Seventeen Wishes

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The thing about being born with an expiration date is you learn to appreciate life a little more than the average person. You pack a lot of living into your days. Shit that other people take for granted, you are most thankful for, like your next breath or your next heartbeat. For most people, that expectation is granted. For me, it’s a guessing game. I never know when the next thump-thump of my heart will be its last, so I appreciate each and every beat. I don’t savor it too much, since I’m not supposed to exert myself or do anything remotely fun.

You’d think being dealt this crappy hand, I’d be pissed, but I’m not. When fate gave me a heart that doesn’t know how to keep me alive, it also gave me a reason to keep it beating. And that reason is smiling at me right now. Lilly’s big, brown eyes sparkle with mischief. For most people, she would be average—average brown eyes, average brown hair, average height. She’s just another seventeen-year-old girl in her senior year of high school. But for me, she’s a partner in crime. A confidant. A shoulder to lean on. An ear to listen. My best friend. My reason to keep breathing. And unknown to her, the love of my life.