Nadine called for her mother who drove her to the girls’ special place. Nadine got out of the car, and instructed her mother to wait around the corner. She said that she would be right back.
Nadine went running up to Jocelyn. Jocelyn turned around. Their eyes glistened in love for one another and no words were exchanged. Jocelyn sat down in the dirt. Nadine fell into her lap and started crying. Jocelyn cried too, but tried to hide it from Nadine as she combed her fingers through Nadine’s hair to comfort her.
The sun was about to set. They could each see as the sky met with the clouds, which met with the mountains on the other side. Nadine pointed to it.
She knew that Jocelyn had already seen it, but wanted to savor this moment. They had been here before long ago on a school field trip in the third grade. Funny to think of a time like that now. It was a bright day, and the birds had sung their songs just as they had been doing today.
The air was crisp, and the earth in which they sat upon was warm despite the fact that it was December.
The girls looked out over the horizon, and cried together while both remembering their past. Some memories alone, but most overlapping.
Nadine opened her lips, and said the first words, “Remember that time when...”, they both laughed at the fond memory. Jocelyn shared memories too. And Nadine again. Back and fourth as Jocelyn rocked Nadine.
There isn’t ever really an answer as to why a smile has to be stolen from someone who seemed so happy and content. You can always just guess. I think I know why. Whoever it is out there watching everyone isn’t very happy themselves. For they have never know companionship, love, or how to smile purely through the heart. But how could they?
They never had a best friend.
To be content with themselves could be proven, but not easily. For it isn’t so easy to be content with yourself if there is no one to share the wonders of life with.
The girls stared out at the sunset, and each wondered to themselves if they had ever seen something so beautiful before. And indeed, they had.
Nadine stood up, and took Jocelyn’s hand in hers. They wrapped their ankles around the each other’s, and stood in a perfect symmetrical pose.
It was a Friday evening, and the last week of school before winter break was upon them.
“I don’t wanna go to school tomorrow,” Nadine spoke.
Jocelyn laughed, “Me either.”
Nadine spoke again, “Are you ready?”
“Yeah,” Jocelyn was sure.
“You know I love you more than anything - right?”
“Yeah I know,” replied Nadine.
“Good,” Jocelyn spoke through a smile. It had something missing. As if the smile had been half empty. Or maybe half full. But it didn’t matter.
Nadine spoke her last words, “You jump, I jump, right?”
Jocelyn smiled and nodded.
Nothing could ruin this moment.
Nadine looked down at their hands, still clasped together. She looked up from the hands to see Jocelyn smiling right back at her. Nadine nodded.
And from the distance, in my car, I watched as my daughter and her best friend jumped off the edge of the earth and left this world forever - together. And I was happy.
I had known for quite some time that Nadine would die. It is something that I had struggled with. What parent wants to think about their only child dying.
But never in my life had I ever considered that it was something that would make me smile from the inside out. Because my daughter left this world with a smile on her face, and I will start this new beginning with one too.
Just a girl...