Do you know that feeling where you walk into a room and everyone stares at you? That feeling where you are all alone in a crowded room? Cancer gives you that feeling. It doesn't always come the day after, the week after, or even a month after you have been diagnosed; but when you start to change, people start to notice, and they start to stare.
I don't know what was worse, the stares, or listening to my father cry himself to sleep every night. I don't think that it was my father, because I could block him out; but the stares, they didn't stop. They connected to me every day, every hour, every minute just like a magnet but I felt like the stares stopped when I met Augustus. I think I felt like they stopped because I no longer felt alone.
Augustus Waters understood what it's like to feel like you're going to let everyone down. That feeling where you know another day of survival isn't enough. This disease, it turned us into grenades, leaving everyone to pick up the shrapnel that we left behind. Augustus gave me that weird evangelical zeal that you get from certain books, or a song you hear, or a movie you watch.
Augustus didn't tell me that everything was going to be okay, he didn't tell me that I was going to live, or that he was going to live, or if we would ever see each other again; but the one thing that Augustus did tell me was that I could not live my life sitting back and watching America's Next Top Model with my mother, or going to cancer meetings. Augustus taught me how to feel, and let me tell you, it's pretty hard to feel when the numbness has consumed your soul. Augustus was my solution to all of the failed treatments, ripped up "get well soon" cards, and half hearted encouragements. Augustus Waters taught me what it felt like to have a soul again, and I will love him for that. Forever.