• The county fair was approaching. Okay, okay. I had to get it together. With all of my courage I thrust myself out of that god-forsaken room with the blood still in the sink and ran down the stairs of the apartment complex. At least I was going to get paid for working at the fair. I was going to need all of the money that I could get. My apartment was just about to be repossessed. That wasn’t a good thing, now was it?
    I was only fifteen years old then. I lived by myself in my small apartment, barely making enough to pay for my own food and my rent. Life wasn’t going so well for me. I was hoping that in the next month, I’d scrounge up enough money to pay for the next month’s rent. I hoped for that every month more than anything, even feeding myself.
    Walking out into the parking garage, I remember standing by the street corner and waiting for the bus. That was the plus when it came to living in the city. I could take the bus, but never have to pay too much. Getting in the bus, I sat down next to someone I didn’t know. That always happened. It was really good. Anyways, so the guy turned to me and started talking. He looked around my age. “Hey,” he said bluntly. Being caught off guard, I turned to him.
    “Oh, hi,” I replied, my face turning red. Was it strange that I had the tiniest attraction to guys? Even slightly strange?
    “I’m Landon,” he blurted. I could tell that he was awkward too. But something about him made me want to keep talking to him. “I’ve seen you around. You’re are freshman, right? Well, at least, you were.”
    I nodded. “Yeah. I was a freshman. I’m Riley Jones… you’re last name’s uh…” I couldn’t remember for the life of me.
    “Morrison. Yeah, it’s all good. I’m a Junior now. I just remember you because you were always the one who my friends talked about and were all worried about you. Why was that? None of them ever told me.”
    So, I’d never told a soul about my little condition. A lot of people just assumed I had diabetes. Most thought I was anemic. But there was another reason. I wasn’t going to tell Landon about how I was the boy with the problem. My bus stop came and I was at a loss for words. I made a noise and grabbed my bag, bolting for the front of the door. ‘Welcome to the Hood River County Fair.’ That’s what the sign said as I stepped off of the bus. Fun stuff, I was finally there at my job. Time to go, go, go. I knew that Landon saw me get off here. If he really cared enough, he’d come. But then again, I hated when people cared too much. And I hated it when they didn’t care enough.
    My parents. Don’t get me started. Want to know why I moved out? Freedom. They wanted to help me with my little condition. I didn’t want their help. I didn’t want any treatments. I didn’t want to have to live under the shell of their protection for my whole entire life. There’s something that I’ve never told a soul. I learned it two months ago. My life, it’s going to end soon. First, I’ll lose my apartment. Then, after I’ve finally met someone who makes me happy, I’ll do something stupid to make them leave me. Oh, and after that? I’ll lose the battle to my worst enemy. Cancer.