Death. There's such finality to it. There's nothing after death. At least, that's what I believe. If you really think about it, all religions are is someone wanting there to be something after life. Heaven. Hell. Another dimension. They want to believe that anything's possible. They want someone to save them from the fear that there's nothing after death. Existence is only a life-long thing.

Someone once asked me if I believed in forever. I wasn't sure what to say. So I said nothing. Now, it is a question I can answer with certainty…

We were the best of friends. Ever since we were little, Hannah and I were inseparable. Some people said that we were closer than sisters. And in retrospect, that may be true.

There was one year of our friendship that went through a lot of challenges. Hannah and I went to two different schools. So we didn't get to see each other much. It didn't help that my mom had a strange intent to keep me home. I called her on the phone and her dad yelled for her to come for the phone. When she got on, she sounded upset. I asked her and she confirmed my suspicions. I said something and she let out a small laugh. I told her that I loved her and she said she loved me too. I told her I'd call her back later when she was in a better mood. I'll never forget that day.

It was early the next morning when I got the call. Hannah was in the hospital. I begged my mom to take me, but she said I had school. She refused to take me, no matter how much I begged. I cried myself back to sleep and woke up later in shambles.

I got ready and walked out of the house just as the bus pulled up. I didn't speak a word. I stared silently out the window. No one wanted to disturb me. I got to school and ended up breaking down. No one knew how to comfort me. To be honest, the only way I could be comforted was to know what exactly was going on with Hannah.

The day passed by agonizingly slow. My teachers weren't sure what to do with me since I wouldn't speak. My other friends didn't know how to act, and I'm sure I made them unhappy by being so depressed.

It was later on, on the bus that I finally spoke. I don't know what made me listen; I don't really remember what the boy said that set me off. Whatever, it was, I screamed for a few minutes straight, of course, I was probably crying too much for him to understand me. I'm not sure I understood what I was saying either.

When I finally convinced my mom to take me to the hospital, I wasn't prepared for what I saw. Maybe that's why she wanted to keep me home. I knew where my place was though.

I walked into the room. She had just woken up and I sat beside her bed. Medical equipment was strapped to every part of her body. Her face looked tired, something I had never seen before. It was unreal. I realize now, that I was staring at death, though I didn't know it at the time. I looked her in the eyes, and started pouring out my soul to her. How it felt like her new online friend had taken my place, how it felt like I couldn't do anything to help her, how I felt like we were drifting apart and the thought of losing her terrified me. She wiggled her finger with the IV in it. I took her hand. And I remember those words, clear as crystal.

"No one could ever replace the other half of my soul." Then she smiled. "Tell me, Rachel, do you believe in forever?" I looked at her through tear filled eyes and nodded.

"Because we're best friends forever." I felt the tears slide down my cheeks as her eyelids closed, and her hand slipped limply out of my hand.

I blamed myself. She died of natural causes, but it still felt like my fault. But the look on her face, she was stunningly beautiful. It was as if death had given her that look in exchange for her life.

For a while, I resented Hannah. I felt she had abandoned me. I thought she was selfish for wanting to die first. Maybe she wanted to be spared of the pain I was feeling.

He friend on the internet came to the funereal. She seemed nice enough. She told me how much Hannah talked about me. I remembered how much I talked about her.

The weeks after were full of memories. They were painful. Some days I couldn't get out of bed. Some days I had to wrap my arms around myself so that I didn't physically fall apart. It was as if part of me had died with her. And that thought made me want to die too. People could see the difference in me. People I didn't even know very well came up to me and asked me if I was alright. I wanted to scream at them that of course I wasn't alright. My best friend of ten years had just died. Instead, I smiled and said that it was just one of those days and I would be alright.

I knew better than that. It was a lie. A bold faced lie. It was one of those bad days where I didn't want to move, I noticed a piece of paper folded on my desk. It was a letter that Hannah had written me a few years prior. It was a picture from when we were little. We were holding hands and Hannah was grinning at the camera and I gave a slight and somewhat embarrassed smile. She was always optimistic. We were polar opposites, but at the same time, exactly alike. It's something only we would understand. And it was at that moment I realized that I hadn't told Hannah the one thing I had wanted to tell her for a long time. I don't know what I was thinking, when I ran out the door in the middle of November, barefoot, no jacket. And somehow, I managed to run the full five miles to the cemetery.

I searched the headstones and when I found hers, I collapsed beside it. I lied there for an hour, two hours, I lost count actually. Or maybe I had never started counting in the first place. Either way, I stayed there, staring at the grave, and trying to find the words that would make everything alright. And then I remembered what she used to tell me. "Don't worry about finding the words; they'll come when you need them."

So I started talking. About nothing at first, then I got to the point.

"Hannah, do you believe in forever?" I knew I would never get a verbal answer to this. But one thing had always bothered me. Something I hadn't realized until after she died. She had never once said whether or not she believed in forever. Maybe I always assumed that she had. Maybe I never gave it too much thought. Although, it was probably the latter. But lying here now, on my own deathbed, I feel I finally know what she was thinking. Which was something I had been trying to do since we met. It never felt fair that she could read me like a book, but she was a different language.

One thing Hannah taught me was that forever does exist. But that only exists in one place. I know I'll never see Hannah again. At least, not face to face. Her memories will live on with me. Unfortunately, when I pass on, so will she. And since death is staring me straight in the face again, I suppose it's almost time to go. But my last words will be the same as hers: Do you believe in forever?