Penny was swept from her thirteenth through her fifteenth years as if she were a tumbleweed blown across the desert, coming to rest briefly here and there in becalmed moments, torn loose and sent rolling again as the wind gusted.
Her parents moved a lot and it made Penny a little bit distant from friends. She only spent at most two sessions in a school. Penny understood and bore no grudge against them as she accepted her fate, though she moved from school to school she never got used to the idea. It was always frightening for her and this time she chose not to make new friends.
In their new home Penny got to know their neighbor Mrs. Williams was her mom’s best friend in secondary school and her son Jeremy went to the same school with Penny.
Jeremy was fascinated with the galaxy and soon he and Penny became such good friends. They walked to and back from school together every single day, he kept her safe and held her back from getting hurt.
One evening, her father broke the news that they would be there until her graduation . Penny was thrilled, she really would live a normal life once again and with Jeremy by her side, she thought.
During their short holiday, Mrs Williams told Penny’s family Jeremy was sick and needed a heart transplant. Penny was deeply saddened by the news. “How can Jeremy be sick? It just can’t be possible.” She said to herself.
Penny visited Jeremy when she had the chance, she would often take chocolate-covered peanuts his favorite to him and it made him happy. Whenever Jeremy sensed her anxious or saw tears in her eyes, he would tell her to look at the sky.
“Let the stars at night tell you I’m always here” he would say softly. He always found a way to make her smile.
After a month and a half in the hospital, Jeremy returned home. Penny went upstairs to his room, it was the first time she visited his room and it was unexpectedly neat. She told him a lot of things that took place in his absence and everyone who disturbed her, Jeremy told her he missed everyone and she said “I miss you more.”
Penny thought things might not be the same between her and Jeremy, but in a couple of weeks he was up and about. Before they knew it he was back to school been his normal self. School and girls kept him occupied, but he was always there for Penny. And then he got sick again.
During the first term of their senior year, Jeremy was taken to the hospital for the second time. At first Penny thought it was a false alarm, but it later got worse than she could imagine.
All she could do was pray and hoped that he got better. The walk home became strange and the familiar path became unfriendly. She visited him in the hospital as often as she could, even though she never knew what to say; to tell him everything was going to be alright was a fallacy, yet it comforted them both.
Christmas was spent in the hospital. She would narrate his favorite TV series Merlin and they would talk for hours. The doctors said it was good for him, so he wouldn’t think of the pain he was going through.
Jeremy was determined that they would go to graduation as a couple and Penny assured him they would. She held his hands and looked into his eyes until they stopped looking into hers. He looked peaceful when he said his last goodbye.
Penny locked his face at that moment in her thoughts, but it wounded her soul. He went away even when she tried her best to keep him from slipping. “How can a friend, someone who was with her and kept her happy, be the one person who left her now, forever?” She thought. There was no one to console her.
Now, every evening she would look up in the sky and stare at the stars and she knew he would always be there, in her heart and in her memories. At times, she often wondered why she could not say “I love you” to Jeremy, even at the last second. Maybe it was because she knew he felt the same way.
Penny finished high school and got admitted into the higher institution, she felt sad because Jeremy won’t be there with her to protect her like he always did, but now she knows that friendship goes beyond time and the light of his love told her he’s always there.