At 14, All I Could Think About Was My Senior Year with Miley and Prom Preparations
At 14, all I could think about was spending my senior year with my closest friend Miley, and having a great time preparing for prom. In one way, I was correct: it would be difficult to forget.

Miley did not attend school that day. I texted and called her but received no answer. After class, I went to her place. Her mother opened the door. Mrs. Jenkins, who is usually pleasant, stood there pale as a wall. Her eyes were filled with anguish, but I hesitated to inquire what had occurred.

Out of habit, I stormed into my friend’s room.

“Hey, Miles, where have you been? Jesus, what’s wrong?!” I hurried up to her. My friend sobbed uncontrollably. She clutched her knees with quivering hands, shivering with panic. I was quite afraid. “Tell me, is this Mr. Fisher? Is that why you weren’t in school? Perhaps your neighbor is harassing you again. Tell me, and I will…

“I have cancer, Lisa,” she interrupted. “I might die.”

My breathing came to a halt, and the ground under my feet just vanished. At that moment, I knew. I would have to make the most significant decision of my life.

The weeks that followed seemed strange. Hospital visits, chemotherapy treatments, and a persistent sense of unease now dominated our once joyous and future-focused days. Miley’s condition was severe, and the treatments were taking a toll on her both physically and mentally.

I made a decision. I would never abandon her. All of our adolescent goals, including school and prom, receded into the background. Miley needed me, and nothing else mattered.

Miley’s room, previously a haven of posters, nail polish, and limitless food, now resembled a hospital room, complete with medical bottles, a bedpan, and a slight antiseptic odor. Pain and exhaustion had dimmed her vivacious attitude, and her once-lustrous hair had begun to fade and fall out.

“Hey, Miles,” I whispered quietly one evening as I sat next to her bed, clutching her tiny hand. “Remember our prom dresses? I believe we still receive them.”

Miley glanced at me with tears in her eyes and a trace of a grin. “Lisa, you’re crazy.”

“Maybe,” I responded, “but I’m not giving up on our dream.”

Despite the arduous treatments, we spoke about our fantasy prom outfits for the following few weeks. It became our refuge, our tiny slice of routine in the midst of mayhem. We drew drawings, perused fashion magazines, and even had Mrs. Jenkins hire a seamstress to bring our ideas to reality.

Miley couldn’t get out of bed the day the outfits came. I gently unwrapped the dress, a lovely shade of blue that complemented her eyes. I helped her into it, and for a little while, she resembled the Miley I remembered—strong, gorgeous, and full of energy.

“We’re going to prom, Lisa,” she said quietly, hardly audible. “No matter what.”

Miley and I had our own party in her room on prom night while our classmates were at the gym. We danced to our favorite songs, laughed at our goofy jokes, and for a few hours, we forgot about the disease.

As the night came to an end, Miley glanced at me, her eyes filled with fatigue and satisfaction. “Thank you, Lisa. For everything.”

I attempted a grin as tears welled up in my eyes. “We are great buddies, Miles. Always.”

Miley died a few weeks later. Many of her loved ones attended her burial, and I wore the blue dress we made together. Standing next to her grave, I made a silent commitment to her. I would live life to the fullest for both of us.

Our senior year was amazing, but not in the way we had expected. It was a year of discovering the true meaning of friendship, confronting anxieties, and finding strength in unexpected places.

Miley taught me that life is fragile, but love and friendship endure. Her spirit remained in my heart even after her departure, guiding me through every decision and obstacle. She was my dearest friend and spiritual sister, and I will always carry her memories with me.