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…


16. Day Sixteen

There were eight days left; Rose was barely able to get out of bed. She made an effort for Petal though. She got up bright and early, just talking to Petal. I'm not sure if petal could understand any of it, but it was worth a shot. I got up a few hours later than Rose, to find her on the phone to the doctor. “Eight days then doctor.” Rose whispered.

“Maybe less, maybe more.” The doctor replied sternly. Rose, thinking that no one was looking, broke down into floods of tears. The doctor hung up, and Rose sat on the floor with her arms wrapped around her knees, letting her tears dry on the wood floor. I felt so sorry for her. Imagine knowing that you won’t be able to do so many of the things you wanted to do, knowing that people are going to mourn and miss you, knowing what you are going to leave behind. But on day sixteen, I couldn’t comfort her. Her cries were something that I wasn’t meant to hear. After a while she got up and began to potter around the kitchen. Rose gave up on the cooking eventually and sat down at the counter, clutching bits of paperwork. Her head pressed against the hard granite surface.

“Why me Petal, Lymphoma could’ve chosen anyone else in the world. Yet, it chose me, the girl with all the unlived dreams.” Rose whispered and a few tears of sympathy streaked my face and Petals.

“Rose, what’s up?” I said without thinking. Rose turned around like a shot, and covered her tear stained face from me.

“What are you doing here? You’re meant to be asleep!” She cried out. She hated people her see her upset, she hated sympathy, and more than that, he hated being viewed as weak.

“I'm not supposed to be asleep; I'm supposed to be looking after you. You’re right; cancer is an arse for choosing you. It did what I did though. It chose the most beautiful, sweet girl ever and wanted to claim her as its own. Rose, anything would choose you if it had the choice.” I said as I snaked my arms around Rose’s hot, sweating body. I raised an eyebrow. “Night sweats?” I asked. Rose nodded.

“The end is nigh.” She whispered, I was never sure if she meant that as a joke or not. I think it was meant as a joke but I didn't comment on it just in case. I hugged Rose tightly and she began to cry into my shoulder like old times. I began to hum the soft tune of one of her favourite sad songs, ‘Don’t Know Why’ By Norah Jones. Rose gripped me like she was too scared to let go, too scared that she was going to lose me.

‘I waited till I saw the sun 
I don't know why I didn't come
I left you by the house of fun
I don't know why I didn't come
I don't know why I didn't come

When I saw the break of day
I wished that I could fly away
'Stead of kneeling in the sand
Catching teardrops in my hand

My heart is drenched in wine
but you'll be on my mind forever

Out across the endless sea
I will die in ecstasy
but I'll be a bag of bones
driving down the road alone

My heart is drenched in wine
but you'll be on my mind forever

Something has to make you run
I don't know why I didn't come
my field is empty as a drum
I don't know why I didn't come
I don't know why I didn't come
I don't know why I didn't come’


Rose sang softly. Petal made grunting noises that matched the music. Eventually we parted from the embrace and went out for a walk, just a normal family walk. Something that I was sure Rose would miss. Pushing little Petal around in a pram in the sunlight seemed to be one of Roses guilty pleasures. It was like she was showing a prize off to the world. I liked that because it meant Rose, even in her final stages had something that she enjoyed doing. Pushing the pram along the Thames River (Shepperton) and under the newly built bridge, we were having the time of our lives. It was really good to get some exercise because a lot of the things that Rose and I had been doing were not that active. In a way it seemed like the right thing to be doing with her, and in other ways I felt guilty about it. I didn't want to make her do things she didn't like doing, or things that could hurt her. I wasn’t sure if walking was going to hurt her or not.

“How much longer?” Rose complained when we had been walking for an hour. I gave up and we walked back. We also quickly grabbed a Panini for lunch at Carlos. Rose still had her apatite, but her weight was still plummeting. I think at her thinnest she was forty-five kilograms because of the cancer, and she was still eating the regular amount of food. She was always small, but the cancer had taken it beyond the point of petite. After happily eating lunch the whole family was already begging to be tired and breathless, and so we just settled down and played games like scrabble as a family. It may seem odd, but the simplest things felt the best. I think that was because they are the easiest to remember.

I never got to play games with my parents, so, I hoped that it would leave a lasting memory in Petals brain, so that she could remember her mother, whereas I often struggled to remember my own.

Even after playing the games I was tired so we just dozed on the sofa. A week and one day was left of Roses precious life, and I was beginning to see the Petals fall...ll...

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