Saturday, April 10, 2010

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Mary Ann Loo
Tape - 441 words

“Is it rolling?”

“Yeah. Just… whenever you’re ready,” I say, stepping back from the camera perched on its tripod five feet above the parquet floor in Kristina’s room, at the foot of her twin-sized bed. Kristina slowly pushes herself up, leaning heavily against the pillows behind her. “I’ll be right outside, just yell when you’re done.” I immediately remember how it pains her to speak these recent weeks, and add, “Or um… text… or something…”

“It’s alright, Geoff,” she says, smiling. I nod, and step into the dark hallway, closing the door behind me. There’s a wooden folding chair just outside, but I somehow find the carpet more reassuring, and sit on it with my back against the door. I hear Kristina’s voice, muffled through the wood and the Lifehouse poster on the other side; I can’t make out her words, neither do I try. It’s what she calls her informal will, and she made me promise to only listen to it after she’s gone.

Gone. I can’t wrap my mind around it. My neighbor and best friend since we were ten – someone I’ve walked with to and from school almost everyday, someone I’ve seen grow out of baggy jeans and oversized tees to dresses and makeup, someone I’ve comforted every time her heart gets broken by jerks who never treasured what they had. As far back as I can remember, my life always has Kristina, and the thought of losing her simply won’t sink in. Our senior year in high school is almost over, but Harvard doesn’t yet know that one of its potential students may never make it there. Neither will it care.

I can’t imagine life without Kristina. Despite her popularity in school, she sits with my Science Club pals and me in the lunch cafeteria twice a week. She’d choose to walk home with me even when the jocks offered her rides. She’s beautiful with her long dark wavy locks that framed her rosy cheeks and green eyes, and she’s still beautiful now, even with her porcelain skin and her head under a blue scarf. I remember the first time I saw her like it was yesterday, in pigtails and overalls, hopping out of her dad’s car when they pulled up to the empty house next-door – joyful, eager, excited Kristina. And she always is. And I’ve always loved her in silence.

I want so much to tell her, but what will it matter now? Nothing will change, nothing will save her. I wish everyday that I’m sick instead of her, so I’ll have a reason to make a tape, to tell her the truth after I’m gone.

Cut - Plumb

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