Without You

{For the Appleshine Mum, Loony, may she rest in peace.} The House Appleshine is rocked when they find out that their mother, Luna, has fallen ill. With their lives changing left and right, they've begun to have strains on the family ties as they struggle to cope with their mother's illness.

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6. Chapter Six

(A/N: Bella Vista is my real-life best friend. She does not have a Movellas account. She's not homeless either, and she has both her parents, but she asked me to portray her like this.)

You would think she would be sad, or worried, or something like that.

But no.

Prez was angry.

She liked to expect things, she liked to know something was coming. She liked to have a plan when she could, and now that something was happening that she never imagined, she was just PO'd.

Her mother had been so happy when she'd gone with her siblings to school. So carefree, so strong. The thought that she was in the hospital now was just unimaginable. Prez was tempted to think that this was just a cruel, sick joke that the entire family had planned to get a laugh - she wanted so badly to believe it.

But deep inside, she knew it was true. She knew that Mum was in the hospital, fighting for her life against some stupid tumor and some stupid complication to get it removed.

No, Prez was not going to see her boyfriend . . . she was just out to see her best friend, confidant, and the only other member of Team Chaos.

She came up to the abandoned warehouse, sucked in a deep breath, and knocked on the door.

It opened a crack, and Prez saw the light blue, curious eyes of the homeless thirteen-year-old Bella Vista. Just seeing her friend there, ready to listen, was enough to cause her to burst into tears.

**About an Hour Later**

"So what you're telling me is, one of your moms is in the hospital and you want to keep your siblings safe and happy and calm, but you can't even talk to them without losing your temper?"

Not trusting herself to speak for fear that she might be overcome by relentless sobs again, Prez wordlessly nodded. Bella was normally the emotional one, and was a full head shorter than Prez. Bella ran a hand through her pale blonde hair and looked up at her friend with sad eyes, suddenly being the wise one of the two.

"You don't have to keep them calm." Bella finally spoke, softly.

"What?!" Whatever she was expecting, it was not this.

"It'd be unhealthy to keep calm. Grievance is good."

Prez stared at the smaller and younger girl, stunned past words. Bella was normally cheerful and energetic enough that she would forget that the kid's mother had died in a fire and her dad committed suicide.

"What I mean is, Dad never let himself grieve until he knew that Mom wasn't going to make it. And look what happened then."

Prez's voice came out cracked, quiet, and pathetic. "I'm scared, Bella."

"I know." Bella's voice was her equal, just more high pitched.

"What should I do?"

"I don't know. Spend time with your brother and sisters. Watch a movie with them or something. But if one of them starts to cry, pause the movie and comfort them."

Prez nodded, and got up, putting her trench coat back on. "Bye, Bells."

"Bye. And be careful. We don't want preemies." Bella was only half-joking. Prez managed to crack a smile before making her way back to the Appleshine house.

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