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My Best Friend
The cool night’s air washed over me as I ventured outside my warm and comforting house. A slight mist frosted the porch and its railings. Different colored lights played on our living room window and I wished I could join my family watching TV. I’d promised her though; she would get to see them.
Taking off at a run I ran under the brightly glowing yard light and past the dark silhouetted barns. On the other side were miles and miles of straight row cornfields. Anyone else would have gotten lost but I knew this land like the back of my hand. I’d lived and grown up in these cornfields.
Wet leaves from the corn stalks slapped my arms, legs and face as I ran through the rows. Looking up I could see stars winking at me through the leaves encouraging me on. I glanced back down in time to see a dark shadow cross my path. A silent shriek came to my lips and I ran faster. The fear quickly subsided and I settled back into an easy pace. The jar I clutched in my arms began to slip from all the moisture collecting on the clear glass. Quickly readjusting I continued on.
A stitch had built up in my side by the time I’d reached the barbed-wire fence separating our land from our neighbors. I ran along it until I reached the large tunnel Jane and I had dug. Luckily there wasn’t a build up of water in the hole and if I positioned myself just right I could crawl to the other side without letting my body or my jar hit the wet soggy ground. Slowly down and slowly up the other side I crawled carefully positioning my jar so no harm would come to it. Taking off into the corn again I shivered as the cold night air bit through my jacket.
A few minutes passed with only the sound of my converse hitting the damp ground. Finally reaching the tractor path I veered to the right. In the distance sat a large farmhouse with bright yellow lights inviting me in. I was about to live up to the promise I’d made a month ago. Reaching the yard I slowed down to a walk. The house towered above me and comforting lights greeted me from the windows as I walked up the front steps. Before I reached the porch, the door opened and a large woman looked down at me. The last few months had not been kind to her and it showed on her face. A wisp of gray hair fell into her bright blue eyes as a faint smile came to her lips.
“How’s Jane?” I asked stepping onto the porch.
“Holding on;” the large woman said extending her arms to me. Running up to her she enveloped me in a bear hug. Stepping back she noticed my jar and said, “go on up, she’s waiting for you.”
Sliding past her I ran to the carpeted steps and silently jogged up taking two at a time. Reaching the top my quick steps matched my pounding heart beats. I walked down the hall towards her room. Loud music blared from behind her closed door. I could distinctly make out the words from Avril Lavigne’s latest hit Girlfriend. Opening the door I traipsed into the room singing the words as loud as I could. A huge smile lit up her face as she put down her book and sang out loud with me. As the song ended I withdrew my jar from behind my back so she could see what was inside. Tears came to her eyes as the small bugs inside the jar began to glow. Sitting down on her bed next to her I turned off the light so we could watch the tiny fire flies zoom back and forth inside the jar. A tear slid down my cheek and I quickly brushed it aside I didn’t want her to see how scared I was too.
She held the jar in her hands and quietly whispered, “remember that time we got lost in the cornfields because of one lightening bug we were determined to catch?”
“I remember. We finally caught it only to have you trip and squash it,” she laughed and slapped me on the arm.
“At least I didn’t accidentally eat one and look like I had on glowing lipstick!” she shot back at me laughing.
We laughed for a while remembering and sharing our adventures until it grew quiet. Her head rested on my shoulder as we both stared into the lighted up jar. I don’t know how much time passed, it could have been five minutes or a full hour until Jane sat up and a smile came to her lips. “Thanks for catching them. I wish I could have been out there with you.”
I hugged her and replied. “You were with me, in my heart.”
She hugged me back and said. “Let’s let them go so they can be seen by the rest of the world.” I laughed silently she was always for letting them go before the sun rose so the rest of the world could enjoy their beauty.
I turned around and opened the window behind her bed. She carefully turned around and began to unscrew the jar’s lid. Right before she let them go she kissed the jar and whispered something I couldn’t distinguish. She pulled the lid off and all the lightening bugs rushed out and flew away up towards the stars. The stars didn’t wink this time they stared back watching the fire flies fly towards them.
We turned around once they’d disappeared she held the jar in her hands and I wished the fire flies were still in there giving off there warm light. Then a slight glow came from the very bottom of the jar.
She noticed the one tiny little fire fly sitting in the bottom of the jar all alone. She took my hand and shook the fire fly into my palm. “Make a wish and let it go.” I’d never heard of wishing on fire flies before but I didn’t care there was one thing I wanted more than anything right now for my best friend. I bent my head and whispered into my closed fist so Jane couldn’t hear. “I wish they would find a cure for cancer,” and I let the little bug go to carry my wish far, far away.
We both turned back around and settled into her bed. She didn’t ask what I’d wished for and I didn’t tell her because we both knew it wouldn’t come true if I told. I lay awake not being able to fall asleep. Soon I heard her deep breathing and I turned towards her. A tear streaked down my cheek and fell onto the pillow below me. I leaned over and kissed her shaved head before falling asleep beside my best friend.