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"Come on. Mom, we are going to be late." Noah couldn't wait to get to the hospital. He had never been fishing before, and it had been three whole weeks since Glenn, and he had hung out.
"Hold your horses. I'm an old lady, and I am sure Glenn won't mind if you're a few minutes late."
It wasn't Glenn he was worried about. Of course, he wouldn't mind but in the last week or so Noah had found it increasingly harder to stay awake for more than eight hours, if that. And if his math was correct, that meant he had another four to five hours before he would need to crash, leaving only three hours for them to actually fish.
"Okay, okay. I'm ready," his mom said, holding the front door open for him.
Noah wasted no time as he briskly walked to his friend's room. He would have been running if he thought he could manage it.
"Noah," a nurse called from behind him. Whirling around Noah recognized the elderly woman. He didn't know her name or anything, but she was always smiling and waving to Noah and Glenn any time they passed by.
"Uh, yeah?" he asked, his hand on the handle to Glenn's door.
"Gone? Gone where? Is he already waiting outside? I didn't see him when I came in," He said, looking back the way he came. She smiled at him, and his stomach dropped. It was the same uncomfortable smile his doctor had when he gave him the bad news.
"No! No, he can't be. We were gonna go fishing today," he cried in disbelief.
"I'm sorry. He passed away four nights ago."
Noah sunk to the floor his hand never letting go of the door knob. Glenn was dead? He just couldn't wrap his mind around it. He had seemed like he was doing so much better the last time they hung out. He hadn't even needed the oxygen tank.
"His mom said to give this to you next time you stopped by," she said, placing an unwrapped brown box on the ground next to him. He eyed the package before picking it and himself off the tile floor and taking a chair in the guest seating area.
Opening the small box Noah couldn't help but smile. Inside contained a polaroid camera, similar to the one Glenn had carried around. Only it was much more modern, unlike the older boy's prehistoric one. Along with a short note and a photo of his friend. Noah laughed as he stared at the image. It was a selfie something Noah had challenged was impossible with such a mammoth contraption. Apparently he was wrong.
Noah began reading the note written in Glenn's uncharacteristically neat handwriting. It was a poem. Nothing long or too fancy, but profound and beautiful, very much like his friend.
Today is a fairytale
Tomorrow a dream
Though life may seem frail
And like a battle upstream
It demands to be lived
regardless how short
So look for the beauty
no matter what sort
"That was horribly corny, I hope you know," he said to the picture he still held firmly in his hands. He could imagine Glenn smirking back at him saying, 'It's not corny. It's meaningful you doof.' Taking a deep breath, Noah fought back the tears threatening to spill out. Instead, he grabbed his new camera and walked over to the nearby window. The sky was a stunning shade of blue that seemed to go on forever, with a single cloud floating along. Noah smiled as he snapped a picture. "I'll see you soon," he whispered as he watched the fluffy white mass drift away.
With nothing more to keep him there Noah turned and headed for the exit ready to go home and call it a day, but he didn't make it that far. Not even ten feet down the hall, Noah stopped at the sound of muffled sobbing.
"It's not fair. It's just not fair," he heard a young girl's voice cry out. Noah stepped into the rec room to see a little blond girl with a rainbow covered bandana tied around her head. She couldn't have been older than eight.
"Now come on, it can't be that bad."
She glared up at him her blue eyes rimmed with red.
"What would you know?" the young girl snapped at him. Noah smirked at her.
"More than you think," he responded. "I'm Noah by the way."
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