Caraway's Heart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Written for a school assignment.
Seventeen year old Caraway is diagnosed with leukemia. During her last moments she finds love, and realises just how much people care. She finds peace in death, she sees it as an end to pain.

Things were supposed to happen for a reason, people were meant to grow up and have fun, so why was i a fifteen year old girl sitting waiting to hear the results of a possibly life changing event. My doctor recommended me to get a lumbar puncture after I told him how tired and weak Id been feeling. Hed asked if Id suffered loss of appetite or vomiting and when I nodded in response I watched his face fall.
Staring around the usual white walls I noticed a spot in the top right corner were the paint had began to peel. Fidgeting I glanced back at the doctor ruffling through paperwork, my test results no doubt. I scanned his face looking for an answer but he looked professional not one sign of emotion was visible.
“Miss Redwood.” The doctor began as he looked up pausing to look into my eyes. “As you know the results of your lumbar puncture have come back.” He paused again then looked down, before returning his gaze to me. I could feel my father tapping his chair, a sign he was worried. “The results aren’t good Im afraid. Youve been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia also known as ALL.”
“What are my chances?” I asked straight away. I could see my dad off to the side, his face was masked with pure shock. I could see the slow sadness and realisation creeping onto his face. I fidgeted again uncomfortable with the silence and uneasiness now filling the room.
“Your leukaemia has already reached its late stages, ALL is a very rapidly growing disease and treatment may not be as useful as it would have been if prior detection had occurred.” The Doctor said slowly making sure each word sunk in. He gave me a sympathetic look and continued. “Im afraid your chances arent too good. Your treatment will have to begin right away if there is any possible chance of recuperation.”
I went over that day each morning I woke up, what would my life have been like without leukaemia. Something I knew wasnt going to happen, but then again a lot of things werent going to happen, I was never going to turn eighteen for starters, Id never have my own family or an aspiring career. Each day was a new battle, finding the strength to get out of bed then finding the strength to face everyone. Chemotherapy was meant to be my answer, to save me but I couldnt endure the pain anymore. So it was inevitable that I wouldn't be living for long. The subject was kind of tabooed in our house though, everyone seemed to think it was better not to mention my deteriorating condition.
Sitting up I felt the stab of joint pain reach my hips. I was wreck, I thought as I stood and reached for a change of clothes. I put on a white dress before standing before my mirror. I ran my hand across my head feeling the spikes of new hair growing. it was coming back at least, pretty soon and I wouldnt have to wear a wig each time I stepped outside. I didnt feel like myself, without my long black hair falling over me. My own reflection showed a stranger, my skin had no life left, I was ghostly white no longer rosy cheeked. I looked sad to I noted, as I had for the past two years. The only part of me left was my eyes dark blue and hidden behind thick eyelashes, but even they held the same empty look as the rest of me. I pulled the long black haired wig onto my head and almost recognised myself, but I'm not myself anymore Ive changed.
I looked towards my door as I heard hurried footsteps approaching. I laughed as a little blur of blue and red ran in. “Hey Matty.” I smiled. Smiling was something I often did not for the fact I was happy, but because I wanted to make everyone else happy. I needed to be strong for them.
“I'm not Matty, I'm superman.” Matty giggled before zooming over to hug me. He was a tiny little boy with a big imagination. He had short brown hair and the most gorgeous green eyes.
“Matty leave your sister alone. She‘s trying to rest.” I heard dad call out. 
Mattys eyes moved to glance up at me. “Are you going to come out today?”
“Yeah, I feel pretty good today. What’s for breakfast?” I asked, he shrugged before running out my door. I laughed and followed behind slowly. it was a rare day when I actually felt up to getting out of bed. I walked down stairs concentrating carefully, extra pain wasnt something I could handle right now. Smelling bacon and eggs I walked smiling into the kitchen.
“It’s nice to see you up Cara.” Rosanna smiled from behind the frying pan. Rosanna was my step-mother and Mattys mum. She was a tall slender woman with long reddish hair and the same beautiful eyes as Matty. She was the only mother I had ever known, my mum had died giving birth she suffered obstetrical hemmorhage. Dad decided to name me after her well sort of, her name was Kali and mines Caraway Kali Redwood. Dad with some fascination to plants thought it would be good to name me after a plant, though I cant complain its unique.
“Caraway.” My dad cried as he hugged me from behind momentarily lifting me into the air. “Your up and about.” I turned around smiling to see him. He was tall and fairly slender with once brown hair turning grey strand by strand.
“Is anything happening today?” I asked smiling.
“I think Annie and Jayden are coming around to visit you.” Rosanna said as she served up our breakfast. “They’ve been nagging for days.” I smiled in response, my two best friends in the entire world were coming to visit. Annie and I have been friends since third grade, and Jayden came into the picture when we entered high school.
I started chewing when I noticed Rosanna shoot a look at dad then him running from the room. Matty was sitting beside me eating while he watched the TV in the background. Dad returned with his hands behind his back.
“Caraway.” Dad said as he moved to stand beside me. “Rosanna and I were looking through some old things and found this.” Dad said as he held up an oval gold locket, with intricate roses carved into it. it was mums I recognised remembering it from mum and dads wedding picture. He dropped it into my hand. “it was your mothers and we think you should have it.” I glanced up smiling then opened it carefully revealing two pictures inside, one of mum and one of dad. Mum really did look a lot like me, she was short and slender like me with black hair, though hers was an intricate mess of knots.
"Thankyou so much." I squealed excitedly. "I love you both so much." I said as I jumped up hugging them. I felt my body began to ache and went back to sitting.
"Greg your going to be late." Rosanna exclaimed as she looked at the clock, and began grabbing his things. When he had everything in his hands he waved goodbye before walking down the hall and out the door.
Rosanna wrapped her arms around me, and it was only a matter of time before Matty joined in. "We love you too, Cara." I forced the tears not to come, how was I ever going to leave everyone behind.
A knock on the door made me tumble back. I walked down the hall to find Annie and Jayden letting themselves in. Annie was average height with blonde hair and a friendly smile planted permanently on her face, every time I saw her I couldn't help but smile at her over-bubbly vivacious ways. Annie came running up and stopped just before me to give me a hug. I looked over her shoulder to see Jayden standing behind waiting. He was tall with brown shaggy hair and dark brown eyes. He was the type of person who was always there for you when you fell to pick you up and tell you its going to be okay. Jayden was the type of guy Id always wanted to be with, actually he was the guy Id always wanted to be with.
"I thought I was going to have to drag you out of bed." Annie said with a huge smile. "So are you feeling okay?"
"I'm feeling good today." I said with a smile. Annie grinned happily.
"Good." She said simply.
"Hey Caraway." Jayden said moving forwards as Annie finally backed away. I hugged him and smiled, I hadn't seen him for at least a month. His family had gone away leaving Annie as my only visitor.
"I missed you." I said. "Your not allowed to leave anymore okay."
"Either are you then." He said looking down to me. "Your not allowed to leave us." Why was he bringing this up? it wasn't my fault I was dying, it wasn't my fault I'd never grow up. it wasn't my fault everyone I cared about was going to grow old without me.
"Drop it Jayden." Annie said pushing between us. "Do you think she really wants to hear that?" I didn't bother letting them know I was still in the room as the argued about the tabooed subject. it wasn't something I really wanted to hear from them.
Sighing I turned around and walked upstairs to my room leaving them arguing at my front door. it would take them another five minutes to realise I was gone. Turning on my ipod dock I listened as Curse of Curves by Cute is What We Aim For filled the room. I began singing along before I noticed Jayden standing at my door smiling. I stopped mid chorus and stared at him. Singing I loved, but not in front of people. I was more of a closet singer, I always wished I could be brave like everyone else, to stand on stage and have no shame.
“Keep going.” Jayden said. “You’ve got a good voice.” I blushed in response and looked down. Stupid complimenting boys!
“Where’s Annie?” I asked looking behind him.
“She said I have to talk to you.” Jayden said resigned as he plopped down on the bed beside me.
“Too apologise for being rude?” I asked, looking at him. “Talking to me like that hurts Jayden. Do you think I want to die?”
“No, but you don’t seem to care.” Jayden said, as I looked over to him. He was pulling that face, the one that made me want to cry as I saw the sadness fill his eyes. You usually couldn't tell how Jayden felt by looking at him, in most cases he'd try as hard as he could to cover he's emotions.
"I do care.” I said to Jayden. “Its not the fact of dying that hurts, its the fact of leaving you all behind.” I used to imagine how my life would pan out, with everyone by my side supporting me. I thought wed all grow up and have families, then die old together. I never thought my future would hold nothing.
“I’m going to take you out tonight, while your still feeling good.” Jayden said as he looked away from me. “And no matter what I have planned you cant back down.”
I looked at him trying to work out what he was thinking, I wasnt exactly in the position to be doing anything overly crazy. I nodded before Annie burst in and rushed over.
“So your going to let us kidnap you tonight?” Annie squealed almost knocking over my bedside table as she jumped up and down excitedly. “This is going to be the best night ever.”
“I’ll see you tonight then.” Jayden said with a huge grin. “Its going to be the most memorable night of your life.” I watched him leave, wishing that he wouldnt.
“Hello. Stop staring at that boys ass.” Annie giggled. I started to say I wasn’t before deciding it was best not to argue. Annie could be quite an annoying handful when she had an idea or thought that no one else agreed with.
“Annie. What exactly do the pair of you have planned?” I asked. She immediately jumped up so she was looking down at me.
“That is none of your business. You’ll just have to wait.” Annie said before heading towards my closet. “I get to pick your outfit though.”
I stood blindfolded between Jayden and Annie as they pulled me from the car, and through a door. I got a little paranoid walking around unable to see, Id become way to breakable.
“Guys I don’t like this.” I said annoyed. “I dont feel safe.” I heard Annies girly little giggle.
“We aren’t going to let anything hurt you.” Jayden said. I instantly calmed down. I felt somebody reach to untie my blindfold. I blinked a couple of times before it became clear. We were at the back of a stage, surrounded by rushing people. Performers, I realised.
“You’ve always said you wish you could sing in front of people.” Annie said smiling. “And were going to make that happen.”
“I can’t do this.” I said slowly. I stumbled over towards the wall so I could balance myself. I began to feel myself sweating, and rubbed my hands over my dark grey skinny jeans. “I cannot go that on stage.”
“Yes you can.” Annie said. “We’ve all heard you sing, your amazing.”
“But there’s people out there.” I said. Throughout my life Ive tried to get on stage, but my pre-stage nerves were just to strong. “I cant go out there alone.”
“You wont be.” Jayden said. “I’m playing guitar for you.”
“And if you need me, I’m glad to come up for my fifteen minutes of fame.” Annie said chirpily. I smiled at them and tried to push away the butterflies that seemed to be fluttering around my stomach. I took a deep breath, and looked to Jayden.
“What song are we doing?” I asked. “And when?”
“A few minutes. We’re singing I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab For Cutie.” Jayden said. “Were singing it together.”
“I’ll sing the opening verse, and well sing the chorus together. You can do the rest.” Jayden said.
“Come on.” Annie said pulling us towards the stage. “You have to get in place, your next.” I took a deep breath and froze until Jaydens hand found mine. Annie smiled and gently pushed me in front of the microphone, while Jayden took his place beside me with his guitar at hand.
“It’s going to be fine.” Jayden whispered.
Annie pulled a video camera out from her bag. “Ill be with your family.” She skipped happily away. I stood motionless trying to calm myself down.
The curtains began to open and I couldnt help but noticing how just about every seat was taken. The place was packed. “Caraway and Jayden here to perform a cover of I Will Follow You Into The Dark.”
Jayden began playing his guitar a soft slow sound. He was a great guitarist. I listened as he began singing, his voice was amazing and he was singing so passionately.
“Love of mine some day you will die
But Ill be close behind
Ill follow you into the dark.”
I began singing along to the song keeping my eyes on Jayden so I didnt lose it. When the song finished and the curtains closed I felt a rush of energy.
“I did it, I actually sung in front of a crowd.” I cheered excitedly. I noticed I was smiling out of pure joy, rather then because of someone else. That in itself was pretty amazing. I wrapped my arms around Jayden still smiling.
“It feels good doesn’t it?” He said looking at my smile, in turn making him smile.
“Why’d you pick that song?” I asked looking up at him. “Its a love song about death.”
“Songs are meant to express emotions, I understand where that songs coming from.” Jayden said. “I know I’ve never really had you but I dont want to lose you. I dont know if I can handle it.”
“I’ve kind of always liked you.” I said as I stepped away. I felt my cheeks burn with heat as I blushed.
“I’ve always liked you too.” Jayden said as he lent down to kiss me. I felt my heart leap, but soon it was over and Jayden had pulled away.
“I’m so proud of you.” Dad said as he walked in with Rosanna, Matty and Annie. I hugged him still grinning then moved to hug Rosanna who looked like she was about to cry.
“Caraway you were so awesome!” Annie screamed. “I can’t believe its taken this long to get you to sing.”
“I guess we should be getting home superstar.” Dad said. I waved bye to everyone and headed out feeling on top of the world.
I woke up exhausted the next morning, I was having another bad day it seemed. I spent the day in bed trying to ignore the pain running throughout my body. The next day was the same, at one point I actually woke up writhing in pain. Rosanna and Dad decided it was time to get me pain killers.
Thats when I realised I wasnt going to be around for much longer at all. I was deteriorating and fast. Jayden spent most days by my bed just holding my hand as I laid numb. Annie would tell me stories about the most humorous things, trying to keep the mood light. Id always been her best friend and I knew how much she was going to hurt when I was gone. I could hear everything yet I couldnt respond. My life was leaving me. Rosanna and Dad were always lingering nearby looking for any sign of distress. I could here them whispering about me down the hall. They were worried and distressed, I could hear it from their tone. Matty only came in occasionally, hed tell me to wake up and play. He told me he missed having me around.
Hearing people say goodbyes wasnt easy, hearing people talk about you thinking you couldnt hear wasnt easy either. Though no matter how things turned out, I could always rely on the fact that Id built memories with the people I loved, memories that will stay with them forever, until they one day join me.
“I love you. I’ll be with you soon.” Jayden whispered.

Submitted: November 08, 2009

© Copyright 2021 xxxPrincessAmeliaxxx. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



I like. You have a well paced narrative. It's got me interested enough, how death rocks the living to the core is a subject I've had on my mind lately. Nice start!

Sun, November 8th, 2009 6:10am


Thanks... :)

Sun, November 8th, 2009 2:09am


omg that's sad and nice!!!!

Mon, November 9th, 2009 7:55pm



Mon, November 9th, 2009 10:06pm

maiden of evil

awww ur going to get a good mark at school with that one

Fri, November 13th, 2009 7:57am


I hope so! Thankyou.

Fri, November 13th, 2009 12:04am


That was insanely sad. But beautiful at the same time. What does Jayden mean when he says he'll be with her soon? O.o Anyways, I really liked this.

Sun, January 3rd, 2010 12:58am


Thank you. I kind of intended it to mean, that he couldn't live without her and with her gone it was only a matter of time before he followed.

Sat, January 2nd, 2010 6:00pm


Awww that is so sad :(
Is Jayden gonna kill himself and follow Caraway? Lol, that was a random thing I just thought. You are an awesome writer, well done =]

Fri, January 8th, 2010 8:46pm


Thanks. :)
And I might write a sequel about Jayden. I'll let you know if i do.

Fri, January 8th, 2010 4:48pm


Aww that was so sad :(
Really well written though :]

Wed, January 27th, 2010 1:55pm


Thanks :)

Thu, January 28th, 2010 12:38am


very sad,but very well written!

Sat, July 3rd, 2010 8:36pm


Thank you :) Means a lot.

Mon, July 5th, 2010 7:02pm

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