I was just playing outside. Together with my best friends, my neighbors Lorenzo and Mario and a girl called *. Lorenzo was 6 at the time and Mario was 4. They were both Spanish, * was * years old and she was from *. We have encountered many things together. We were hoping that it could always be that way. Weíve played Tag, Hide Ďn Seek and many other games over and over again. It didnít bore us, we enjoyed every moment that we had together. But then we became older. And every one of us had their own problems to deal with. My neighbors Lorenzo and Mario or ďThe Super Mario BrothersĒ as I used to call them, had problems with their parents. Their father was a workaholic and didnít spend enough time with his family. Her mother became depressed because she didnít get enough attention or not the kind of attention she wanted. I still remember one day a fight that has happened at their house. I was just next door in my own house trying to mind my own business. When I heard thisÖ
?: ďYOU, SHUT UP! YOU DONíT KNOW WHAT YOU WERE DOING!
? cried in a corner: PLEASE STOP FIGHTING..!
?: IíM NOT DOING ANYTHING! WHO IS THE ONE THAT KEEPS TAKING THE PILLS?
?: JUST STOP IT! BOTH OF YOU! THEREíS NO REASON TO BE ANGRY.
?: Iíve got to go.
?: WHY CANíT YOU JUST STAY HOME?
?: WHOíS GONNA TAKE CARE OF THE MONEY, WHO WILL PAY THE BILLS?
? cries : I DONíT KNOWÖ
? : ENOUGH! IíM GONNA END THIS NOW.!
* Ö. *
Lorenzo ended up in the hospital and the rest was taken to the police.
What really happened? Lorenzo and her mother got into a fight, while Mario sat in the corner and cries. Her mother was the one who took pills. Then the father came home, just to pick something up. He left the place, just before the mother beat up Lorenzo.
A week later Lorenzo was dismissed from the hospital. For the first time in our lives, we feared that our friendship may actually be able to be torn apart. And that marked the beginning of the end.
Even though I was only 8 years old I already became in love. It was a feeling you couldnít describe, I used to say that love was like eating as much chocolate as you can. During this period of my life, Lorenzo and Mario moved out the neighborhood. * and I never saw them again. I was lonely and most of the time sad. Because I didnít had any more male friends to play with, I started to hang out with * a lot. It was weird, because when you played with * together with ďThe Mario BrothersĒ I didnít felt shy. Now when Iím alone with her, I barely say something. But I was fascinated by *. The way she said things or the way she looks upon life. Iím just sitting next to her, listening to her talk, because it makes me happy. And one time this happened.
*: So then my mommy baked a cake, a chocolate cake it was really jummy, my uncle spit it all out I donít know why, my dad says he just acts crazy. But it was really fuÖ
*:X, Why did you do that?
I : I.. I.. I donít know. Did you liked it?
*: I donít know, did you like it?
I : I asked you first, so you must answer first!
*: but Iím a girl so you tell first.!
I : I donít know, I just really like to be here with you.
* : you know what? I really love to be with you to.
And for the first time between us since Lorenzo and Marioís left, we had a conversation. One that lasted hours. When I got home, and got to sleep, I dreamed that things will turn out right.
Lorenzo and Mario will come back again. Everything will be all right.
The day after, with a smile on my face I walked to the house of *. Hoping that we could talk again for hours, or maybe longer. I knocked on the door. I heard footsteps. With a smile you couldnít resist I stood tall in front of the door. I quickly pulled out a flower from her front garden. The door opened, and her father with tears in his eyes opened.
Father of *: Oohw, helloÖ
I : Whatís wrong Mister *?
Father of *: X, there is something you need to know from *. You better come inside.
In just an instance my smile became a frown. As I didnít trusted it, I walked inside *ís house to the living room. My parents were there to, together with Lorenzo and his parents.
I : LORENZO..!! Where is Mario and *?
Lorenzo: Mario is sick, heís at my aunt. * isÖ
mom: x, sit down, I need to talk to you about something.
I: Where is *?
Dad: well you see son, your friend * went to the hospital this night. Sheís pretty sick.
I: *ís sick? How sick?
Mom of Lorenzo: The doctors say * has a terminal disease.
I: what does that mean?
Mom : It means no goodÖ
I: But the doctors will make her all better right?
Mom: x, I think..
I: But mom, * is going to get better right? Thatís what hospitals are for. They cure people.
Dad: X, I canít say much, but she canít get better. XÖ * is going to heaven.
I: But sheís my, my friend.!
Dad of Lorenzo: We know, thatís why weíve come back here to tell you kids that sheís going to need you to make her feel strong now, she needs you now more than ever.
I: NooÖ This canít happenÖ!* CANíT DIE.! [crying]
Dad: Son, we know itís hard for you butÖ
I: Ö SHUT UP I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU.! SHEíS NOT GONNA DIE!
I ran home. Iíve locked myself in my room, and Iíve cried all most whole day and night. Just with the thoughts that this friendship would end, by something that just didnít seem meant to be. Next morning I calmed down. Lorenzo was knocking on my bedroom door.
Lorenzo: Címon X, weíre going to the hospital now to visit her. Dude, you know she needs us.
I: GO AWAY.!
Lorenzo: I know itís hard, donít think it has been easy for me to! Itís hard for all of us, but that doesnít mean we have to hide for our problems, JUST COME OUTSIDE AND FACE IT!
While on the way to the hospital I was thinking about the great moments me and * had. It made me smile for a little while, but I faced the cold reality. The reality in which * dies. I was scared. Scared because I donít know what to tell her. I guess I just had to face it, but I couldnít. I entered her room and saw her with tubes and wires all over her. I tried my best not to cry.
Lorenzo: hey *, long time no see ha?
* : hahaha [cough]
Lorenzo: So how are you feeling?
* : Pretty lousy, I canít eat whatever I want. I get food from this tube. It tastes like chocolate.
Lorenzo: chocolate, you love that right, x?
At that precise moment I ran away, I ran outside with tears falling down my eyes. I just couldnít believe what I saw. When I was outside the hospital, I fell down to the ground, and softly whisper her name, tears keep falling. Then I noticed Lorenzo was behind me.
Lorenzo : x, Where are you going?
I: I canít, I just canít.
Lorenzo: She really needs us right now
I: I canít see her like that, sick on her bed, she should be here outside playing with us!
Lorenzo: I know itís though but, we have to be though to.
I: JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!
Lorenzo: X, You canít leave.
I: Iím not the one whoís leaving, she is!
Then I walked away with anger rising inside me, along with confusion depression and fear. So I sat by the pond that was near the hospital. I was thinking, and Iíve realized that I should be tough, Sheís the one who needs all the support she can get. So I walked with trust and tears to her hospital room, just to see that itís empty. Again Lorenzo was standing behind me.
I: What happened, where did the doctors took *?
Lorenzo: I saw doctors coming inside her room, transporting her to another room.
I: Then what happened?
Lorenzo: And then she leftÖ
I: Did she say anythingÖ?
Lorenzo: The last thing she said was ďWhereís Willy?Ē