Luna, Marshy, Yvette, Scar, Prissy and I all decided to go visit Juli on that Saturday. It had been about a week and a half since the accident. None of us were there to witness it, but since Juli was our friend, it didn't matter - she was hurt, and we needed to check on her every once and a while.
We were all terrified for her. We didn't even have that much information about the accident. All we knew was that there was a bullet in Juli's left arm and leg, and that she has lost a lot of blood already. She wasn't going to last forever - we all knew that, but we just didn't have the guts to say it.
I didn't know about the others, but this was my tenth time already visiting her. I visited her almost every day. And every time she was lying in bed: alive, but with a dead look on her face. Every time we only had time to exchange a few words, but this time was different. This time I could tell it was going to be the last time I saw her.
We waited in the waiting room. The doctor said that she could only handle one person at a time, with her family in the room and all. Her mom and dad were probably by her side, and little Joey was probably on his mother's lap, too. The kid was only five months old - how would he handle it when he figured out that he has a sister who died when he was only five months?
"Robbie are you sure you want to go last?" Prissy asked. Prissy's name wasn't actually prissy. It was actually Pamela. When we were younger we would always make jokes about how she was so prissy it would be annoying. Eventually we started to actually call her prissy. She accepted the name, didn't deny it. She was a typical blonde, from California. Prissy had moved here when he was nine, and here we are. She had blue eyes. Just blue eyes. They weren't green rimmed that gradually turned to blue - they were blue eyes. I think that's what Prissy said Juli liked best about her - the eyes. They were true. Like her.
I nodded. She gave me a sympathetic smile, and eventually we decided that Yvette would go first since she had a girl scout meeting soon. Yvette didn't want to go to the girl scout meeting, but she was earning her Silver Award, so it was important to her. When the doctor said that someone could go in before visiting hours ended, Yvetter gripped my hand. I looked at her, and she was crying. Crying. Not crying her eyes out, not sobbing like a baby, a couple tears were just sliding down her dark cheeks. "Go on." I comforted, and she let go of my hand and went in the room. Yvette stayed in there for about fifteen minutes. When she came back out, she wasn't crying anymore. Not one tear showed. It didn't even seem as though she had been crying.
When she came out of the room, she stood there in front of us and didn't say anything. We were all looking at her. Then she left. Just like that. No questions from anyone, she just left. No one said goodbye to her. Those were for Juli.
After Yvette left, Scar was supposed to go in. Scar's real name
wasn't Scar either. It was Ben. He had shaggy black hair and deep
sunken eyes. He was the jock of the group, you could just tell.
But if you examined his arms or legs, you could tell how he got
his name. Scars covered him. Mostly on him arms, a lot on his
legs, a few on his back, and there were a couple on his face and
neck. You didn't ask how he got those. If he wanted to tell you,
he would. Scar was quiet. Really quiet. But when it came to
protecting Juli, he would speak up like a boss. Why?
Because Juli had saved his life.
No one really knew that story. It was a long time ago, so I hear. It's how he got some of his scars. Which is how he got his name. That, and the guy loved The Lion King anyway. "Go on in," I said, when Scar wouldn't get up from his chair. He looked at me. His deep dark sunken eyes had a backstory. A really depressing one. He wasn't going to cry - he wasn't that kind of guy. But he wanted too. "Go." He nodded and went in.
He only stayed in there wfor what seemed seven minutes. He came out pale. Like, really white. "She's so pale."
"Have you checked yourself in the mirror lately dude?"
Scar took a seat next to me and nobody spoke. The doctor told us that another could go in if we wanted, but if we were done for the done then we would have to leave. When the doctor left again, Luna spoke up. "I'm going to go say goodbye." Luna was always like that. Ready. Usually she didn't say bye, actually, so this was a surprise. She would always know that there would be another time. But her saying goodbye was just like saying something that none of us were ready do say. Juli was dying. She wasn't coming back. This was probably our last chance to say goodbe, if we were going to say it all.
If you looked past Luna's glasses, you could see her eyes welling up. Luna redid her long brown hair in another ponytail, which she always did when she was nervous. Then she went into the room for a good twenty minutes. It was agonizing waiting for her to come out. It was almost my turn to go and see Juli, who was probably a wreck. I would never get used to the sight even though I've seen it everyday for the past week.
When Luna came out, she wasn't crying, she wasn't pale, she looked normal. Like she just came out of class... Almost... Bored. "You guys should hurry up and say goodbye. Get it over with." That's the only thing she said before she curled up in the corner of the couch and buried her face in a pillow.
Prissy grimaced, biting her lip. "I think I'm going next. You guys... I don'tt hink I can handle it."
Scar piped up again. "Just go in. You're not going to be able to talk to her again and have her say something back. Go." Scar didn't try to comfort her, he just spit out the truth. The cold, hard truth. And it hurt. But almost every truth did.
Prissy sighed and went into the room. She was barely in there two minutes. When she came out, she was sobbing like heck. "I only c - c -could say go- goodbye. Then I burst into tears. I was crying on her lap the entire time, and she was just stroking my hair talking to me. I couldn't hear her very well, but you know what she said? She said that even when she died.. She just said that... She knew she was going too, she didn't deny it.. She said that when she died that her spirit would remember my eyes. She said they were true. She said... She said...." Prissy never finished. The doctor came and said something about 'disturbing the peace' and that she or us all would have to leave, so Prissy left with some nurse.
At any other time we would all laugh.
This wasn't one of those times.
There were a couple minutes of silence. There were only a few of us left in the room; me, Scar, Luna, Marshy, and a couple other people that were napping in chairs with magazines on their laps or looking around nervously. Then without saying anything, Marshy got up and went into Juli's hospital room. Marshy's real name wasn't Marshy. His real name was Drake, but he liked marshmallows. Juli was the one to give him that nickname, and eventually we all accepted it. Marshy did too. Marshy liked the nickname. But we weren't sure if he would keep it after Juli died.
Marshy took a while, about twenty minutes, like Luna. He was expressionless, like Luna, too. He said next to Luna too. "I said goodbye too." Luna looked up from her now stained pillow, glasses crooked and tears streaming down her face. Luckily there weren't any boogers, but that probably wouldn't have stopped her from hugging Marshy when she did. "It was hard," he cried along wither. "Was it that hard for you?" Luna didn't need to say anything, instead she just stopped hugging Marshy and curled back up into her pillow.
There was only one more person that needed to say goodbye.
But I didn't want to get up. My hands were on the armrests, turning my knuckles white. I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to say goodbye, because there was going to be another time.
But I knew there wasn't going to be.
That's what made me get up. I breathed hard and got up and left my friends without saying anything and walked towards the door. Then I went into the room and saw Juli. She was just lying there, talking to her mom. When she saw me come in, she stopped talking and smiled. It was a hollow smile. A forced one. But it still meant a lot, that she could smile.
"Hi Juli." I likded the way that she looked right now. Besides the lying in bed part, the fact that she was in the hospital, there were bullets lodged under that skin, and almost all her surrondings, I liked how she looked. I liked her chocolate brown hair and brown eyes. Loads of people at my school said that girls with blue eyes and brown hair looked really pretty. I didn't. I liked Juli - brown hair and matching brown eyes. Light skin. Freckles. A seemingly permanent smile. I liked that.
"Thanks for stopping by."
"You mean again? I just saw you yesterday." She laughed, which turned into a cough. "Stop it, don't hurt yourself." There were a couple minutes after that of Juli's hard breathing. Eventually Joey started crying, and Juli's parent's excused themselves to go take care of him.
"How are you feeling?" I asked. The most cheesiest thing to say.
"It looks worse than it feels. I think it's going away because.. you know."
I nodded, not sure what my response should be. It's good that she wasn't going through anymore pain, but... she was going to leave. We both knew it. We all knew it, and yet here we were like this was perfectly normal.
"Is it true that you'd remember Prissy because of her eyes?"
Juli nodded. "I like them. That's what first caught my eye the first time that I talked to her. Her eyes... I liked them."
I snickered. "So what are you going to remember most about the others?"
Juli smiled again and thought. "I'm going to remember Luna's glasses. They're so cool. I'm going to remember Yvette's... I'm going to remember Yvette's unselfishness. I loved that. I'm going to remember Scar's.. scars? No that's too... Bleh. But it's true. I'm going to remember the scar on his face, the one right under his left eye. Because I gave him that. Shh, he doesn't remember how he got it. I'm going to remember Marshy's... Sense of humor, it makes me laugh. Well obviously, but remember that time he built a giant marshmallow out of cotton balls? That... Oh my gosh that killed me I was dying of laughter..."
"You forgot someone."
"I"m getting to that. I'm going to remember.. I don't know... I'm going to have to think about that."
"Think of it as a good thing then; there's so many good things about you that I can't choose just one, so I have to think of it."
"Fine. Everyone said goodbye, right?"
"Basically. Except you."
"Well I haven't gotten to that yet."
"You're not going to say it to my face, are you?"
"Nope. You know me too well, Juli. Stop it, I like being a mysterious guy sometimes. Intrests the ladies."
Juli burst out laughing. "You're pathetic. What ladies are you talking about? The invisible ones around school? I've talked to them, they're nice. Talk about you a lot too." She smirked, and I stuck my tongue out at her.
"Not them. Those freaks are geeks. I was talking about you."
"You fool, you don't impress me."
"That sucks for me then doesn't it."
Juli nodded. "I - I - I..."
"Stop hurting yourself, Juli. I love you, don't hurt yourself." I have no idea where those last words came from. They just slipped out. I thought about it, and then I realized that yeah, it was true. I loved her. I didn't want her to go. I didn't want her to die in front of me either, but I wanted to be with her for every second of her life. Talk about conflictions.
Juli didn't say anything. Then I saw her lips move, but no sounds came out. I wasn't sure if she was talking or breathing, but then I realized that she was mouthing something. Come here. I did.Closer.I did. When my face was practically right in front of hers, she smiled and whispered "I love you, too." Then I found her soft lips on my cheek. I backed away slowly."I'm sorry," She smiled. "I never kissed anyone on the lips before. I don't want to spend my last minutes kissing someone. But, Robbie?"
I was looking at the ground, probably blushing. But when she said my name, I looked up. "Yeah?"
"That's defnitely going to be the thing I remember most about you."
I didn't say thanks. I didn't say anything. Instead we just listened to her heart rate on one of those stupid machines that scare the crud out of me. It was a steady beat, a beat that almost made me believe that Juli wasn't cut out for dying.
"You're not going to say goodbye, are you."
I looked into her brown eyes from where I was sitting on the edge of the bed. I shook my head. "You're not going to leave me. It's not goodbye."
"You're not going to say goodbye."
I shook my head again. "It's not goodbye. There's no reason too."
"You're not going to say goodbye. So I will for you."
"Juli - no, there's not a reason to say -"
"Goodbye. Goodbye Robbie. I love you, I love all you guys, I love this world, I love everything, everyone, I love you, I love you, I love you. But I have to say goodbye. Goodbye, Robbie. I'm sorry."
"Robbie," She muttered, crying now. I don't think she cried for any of the others. "Go. Say goodbye for me, would you?"I nodded. Of course I would. "Practice. Robbie, please. Practice."
I swallowed. The word wouldn't come out. It wasn't going to. I didn't want it to. "Robbie." Juli cried. "Please." The heart rate was going up. The little beeps every now and then proved it. "Robbie."
Then the heart rate slowed. It went back to normal. She was relaxing. She shut her eyes. She was still breathing, but I don't thinks he would be for much longer. THen her parents came in with Joey. "What happened?" Juli's dad asked.
"She said goodbye." I replied, shuffling out of the room and leaving the door open behind me. Everyone looked up when I exited. "C'mon guys." I motioned for them to follow. "Let's go." They all got up and walked towards me. We stopped outside Juli's door. Joey was on the floor nearby playing with a pencil. Juli's parents were each holding one of her hands, and the doctor was standing nearby, looking down. They were all crying. Including Juli. Her eyes were closed, but then they snapped open and saw us. She was mouthing something.
"What's she saying?" Luna asked, holding hands with Marshy now.
"She wants to say something."
"The doctor isn't going to let us in."
"What's she saying?"
I swallowed. "Goodbye."
Tears slid down all of our cheeks. One by one we left. Like usual I was last. Goodbye. Goodbye. As I walked past the room, I heard the machine's beeping go contsant. There wasn't another single beep. Just one long beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
Her last but unheard words.