"Lily? What are you doing here?"
"Is that you, Jeremy? You've changed a lot! Err...got some time to spare? I really need to talk to you. Just tell me the time and the place."
"Well, sure...let's see.. can you meet me at Joylife afterwards, 5 o'clock?"Lily agreed. After she left, Mandy looked agitated. "Jeremy..." She appeared hesitant.
"Can you go see her next Monday? I w-...I want to go to the park with you this evening."
"Can't we go tomorrow? I'm sure what she wants to tell me is important, Mandy. She looked serious."
"Maybe she just wants to hang out. She'll understand. I really want to go to the park today. Please..."Jeremy was torn between Mandy and Lily. But Mandy just wanted to go to the park, which they can do anytime, so he decided that he would meet Lily. "I'm sorry, Mandy. How could we know that it isn't a serious matter if I don't go? I'll go to the park with you first thing tomorrow morning, okay? Tomorrow's Friday, and I don't have any classes."
Mandy was not satisfied. However, the professor came in at that moment and she had to go out. The next time Jeremy saw her, she was on that tree branch again, looking mournfully at him. Maybe she was sad because I can't spend time with her today, he thought.
After his class ended, Jeremy waited for Mandy but she did not appear. He then gave her another 15 minutes, but it was getting late and he figured that she was sulking and didn't want to join him. Thus he went alone to the fastfood joint. Lily was already there.
"Hi, sorry to keep you waiting. I waited for Mandy but she didn't show up."
"Yes, my friend."
"Oh, I see..."Looking a bit confused at first, Lily then grew serious. "I came to see you about my friend. She-" Lily stopped mid-sentence when Jeremy suddenly got up and rushed out of the restaurant. Her eyes followed him and saw that he was talking to somebody. It had started to rain and the large glass window blurred. She squinted her eyes, trying to see the person he was talking to. Who is it? She thought.
Jeremy, in fact, had seen Mandy standing outside looking at them. She had tears in her eyes. That's why he rushed out and confronted her.
"Mandy! Why didn't you come in? And...you're crying."Mandy lifted up her face to look at him, traces of tears glistened on her cheeks. "Is it because I won't go to the park?" Jeremy asked, but she just kept silent. Then as she turned away, she said, "Go on. Meet her. We'll talk when you get back."
"Are you sure?"Mandy again did not answer. She just walked away slowly, and Jeremy knew that it would be useless to try to stop her. Besides, she already told him to go ahead, so he thought it would be better if he talk to Lily first. Knowing how stubborn Mandy was, she probably would end up pushing him into the restaurant herself if he kept on talking to her. So he went back inside. Lily had already ordered a Coke for him.
"Thanks. It's my favorite drink."
"I know."Jeremy looked at Lily. "How?" She smiled half-heartedly. "That's what I'm going to tell you." She took a long breath.
"I had a friend who had a really huge crush on you since high school. Her name's Amanda Maxson. She's the one who told me about your favorite drink..."Jeremy laughed. "I had a secret admirer? I can't believe it! Is that all? You were pretty serious about this." Lily remained uptight and continued her story.
"We, me and you, often bumped into each other before and Amanda was with me most of the time. I saw her getting excited every time. I saw her face turned red, walking awkwardly hoping that you notice her yet was too shy to get closer. Tidied up her hair, conscious of her appearance, writing it all into her diary...in short, I saw her efforts concerning you. But sadly, you seemed to never notice her. That foolish girl never had the courage to confess."Jeremy just sat there, not knowing what to say.
"Four months ago, I learned why. She got brain tumor."At this, his head jerked up. Tears had welled up in Lily's eyes. "She never told me. Only after her condition got worse did she asked to see me. We talked a lot and our parents agreed to let me stay with her these last few months. She mentioned your name frequently but sadly, she refused when I volunteered to get you."
Lily took out a paper bag from under the table. "I hope you'll accept this, as a remembrance of her. I think it's a real pity that you didn't get the chance to know her, Jeremy." Jeremy was speechless. He took the bag and opened it. There was a framed picture of Amanda, and a small notebook. After a few minutes, he cleared his throat and closed the bag.
"I guess I better get going. Thanks for telling me about this. I'll keep this with special care."Leaving his drink untouched, Jeremy proceeded to pay but Lily stopped him, saying it was her treat. They eventually parted ways outside Joylife.
On his way home, Jeremy felt totally confused and numb. He never thought that one day he could get involved in a situation like this. He walked as fast as he could, nearly running, as he couldn't wait to reach home and talk to Mandy.
* Sikit-sikit brain tumor lah, leukemia lah, cancer lah, autumn in my heart lah...ye, tau korang mesti bosan kan? Cheit, typical kisah cinta muntah hijau kuning-kuning spageti, ada-ada je penyakit kritikal! *tunduk akur*