- Lilly Extra
- A Parting Gift
- "Lilly, it's me, Mary." I smiled, my eyes opening slightly, aiming them towards the source of the voice. Mary was one of my closest friends here at Saint Ninnian's, the Catholic girl's only school I was attending.
- She was the only person I told that I was going to be transferring out this year, to move to Japan. There was a better school there for me, one that catered specifically to students with disabilities. I was content here, but the school, called Yamaku had a library with books written in braille.
- If I moved to Japan, I could study properly instead of relying solely on lectures and my teacher struggling to accomodate me when it came to tests and homework. And I'd finally have something to read. Their library had an entirely braille section.
- And I wouldn't be treated like I was some kind of invalid. Sure, things were difficult for me at times... but I didn't want to be treated as if I needed my hand held for everything.
- "Hello, Mary. How are you?" My tone was cordial and polite, swath in the usual warmth I reserved for her. My closest friend, Mary. She was a curious, inquisitive girl, but with a heart of gold. I enjoyed her company and she didn't seem to hold that tone of pity I often heard from other girls in my school.
- "I'm... okay. I wanted to give you something, though." Her voice seemed a little unsure. A slight frown unfolded on my face as I placed my fingers to my chin. "Is everything alright, dear?" Although she was silent, I could hear her hair moving quickly. She must've been nodding her head fervently.
- "Yeah. I just wanted to give you a gift, before you go. I... looked up how to make braille lettering and wrote you a letter so you could read it and keep it with you when you leave for Japan." Her tone sounded so pained, so I reached out towards her, moving my hand towards where hers were.
- "I'm sorry I'm leaving, Mary." I said, holding her hand with both of mine. I'm sure she was forcing a smile right now. "No, it's okay. It's better for you this way and I'm happy for you." She moved my hands towards her other, where she was holding a soft feeling envelope. The envelope's paper wasn't like that of the average envelope. She must've picked on out special for this letter. Despite my worry at her sadness, her thoughts for me brought a smile to my face.
- I took the letter, slowly and deliberately opening it.
- As I unfolded the stationary, I could feel the tentative bumps of braille waiting for me.
- Dearest Lilly,
- I'm writing you this because I can't seem to find the strength in me to say it aloud, and because I want what I'm about to say to be something that doesn't fade from memory. It will always be here, in this writing that only you and I will know.
- You are the best thing that's ever happened to me. Your strength, your resolve. Your beauty and your tenacity. Even though you've told me like you feel the tides are against you, you still stand firm. In place, never yielding. Always taking things as they go. You're like water to me, sustaining. Clear. You've given me such clarity since I've met you.
- I love you. I never thought I'd feel the way about a girl like I've felt about you. You're everything in a person I could ever hope to be and I admire you in so many ways. I wish I could get to know you better and I wish you could ever see me with the same love I see you.
- I'm not trying to make you feel guilty with this confession and these compliments. I just wanted to let you know that you've changed me and I'm never going to forget you. You will always be in my heart and I wanted to give you this little piece of mine to take with you to Japan.
- I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world. I'm so glad that you're going to be going to a school where you can finally enjoy yourself and your life to the fullest. I hope you don't forget about me, Lilly.
- With love,
- My fingertips finished feeling the words she had put her heart into.
- I had no words with which to respond to any of this, so I did the only thing I could think to. I drew her close to me, hugging her. "You are such a sweet thing, Mary." I finally said and she sobbed a little into my shoulder. "I would never forget you, you know. Even if I can't return those beautiful feelings of yours, you are one of the dearest people to me and that will never change. Thank you so much for this letter." She sobbed harder at these words and she wrapped her arms around me, holding me tight.
- This was probably the last time she'd see me, so I didn't object to this kind of hug. It was more than a hug shared between friends. It was filled with her love, it was filled with her disdain at my leaving the country and her side.
- "Hey, Lilly." I hear Mary finally say.
- "It's snowing outside. Can we... go outside together? I want us to feel the snow with one another." I nodded, taking her hand and lacing my fingers with her. This was the least I could do. I couldn't say I had the same feelings nor could I say I could develop them for her. I didn't have the chance to even try for her.
- But this, I could do. I could stand outside with her, hand in hand and enjoy the cold snow on our faces together.
- "Lilly, it's snowing." Those words brought me back in time so fast that I wasn't sure how to respond.
- "Oh, is it, Hisao?" We were sitting together in the living room of our apartment together, sipping some warm tea. It had been cold lately, so it was more soothing than usual. For a second, my heart ached. I wondered how Mary was doing. "I'm going to go sit on the patio for a little while." I could tell Hisao was giving me a strange look.
- "But it's snowing." I nodded. "It's the only way I can enjoy the snow, is if I feel it on my face. But if it's alright, I'd like to sit alone." I hadn't told Hisao about Mary. He didn't entirely need to know, so I never brought it up. One day he'll see me reading over that letter and I'll tell him, but for now, I wanted to keep Mary's heartfelt sentiments to myself.
- I tapped my cane along the living room floor, towards the sliding glass door. Pulling it open and closing it behind me, I sat on the plastic chairs surrounding a table we used on the small brick patio we sat at. Across from me was my flower garden, bare with the coming of winter.
- I reached into my pocket and withdrew my phone from it. Going through the contacts, each name was read aloud for me. Eventually, the name I searched for spoke itself.
- My finger hovered on the call button. How long had it been? I had stopped calling after some time and so had she. But I wanted to remind her that I hadn't forgotten. That I still had the letter of hers and that I still sometimes read it and smiled, remembering the person who served as my grasp on life in a world that seemed against me.
- I sighed, pressing the call button and placing it to my ear. The ringtone seemed louder than usual while I waited for the answer.
- "...Hello?" I smiled at that old, familiar voice.
- "My, my. You still sound the same from that day. It's snowing here in Japan... I just wanted to call and ask you how you're doing." I paused for a second.
- "And to let you know that I still haven't forgotten about you, Mary."
[Lilly] A Parting Gift
mehkanik Jan 21st, 2012 1,903 Never
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