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Just Say You Won't Let Go

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Two years ago, Nathan Smith discovered he had cancer. He was told he wasn't going to live for very long, three years at most. Nate was on his last year.

Over the last two years, Nate had been knocking stuff off his bucket list, slowly but surely. His best friends, Jack, Mark, and Matt, had been helping him, and it had been the best two years of his life-minus the fact that his girlfriend, Morgan Want, broke up with him because of said cancer.

Now Nathan only had one item left, and his friends desperately wanted to know what it was, but he wasn't saying. He couldn't say, for fear of being laughed at and the hurt that was sure to follow if he told. So he shut up about it.




It was summertime. Matt, Mark, Jack, and I were hanging out at Mark's house. They were all determined to figure out what the last item on my bucket list was, but I wasn't saying anything. Matt was the only one who wasn't super pushy, and for that, I was grateful. He was the one person who couldn't find out.

You see, I liked my best friend, Matthew Patrick. We had been friends since birth, and I slowly started falling for him in sixth grade. I knew that I liked him once we got into seventh grade, and by that time, I also knew I was gay. Now, I was 28, and he was 30. But the problem with this totally cliche storyline was the fact that he was straight. Yes, a very cliche problem. And now I was going to die soon, which was also pretty cliche. Except I wasn't going to tell Matt I liked him, because this cliche story doesn't end very well. As soon as I tell Matt, I die, because that's what always happens. And because there's a slight possibility that Matt would like me back-he didn't have a girlfriend-I wasn't going to hurt him. If-no, when-I died, I was taking my secret to the grave with me. And I wouldn't complete my last item on my bucket list, because I wasn't a heartless, selfish prick.

"Nate, you spaced out on us." Jack was waving his hand in front of my face enthusiastically. Everything Jack did was enthusiastic, happy, peppy, loud, slightly obnoxious and annoying, but never sad. Never worried. Rarely angry. Always happy, playful, excited, enthusiastic. It was pure Jack.

"He always spaces out on us." Matt pointed out, a grin on his face. Even though he was 30, he looked oddly prepubescent, but that was part of the reason why I liked him so much. "It's, like, a thing."

We were all youtubers. Matt did Game Theory and Film Theory, Mark and Jack were gamers, and I wrote/sang songs about games and anime. It was fun. All three had starred in at least one of my songs, and Matt, Mark, and I all were in a musical about Five Nights at Freddy's. Mark was the king of the game, and Matt theorized about the game all the time. He swore that if there was a second Sister Location, he would probably end up murdering Scott Cawthon. I wrote countless songs about Fnaf, Enjoy the Show being my last one.

"I've been thinking." I told them honestly. I wasn't going to tell them what I was thinking about, but I was thinking.

"You're always thinking." Mark whined.

"And you never think, so it evens out nicely." Jack teased, and Mark playfully punched him in the arm. One of the items on my bucket list had been to get them together, which had happened even before I found out I had cancer. It took them forever, since they both had girlfriends and everything, but it had happened, and the community was supportive of them.

"Do you need some aloe for that burn?" Matt asked Mark, and Mark sat down, pouting.

"You guys are mean." Mark complained, and I couldn't help but smile at their childish antics. This was them whenever we hung out together. Playful banter, not a care in the world. And I just sort of strayed to the side, watching, not joining in.

"Earth to Nate." Matt said, poking me. "Are we boring you to death?" I shook my head.

"Quite the opposite actually, watching you guys is entertaining." Matt grinned at that.

"Well, we all have a sense of humor, unlike you, dumpy diapers." Matt quoted Trolls, and I cracked a smile. That was Matthew Patrick for you.

"Shut up." I said playfully.

"Le gasp." Jack gasped, dramatically pretending to faint.

"Did the antisocial Nathan Smith just play along with our stupid antics?" Mark asked in a fake shocked voice. My smile widened, and I nodded.

"Only Matthew could get Nate to play along with us." Matt blushed, and I knew I was too, I could feel the heat in my cheeks.

"Awwwwwwww, they're blushing." Jack cooed. (I was blushing while I was writing this, I don't know why) Matt looked down, face growing redder, if that was even possible.

"If you were in our situation, you'd be blushing too Jack." I told him. He nodded.

"Touche." After that, there was a kind of awkward silence. No one knew what to say, so we all just stayed quiet. Then I felt a sharp pain, and I doubled over. I wasn't too worried, I had had these pains before, it was part of having cancer. But another wave of pain followed, stronger than what I was used to. I could faintly hear the others in the background, but I couldn't make out a thing they were saying. The pain was too strong, and faintly, in the back of my mind, I think I knew it was time. Time to say goodbye. So I did.

"Goodbye guys." I croaked out, trying to block out the pain. I realized we were in a car, and I wondered how much time had passed. Mark was driving, Jack was shotgun, and Matt was next to me. I also realized I was dry heaving, and coughing out blood.

"Your not leaving me Nate, you can't." He sounded broken, and I was going to reassure him, make it all better, when more pain hit, and I blacked out. I came to in the hospital. Mark and Jack were gone, and Matt was crying, sitting in a chair next to me. I turned to look at him.

"Goodbye, Matthew Patrick." I whispered. He looked at me, horrified.

"Don't leave, Nate, you have to get better, you always have. You never got to cross off that last item off your bucket list." I sighed, then reached over, grabbed Matt's face, and kissed him softly on the lips.

"Yes I did." I laid back, the pain coming back. I could faintly hear Matt saying something in the background, and it sounded like he was saying he loved me, but I couldn't be sure. The world was fading away, and I knew. My life didn't flash before my eyes, but a calm surrounded me, and the pain was fading.

"I love you, Matthew Patrick."