“Paris, sweetheart? Can you come downstairs? I need to talk to you about something.”

Seems simple, right? A mother asking her daughter to come downstairs to talk “about something.” I thought so too. Never did I think that the “something” my mom wanted to talk to me about would be the second time I heard the worst news of my life.

“Honey, it’s about London.”

“What about her? I just got off the phone with her an hour ago.”

“You know how she’s been feeling a little under the weather lately?”

Of course I knew. She had not been in school all week so I had been carrying her work home to her everyday, which, let me tell you, is not an easy job with all the college courses she is taking.

She could be such a nerd sometimes. Thankfully, she had me to balance her out.

“Yeah,” I just said.

“Well, I just got off the phone with her mother and… and… uh… I don’t really know how to tell you this but… um…”

I started to get nervous.

“What is it, mom?”

She grabbed my hand.

“London has been diagnosed with leukemia, and it seems that it’s pretty far along.”

My heart started to race. My head started to spin. I felt like I was in a daze.

“Wh… Wha…? I…”

I attempted to speak, but nothing came out. I wanted nothing more than to pretend like I hadn’t heard what my mom just said, but I couldn’t. She was still talking— I could see her mouth moving but I couldn’t hear her. The words kept echoing in my ears. London. Leukemia. Pretty far along. I felt like I was going to explode. I tried to run to my room but my legs were weak. Instead then, not knowing what else to do, I sank to the floor and stared stoically into space.