A World Apart: Chapter 1

A World Apart: Chapter 1

by Linh Dang

Faith: To have complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Well, that’s a lot easier said than done, especially when your life is turning into a complete shit show. As I sat in class gazing at nothing, I couldn’t help but wonder, what is the meaning of life? Is there really life after death and if there was,would they look out for their loved ones forever or get bored and move on? If God really did exist why would he just sit back and let innocents slip away from the world leaving everyone behind?

Those questions may sound way too deep to most, but lately, it’s all I can think about. I guess it’s all that time I’m spending in the hospital but still, it doesn’t make those thoughts any less relevant.

“Alex, Alex? Alexandra.” A voice brought back to the real world, I tried to find the source that called on me until it became quite clear; Ms Graham was tapping on the board. “Can you tell me the answer to this equation?” As I started to increasingly panic inside, I looked around the room seeing all the blank faces staring at me, I tried looking at the board hoping to find the answer to be right in front of me to no avail, everything just looked like numbers scribbled on the board. As I was ready to face Ms Graham’s wrath admitting to not paying attention, the angel beside me by the name of Ashton whispered in my ear, “x= 6”. With no other choice, I repeated the answer. After a few seconds of staring at me, Ms Graham finally decided that she was satisfied with my answer and turned away to try and torture another student. Sighing with relief, I heard a chuckle next to me, “You’re welcome, airhead.”

“Thank you, Dumbo” I replied with a grin, he pushed my head to the side and gave me a small smile before saying, “ But seriously, you alright?”

“Yes I’m fine, I’m always fine.”


But as he said that, he looked back at his workbook and mumbled, “That’s the problem.”

As the bell to the last session rang, I felt as though the world suddenly fell on my shoulders. Unlike most kids, school was my safe place.

As I walked side by side with Ash, I could tell he wanted to say something.

“Spill it. What’s up?”


“Oh, don’t play stupid, you’ve looked up at me four times in the past minute and you haven’t said a word since last period which is odd, even for you.”

Looking up at me he said sternly “how are you doing, actually”

Right there and then, looking up into his eyes, I wanted to tell him the truth. How I’m miserable and mad all the time, but I couldn’t be and shouldn’t be, because it would be immature and selfish. How I am so sick of life and everyone telling me how sorry they were and how they have no idea what I’m going through. I wanted to tell him all that and more, but as I opened my mouth all that came out was, “I’m fine,” and as those words fell out of my mouth, I could see his face fall, disappointed that his best friend refused to confide in him.

We walked in silence for what seemed like forever when he finally spoke up, “Are you going to the hospital today?”

“Yeah, just stopping by Raine’s to get some food first.”

“Cool, I’m coming with you. Last one to Raines’ paying!” And with that he ran off like a little kid, I couldn’t help but smile feeling grateful that through all this,  I still had that clown to brighten up my day.

By the time I got to Raines’, Ashton already had the bag of chips in hand waving it in my face. “Pay up.”

Rolling my eyes, I took out my wallet and gave Nick the $20.

“You know, you’ve really gotta run faster next time,” Nick said over the counter.

“Well, you try spending a day in my life and see if you have enough energy to run,” I replied half-jokingly.

“Pffft piece of cake.”

“Yeah right, alright bye.”

“See you guys next time.”

As soon as we stepped out of the Cafe, Ash and I immediately looked at each other, both pleading but also arguing over whether to eat the chips right away or not. As usual, we had no self-control and by the time we had reached the hospital, we had already devoured the whole thing.

We walked into the hospital through the same doors, elevators and halls we had gone through so many times before, greeting the nurses, doctors and patients who I’ve, by now, become well acquainted with and some I actually call friends. Ashton and I had been joking the whole way up but as we got to the one room that really mattered, I froze. This would be the first time I’d see her for two months, which may sound ridiculous because it is, she didn’t want me to see her after she lost her hair so it took two whole months of convincing for her to finally let me come visit.

But now I realise that maybe what she feared may not be so irrational after all, I mean, here I am, terrified of opening the only thing that’s keeping us apart, as I was contemplating on whether to turn around and go home, Ashton squeezed my hand and smiled, “Lets go.” He then opened the door revealing the person who was kept from me for so long.

Nervously, I walked in, “Hey Mum.”

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