To Die is to truly live

When Belle receives the news a brain tumour will cut her life short in 3 months it rips her world apart. When everyone else seems to desert her she finds comfort in a stranger who may be exactly the kind of medicine she needs. My entry for the fault in our stars fanfiction competition.

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5. The clock is ticking

~~We end up in costa, sitting in the corner letting the radiator warm us up. The guy behind the counter gave us a disapproving look when we walked in, dripping water on the floor, but the place is practically empty so he let us stay.
The headache’s gone again but it could come back at any time, I just let myself enjoy the hot creamy liquid inside the mug in front of me. Mum used to say that hot chocolate warms the soul.
“So cancer?” Finn asks when we’re both sat down and I just nod. He leans back in his chair and then shrugs. “So what?” he asks and I just raise an eyebrow at him.
“So…I have 3 months to live,” I say, stirring the liquid in my mug.
“Well, why are you wasting time? If the clock is ticking you shouldn’t watch it.” His words sink in slowly and I’m about to protest but I realise he has a point. “Name something you’ve always wanted to do,” Finn prompts and I think about it for a moment.
“Ride a hot air balloon” I say and smile a little. I’ve always wanted what it would be like to float amongst the clouds.
“Well do it,” Finn replies beaming at me and I find myself returning in.
I spend the rest of the afternoon with him and for the first time since the word cancer was first mentioned to me I laugh and I smile and I forget about everything else that’s going on. He asks for my number and we meet up every afternoon for the next few weeks and every time I see him I smile. Forget about all these drugs dad is trying to make me take, Finn’s the only drug I need. His laid back approach to life is a cure in itself. I stopped watching the clock and I’m just taking each day as it comes.
The days are getting longer though and the pain in my head is stronger. Sometimes I have to cancel the meetings with Finn because I can’t get out of bed without throwing up. To my surprise though, half an hour after I made the call to cancel ice skating he appeared at the door of my house and he sat by my bed. I didn’t say much, he just sat and talked for hours. I’ve had a good impact on him as well, I think, he’s given up smoking from what I can tell, which is good.
“How do you know so much about this” I ask after a while and he swallows the words he was about to say. I can see him hesitating but he sighs and runs a hand through his mane of hair.
“It took my mother too, she spent most of her days shut inside. She took drugs to prolong it but she was so knocked up she wasn’t really there.” He whispers and I stare at him, understanding now why he wants me to make each moment count.
He leaves at about 6 and mum pokes her head round the door to see if I’m ok. She walks in and sits on my bed. “Nice fella you got there,” she says and I smile.
“I think I love him,” I whisper and she smiles.
“You know, I think he loves you too, I can see it in his eyes,” she says and this sends butterflies fluttering through me. Really? He’s always so cool and calm. Suddenly Finns words from earlier echo inside my head.
“Mum…” The words sit in my mouth, I don’t know how to tell her.
“Yes sweetie?” She prompts quietly, stroking some of my hair behind my ear.
“I don’t want to try to prolong it, when I die, I want to be me,” I say and she nods, all I see is understanding in her eyes. Not pity or anger.
“I’ll talk with your father, we’ll make him understand,” she says and I smile a little.
“Thank you” I say and she smiles down at me.
After that the arguing stops.
 

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