Growing up I befriended an older couple in their 70's. I have known them all my life. I used to go over to their house once a week and speak to them about everything in my life. I was closer with the woman. Her name was Mrs. Rieff. Because I was closer to her, I mostly spoke to her. Over the summer I used to go to camp. At camp I would write them and the Mrs. Rieff would write back. Mrs. Rieff used to work in my high school until she retired. My whole life she has been retired but she used to go back to the high school as a substitute teacher.
The summer that I was going into 11th grade, I went to camp just like I did every year. When I left everything was fine. I was in camp for a while and I decided to write my friends. After a couple of weeks I still hadn't heard back. I knew that that wasn't like her. She usually responds right away. I told my mom this and my mom said that Mrs. Rieff would respond soon. About a week later I got a letter from her.
I came home from camp and everything was fine. A week or so after I got home I went to visit them again. We were talking like everything was fine. When my mom came to get me they invited her in. Mr. Rieff told my mom something that I didn't really understand at the time. Now I know that he told my mom that Mrs. Rieff had some kind of cancer that they found out this past summer while I was away at camp.
School started and I learned that Mrs. Rieff's cancer didn't start in her back. It started somewhere else but it had spread. It was too late to get everything out. I kept visiting her. She seemed like she was doing fine until one weekend. My mom pulled me aside and said that Mrs. Rieff was doing really bad. So bad in fact that they had to have a nurse there to wash her. She was also sleeping in a hospital bed that was set up in the living room on the first floor. Little by little she started to not seem like herself. She would lie in the bed all day, she couldn't dress by herself and she wasn't talking anymore. One day I went to visit her. I got really sad looking at her on the bed. I was afraid to touch her but my mom told me to take her hand so I did. I sat there holding her hand for a good 15 minutes. During those 15 minutes she was looking at me and at one point it looked like she winked at me. Then when that visit was over I left.
The next morning I saw people in the Rieff's front yard and I got a bad feeling. My mom got out of the car and went to talk to them. She came back into the car and told me that she had in fact died. I started crying hysterically.
When it came time for the funeral I couldn't go. My mom wouldn't let me because it was during a school day. I got so mad because a lot of the students in the school went because she was a teacher and a substitute in the school. I got mad that they got to go and they didn't really know her and I did. That was really upsetting for me.
A couple of months after she died I was laying on the floor in my room studying. I had my door open and my mom was downstairs cleaning dishes. All of a sudden I heard someone say hello. It sounded the way my friend always used to say it whenever I would go over to her house. Even though I thought it sounded like her, I ran out of my room and asked my mom if she said anything. My mom said no. Then I asked her if she heard anything. Again my mom said no. I went back in my room again and started to study but I kept thinking about this. I do think that it was my friend coming by to say hello and that she was all right.