By Sami Quinn
“C’mon Hannah!” I call as I race around the tree, my little sister falling further behind just as Grace was gaining speed.
“Hannah! Grace is going to get you! Hurry up!” I animatedly encourage as my pace slows slightly.
I quickly glance ahead to make sure that I won’t run into anything before turning around completely and running backward. I watch Hannah dodge Grace’s swift jabs as the chase continues around the yard. From then it seems to happen in slow motion, Hannah ducks around Grace’s arm but trips over her own feet sending her flying towards the ground. She fell forward though, right on top of Grace, causing the pair to land with a resounding thud. I begin to rush over to help them but stop when I see Grace push Hannah off of her and stand up quickly; she bends down and touches Hannah’s shoulder before running over to me.
“TAG! YOU’RE IT!!” She yells over her shoulder to Hannah, who is just starting to get up and brush the grass off of her clothes.
I’m startled awake by my alarm clock making the most irritating noise possible. I groan and slap the top of it a few times before getting the desired result of turning it off. Finally cracking open my eyes to peer at the clock, I read 6:30 am in the form of blindingly neon red numbers. I take a moment to think about the dream I just had, it makes me smile to think about such a happy memory. Hannah was only seven at the time, making our sister Grace eleven and myself sixteen. Playing tag together was one of our favorite things before Hannah was hospitalized. I sigh and decide to roll out of bed, quite literally.
“I hate mornings.” I complain to myself as I trudge through my morning routine of getting dressed, brushing my teeth, and fixing my hair.
After pulling my hair up in a bun and securing it, I walk to the kitchen to grab some breakfast. I toss a bottled smoothie and a granola bar into my purse after realizing that it was already 7:15. I needed to get there before she wakes up.
On the ride over I couldn’t help thinking of my parents. Being more than five and a half hours away is hard on everyone. You see my little sister Hannah is in St. Jude’s Hospital here in Seattle, Washington being treated for bone marrow cancer. My parents, on the other hand, own a resort in Bend, Oregon and can’t make it to visit as frequently as any of us would like. Since I was already planning to move out here, we decided that I was going to stay close to Hannah while they came to visit with our other sister Grace when they could.
Finally pulling into the parking lot, I get out and lock my car. I swiftly move through the front doors, check in, and get into the elevator. It moves up to the floor Hannah is on and gives me access to the hallway. I walk quickly through the halls I could probably get through with a blindfold on, inevitably arriving at the room that holds my crumbling sister.
Although I was expecting my sister to be sleeping, she wasn’t. She was actually crying, with the Dr. Emily trying to comfort her. I expeditiously move over to her bed before wrapping my arms around her and softly rocking her back and forth.
“Hey, shh, you’ll be alright.” I murmur into her hair.
“That’s why I-I’m crying.” She hiccups.
I look up to Dr. Emily expecting an answer but the one I get almost knock the wind out of me.
“What?” I ask in astonishment
“We found a donor, a perfect match. The donor is a little older but we don’t think putting another 10-year-old through this would be wise, especially if we don’t have to. Going by the books, Hannah will be right as rain in about nine months.” Dr. Emily smiles down at me before saying that she will give us a few minutes.
“Can I call Mom and Dad?” She sniffles.
“Of course! They’re going to be ecstatic!” I advocate.
After a twenty minute phone call and a promise that ‘they will be here later in the day’, Hannah and I start to talk about what she wants to do after she gets out of here. We’ve had this conversation before, but it’s different every time.
“The day I get out, can we go downtown and get ice cream?” She asks.
“Sure! Mom, Dad, and Grace will be here too, so we can all go!” I suggest.
“Sounds perfect!” She squeals before yawning.
“Get some more sleep; you woke up early today. I’ll wake you up when everyone gets here.” I tell her in hope that she will listen. She nods her head in content then gingerly positions her body so she can sleep comfortably. I tuck her in and kiss her forehead, wishing her a nice nap as I stand up and make my way out of the room.
I stroll aimlessly around the courtyard and I think about what Hannah said in the room. It does seem like a perfect day.