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When life hands you lemons make lemonade. But when life hands you lemons… you don’t want to make lemonade. What if you didn’t have the ingredients to make the lemonade? What if you decided to buy these ingredients… off the streets, from the store, or steal them from an unknown person? Or what if the lemon was so sour, that no matter how hard you try the sourness doesn’t leave. It sits there, on your tongue; torturing you with its tragic memory. So if all of these questions are behind just one cliché how could it make anyone feel better? It doesn’t.
What about “Dying is easy, but living is much harder.”? What if that it was the other way around? Fewer suicides, less murders, and messy divorces. God, I wish that was the way life was like. Easy. If death was hard… I wouldn’t feel the way I do sometimes. I have cancer. I was diagnosed when I was eight, I’m 15. My name is Danielle, Dani for short. There is a battle raging inside of me, life and death. Right now life is winning. Riding my bike, with the last few rays of sunshine on my skin, while the wind whispers across my face and arms, I feel whole and want more from life. I want to travel the world, to make a difference. I want so much before my time is over, I want to live life without the chains I must wear; cancer. Sometimes I feel like just lying down and quitting, but then I just remember days like this, bliss. My mom doesn’t know I’m out here, she’d freak out. Only my ten year old brothers, Paul and Joel know that I’m out here. They swore that they wouldn’t say a word, once I swore I’d be careful.
I’m coming up on a cliff. The sun is setting, and it looks beautiful. I park my bike, and look down. I see the jagged rocks, and then I look at the setting sun, life and death. The choice I was going to make tonight. I think of simply riding my bike over the cliff, and hitting my sweet end. No more kimo, no more pain, money, and for my parents; no more burden.
Then I think of my family, my friends, and Zach. I think of that very sunset, and my magical bike ride. I think of me. Can I possibly get better? Is it possible? I don’t know. Do I want to find out?
I grab my bike and go to the very edge of the cliff. I look down. I felt my pocket vibrate just as I was about to jump. It was my phone, Zach was calling.
“Hello?” I answer
“Dani! Holy god! Where are you?” he panted
“I’m on the cliff.” I say slowly, “I wanna jump.”
“Dani don’t jump.” He whispered pleadingly. “You have a chance. Please.”
“Why wait Zach? Why wait for something that might not even happen?”
There was a long silence, aching to hear his voice I stood there waiting.
“I honestly don’t know Dani… but you’ve made it past the assumed date. You have a chance!” he was desperate I heard it in his voice.
“Zach, I’m so tired.” I sigh “my whole being is tired, you don’t understand.”
“I know I don’t understand, but would you rather die naturally, people saying you were a powerful fighter?” He was stalling and I let him. “Or kill yourself, with people saying you couldn’t handle it?”
I thought about what he said with a heavy heart. He was so right… and yet jumping just seemed so much easier. I wanted to jump, to be done, to rest.
“I’m sorry Zach, I love you.” I whisper.
“Dani! Dani no!” he screamed.
I hung up, took out my letter and clutched it in my hand. I was going to rest; my body and soul will finally rest. I look down, and jumped.
That saying isn’t always correct, death isn’t all that easy, you think of what you never did, who never talked to and promises you never kept. I think of my brothers, mom, dad, friends, and Zach. I think of his eyes, his smile, his laugh, and I die with his face in my mind. I was done, I was dead, I was happy.