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Tuesday Isn't Here Yet

by Margaret 6 months ago in Young Adult
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Terribly cliche and everything else that isn't really all that bad but probably is.

"You absolute idiot." Your grin betrays you, but the blue hair dye that will forever stain the sink is a reminder that you're telling the truth. My mom will kill me one of these days. At this point I'm just tempting fate.

"Only for you, my dear." We matched anyway. It was a double sink and there were two of us and two coloring kits too.

We use Walmart plastic bags to keep our hair from turning the rest of the bathroom a violent shade of navy. Honey couldn't taste sweeter than this. The bite of bile isn't nearly as pleasant. For tomorrow, after our new blue do's make their debuts we'll shave it all off. For Tuesday you have your second round of chemo and we're just getting ahead of the hair loss you'd told me, and even though it might be more socially acceptable for a man to be without hair, there's no way that I'm letting you do this alone.

We sing an operatic rendition of the Beatles' perhaps least famous song, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and you rap your knuckles against the crown of my head to the beat. And instead of me caring for you the way it probably should be, I lay my plastic-covered head onto your lap and allow you to run blueberry fingers over my nose and lips and ears and eyelashes and cheekbones. And I know you're memorizing me like you'll never see me again, but dude that's a little morbid.

"You know what's the worst?" I ask.

"I feel like I can top it, but no, please do tell." You roll your eyes and then my shoulders back, fixing my posture the way I wish I could fix you.

"Don't worry, I will." Your grin is flawless and speckled with cerulean cheeks, we did a mess dye job. I spit on my thumb and scrub at it for you, but I really don't move the stain. "We can't see the stars while lying on a couch in my basement."

"Shame you don't have glass between here and the night sky." You aren't really paying attention to the words that you're saying. Neither am I, if I'm being honest.

"Oh, no, please. The image that just popped into my mind. Ew." You stare at me as though I'm losing my mind ahead of schedule. If I am, it's your fault. "There's a whole other floor above us." I pause for dramatic effect. And because I'm mortified. "My mom wears dresses. Oh- oh no, my dad wears bathrobes."

You laugh then, and it's my turn to memorize you. Just as you did me.

"I love you and your malfunctioning brain." You tap my temple and then smooth back the bright blue lock that's escaped the bag.

And there aren't words for the way that I died. The way I was lit on fire and drowned all at once. You'd told me before. Of course you had. Forever was a meaningless term that turned into three months at the drop of a hat, but we had promised each other our very beings. It's very hard to not be in love after that. Still, tonight I was faced with mortality and the dying mind. Tonight our hair matches the blue in my eyes - your choice. Tonight I don't think I'll be able to say goodnight.

"I love you and everything that is and was and will be." Your smile falters. "And of course, that rebellious little parasite that's living inside of you." I jab your side.

And it's incredibly cliche for one of us to be dying and the other to be the one that's terrified to keep on living. Because really, truly you aren't afraid to live and I am, and only one of us has to go to the hospital more frequently than we get coffee.

"Do you want to leave the state?" You have a terribly wild look in your eyes, and it lights this fire in my very being.

"Why stop at the state? We gotta get out of this country." And suddenly Tuesday isn't here yet.

Young Adult

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