Friends Forever

Friends Forever

A Story by Khance
"

A sad short story about a childhood relationship between two young boys... I wont ruin it for you, have a look.

"

The car pulled into the driveway, the gravel crunching as the weight of the car slowed to a halt. James didn’t look up; he knew both his parents were looking at him. The teenager turned his head to the side in an attempt escape their looks of sympathy.

“…son, we know this is hard for you…” His father started, his own eyes relaying the sadness in his words. James undid his seatbelt and started to open the door, but stopped and slumped back in his seat.

“Why does it have to be me? His parents should be the ones to tell him. I mean, it would sound better from them… it would…” James said as he looked down to his knees. He didn’t want to show his parents his tears. He was almost seventeen and recently he had been crying enough for a lifetime.

This time it was his mother that spoke. “He’ll want to hear it from you; he is your best friend, James.”

He looked up and saw the tears running freely down his mother’s cheeks, her reassuring smile trying to warm his tired heart.

Shutting his eyes, he tried not to look at the house… it would only make it harder for him. “His parents think you’re the best one to tell him, James, life hasn’t been perfect for him over the years, but you’ve made him smile more than any other person…” His father said with a slight smile, “You do have your mother’s sense of humour after all.”

James smiled bitterly as he opened his eyes. His mother looked as though she was going to break down again, but instead she just said, “Your father is right, I know Gerard will want to be with you for the next few days… you’re the only friend he knows.”

As children, James was quick to make friends. He always played sports, read books and talked with anyone that would listen. Gerard wasn’t as lucky; he sat to himself as he couldn’t play with the others. He talked to himself because nobody would talk to him… nobody except James.

It was ten years ago, on a sunny day that James looked over to see a young Gerard sitting in the shade, looking up at the shelter roof, his crutches lying motionless to the side. James ran over and asked him if he wanted to play with them, but Gerard declined, thinking it was just another boy that wished to make fun of his legs. James asked why, but before he got his answer he noticed the crutches.

All the other boys had called out to James, asking him to come back and play football. Gerard smiled at James and told him to go and play. James thought for a moment before he turned around and left.

Gerard would never forget what happened next.

 

Closing his eyes, the crippled boy went back to thinking of magical adventures of himself as a knight, until he was interrupted by the sound of loud laughing coming from the schoolyard.

Gerard opened his eyes, only to see James standing awkwardly with his school jumper tied in intricate knots around his legs. The young boy smiled from the shelter and wondered what he was doing.

James struggled to stand and all the boys stopped playing football to see what he was doing. James tried to stand again, only to fall back down. Eventually, everyone in the class was trying it.

But it was only when James landed on the ground for what seemed like the hundredth time that people stopped trying to stand. They sat around, wondering what had caused this new trend, when James spoke, “I couldn’t last twenty minutes, how the hell have you done this for so long?”

Gerard stopped smiling when he realised that James was looking at him. It was the first time the class had really noticed him. Feeling his face go red, Gerard closed his eyes and hoped that they would just go back to ignoring him again.

A thud to his side showed otherwise. Opening his eyes and looking to the left of the bench, he noticed James grinning like an idiot. “I’m James…”

Gerard looked down to see that the boy’s legs were still knotted and found himself smiling.
“I’m Gerard…”



As years went on, the boys became closer and closer, James carried Gerard’s bag home from school and visited him on the weekends. James found someone that could appreciate his sense of humour and had most of the same interests as him. Gerard found someone that liked him for him, and was able to look past his disability. They rang each other most nights and talked well into the night, each day finding out something new about each other. However it wasn’t long before James realised that Gerard’s legs weren’t the only things that stopped Gerard from leading a normal life.

James remembered the crutches and stood by his friend as his legs got worse, until the point where he had to use a walker to stand…which was later replaced by a wheelchair. That was until he became too weak to use his arms and started relying on an electric wheelchair. Health issues started arising and Gerard stopped eating properly. He suffered from depression and James was often the only person he would talk to.


 

Gerard shared all his problems with his friend and James listened to them all.
When Gerard developed insomnia, James learned how to sleep during the day so he could keep his friend company when he was alone. The years went on and the boys only got closer. James tried to be optimistic for Gerard and always made him smile, but there were times that he knew it would take more than a few jokes to get the old side of Gerard and this was one of those times.

James opened the door of the car, and stumbled on the gravel. He closed the door behind him and leaned against the car, trying to figure out in his head how he should tell Gerard the news.

Both of Gerard’s parents agreed that it would be best if James told him about the tumour. James didn’t want to tell him at all, and he felt that it would be easier if his parents told him, that way he wouldn’t have to break down in front of his friend.

A part of him knew he was being selfish and that Gerard especially had a right to know about the illness, since he was going to be one most affected by it. James knew that the next few days would be hard for Gerard… so he tried to keep a brave face.

The teenager started walking towards the door, only to see both of Gerard’s parents standing in the doorway, their smiles forced through the sadness of the situation. James knew how hard it must be for them, the news was a shock to the few that were told about it. James hadn’t told anyone since he had heard about it. After all, it wasn’t something that just came up in a conversation.

“He’s upstairs in his room, he’ll be glad to see you…” Gerard’s mother said before she hugged him, “I know how much of a friend you’ve been to Gerard all these years…”
James smiled weakly and realised he couldn’t shed any more tears, he was past his limit.
Gerard’s father clapped him on the back and just gave a reassuring smile. James stood there in the doorway for a few moments before making his way to the base of the stairs. He turned slightly to see Gerard’s parents walking out to talk to his own. James would never understand how hard it was for them.

“Might as well get this over with…” James said with a weak laugh as he started running up the steps, taking three of them at a time. “Gerard, are you up there?” James shouted as he reached the landing. “Yeah, I’m in the games room!” Came the answer.

Hearing the voice stopped James from coming in, it suddenly became more realistic…this could be one of the last days he would ever hear that familiar voice. The teenager dropped to one knee and pretended to tie his shoelace, realising that nobody could see him…it was pointless, he wasn’t strong enough for this.

“Are you coming in or not? I got a new wrestling game… you might like this one!” Gerard shouted from the nearby room.


 

Smiling faintly, James shouted back, “…why do you think I’m not coming in? You know that I hate wrestling, I’ll be in when you turn that crap off!”
James could hear Gerard laughing in the room, followed shortly by a fit of coughing. This caused James to wince, wondering how he could possibly give Gerard the news.

Taking a breath, James got to his feet and opened the door, only to see Gerard grinning at him. “I knew you would come around to wrestling, it only took you ten years!”
James smiled faintly before he walked over to his friend and embraced him. “Hey what was that for? Just because I like wrestling, doesn’t mean I like you in that way.”  He said sarcastically as he shrugged off James.

“Gerard, there’s something I have to tell you…”
“…can it wait? Mysterio is being a pain, argh!” Gerard said as he mashed the controller in front of him.

“…it can wait a week, depending on how you look at it…” James said with a humourless smile. Throwing down the controller, Gerard turned to look at his best friend, “Shoot!”

 

.....

 

The funeral was beautiful, most of the town turned up to it. Many cried, and the service was heart-felt. The part of the funeral that stuck out in everyone’s mind was the speaker at the end. He spoke about how the doctors had told him about the tumour, and he spoke about the moment the two boys had first met.

A large picture hung from the altar, a picture of two children standing side by side, one supported by crutches, the other standing tall. Everyone in the church cried at the delivery and at the choked up words of the young man.

But it was only when he was being wheeled off the altar, that Gerard looked at the long coffin and wondered when was the last time he had listened to James’ problems.

 

 

Brian J. Nordon

© 2011 Khance


Author's Note

Khance
If you're wondering about the idea for the storyline, it was based on my friendship with a boy named Kevin. He had cerebral paulsie as a child. And we're still friends to this day.

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Reviews

This was a beautifully touching story. I really enjoyed it, and I like your writing style. Very clean and uncluttered, but with excellent description.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


Wow that was such a great story! Really unnexpected and, well, heartbreaking. I can't remember the last time i read a story that good on writerscafe, or a story that i've totally not expected the ending to...

Great write! :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


Oh my dear! The ending was not what I was expecting at all!

I am at a loss for words, really I am. I honestly was not expecting that twist at all.

I found this to be lovely, the friendship of the two young men, the little twist at the end...just simply lovely. Friendship has alwasy been highly important to me, and I could only imagine how poor Gerarde felt...I will be even more careful to listen to my friends then ever before.

Great write! I am defintely favoriting this one. :]

Always,
-Aurelia Mirella

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


oh, what an amazing story. I very nearly cried near the middle of the story . . . the friendship shown and the love woven throughout this piece is heartbreaking. thank you so very very much for sending me the read request. this story will stick with me, I know. thanks again, and you're an incredible writer. I mean it.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


Heartwrenching, and unexpected, very nice. I am speechless for other descriptions.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


:0 I'm just literally speechless; i have to be honest, this is one of the best stories i've read on writerscafe...
and it just hit me with so much shock, i dont know what to say, i mean...its been said more than enough..
This is an amazing story, its just so touching and i swear i was about to cry...i mean i hardly cry when i read poems or stories, in fact...i've never cried before, but this...this was a different case
...and its just amazing how words can reflect so much on emotion...
truly beautiful...keep writing man *winks*

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Years Ago


That's awesome! You going to have Niki draw this one because the twist was absolutely briiliant

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Years Ago


Wow....this is a wonderful but sad story. You did a marvelous job and I really loved this. Awesome work!!!

Heather

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The ending was beautiful and unexpected. Sad, but touching.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. What a story. The characters are so real. The situation is so vivid. The twist at the end was a genuine shock. I think I can relate to it because I have a close friend with aspergers syndrome and he can't empathise with whatever mood I'm in its always about him. Which isn't his fault but sometimes it annoys me. Your work has really made me examine my own personal relationships this morning :-p I don't know why this hasn't received more comments. It's a really affecting piece of writing. Great work!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Years Ago



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Added on August 18, 2008
Last Updated on April 5, 2011
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Author

Khance
Khance

Dundalk, Ireland



About
People are reassured when they think you know what you're doing... Being honest, I make all of this up as I go along... When somebody complains, then i might stop :D more..

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