One Book Before I Die

18 Oct

By Aislinn Lewis
6th Grade

I stared at my pale, white face through the cracked mirror. I had just gotten back from the hospital. Thinking about the cold building made chills run down my spine. I was terrified. But the tumor wasn’t that bad, just bad enough to make me die in two months. I couldn’t think straight.

I went into the living room and started to think about John, my husband. Well, my old husband. He had died of chemo five years back. The chemo had spread to his brain and killed him in two years. His only wish before he died, was to take care of our son. I think I’ve done well, but my baby boy would probably disagree.

For a while, I sat on the couch staring at the millions of old books we have. They were all separated by size in the white bookcase. It finally entered my mind: where’s my book? I need a book on one of the shelves, a book that I wrote. Why don’t I? It’s something I’ve always wanted to do: write a romantic novel.

I got up quickly to grab a piece of paper and pen. To start the plan, I wrote down:


I was just getting started.

As I wrote down the character’s name in the first draft, I got a feeling something was missing. My stomach growled. I had missed my dinner. Charles was at his grandma’s, so he had already eaten. I went to the fridge. Then my phone rang.

It was the doctor. She told me to get to the hospital. I went to sit in the living room. Was it worse? Was it better? Sure enough, it was worse. I only had a bloody month. I needed to write faster.

After a week, I was halfway through my book. It was only a 100-page book. As I wrote, I got a queazy feeling. I got dizzy and started to hear my heartbeat. I stood up, just to fall on the couch again. I tried again. I turned to my left and looked at the bathroom door. One foot in front of another. I started to wobble and fell on the floor. I hit my head, my heart was pounding in my ears, and on top of it I got throw-up all over me. The room went black. My life flashed in front of my eyes.

I saw John, how he put the wedding band on my finger. I saw my baby gasp for his first breath of air. I saw my husband die in my arms. I saw my son and me cry together. I saw the last words I wrote in my book, “I held her tight. The door burst open. They were here.” I forgot what I was going to write next. I lost my train of thought.

I was sick, too sick. I had to push through the pain. I tried to get up, fell on the couch, off of my unsteady legs. I grabbed my bag and put my book inside. I grabbed my phone and dialed 911. Everything went black for a second time.

When I woke up, I was in a hospital bed. I looked around, not sure what to think about. Nobody was in the room, just me. I sat there and then started looking through my bag. My book! Where’s my book?

While I worried, Cara, my nurse, came in holding my book. “This is really good!” she exclaimed. “You know, I used to be an editor.”

I couldn’t think straight. “Why do you have my book? I…I need you to give it back.” I was furious.

Cara blurted the most random thing, “I…I think that I should hold onto this for you.” Before I could confront her, she ran out of the dusty room.

One month later

The month was horrible. I thought I was going to die every step of the way. But what hurt the most was when I set Cara straight.

I walked into the book signing. I walked past hundreds of people, hundreds of books, my books. Cara had turned my 150-page book into a 1050-page book.

I marched up to the table, and it came up, the word vomit. “I can’t believe you. You stole my book, and this was my only dream, my husband’s only dream.”

She stood up and walked to the other side of the table. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

And then it happened. I punched Cara in the side of the jaw. I smiled with satisfaction, then collapsed. Before I joined my husband, I whispered, “I love you.”


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