One Night

One Night

A Story by Lost in Wonderland

"I couldn’t waste any time, I learned that with one life changing phone call..." What would you do if you were about to lose someone you love? Would you waste your time or make the most of it?


    I got the call in the middle of my final exam for American Lit. ( I really wanted to be an author you see, and this was my last class before I could get my degree). My obnoxious ring tone blared from the front of the classroom. I cringed in my seat Dang it! I must have forgotten to turn it off! I thought to my self in embarrassment. My professor gave the whole class his signature “you’re going to get it when I find you” look. I fought the urge to crawl under my seat as I saw him proceed to my back pack and answer my phone.

    “Hello?” He asked in his sophisticated-scholar voice. There was a pause as the whole class eyed him. Hell it was more interesting than this test.

    Professor Mueller went pale and slowly pulled the phone away. “Mr. Hanson, you have a call.” I cocked my head at him, confused as to why he didn’t make an annoyed remark let alone let me take the call. Cautiously I stood from my desk, the chair’s squeak echoing loudly in the dead silent classroom. I made my way to the now ghostly white Professor Mueller and took my cell outside.

    “Hello?” I Whispered, conscious that the whole class was probably straining to hear instead of focusing on the exam that would let us graduate.

    “Andrew?” A woman answered. I smiled at the familiar voice of my old next door neighbor.

    “Hey Mrs. Kay. What’s up? I’m kind of in the middle of a big test right no-”

    “It’s about Kate.” She cut me off in a choked voice. In the background I heard soft sobs. This grabbed my full attention. Kate was -no is- my best friend who was just a few years younger than me. Even after I moved to New Mexico for college, we still kept in touch. The Kay’s are like a second family to me. I saw them ever Christmas and New years eve when I got my break.

    “What about her?” I asked, walking to place my hand on the glass doors of the A-Hall. I gazed out into the courtyard as Mrs. Kay brokenly told me her news. As she went on, all color drained from my face. My iphone slipped through my fingers and hit the tile floor with an ominous thud. Sinking to my knees, I let out a tortured scream and threw up. My lungs compressed, and I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t think straight.

    No, no, Katie no…

    I jumped up and booked it to my old pick up truck. Trying to stop my fingers from trembling, I thrust my key into the lock and started the 20 minute drive to the air port. All the while I could hear distant memories of Katie’s musical giggles in the passenger seat, see her sparkling blue eyes fill with awe as I drove her to the beach the first time, watch her gorgeous smile move as she sang loudly and out of tune with the radio as if she were sitting right next to me in that coffee stained seat again. I bit back tears as I pulled into the parking lot and dashed into buy a ticket for a flight to Seattle.

    The only flight I could get was at 5:00. There I sat, in that faded red, cushioned seat numbing my mind with the buzz of chatter that enveloped my ears for 6 excruciatingly long hours. I dropped my head into my hands and focused on breathing until finally and lady called out that my flight was boarding. I paced anxiously until she called coach and then all but ran onto the plain. I got a few curios looks because of my lack of luggage, but I didn’t care. All I could think about was Katie.

    When we landed, I hurried out to the parking lot. During the flight I calmed down enough to feel like an idiot for not getting a ride. Still I got a cab, told them the Kay’s address and was there in 15 minutes. I went up the porch step taking them two at a time like usual (When Katie and I were 12, we thought that anyone who couldn’t skip steps was a wimp). Taking a deep breath, I knocked on the door. Mrs. Kay answered in looking worn down and depressed. Who could blame he? When she saw me, she gave me a sad smile and motioned me inside the cozy little house. I hugged her tightly.

    “I’m so sorry.” I mumbled to the woman who had been more care of a taker to me than my own mother. She nodded, wiping away a few stray tears.

     “Kate’s up in her room.” She told me knowingly. I thanked her and ran to my best friend's room. The well known route to her upstairs chick-cave was filled with recollections of pillow fights, tag games, and tickle wars. It would have been nice to just stop and live in those perfect moments of the past forever. But I couldn’t. Not now anyways.

    The door to her room was open as usual. For a moment I just stood there silently, watching her. Katie had her ipod on, as usual listening to her favorite song by Jet and dancing like a crazy person. Her dark auburn hair that she had tied into the every day messy pony tail whipped around as she sang loud enough to wake the dead. It brought a small smile to my lips.

    I leaned against her door frame and did our secret knock. Knock knock…..Knoooock, knock knock knock! She whipped her head around to me. Her lovely, ivory face was gaunt and she had lost a lot of weight. A few purple bruises painted her arms, and she had rings under those ever-shining eyes. She just looked so breakable. But still when she saw me, she lit up and gave me the biggest, happiest, most beautiful grin in the whole world.

    “Hey Katie bear.” I smiled, tears pricking in my eyes.

    “Drew drop!” She squealed and ran into my open arms, almost knocking me over. I wrapped in her in a strong embrace, shaking with tears, smelling her vanilla scented hair. She felt so fragile, but held me with a death grip. I kissed her forehead, so relieved to be with her again.

    “Why…” I breathed eventually. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I would have come, I would have-”

    “There was nothing you could have done, Drew.” She stopped me, looking up with her eyes as big as the moon. “I didn’t want to distract you from college. You’re so close to graduating. You didn’t need to worry about little old me.” She said the last part teasingly, elbowing me. But I couldn’t deny the gratitude I saw on her face.

    “Katie, you’re like family to me. How could you even think school was more important than you?” I squinted at her, both of us sitting on the edge of her bed. She gave me a little shrug and twiddled her thumbs absently.

    “I’m glad you came.” She said, still not looking at me. “My birthday’s tomorrow and I’m expecting a really awesome last present.” Her voice faded on those last lines, like she didn’t mean to say that.

     “Last present…but what about Christmas?” I asked, the reality of her condition finally sinking in. I looked at her desperately. She just shook her head and continued twiddling her thumbs as if this wasn’t the worst news in her life.

    “Katie!” I yelled, throwing my hands up in exasperation. “How are you so calm about this?” I was pacing now, I couldn’t stand still. I was expecting a few months, a year. But now I just didn’t know.

    She looked up at me placidly. “I’ve made peace with it. God’s going to take care of me.” She hesitated and looked away again before she admitted the last part. “That’s why I let them take me off my treatment early.”

    I gaped at her. “What?” I mouthed, my throat went completely dry. I swallowed hard. “Why? Why would you do that? I could have had months with you and you’re letting yourself die? How could you do this to me? To your mom and dad and little brother?” I was shouting the last part, angry tears streaming from my eyes.

     “Because,” She yelled, getting in my face, “My dad quit his job to take care of me, medical bills are piling up, Josh had to quit soccer and we might lose the house since we’re late on the bills all because of me!” Katie fell to the bed, sobbing. I looked at her in awe. This girl was the most selfless person I knew, even in the face of death.

    “Besides,” she continued, “At least God can take care of me.”

    I scoffed. Religion was a touchy topic with me and her. “Your God is killing you, these doctors are helping you, why in the world would you still love Him?”

    She gave a wistful smile. “Because, doctors can only help me till I die. But God will help me forever. And in Heaven, I won’t be hurting anymore. I won’t have to deal with all the scary Leukemia statistics. It will be peaceful, and pretty, and perfect.” And right then, I saw how scared she really was. I didn’t come here to fight with her. I came to be the friend she needed.

    I pulled her into my arms as she cried silently. I kissed her messy curls and she let out a shaky sigh.

    “How long?” I asked solemnly.

    “A week.. If I’m lucky.” She murmured.

    I let out a weak laugh. “Well that sucks. You’ve always had bad luck. Remember when you went on a jog instead of going to the café for doughnuts with me? Zach Effron walked in and all you got was a crappy picture I took on my cell when he wasn’t looking.”

    She giggled at the memory, it was so good to hear her laugh. “Oh yeah and you wouldn’t stop bragging for weeks! I swear, Drew, I thought you had a little man crush on him!” She pushed me playfully. For an hour all we did was talk and reminisce, laying on her bed like nothing had changed. It felt almost normal.

    “Well,” She said after a while, looking at her clock, “It’s getting late. Do you have a place to stay?”

    “Um yeah, My grandma still lives just a few minutes from here. I’ll stay there. She’ll probably like the visit.”

    Katie nodded and led me to the door. We stood on the porch, trying to stay sheltered from the ever present Seattle rain. I looked at my watch; it was midnight.

    I grinned at Katie. “Happy birthday.”

She chuckled. “Where’s my present.” She asked, holding out her hand impatiently. I rolled my eyes at her and smiled. I took off my guitar pick necklace and clasped it on her neck. Katie had always joked how she would steal it one day ever since I made it when I was 13. She touched it with two gentle fingers and looked up at me.

    “Thank you.” Her voice was thick with emotion and gratitude

    I stared at my best friend. So beautiful, so brave, so kind and sweet. I couldn’t waste any time, I learned that with one life changing phone call. The rain pelted Katie and I making drops of water stream down her creamy neck. Her dampened hair stuck to her cheek and I brushed away. Throwing caution to the wind, I leaned in and pressed my lips to Katie’s.

    At first she stiffened with surprise, but then she melted into me. I wrapped my arms around her slender waist, craving the feeling of her body against mine as if I needed to remind myself that right here, right now she was alive. And I wanted her. Her hands went to my neck and she twisted them in my dark hair.  My hungry lips moved down to the base of her throat as they sought out her warmth. She gasped and pulled me closer. Why hadn’t I seen it before? Why had  I gone my whole life without realizing how I felt about the girl next door. Why did I have to fall for her now, when it was too late?

    I broke the kiss when I felt her weaken. She must be tired. When I saw the color in her cheeks, I didn’t regret kissing her. Even if this was the only week I got her, it was better than nothing.

    “Katie bear?” I mumbled, my voice husky.


    “I love you, so much.” I held her delicate face in my hands.

    She leaned her blushing cheek into my palm and sighed. “I love you too.”

    I smiled and pecked her forehead. I never thought I’d hear those words from her, but it felt right. I wanted to keep her in my arms forever. But She looked exhausted, and I had a whole week to give her the time of her life. So, reluctantly, I kissed her goodnight, promising to buy her a chocolate cupcake (her favorite food) for her 19 birthday tomorrow.

    Sadly, I never got the chance to keep that promise. Mrs. Kay called me at my grandmother’s the next morning to tell me that Katie had passed out a few minutes after I had left. They tried to reach me on my cell, but it was still on the floor of the A-wing. They took Katie to the hospital, but there was nothing they could do. My best friend, and my true love died with a smile on her face at 1:32 a.m. when she was 19 years old.

    At her funeral, no one wore black. We wore yellow, her favorite color because it reminded her of all the times we watched the yellow sun rise on lazy summer mornings. Everyone that came cried, even the people she barely knew. Katie just had a lasting effect on people. From a simple smile when they were having a bad day, to helping with yard work just because its more fun than doing it alone.

    I never went back to retake my final exam, but I didn’t need to. Katie always believed in my dream to be an author, and now she was my inspiration. I wrote a book about our lives and it turned out to be a New York Times best seller. Looks like she was still helping me out as an angel.

    For the first time in years, feeling obligated after the endless battles between me and Katie, I went to Sunday church service and regained my faith. It seemed like all the things I thought were impossible at one point in my life, my best friend made possible even if she wasn’t here anymore.

    I never stopped loving Katie, but even though it hurts to know I won’t see her for a while, she always brings a smile to my face.

© 2012 Lost in Wonderland

Author's Note

Lost in Wonderland
This is only a story on a whim of sudden inspiration writen very late at night. Hope you like it though, reviews are greatly appriciated. God Bless!
**this is the song I imagine playing when they are on the porch in the rain <3

My Review

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Some of the most important growth in our life comes from tragedy. You've done well with capturing that truth. I'm glad he got to see Katie and profess his love one last time. Nice job.

Posted 6 Years Ago

a truly touching tale! it actually brought tears to my eyes! you write ever so beautifully, keep it up! :D I really have no improvements to suggest for this piece apart from some grammatical and spelling errors - minor details.

the fact that you were able to create something so beautiful on a whim is truly amazing.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

Thank you so much!!! I love it when God gives us sudden bursts of inspiration haha:) I appreciate al.. read more
Wow, I love this story, it was all I could do to keep from crying. It's not really the description but the nostalgia that you created for them both.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

Thank you:) God bless
Wonderful! O_O

Posted 8 Years Ago

Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

Thank you:)
So beautiful and sad, actually brought a few tears to my eyes aha. Wonderfully written as well !

Posted 8 Years Ago

Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

Thank you so much:) God bless
Beautiful story. It felt so real like it was happening in the room with me.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

Thank you:) God bless
What a touchingly sad and melancholy story. Yet, it is inspirational too. so many things in life, we take for granted. So many emotions remained bottled up and unrevealed. Too many things we have an opportunity to experience, we put off 'til 'tomorrow'. But, what if tomorrow never comes? Sadly for Katie, it came all too soon. Drew too for that matter,at least where Katie was concerned.
Embrace each day as if it were your last and never, ever!; fail to tell those that you love and hold dear in your lives just what they mean to you. That's what this story spoke to me as I read it. And what a beautifully penned reminder it was.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

Thank you so much! God bless:)
Beautiful story. I am overwhelmed by the intensity of this, and that is saying something, because I rarely ever read anything even close to this genre. You are one amazing writer.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

Thank you:) that means alot coming from an amazing writer such as yourself:)
God bless
This is so wonderful, I couldn't have stopped reading if I tried. You're an incredible author, and I really really hope you get published one day. In the meantime... can I have your autograph? :)

Posted 8 Years Ago

Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

Haha thanks girl! And yes you can, I'll be doing a private autograph section at my house next week;).. read more
Lost in Wonderland

8 Years Ago

*signing not section:P

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11 Reviews
Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on July 25, 2012
Last Updated on July 30, 2012
Tags: Love, Death, Leukemia, Friendship, faith


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