blanket stifling me. He’s usually so lively and talkative.
That evening I received a text: ‘Meet me at the playground at 7. Need 2 talk 2 u! xx’
At least he was going to talk! I was so worried. He hadn’t spoken all week and now he was going to tell me something really important. The clock seemed to go as slow as a snail. I went upstairs to put on a hoodie. I went to meet him at the playground, like he said. He was already there, sitting on the swings. He looked like he was in shock. It made me even more nervous. I walked over to him and he gave me a kiss on the check. His lips were cold. I think he had been out here for a while. There was a long silence. I thought I better break the it.
‘So what did you want to talk to me about?’
‘Emm… Nothing really. Just wanted to hang out’
‘Liam, I’m not stupid. If you wanted to just hang out, you would’ve just said that in your text’
‘Well… I don’t really know how to say it but emm…’
The next sentence, I couldn’t get out of my head. It was like a dart being thrown right through my heart. At that moment I wanted to die.
‘I’ve g…got cancer and the d…doctor told me I have only a couple of weeks to live’
A tear trickled down my face. The heat from my body disappeared into thin air. I couldn’t understand why it was happening to Liam. He held my hand. The cold touch from his hand was like the icy feeling in my heart.
‘It’s going to be ok Katie. I promise’
How was it going to be ok? My life was never going to be the same again. I didn’t know what to do. Tears were just streaming down my face. He hugged me and I cried in his arms. We lay down in the corner of the playground. He put his arm around me and soon we were asleep.
When I woke up it was bright but still cold. Liam was still asleep, his arm being a cushion to my head. I looked at my phone to see what time it was. I had 17 missed calls from my mum. Ringing my mum was the last thing on my mind last night. She probably thinks I slept in Liam’s house. I looked at Liam asleep. It made me cry again. I felt deep in my heart that I needed to show him how much I loved him. The next couple of weeks would be my last chance to show him. I wanted him to die knowing inside that I would always love him.
The next couple of weeks were the hardest weeks of my life so far. They seemed to go so fast. I tried my hardest to help Liam and his mum out. I went to every hospital appointment with him. When his mum was feeling down when trying to organise the funeral, I did my best to make her feel better. I picked out prayers and songs for the funeral that best described Liam. I was there for Liam when he told his friends. I hadn’t been in school for a while. I couldn’t be there when Liam was suffering at home. My mum didn’t mind, she knew what I was trying to do and I don’t think she wanted me to be more upset than I already was.
It was a Thursday afternoon. I had just gone home to my mum as she had my dinner ready. I was half way through it when my phone rang. It was Liam’s mum. This was unusual as I had just left her twenty minutes ago. I answered it.
‘Hello, Katie? It’s Mary. Look Katie I think you should come over as quick as possible’
‘What’s happened? Is Liam ok?’
She started crying. I could hear it in her voice.
‘Liam has taken a turn for the worse and the doctor said it could be his time’
‘Ok, I’ll be there as quick as I can’
My mum had guessed what was about to happen and drove me to Liam’s house. My heart sank when I thought about what was actually happening. We pulled up to Liam’s house and I asked my mum to come in with me. I didn’t want to be on my own when it happened. I ran into the house and up the stairs to Liam’s room. His mum was already standing there crying with the doctor that came to see Liam every two days. I looked at Liam. He was lying in his bed. The colour had gone from his face. He looked over at me and smiled. I walked over to his bedside and held his hand while my eyes filled with tears. He told me that everything was going to be alright. I shook my head. Everything was not going to be alright. The room was in total silence. My heart was beating right through my chest. He whispered ‘thank you for coming into my life. I will never forget the things you have done for me. I love you so much.’ I told him I loved him for the first time in five years. At that moment his eyes closed.
My mum called up to me.
‘Come on Katie’
Thinking back to when I first met Liam, to when I said ‘I love you’ for the first time before his time was up, made me weep. I knew I was the luckiest girl in the world to have met him. Today was going to be the hardest day of my life. I didn’t want to see everybody crying at Liam’s funeral. It was just going to make me even more upset. But I knew that Liam would like me there, so I’m going. The one thing I am so happy about is I told Liam I loved him and I showed him too. That is what I wanted for him, to go, knowing that I loved him since the day we met. As I starred in the mirror, I looked at how pale I was, preparing to say goodbye to Liam for the very last time.