2 weeks later
Shane hadn’t been improving. In fact he was getting worse. He looked a lot worse too. I couldn’t keep the charade of pneumonia up anymore. It was time to tell the younger kids. Shane was due to start Chemo in just a few days, and then he would surely lose his hair. It was a Thursday night, I sat the kids down at the kitchen table after school, just like my mother had done all those years ago.
“I’m sorry to say but daddy has cancer, and it’s not going to go away. He needs your support, so you have to be strong for him.”
I never once in my life would have imagined having this talk again. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to.
“Shane has cancer doesn’t he?” Jeff asked meekly. It was really more like a statement. I could tell he was trying to be strong. However I could also tell he was about to cry.
“Did he tell you?” I asked. They all nodded. I sighed.
“Don’t be mad, he didn’t want you to be upset. He wanted to tell us himself.” Chelsea spoke, grabbing my hand. I squeezed it and gave her a slight smile.
“I’m not mad.”
“Is he going to die?” Jeff’s voice broke. Tears poured down his face as I realized that my little man was crying. I got up and wrapped my arms around him.
“Just like we did with daddy, we have to prepare for the worst buddy, I’m sorry. I don’t see him getting any better, and neither do the doctors. It’s in his brain. He’ll need brain surgery, but even then we can’t stop the inevitable. We need a miracle.” I’m clearly not good at this. The again I’m not supposed to be. I’m still 17, still a baby myself.
My older brother Alex had flown in and we were taking turns sleeping at the hospital with Shane. Harry and the boys had left a week ago to finish up their tour. Harry called every night and Niall, Louis, Zayn, and Liam often skyped with the kids. They were still very much a part of our messed up little family. Harry was planning on flying out to stay with us, after their tour ended in a month. I miss him even more each day. The day he left was hard. Shane had just had another episode and I couldn’t see the boys off at the airport. Later that night when I went to bed, I found a note. All that was on it were three words that I never heard enough. I. Love. You. I still carry it around with me everywhere.
After lunch I packed the kids up into the car and drove to the hospital. When we arrived Alex was asleep in the corner and Shane was writing on a pad of notebook paper.
“Hey Jeff, when I die, what do you want? I decided to give you first dibs” Shane called out like it was no big deal. I froze in my place. When he dies? What? No.
“Hmm, can I have you baseball stuff?” Jeff asked plopping down on Shane’s bed.
“Yup” he said writing it down.
“You’re not going to die Shane, and I would appreciate it if you didn’t say those things.”
“Hey, when I die, because it will happen at some point in time, I want to have a will so that my stuff doesn’t go to waste” he reasoned.
“Oh can I have your Star Wars characters too?” Jeff exclaimed.
“You have to promise to keep them in mint condition. You can’t take them out of the box Jeff.” Shane held his pinky finger out and Jeff took it.
I turned my back before I started to cry. I gently shook Alex awake. His Fiancé was supposed to come stay with us later that day, so he needed to get home.
He rubbed his eyes and slowly got up. Alex definitely grew since I last saw him.
Shane’s phone started to ring, it was Niall. The boys probably had a break. Shane answered eagerly to see all the boys faces crammed into the frame.
“Hey!” they chorused. Shane grinned and immediately started talking about some video game with Niall and Louis.
Every once in a while Jeff would chime in with a laugh or a snort. The girls were clearly bored so I had Alex take them back home with him. They would want to see Lindsay, Alex’s fiancé anyways.
About an hour after Alex and the girls left I told Shane and Jeff I was going to go get some food. I made my way out of the room, as I walked I could hear Jeff’s laughter down the hall, I smiled. When I got down to the cafeteria I picked out a few snacks for the boys and a salad for myself. Right as I was about to go up to the register and pay, something caught my eye. It was a magazine rack with Harry’s picture on the front. But it wasn’t just Harry on the front, it was him and some girl. I picked it up and read the headlines ‘”Harry’s new girl!” I flipped to the page the story was on and scammed. Stepping up to the line I plopped the magazine down with my food and paid the plump lady with the hair net.
I made my way back to the room, tossed the boys their snacks, sat down and opened up the article. The more I read, the more my heart sank.
“It looks like One Direction heart-throb, Harry Styles may have a new girlfriend! Harry, is currently in the middle of his “Where We Are” tour, but took the night off to take in another concert with the gorgeous model, Isabela Balvert! The boy-band member tried to keep a low profile by wearing a large hat and keeping his head down! The two were reportedly seen kissing in the back of his Range Rover! More juicy details are soon to come!”
I tossed the magazine down and let out a sigh of annoyance. A new girlfriend? When did that happen? Why didn’t I know? Why would he leave that note? Why now?
So many questions raced through my brain, but no answers came to me. I thought he would be different. I guess I was wrong.