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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2. Day Two

When Rose slept, she couldn’t hold onto her smile anymore, and so you could see the fear fill her face yet again. It was scary, and made me want to cry. I couldn’t cry though, I was Rose’s boyfriend. That’s the hard thing about it, you feel sorry for someone who doesn’t want your sympathy, and yet if you don't give her sympathy, then you are not worthy of her.

It was hard to keep a straight face when she woke up because she looked a mess. Her hair was all knotted and messy; her clothes looked as if she had been through a bush, and her skin had a radiant morning glow. She was perfect when she woke up, perfectly messy.

“Lucas...” She groaned. “I want to go somewhere.” She covered her face with the bed sheets. “Somewhere I haven’t been before.” I thought about it, and there were a lot of places that Rose hadn’t been to before. My brain wandered the world for a few minutes until I thought of the perfect place to take Rose.

“Italy.” I said. “Let’s go to Italy.” Rose looked at me, her eyes thinking about the possibilities of going to Italy, thinking of all the things that she wanted to do in her life. As she mulled over the opportunity I quickly turned on my iPhone and looked at the late booking websites.

Two tickets to Italy, includes return ticket, and five star hotels. This is a three day stay. Best price: £3,000.

We quickly got ready and ran to the Jeep, throwing the luggage in the boot and speeding down the motorway on the way to Heathrow airport.

As Rose got out of the car she was still a mess, a very sweet looking mess. People were staring at us, but we didn’t care. Rose had let her long, brown hair down and she looked like the most beautiful person I had ever seen. She had no make-up on, yet she still looked perfect. If I had not been told that she had cancer, I wouldn’t have guessed that day.

On the flight I had booked us the best seats available, Rose deserved to be treated like a princess. We all knew that she didn’t have that long to be treated like a princess, so we treated her as though she really was royal. Rose slept through the whole plane journey, and every so often I would see a tear wet her face, or she’d gently squeeze my hand, and it reminded me that there were going to be only a few moments where I could just be there for her, a lot of the battle would be fought by Rose, and in a way, we knew the cancer would win.

The hotel was grand. In front of it there were water fountains that sprayed pure, fresh water from them. I felt like I was rich, but I wasn’t. Rose looked overwhelmed at the sight of all of the rich people. They all had Gucci suitcases and things that we semi-normal people just didn’t. Getting our keys Rose tried to put on a fake posh accent, but it didn’t really work. The people at the desk kept me behind at the front desk.

“She is a beautiful lady.” One of the staff commented. “Keep her safe or I’ll take her.” He laughed.

“I can’t hold on to everything forever.” I sighed, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to keep her safe for much longer. The cancer would soon take her, and I was to be alone forever. The staff looked confused at my comment, so I left when they started to shout at each other in Italian.

Our room was very grand. The bed was a four poster, with red curtains draped over the frame. There was a vanity mirror that Rose could spend hours looking at herself in, but she wouldn’t do that, she wasn’t a stereotypical woman in that way.

“Do you want to help me unpack the bags?” She asked sarcastically seeing me lost in thought.

“Unpack. No way, you only live once and you should never unpack if you don't have to. Let’s go out someplace.” I dragged Rose by her thin little arms and pulled her outside. The little streets were so beautiful. Rose’s eyes lit up with delight as we walked down the street. Soon we were in a small chocolate shop, and Rose was happily looking through the chocolates.

“You’d never know that you had cancer Rose.” I muttered as I watched her cram loads of chocolates in her mouth at once. Small streams of melted chocolate left her mouth as she chewed, it was disgusting, but I suppose I found it cute as well.

“Yeah, it is only the second day you know.” She grunted through the chocolate in her mouth. I couldn’t help but allow a small chuckle escape my lips as she tried to swallow the chocolate mess she had made in her mouth.

“Yeah, but you haven’t cried that much and you don’t look in that much pain.” I said softly as I moved in to hug her. As she swallowed the last of the chocolate in her mouth she rested her head on my chest.

“Soon, you’ll regret saying that.” Rose whispered, as if she had only just remembered that she was dying. I loved the way she forgot about that, it made it seem like it was less painful, and that she was trying to have the wildest time she could while she still had any time at all.

“Here, how about I buy you one of every flavour chocolate here to make up for it?” I asked.

“Okay then, here we go!” Rose laughed up again and we ordered all the chocolates. Rose skipped down the street holding onto my hand, almost dragging me while the little chocolate back swung around her thin wrists. We carried on walking through the town and I was actually smiling. Suddenly a cute little Italian restaurant caught my eye and I managed to convince Rose to eat in there.

“GIVE ME FOOD!” Exclaimed Rose as she almost fell to the floor where I’d pushed her.

“You have quite an appetite, for someone who’s dying.”I replied. The restaurant was small, but it was really pretty. The tables were all white marble and all the chairs were made from local wood. I really did like it. Even the menu was decent, proper family Italian food. It took only seconds to decide what we were going to eat.

·         1 Garlic Bread

·         1 Romano Pizza

·         1 Spaghetti Bolognese

·         2 Gelato Ice Creams

The waiter seemed very impressed with our choice. I was as well. Rose was trying to speak Italian, but it wasn’t really working. One of the waitresses was in a fit of giggles after Rose had ordered ‘Giraffe poop’ Instead of garlic bread. She gave up after that and spoke in English. We were having fun, but something was wrong with Rose. I could almost feel her fading away from the conversation we were having.

“What’s wrong Rose?” I asked.

“I’m not hungry.” She replied “Really, I don’t feel to great.” I hid my iPhone under the desk, and looked up Lymphoma effects on Google, and sure enough, one of them was loss of appetite. I shut the case on the iPhone quickly, and looked at Rose again. Instead of seeing what I had seen every day before, I began to see what was wrong with her.

 

The red lump in her neck was growing, her face was paler and her skin was greasier than I remembered. I ran my hands through my hair and thought about my options. “Rose, listen to me, we need to get you to the hotel.” She just briefly nodded and walked out of the restaurant. 

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