What Remains
think the whole bloody school was there. It was right and horrible.” He loosens his tie and shrugs. “I sang ‘Norwegian Wood’ of all things. How’s that for a funeral song? But I knew it was her favorite.”
    I remember all the times that I’d heard Lizzie begging him to sing it. I think about how it’s a love song but completely unmushy. Just like Lizzie.
    He sounded like a fucking angel, too.
    My head spins around to see where the voice is coming from, but there’s no one in the room but the two of us.
    He sounded like a fucking angel, too. The words ricochet through my head and then dissolve like smoke, until it’s easy to believe that I didn’t even hear them.
    â€œAre you all right?” Spencer stares like he’s worried I’m having a seizure.
    I strain to listen for any other weird voices but don’t hear anything. The meds and the stress must be making me crazy.
    â€œI’m fine,” I say. I’m not sure whether I’m trying to convince Spencer or myself. Either way, it’s obviously not true.
    But he lets it go. “I’m actually glad you weren’t there.”
    â€œWhy?” I ask. It’s a really stupid question. Spencer knows I’ve never been to a funeral. He knows that I probably couldn’t have made it through the service without totally freaking out.
    He moves my leg over on the bed and his eyes glaze over a little as he talks.
    â€œBecause I wish I wouldn’t have been there. Because it was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. Because all I wanted to do was to throw myself into the ground with her. Because her mom came drunk and because I still can’t believe that she’s gone.” He sounds like he’s reciting some lines he isn’t sure he’s learned yet.
    I don’t know how to respond. So, instead, I ask another stupid question, the kind of thing that Spencer has always been able to answer. “How are we going to get through this?”
    He takes my hand and answers without hesitation. “Together. We’re going to get through this together.”
    I know he means it. It’s the same thing he used to say to Lizzie, that we were all together and that she’d always be okay because we were looking out for her. But it turned out to be a lie, so, for the first time since I met him, Spencer’s words do nothing but clump together to form a concrete, softball-sized lump in my stomach.
    I open my mouth, but I’m afraid to say any of that to him. We’ve been friends so long that I don’t really know how to navigate through everything that’s happening if I can’t take Spencer’s words at face value.
    He looks hopeful. He’s expecting me to agree, to tell him that someday we’ll get over losing Lizzie. I can’t push the words out, though. My heart just isn’t in them.
    So I take the coward’s way out. Before he says anything else, I close my eyes and push the button for more drugs and give myself over to the medicated pool. Somewhere, there is a faint and distant lullaby being sung badly off key. I focus on that as I let myself slip off into nothingness and hope that my best friend will understand

    I don’t want to be awake, but I am. I don’t want to hear that I’ve had a heart transplant, but that’s what they tell me. I don’t know why they waited to tell me. Actually, that’s a lie. They waited to tell me because they were waiting until they thought I could handle it.
    And then they must have given up and told me anyhow.
    How the hell can you handle the idea of waking up with someone else’s heart inside you? It’s like being Frankenstein. There are a lot of things in this world you can run away from. Your body isn’t one of them.
    According to the doctors, my heart self-destructed in a rare and normally fatal series of events. They throw around terms like “traumatic partial aortic

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