Eternal Love

I looked down at my best friend's face.

It had beads of sweat, blood, and dirt on it, but he was still beautiful. I reached up and brushed his hair out of his face. He opened his white-blue eyes and looked around the room before they landed on my face. He was dying, and he could feel it. The doctors didn't need to tell him that the bullet was lodged in his chest and there was no way to save him. He only had a few hours left. And the clock was ticking. I felt, rather than heard, his best friend Adam behind me. He walked up and stood behind me looking down at Drake. Drake closed his eyes and his head fell to one side. He was weak, and it pained me to see him like this. I felt my body slowly collapse down into the chair beside his bed. Adam grabbed my hand and placed Drake's limp one in it. “Eve, you know you can hold his hand, right?” “Don't call me Eve, it's Evelyn, and yes, I know that. I'm just afraid to touch him.” Adam glared at me and turned and stalked out the door, slamming it behind him. I fingered the edge of the sheet that covered Drake's thin six foot frame. His muscled chest labored for every breath and you could see the blood soaked bandages through the sheet. His skin was pallid and his hands shook. There was a slight sheen of sweat on his face and his unnatural black hair looked even darker against his pale skin and the white pillow. Drake was getting weaker with every second that ticked by. He didn't deserve this. Angelica, his little sister, would be placed into foster care since they only had each other. I looked down at his still unpeaceful face and wished again that I could take away the pain. I looked up as a short nurse with short blonde hair walked in. She quickly checked his vitals and gave me a sad smile before she attempted to bolt out of the room. I dropped Drake's hand and ran out into the hallway. I ran down the hallway and stopped at the nurse's station. After a few minutes of convincing, she handed me a small basin and some white washcloths. I filled the basin with warm water, dropped the washcloths in, and carried it back to Drake's room and set it on the bedside table.

I pulled a washcloth out and wrung it out. I took it and began to wipe the blood and dirt off his face. He opened his eyes once more and when the landed on my bright blue ones a small smile passed over his lips. “Evelyn,” Drake started to speak but I shushed him. He shook his head and started to speak again. “Evelyn, I love you.” He said and I froze. I looked into his sad eyes and I knew in my heart he wasn't kidding. “I love you too, Drake.” I said and he smiled weakly. I leaned over and pressed my lips lightly to his. He raised his head so our lips were pressed together even tighter. I pulled away and looked down at him. He moved his hand and I took a hold of it. He squeezed it lightly and I knew he was slowly growing weaker. He let go of my hand and pointed at his bag. I walked over and unzipped it and sitting on top was a small black box. I held it up to show him and he nodded. I carried it over and handed it to him and he opened it and pulled something out. He took my hand in his and placed the ring on my third finger. His hands dropped to his sides and I studied the ring. It had a silver band and a sapphire in the top of it. I looked along the band and Drake and Evelyn was engraved around it. I felt the tears start welling up in my eyes and I pressed my lips to his again. I pulled away and he patted the bed beside him. I laid down next to him and laid my arm carefully over his stomach. I could feel every breath that he struggled for and I could feel in my heart the pain he was in. “Necklace...” He mumbled out and I looked at him confused. I reached under his shirt and found a thin silver chain and pulled it out. There was a pair of dog tags and a simple silver cross like always. But now there was a silver ring on it. I unclasped the chain and pulled the ring off. I slid it onto his third finger and he weakly smiled at me. I laid back down and after a few minutes the door creaked open and Adam peeked his head in. He spotted me and came into the room. He sat down in the chair I was in and the room fell silent. After a while I realized Drake had fallen asleep. We sat there for a while longer until all of a sudden Drake was gasping for

air. His body went rigid and the gasps continued until he suddenly fell silent and limp to the bed. He looked like a fragile rag doll. I screamed his name and laid my head against his chest, but there was nothing. No sound, no movement, he was gone. ₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪ I watched tearfully as they lowered the box that was all that was left of Drake into the ground. I dropped the beautiful red roses on top before I took Angelica's and Adam’s hands and we turned and walked to Adam's car. We got in and quietly drove to Drake's house. Angelica went straight to her room and I hugged Adam before I walked upstairs and into Drake's room. I laid down on his unmade bed and buried my face in my pillow. It still smelled like him and it calmed me. I slowly drifted of to sleep where nightmares of Drake saving me and Drake dying awaited me. I woke up the next morning and walked downstairs where Adam was standing in the kitchen cooking breakfast. I sat down at the breakfast bar and Adam set a plate of food in front of me. I picked up the fork and pushed the food around my plate. It got eerily silent “How exactly did Drake get shot?” Adam asked, shattering the silence. The new silence got intense, everyone's fates hanging in the balance of weather I told my secret. “He took the bullet for me.” I said and I looked up through my lashes at Adam. He looked confused so I elaborated. “We were walking in the park when Jason, my ex-boyfriend, showed up. He pulled a gun saying he wanted to kill me because he said I was a worthless girlfriend because I was abstinence. He shot and Drake stepped in front of me at the last minute and it hit him. Jason fled and the squad took Drake to the hospital where they said there was no way to save him.” I looked back down at the unappetizing food on my plate and sighed.

“I'm sorry Evelyn.” Adam said, walking around the counter to hug me. I let go after a second and looked over just as Angelica looked around the corner. “Hi, auntie Evelyn. Hi, uncle Adam.” she said and I held my arms open to her she walked over and I pulled her onto my lap. “Angelica, how would you like it if me and Adam became the ones to permanently take care of you?” I asked her and she looked thoughtful for a long minute. “I think I would really like that. But your not taking Drake's place are you?” “No. Drake will always be your brother.” I said and she smiled at me. We were slowly stitching our world back together one patch and stitch at a time. Drake had been our thread, but by breaking, he was making the next threat even tighter.

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