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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17. Day Seventeen

One week was left. Rose was beginning to fade; it was like she was turning into a living corpse. First she began to grow thinner, and then she began to get more night sweats and itchy skin. I was scared. All the things we had planned on doing together had to be cancelled within an instant. On the seventeenth day we resorted to going swimming in Woking with baby Petal.

Petal was surprisingly speedy at picking up the basic strokes, and Rose was surprisingly slow at doing lengths.

“Rose, you might want to speed up a bit!” I shouted as I saw the stream of swimming traffic she had managed to create.

“Breathless” She shouted. I swam over to her and hoisted her out of the pool and put her on the swimming ledge.

“You feel any better?”I asked as I saw her looking rather queasy.

“I don't feel too good, but I think with exactly a week left this is expected.” Rose replied.

“Yeah I guess.” I shivered when she began talking about only having a week left. It was a really scary thought. My wife was to die in a week that was the scientific estimation at any rate. I found that both scary and amusing because scientists weren’t always right.

Petal was making friends in the pool. She looked cute in her little swimming costume. I thought it was cute anyway. In the baby paddling pool there was a little slide that the babies could slide down, and the pool was impossible to escape from if you didn't try hard enough.

Watching Petal play around really did warm my heart, and for the first time since we got her, I realised that I was going to be her only parent. I walked over to the pool and splashed some water over her face, she squealed.

“Daddy!” She screamed. It was nice to hear her calling me daddy, it made me feel closer to her.

“PETAL!” I screamed back. Petal winced at the sheer volume of my voice. People were staring at me. I know that it was a stupid, childish thing for me to do, but it felt right at the time.

Rose recovered after some time, and we swam lengths together. I let little Petal sit on my shoulders as we swam. People were muttering things about Roses hair cut and that she was the modern day punk, of course I knew otherwise, but that was not the point.

People are too busy judging us all the time and I don't like it.

I swam to the edge of the pool with Petal on my shoulders. Rose was trying to cry underwater so that nobody could see her tears of pain and anger. The people who misjudged her clearly upset her. The pain of her cancer was too much for her to handle.

“Rose love, do you want to go now?” I asked softly. She gave a swift nod and went to get changed, taking Petal with her. I quickly got changed and rushed to the car. Rose always took ages to get changed, and so I drove to her favourite Pastry Shop and grabbed a nice box of little Pastry’s for when we got home.

Making it back to the car park just in time, looking rather red and flustered, I picked up Rose with no time to spare. But I was cool like that; always making secret surprises a reality.  As soon as I held out the box she gasped in excitement.

“Oh thank you!” She gasped. But then she looked back at me with shame in her eyes. “But I can’t take them...”

“Why can’t you Rose?” I asked, thinking that I had done something terribly wrong.

“I can’t because; I can’t eat anything that's got a lot of sugar in it because it could mess with my tablets and medication. I really want to live at least a few days longer than they expect. I want to make sure that you and Petal are okay.” She cried. I was starting to get worried about Rose, but it was becoming drama after drama with her. I hugged Rose and we drove to the shops.

“What are you going to buy this time?” I groaned as Rose stumbled into IKEA.

“I want to get Petal a bed for her room.” Rose replied grinning, another one of her family activities. By the seventeenth day we had done all the exciting things that I had wanted to do, and moved on to the everyday activities that Rose thought she would miss.

Petal chose a very fancy bed. It was made of metal bars that had words twisted into them. Hers said ‘Rose’ on it, which I thought was rather sweet.

At home I had to assemble the new bed, with Rose and Petal laughing at me as I did so.

Soon, I had Petal asleep, and Rose and I were watching TV together. Rose fell into a deep sleep, muttering things under her breath.

“Just Seven Days!” She muttered painfully, I nodded; there were just seven more days. 

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