The day I stopped taking life for granted

By Shaye Nobilo

TREY looked terrible! His hair was a mess and his eyes were red from being rubbed.

I walked over to his bed and smiled. He tried to smile back at me but his lips were dry and wouldn't budge.

I gave him the wrapped parcel I had prepared for him earlier. His small hands reached out and grabbed it.

He opened it and saw the rugby ball he had wanted for his birthday this year. His eyes grew with excitement.

"As soon as I get rid of this stupid tummy bug, we can go outside and play with it. One on one!"

He sounded so happy that I couldn't help but agree (even though I hate rugby).

The next day Trey was back at school smiling, but something didn't seem right. His eyes were expressionless and he kept falling over.

I asked him if he was okay and he told me he was fine. His mother was as concerned as I was so she took him to the doctor.

The phone rang on Saturday morning. I was about to pick it up when my mum snatched it away. She looked at me and mouthed that it was Grace (Trey's mum).

Mum's face went blank as the conversation went on. She ran to her room and locked the door.

They talked for what seemed like hours before Mum finally came out of her bedroom with the phone in her hand. It looked as if she had been crying.

I ran to her and demanded to know what was going on. She sat me down on the couch.

"It's Trey," she explained. "He has been sent to hospital!" she burst into tears. I couldn't believe it. Trey was fine.

He didn't need to go to hospital. He wasn't sick, was he? I looked at Mum. She looked back. I asked her why was he in hospital? She turned her head and looked out the window.

"Trey has a brain tumour."

I was stunned and couldn't speak or think.

"Grace took him to the doctor who x-rayed him and found a blood clot on his brain. He goes into surgery tomorrow afternoon."

I burst into tears too and a deadly thought struck me. What if Trey died?

I went to the hospital early the next morning. Trey looked terrible. He was skinny and he couldn't focus properly, but the thing that worried me most was that he couldn't remember who I was.

I kept reminding him I was his best friend and that we had known each other since we were 2, but he just had a pale blank look. He looked more horrifying than a vampire in Twilight.

I left the hospital a lot earlier than I had planned to because if Trey couldn't remember me than there was nothing we could talk about.

The day after I visited Trey I went to school just like always. But now it was different.

Trey wasn't there to crack a joke with and splash with water. Trey wasn't there to explain to the teacher why he didn't do his homework or to make everyone smile. I walked through the school gates. Alone.

Everybody stared at me with sympathetic expressions. I felt my cheeks burning red. I couldn't see out of my eyes as the tears started to fall.

I ran to the girls' bathrooms and locked the door. The tears fell faster and I started weeping. This wasn't fair, why did it have to happen to Trey?

I didn't go to school the next day because of the phone call in the morning. Mum answered it. She shut her door so I couldn't hear anything.

After a while Mum came out of her room holding the phone. I asked her whom she had been talking to. She looked at me.

"It was Grace and she was ringing from the hospital. Darling, Trey is very sick and the doctors said that he only had a few days to live."

I stared at her, shocked. It then hit me and I started screaming at the top of my lungs.

"This isn't fair! He can't die! He's my best friend!" I collapsed to the floor in tears, Mum taking me in her arms.

I didn't sleep that night as my head was full of questions. What if Trey doesn't get better? What if he can't speak or talk? What if he dies?

I eventually fell sleep, but woke up to Mum crying. I walked into her room to see her wrapped in Dad's arms.

She looked at me and her eyes spoke - Trey was gone!

I froze, then collapsed in tears.

Mum tried to hug me but I pushed her away and ran to my room. I locked the door and jumped onto my bed. With my head in my pillow, I let the tears flow.

Mum and Dad somehow got into my room. They explained that he was in no pain and that he passed in his sleep. I kept crying and screaming, "THIS ISN'T FAIR!"

I went to Trey's funeral a week later. I cried and I cried, but then I remembered that Trey wouldn't want me to be sad, he would want me to be happy.

I always took Trey for granted and I definitely didn't think he would leave me, but he did.

This shows that life is too short, so don't take it for granted because someday it might just slip away.

Shaye Nobilo, Year 9, Sacred Heart Girls' College, Hamilton

- NZ Herald

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