This was sick. Was that doctor kidding me back there? Dying? How in God's name am I dying? He's wrong. I'm sure he's wrong. Now everyone's worried. Piplup was near tears, Brock seemed to be the same way, and Ash…oh, Ash…He ran off…he looked like the world was ending. That doctor is going to pay for making him cry like that. I've never, EVER seen Ash so upset in my life.
Now I know what you're thinking. HOW am I dying? Exactly. I don't know. I hit my head when an attack backfired while I was training Piplup for a contest. Brock insisted on taking me to the hospital to get it checked out. The doctors and nurses were fine at first, but next thing I know, they knock me out. Poke me with needles left and right. And when I wake up…that's when they told me I was dying. I didn't understand.
I don't remember much, but I remember asking the doctor how long I had. He said I only had until about 11:00 P.M. tomorrow. I'm so confused! I just bumped my head, and now I'm dying? And where'd Ash go, anyway?
Oh my God. They've got to be kidding me. This can't be much more than a joke, right? But if it's a joke, why am I on the ground in tears in the middle of nowhere???
I forgot everything except the events of the last hour by the time I got out here. Pikachu tried to come after me, but Brock stopped it. He knows by now when I need to be left alone. But…Dawn…dying? How? I care about her more than almost anybody! She's more than my friend, she's like family to me! My sister! As weird as that sounds coming from a guy, and me of all people, it's the truth! I couldn't care about her anymore than I already do. Well, I could always…yeah, but I don't like her THAT way. I love Dawn like a sister. Not like a girlfriend.
But now…my sister might be taken away from me. And after that, I'm hopelessly lost. I don't even know why I should keep going if she's not by my side. I never thought this could happen one of my friends…I don't want to leave her yet!
There's only one thing I can do.
She has one day left. Tomorrow. Until 11:00 P.M.
I want to make her smile one more time. And I'll find a way.
I remember he walked into my room with this HUGE grin on his face like he just won the lottery. He was actually scaring me a little. Not that I minded. Ash had a way of smiling that made anyone want to smile themselves. Not to mention, compared to most boys I've met his age, Ash had a very beautiful smile. I wonder if he ever thinks the same thing about me…he's like a brother to me, you know?
"Ash, what in God's name are you smiling about?"
He sat down on the bed beside me. "I want to ask you something. Would you…would you like to come out with me for a little while tomorrow?"
I was confused. "Go out? Where?"
He looked down at his feet. "Well…just…out. Go for a walk, get some ice cream, fly a kite, whatever you want to do."
I returned his massive smile. Well, maybe not as huge as his was. "Sure. I'd like that a lot."
He wouldn't leave my side that night. He pulled up a chair and stared at me until I fell asleep, stroking my hair softly and humming, almost like a lullaby. Funny, because I can't really picture Ash of all people singing a lullaby to anyone. Around 3:00 in the morning, I woke up out of nowhere after a weird dream. I turned my head, and there he was, out like a light, his head resting softly against the bed, right next to me, breathing softly. I patted his head gently. His closed eyes tightened, as if he were having a nightmare.
I patted his head gently. "It's okay, Ash. I'm right here."
He clenched his fist. "Dawn, don't go…"
Something in me felt bad. Really bad. Ash was a good kid, and he was really upset because of me. I put my head against my pillow sadly, a small tear dripping down onto it before I fell asleep once more.
"Ash, get up. Wake up, Ash. Please wake up? It's lonely here when no one's awake to talk to me."
I woke up the next morning to see Dawn sitting up in her bed, smiling and rubbing my head. I lifted my head and rubbed my eyes. My back was sore from sleeping like that all night, but it was worth it for Dawn. I smiled tiredly.
"Hey, good morning. You sleep okay?"
She continued to rub my head. I felt bad, noticing her eyes had tiny traces of worry and sadness in them. "Yeah, I was fine. Thanks for worrying."
For a brief moment we just stared into each other's eyes. I think she could tell I was worried too. At last I broke the ice by jumping up out of my chair and starting to pull my clothes back on. I'd slept in just my boxers and that white t-shirt all night, so I was a little cold. Dawn just stared at me as I did. Either she was really confused, I'm really hot, or she was just thinking about how she was going to miss me. I'm gonna miss her a lot too…
After I got changed, she rolled out of bed and followed suit. Before she went into the bathroom to change, she handed me my hat, smiling sadly.
"Don't forget this, Ash."
I smiled and patted her shoulder reassuringly. "Don't worry, I wouldn't have forgotten."
As she dropped the subject and walked into the bathroom, I gingerly touched the spots on my hat where her fingertips had been resting moments ago. Still warm. Remember how I was cold a minute ago? Well, not anymore.
When she walked out, she was still fixing her hair. I'm not sure why, but I sat down and just watched her. She always did have really pretty hair. Wait, why was I thinking that now of all times…? Never mind. Anyway, I guess I was just going to miss seeing Dawn always obsessing over her hair…
At last she pulled her hat onto her head and smiled at me, motioning for me to follow her out the door.
As we walked down the stairs, a doctor stopped us, and said something that made both of us pretty mad…
"What do you mean I can't go out?"
This doctor was really starting to tick me off. "You're dying. It's best to stay here so your body does not strain itself any longer."
I stamped my foot in anger. "ARE YOU CRAZY? You expect me to spend my last day of life just sitting in here doing nothing at all?"
Ash put his hand on my shoulder. "Dawn, enough is enough. You heard the doctor." I was about to protest. Ash wasn't one to give up so easily. But then he winked at me. For some odd reason I still don't understand, I blushed. I really hope he didn't see…I followed him into another room. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. This WAS Ash we were talking about.
As we came into the room, he shut the door behind us and opened a window eagerly. I smirked excitedly.
"Ash, you can be so reckless sometimes."
"Well," he started as he began to climb out the window, "they say to live like you were dying. Well, you're dying, so today, we're living."
"How do we know when…"
Ash reached into his pocket and pulled out a watch. I was a little surprised myself. I gave him that watch as a little thing on his birthday. I never actually thought he kept it. It was only about $10.00 at the store anyway.
"You really still have that old thing?
He smiled. "Yeah, it was really the only thing you ever gave me. Everyone else gave me something along the way, so I had to have something from you. Misty gave me her fishing lure, May gave me that ribbon half, and you…you gave me this."
Both of us smiled at it for a moment. He looked at the time at last. "It's 8:30 right now. We've got all day, let's not waste it, okay?"
With that, he took my hand and led me out the window, both of us running and laughing and chasing each other.
Before I knew it, a whole day had gone by. It seemed to have ended much too soon, even though Dawn and I had crammed everything possible into it. Sadly, I checked the watch.
"10:45. We won't make it back to the hospital."
Dawn smiled and hugged my arm. "It's okay. I didn't want to die in that stupid hospital anyway."
I looked around. There was a tree nearby, that would work. I guided Dawn over to it and motioned for her to sit down and rest against it. I sat down beside her, and she let her head rest against my shoulder. I blushed, but I like it. I wasn't quite sure what to do or say at this point. Apparently neither did she, because both of us just kept gazing up at the stars.
About 5 minutes from the deadline, Dawn spoke up. "Ash, before I go…I need to tell you how much I'll miss you."
I turned to her. We were both on the brink of tears. One of hers spilled over and slipped silently down her cheek. I brushed it away gently with my fingertip.
"I'll miss you a lot too." My voice was cracking. This was a weird feeling I had. I never would've felt this way if it had been Misty or May or anyone else. I felt like the world was collapsing around me. I pulled her into a hug as all my tears broke loose.
"Dawn…I'm really gonna miss you! I'm not ready for you to go yet!"
3 minutes left.
"Ash…I don't want to go either…really…please, when I die…don't leave me…"
"I won't. I never would. I promise. Let me prove it." I gripped her hand tightly and inched my face closer to hers. She didn't move, just smiled sadly, tears streaming freely down both of our faces.
1 minute. 60 seconds left in Dawn's life.
I brought my face forward so our lips were touching. Both of us closed our eyes. I felt awful. Dawn would never open hers again after this.
I broke the kiss at last and embraced her tightly. "Goodbye Dawn. I love you."
5, 4, 3, 2...
"I love you too, Ash. Bye."
Her grip slackened, her hand became cold. The steady beat of her heart came to a stop, and I started to cry, relieved no one could hear.
I would've given my life to keep hers. But saying goodbye is harder than I ever thought it would be. I realized it now. I loved her. And now she was gone.
And I couldn't get her back.
I shut my eyes as my tears ran down the watch.