“Here.” He handed me a single piece of notebook paper folded in quarters. He’d called earlier and said he wanted to see me. Not with her, the way I normally visited, but just me. When I’d gotten there, he lay in the hospital bed, looking no better or worse than what had become the usual. This cancer thing was taking a lot out of him, but he was being strong. “Will, I’ve wanted to tell you this countless times, but I couldn’t. I’m sorry. Just-” His voice broke, “Just read this. Once you get home.”
“Okay. Of course, I will, Dev. Is there, are you…” My voice trailed off, because I couldn’t find the words anymore. Fear too often choked them back. A constant fear that one day he’d just slip away. One of the very best friends I’d ever had.
“No,” he said. “It’s not… no. I’m fine.” Too many unfinished sentences, too many words left unsaid out of fear on my behalf and reassurance on his. We spent the next half hour talking of lighter things. Of music, new movies, old friends. Of her. He worried about her, he said. Worried that she was taking everything harder than she’d ever let on to either of us.
She was our best friend, the three of us nearly inseparable since the day we met, on our first day of work, sticking together because alone was too much too handle. Though we became a part of the larger group quickly, the three of us still gravitated together. There was something that held us together, something more than the casual friendships that I’d experienced before. She and Devon made me laugh with their constant, good-natured banter, and the three of us teased each other relentlessly, but when it came down to it, if one of us needed to talk, the other two were there with a sympathetic ear. They were the only two people in the world in whom I put my complete trust.
Soon enough, he became quieter and I knew he was getting tired. “Okay, Dev, I’d better get going.” I was always careful to never imply that he was weak or tired. He became too defensive, and it only made matters worse.
“Okay, just promise me you’ll read it.” He implored. I didn’t have the slightest clue what was in that note, but it must have been important for him to be so adamant. What puzzled me most was that he didn’t seem to want her to know. Why else would he have insisted that I come alone?
“I promise. I’ll come again, sometime next week. Then we can talk about it maybe. That is, if you want.” I added quickly.
“Yeah. Well, maybe.” I could tell he still didn’t feel comfortable having a conversation about whatever was in that note out loud. After saying goodbye and promising to bring her along for the three of us to visit sometime soon, I left. As tempted as I was to read the note right there in the parking lot as soon as I got into my car, I decided to wait until I could devote my full attention to it later that evening.
I know, it's kind of rough around the edges. Keep in mind, this is my first draft. The reason I didn't give "her" a name is because names were never my strong suit and I just can't find one that fits her. Hopefully it'll come eventually. Also, it's kinda strange for me writing from a male perspective, but that's just kind of how the story came to me. Opinions and advice would be much appreciated!