The Tires

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A girl stricken with a serious form of cancer spends her last day out of the hospital with her boyfriend, and ends up meeting a unique stranger...

Submitted: August 01, 2010

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Submitted: August 01, 2010

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She dug her feet in the hot sand, looking for the cold underneath it all; she wouldn’t be surprised if her feet would have some nice lookin’ second degree burns from today’s outing. She laid back and looked around her, quite pleased. The day was perfect, the sky way a bright blue, the kind of color you see in Blue-raspberry flavored candy or popcsicles. A gust of wind whipped against her back, a few grains of sand hitting her arms, the air was hot, but here was a sweet breeze that made it all bearable. Today was perfect.

Her skin, a caramel color, was getting darker by the minute. Her hair, a light brown that lit with a strawberry tint, hung nearing the midsection of her back with loose curls like the waves on theh shore today: lazy and uninviting. She looked into the sky with cabbage green eyes, full of wonder.
“Hey, I just caught The Best wave! Well, best for a day like this.” He rolled his eyes. Tristen looked at her with confusion. He cocked his head and tried to find what she had her eye on in the sky.
It was a fluffy little cloud, all by itself, moving with the pace of today. Moving like a tire you pushed on a flat surface, getting slower and slower with the extra resistance on its journey.
“What ‘cha lookin’ at, Tali? That little cloud aint worth those eyes second glance!” Italy was her name. He called her Tali for short. Tristen was her oldest friend, she remembered when they fisrst met, 7 years old then. His ash-blonde hair was brighter then, a corn silk blonde that framed his cheeks with gentleness that seemed to miss his personality.
“Well, I think it’s the most amazing thing I’ve laid eyes on all day, which includes you!” She dodged his hand that was readying to shove my face in the sand. His gray blue eyes shone with intensity.
“Boy, I’ll tell you, your mind is findin’ things I couldn’t see in a lifetime.” He shook the water out of his hair as a dog out of a bath, and sat next to her looking in awe at her face and taking her hand. Just like he always did when she was in her own little world like this.
His hands enveloped hers with no effort; he brought it up to his mouth and brushed his lips against it, and smiled his crooked smile.
“Want me to get you some food? I think I’m gonna go get a burger at the pier or somethin’. You gotta eat…the surgery’s tomorrow. Let’s get some real food before you have to go and eat the hospital food. You can remember what REAL food tastes like when you sittin’ eatin’ microwave Lean Cuisine garbage. Come on, Talia…” She pressed together her sunburned lips, which ‘Hurt like the dickens, but was better than a poke in the eye with a stick’, as Tristen always said when something hurt her.
“Okay, I’m gonna meet you at the pier in a few minutes. I know you’re hungrier than I am. Go! Shoo, ya hear?” she said, imitating his mom with a country drawl you seemed to pick up when around people in the Deep South. His family was from Tennessee, and moved here when he was in second grade, and picked me to befriend. He squeezed my hands and left.
“I’ll be at Bucco’s. It’s your favorite. Don’t worry ‘bout the cost, I got it. It’ll be better for you than McDonald’s.” He said walking away.
She took her time getting up and put her things together in her hot pink tote bag. She slipped on her black sandals, her favorite, not bothering to wipe off the sand on her feet. He came into vision as she walked down the pier. He was sitting at a dinner table outside of the restaurant and was taking our order. She smiled at herself, only Tristen would know what to order her. She sat down and set the beach bag on the sand laden wooden floor to her side. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a woman staring at her, intently. As a reaction she looked to see who it was, not anyone she would have known. She looked too…Italy couldn’t put her finger on it. She was so put together. Was the word sophisticated? No…
The woman walked over and Italy gave a wary look in Tristen’s direction. Another gust of wind hit the beach, but this one carried a stale smell, one she recognized, one of the hospital. She wrinkled her nose in disgust, but stood up to greet the strange woman. The woman carried poise and grace of one who knows how the world works. She never dropped her gaze.
“Hello? Do I know you from somewhere?” I said in a wary and confused voice.
“No, but I have seen you and your friend at the hospital from time to time, friends like that come once in a lifetime.” She smiled a big smile. Her teeth were as white as my mother’s prized wedding china at home. Her skin was the color of rust, the kind you see on old, uncared for automobiles, the cars that have gone through many storm’s, the one that nobody gives a second glance to unless it is to criticize it’s lack of new paint or love.
Her skin had wrinkles on it, but they were pretty wrinkles. She had laugh lines on the corners of her eyes and crinkles where dimples may have sat back in the day. Her hair was black as midnight, lines of white on the crown, and her eyes were the color of freshly laid cherry wood.
“Excuse me, ma’am, but I didn’t see you today, and I don’t appreciate you city-folk watchin’ some kids you don’t know from Sam H-”
“No, not at all like you perceive the situation to be. Not at all. May I sit down?” We both gave puzzled looks at eachother and nodded.
Her eyes glowed as she sat, smoothing down her threadbare deep purple skirt. “I see you in the Oncology floor, which I go to for my grandson, Thomas, and his chemotherapy treatments, you see. Anyway, I asked about you and they said you have stage four liver cancer, and are looking to getting a transplant. I had them take my blood and they said I was a match. My name is Carol Waters, and I am going to be your donor for tomorrow.” She smiled with such enthusiasm; I couldn’t help but smile back. I started to weep.
She spoke for 10 more long minutes about who she was and her life and we spoke of ours. Soon, we got back to the topic of friends and how Tristen was there for me every step of the way when my mother was at work.
“Have you ever rolled tires down a hill, Tristen? Seeing as you grew up in Tennessee.”
“Why yes, ma’am, I have.”
“Well, friends are like those tires. They may roll fast, depending on the domain and terrace you push them through. Some tires roll quick, ‘cause your pushin’ em down a hill. There aren’t any bumps, but they just don’t stay,” She paused, with a twinkle in her eye. “Then, there are some, whom you roll across a bumpy surface, but it isn’t a hill, so you keep pushing it and pushing it so that the roll lasts. You don’t have to run after it, you just stay with it. You push it across the bumps on the way, you don’t just give up. That’s what I see in your friendship, and I hope, I pray that this liver, will let you push it along for longer and you meet some new tires-eh-friends, to meet.”
She said her goodbye’s and said she would see me tomorrow and was glad to meet us. In the hospital the next day, she gave me a black leather bracelet that had the word “Tires” written on it in deep purple. I wore it to surgery, and there on after.


© Copyright 2019 Brittany Bowditch. All rights reserved.

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