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Chocolate Chip Ice Cream & Cancer
We met on the first day of high school, it was an odd meeting, but I guess it was a suitable meeting for our odd relationship.
I had received a cup of chocolate chip ice cream from a lunch lady who had known my Mother. As I sat down, a wavy, brown-haired boy with remarkable sapphire eyes approached the table where I sat alone, he was grinning.
"Can I have some of your ice cream?", he asked.
"Who said I had ice cream?", I was suspicious, after all, I wasn't terribly good-looking and it was my first day.
"Well, uh, I asked if the cafeteria had any ice cream and one of them told me you took the last one", he motioned towards the lunch ladies. "Besides, it's my favorite!"
"Fine, it's also my favorite". I slid the cup across the table, and resumed eating my lunch, because as you know, it is better to give than to receive.
He sat down across from me, amid murmurs of approval from his football friends.
"Ignore them, I'm Jay, the lunch ladies tell me your name is Victory, so.... will you tell me about yourself?", he questioned, in between bites of my coveted treat.
"Because, it's inevitable", he smiled as if that was the clearest answer anyone had ever thought of.
"What is... inevitable?", my brain continued to dislike this intruder, but, embarrassingly, my heart was beginning to melt.
"You and me, we are like chocolate chips and ice cream, we go perfectly together!"
I opened up to him, and told him everything, about my mom, and the dad who hated me, about my dead friend who was struck by lightning. I told him about my hobbies and my fears, my loves and my hates.
And in turn he told me about his guitar which was signed by a multitude of guitar legends, and his sports, and his dog, and the Grandma who sent him constant love through the phone and the mail box. He told me of his love for the color blue, how it matched his eyes, and how he loved chocolate chip ice cream, even though I insisted I knew about that already. He told me about his homeless friend who gave him guitar lessons, and the uncle who let him ride horses at his ranch. I was jealous, he was surrounded by love, friends and family. I was a nobody, with no mother, a father who didn't care, and long bangs to hide my face in class. But here was someone surrounded by love, willing to escape for a few moments to bring me into his life, and claim me as his. This was our love.
Stupid disloyal heart, but I was falling for this wonderful boy, who was much too perfect for me.
In the months following, we carefully cultivated our relationship, as a farmer grows his prize-winning vegetables. We were careful to be honest and to be true to one another. Our relationship was real, it was a gem, he was my only true love, and the love we shared could only be replicated by sharing chocolate chip ice cream, yes, we both loved it that much.
In September, I noticed something different about his step, his moods, and his light-heartedness, something had changed inside him, and I patiently waiting for weeks for him to open up to me about it.
It was on our anniversary that he decided it was a perfect time to tell me.
"I have cancer, darling. But I promise you, it's not life-threatening, the doctors say with a few months of treatment I should be fine", he said as gently as he could, such news as this can break apart relationships as easily as rag dolls.
I ignored him for 2 days prior to that, but then I shamefully realized that he needed more consoling than I did.
I finally replied to messages that declared that everything was fine, and agreed to meet him soon.
Nothing was fine, at least not anymore.
One day, I succumbed to go for ice cream, it was a cold, windy day, hardly suitable for a frozen treat, and much less for the death of someone you love but I still needed to be with him.
We walked down the street to Farley's his arm around my shoulder, an average couple, at least in view. In depth we were two people suffering from an unfortunate illness, the unaffected one picturing herself in more pain than he, after all, who really believed in doctors?
We ordered our favorite ice cream, and sat down. And only as the first bite crossed his lips did I realize something was truly wrong.
His mouth turned into a frown, the rest of his face contorting into pain, his hands held his stomach as if there was a firework inside, ready to take off as soon as it was released.
Panic seized my mind and I could only think of getting him into the hospital, as if everyone that was submitted there lived.
He was sleeping peacefully, past his sudden attack, me watching him, when all of a sudden his monitor alarms went crazy. Nurses flooded the room, he managed to choke out,
"Vicky... I love you". Then the grey hand of death slowly pulled him from me as slowly and quietly, and he was gone, forever.
This was all I got, as a goodbye, no hours of crying together, expressing their eternal love?
My mind was a whirl of cold and hot, of memories and emotions, of my own mother who was the principal of my high school, who had died giving birth to me, the only product of her pain. I was a poor excuse for her, a poor substitute. Was Jay really in a better place? I was certainly not.
I finally found my voice but the only think I could say was to scream,
"You promised, Jay! You promised!", I slid into the arms of Jay's mother, who grudgingly held me, who believed that I had killed him.
He had promised, but he had not been able to control the results.
I cried silent tears, while Jay's mother looked at his peaceful face calmly, as if wanting to believe it was all a dream.
My brain was weeping for this gorgeous boy who I didn't deserve, for the thought of never seeing his profoundly deep blue eyes again, never to share ice cream or a kiss. But my heart refused to believe he was gone.
Stupid disloyal heart, stupid chocolate chip ice cream, stupid cancer, stupid ME!
I did not attend Jay's memorial, I never spoke to his parents again.
I only visit his grave on our anniversary, I sit next to him and tell him how I miss him. I do this amid bites of a half-pint tub of chocolate chip ice cream, because, he would have deserved it. I will never love again. Jay was too precious to me and no one can ever mend the deep tear in the farthest part of my heart. Whenever I see someone with blue eyes, or Chocolate Ice Cream, I cry sadly because these, and his prized guitar are the only memories I have of his true and precious love for me. My heart will only be truly mended, when our good and gracious God decides to take me to be with Him, and then I will be reunited with Jay in eternal peace and love, free of cancer, and stupid disloyal hearts.