The Days Before She Died

My name is Lucas Hunt,
The chances are you’ve never heard of me, never met me, and don’t even know who I am. I was a boy; I am now a man, with scruffy brown hair, big blue eyes and a body that all girls adore. This all means nothing to me. I don’t need or want the girls anymore, because the girl I truly love died. Rose is dead. I try not to think of her as dead, because she’s still alive in my heart. I live with the painful thoughts of her death, and the happiness of her smile. It’s the greatest of contradictions. That’s what I remember most though, her smile. But at least I Know that she died a happy woman because of what we did in the days before she died…

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14. Day Fourteen

We were at the two week mark of her diagnosis. She had ten days left to live. It was her birthday... and she forgot. “Rose wake up, it's your special day!” I shouted as I danced into the room.

“I’m all ready married.” Rose groaned into the pillow. I could see another painless lump that had formed on her neck. I winced.

“IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. Rose jumped from her position on the bed and sat bolt upright, her eyes were dark, and full of sleep, she was tired, there was hardly any emotion in her face.

“It's my last birthday. How the hell could I forget my last birthday?” She cried into her hands that cupped her face softly.

“Don't worry Rose; it's going to be the best. We have to give the boat back now, and I've rescheduled our flights, we’re leaving in an hour.” I declared. Rose rushed the boat back to the harbour and we ran to the taxi station, forgetting our bags in the hotel, and just trying to get to the airport in time.

“We forgot the bags.” I laughed. “At least we didn't have anything important in them.”

“This is a great birthday so far.” Rose said sarcastically.

“Birthday doesn’t start until we land in England.” I said, pointing at my watch. Rose was born at midday in England, so we could still make it to England just in time for her birthday.

“Okay then.” She whispered. The flight was the easiest flight I had ever been on. Rose was fast asleep in seconds, and refused to eat any of the flight food. As we finished the flight and had landed in England with spare time, I managed to convince the pilot to sing her happy birthday through the speaker system.

“Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday Dear Rose

Happy Birthday to You

 

From good friends and true,

From old friends and new,

May good luck go with you?

And happiness too”

All of the passengers joined in and Rose was rather red with her blushing by the end.

“You okay Rose?” I asked, a wide smirk plastered onto my face. I loved to see Rose happy again.

“This is the Best Birthday Yet!” She shouted out, and she didn't realise there was still going to be a party. We jumped strait into the Taxi, and as we went to walk into to the house (once out of the taxi) I immediately changed direction, grabbed Rose’s hand and put her in the limo that was waiting down the road. “What’s going on?” Rose shrieked. “Please don't kidnap me!” I began to laugh hysterically.

“Rose, why would a kidnaper take care in putting you in a limo?” I asked, in near hysterical laughter. Rose could be funny sometimes.

“To make you agree to go.” She replied smoothly. I hadn’t thought of that, and I guess Rose was right, she did think of some of the weirdest scenarios sometimes.

“Why would your own husband kidnap you?” I laughed, struggling to control my fits of giggles.

“Because being a wife just won’t do.” Rose replied, trying to keep a straight face. We spent the rest of the limp ride in silence. It was an enjoyable ride because Rose was trying to wave to people through the tinted window, not realising that you can’t see in through tinted windows. Finally we arrived at Painshill Park.“Why are we at a park?” Rose asked.

“This isn’t the normal park Rose; this one has a grotto, a castle, a vineyard, waterwheel, follies, ruins, all types of things.” I explained. “And, we’ve booked the whole thing out for your birthday.” I whispered. Then I handed her a beautiful dress. Rose got changed in the limo quickly, and I changed into my suit.

Rose in her perfect red dress and me in my tux, we looked the perfect couple.

Walking to the ruins involved me carrying Rose so that she didn't get mud on her new shoes. I groaned. It wasn’t perfect having a wife, but it was perfect having Rose. Soon we began to meet other members of her family. Rose’s father greeted me with a smile for the first time, and took us over to the ruins. Every single living member of her family was present, all five-hundred of them. It was a good thing we’d booked the whole of the park out. The music began to play as Rose walked over to the tables we’d set up in-between the ruins and the vineyard. We were happily sipping Painshill Vineyard Sparkling Rosé when Rose started crying.

“Why does it all have to be so perfect?” She cried.

“What do you mean Rose?” I asked.

“Everything is all perfect, every part of my life has been planned to make it perfect. Why? I'm only going to die anyway?” Rose replied, the tears streaming down her face.

“Rose, you are the most special person in the whole world to me. You’ve been told that you’re dying, and you still smile. You wanted to shave your head, because you wanted to make sure that you did everything right.

We plan everything to be perfect, because you are perfect. Your cancer means nothing to any of us, it is a parasite that's slowly eating away at you, and we want to make sure that when it takes the final piece, you’re happy and as perfect as ever.” The speech I made up on the spot got a round of applause from most of the family members. Others were crying, already mourning the loss of their Rose.

The music began to play again. I took Rose’s hand and led her to the dance floor.

“May I have this dance?” I asked. Then I listened to the song. It was Moon River.

‘Moon River wider than a mile 
I'm crossing you in style someday 
you dream maker, you heartbreaker 
wherever you're going I'm going your way

Two drifters off to see the world 
There's such a lot of world to see 
We're after the same rainbow's end 
Waiting 'round the bend 
My huckleberry friend, Moon River and me

(Moon River, wider than a mile) 
(I'm crossin' you in style some day) 
Oh dream maker, you heart breaker 
wherever you're going, I'm going your way

Two drifters off to see the world 
There's such a lot of world to see 
we’re after the same rainbow's end, 
Waiting 'round the bend

My huckleberry friend, Moon River, and me

(Moon River, Moon River)...’

I took Rose’s hand and began dancing to the slow, sad song. It reminded me of Rose and me, because it meant to me, that you are following something, that no matter where it takes you, you will always follow it. No matter if it breaks your heart. Rose and I, we did go off to see the world, but didn't make it because there was such a lot to see. We had a dream, but then the same dream was crushed by her cancer, and broke my heart. I’m going to make her wait for me; we can go to heaven together.

A few tears escaped my eyes, and Rose just nodded and wiped them away. The song ended and we went back to the tables for present time.

Her parents handed her a box first. Inside there was a photo album of everything Rose had ever done. Rose looked through it, taking care over every page. Looking at all the dreams that could never come true now she was going to die.

Then her other family members bombarded her with gifts such as perfume, make-up, hair pieces, and other types of things that Rose really didn't want or need. She was given one other thing, a wig; it was made purely of her own hair.

Then, there was me. I couldn’t give her a stupid box with something in it, I couldn’t waste any chances to surprise Rose. “Waaaaaaa Mummy!” The little baby screamed. Everybody’s eyes darted to the noise. I picked up the thing that I knew Rose wanted most, a baby. I had managed to adopt one, because I knew the child’s original parents before they died, and therefore had legal reasons to adopt the baby instead of putting it into care.

“You got me a baby?” Rose screamed.

“Yes, don't you like it?” I asked.

“I love it, but that's so cruel. I'm going to die in ten days and then the baby won’t have a mother.” She sounded very angry, but I had already thought of that point.

“Petal will always have me.” I replied. I had given the baby the name Petal because it looked like Rose, and Roses leave petals behind. Suddenly Rose scooped up the little bundle of joy from my arms and held her close.

“How old is she?” Rose asked.

“She’s six-months old. Her original parents both died as well.” I whispered.

“Poor Baby, I’m your new mummy for ten days, and then you’ll have daddy. Daddy will make you grow up big and strong.” Rose told Petal. Petal squealed in delight at the sound of her mother’s voice. Without hesitation Petal lifted up her tiny fist, put them on Rose’s hand and just said one word.

“Family.”

I think she understood everything that Rose had said, and that was a first considering Rose was hard to understand.

The rest of that night was mainly drunk dancing and cooing over the new baby.

 

I had my perfect Petal and Perfect Rose. 

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