After about a week of constant pain and visits from loved ones (not to mention Lucas who was there practically the whole time), I am discharged from the hospital.
The doctor had a conversation with my mother and I about an hour ago telling us anything and everything to expect. "They could be so infrequent as 15 years, but as frequent as half an hour," He told us. And the more frequent they are, the more pain I will be in, the more my body will want to give up.
None of this I have told Lucas. I haven't told him that I have a disease that is going to kill me eventually. I haven't told him that maybe we won't be able to have our wedding one day. And I haven't told anyone how much pain I'm in.
"Are you okay babe?" He asks me as he helps me stand up from the hospital bed. I nod and smile at him, leaning in to his arms. Everything hurts a lot. I told the doctor roughly that it hurts and he prescribed me pain medication with free refills.
My mom is stressing over the hospital bills - I can tell that she is. We've always been tight with bills, so adding a some thousand bill to that doesn't exactly happen. However, my dad is actually trying to help for once and is taking half of the burden on himself.
We walk down the sterile hallway and I feel a small burst of happiness that we are leaving. Maybe I will be okay. The doctor said to me personally without my mother there that once these start, they tend to become more and more frequent with less and less time in between consciousness. This combined with the brief memory loss, isn't going to do much help in benefiting me and figuring out how I feel. "Think of something you can do that with each time, will jog your memory," He had told me.
This thought follows me on the way home where I find all of my friends from school waiting to welcome me home. "Thank you!" I exclaim in smiles, even though I'd really rather be alone.
The party goes on for a while with my mother leaving so that everyone can pull out the alcohol and weed. I think about how this is normal teenage stuff that I'm always a part of, but right now I feel like such an outsider. Who knows how long until I'm not even a memory - until everyone parties without me and no one thinks twice?
Maybe I should tell Lucas what's going on.
*2 weeks later*
I've written a ten page letter describing each one of those that I love. I decided that I'd write all about who I love and who loves me and then have the nurse give them to me when I wake up, so that I can read it and remember who I am.
I thought of everything, including if I woke up and didn't think that that was my handwriting.
I've also decided that I am going to tell Lucas the severity of what is going on, especially since I feel like my time might be ticking from when I will have another "Episode". So I asked him to come over for dinner tonight and we are going to talk.
My mother is working until 8 and he's coming over at 6 so I shouldn't have to worry about her trying to tell him that this is all fake and the doctors lied and I'm fine. I'm coming to terms with it, and she's still in denial.
The door bell rings. I take a deep breath and walk to the door, opening it slowly. There stands Lucas with a bundle of roses. I roll my eyes and smile, him instantly improving my mood. He kisses me gently and then enters. I close the door behind him. "How are you doing?" His voice is worried.
"That's actually what I wanted to talk to you about," I grab his hand and lead him into the living room, sitting on the couch and pulling him against me so that I'm kind of holding him in my arms.
"I haven't told you everything about what happened," I start with a sigh and immediately his body tenses up. "Lucas, there is a very real possibility that I am going to die from this condition," I whisper.
He sits up and looks at me and a tear slips down my cheek. "What? No," He shakes his head.
"Please, I can't have you in denial as well as my mom. I'm not saying that I am going to die tomorrow, but I don't think we'll ever be able to have our little girl," I look away from him as more tears fall.
"Well, if this is you trying to break up with me-"He starts.
"It's not," I laugh, grabbing his hands. "I want to be with you for forever. But it turns out I'm like Augustus Waters," I try to joke as more tears fall.
He pulls me against him tightly. "I'm not going to give up on you," He says in a strict voice.
"I didn't tell you to," I reply. "I just...at some point I'm going to get worse and I just don't want you to be surprised by that," I tell him.
"I love you," He says.
"I love you too," I reply. He pulls back to look at me and his eyes are red. Tears fall down his cheeks and I wipe them away with my thumbs. "Baby it's okay. It'll all be okay," I assure him. He leans in and his lips touch mine softly, waiting for me to lean in more. I grab his hair and pull him towards me, initiating the kiss. He leans over me and before I know it we're both in just our underwear making out intensely on the couch. We get tired after a few minutes and so Lucas collapses on the couch, pulling me right up against him and enveloping me in his arms. I pull a blanket over the two of us and we watch the original Mickey Mouse in black and white.
"Rose," Lucas says softly.
"Mmm?" I respond.
"I don't want you to die," He speaks quietly in my ear.
"I don't want to die either," I reply. "But whatever happens I need you to be strong for me okay?" I turn to face him. He nods and more tears fall down from his face. "It's going to be okay," I repeat from earlier. It will be okay.
We lay like that for a while before getting up and re-assembling ourselves, walking to the kitchen to actually make dinner. Lucas and I joke around as we spill flour and crack an egg that accidentally falls on the floor. Then he chases me around and we finally make the chicken Parmesan. While it cooks we sit on the stools, holding hands and talking. I'm looking at Lucas when my head starts to throb.
"Fuck. It's happening again," I say squeezing Lucas' hand tighter. I stay still and focus on the spot where the light switch is, determined to stay awake and keep my vision. I can hear Lucas turning off the oven and grabbing his keys before pulling me in his arms.
"I need something to focus on," I breathe, stuttering through pain. I think that I go unconscious because my mind can't take the pain. But I can.
"Okay focus on my voice. I love you so much Rose and we are going to get through this and everything is going to be okay. I believe that you are going to be fine. You need to be fine," My vision starts to get blurry as he pulls up to the hospital.
"Baby I need you to promise me something," I tell him in labored breaths.
"What is it? Anything," He assures me, sweeping me in his arms again. I struggle to look up at his face and extreme pain hits me as for a second I see his face clearly.
"Promise me that you will not cry until I wake up," I demand.
"But baby girl," He starts.
"Promise," my voice cracks from the pain. My vision goes black.
"I promise," He replies rushing into the building.
I wake up in a hospital room. I know that. But why am I here? I look to my left and see a teenage boy passed out in a chair, holding my hand. If I don't move my hand I can't feel his. I look further to the left and on the table and see a simple silver ring with a small crystal diamond in the center. I reach over and pick it up with the hand that isn't encased in the fingers of the stranger. In my fingers it seems so small and delicate and also...strangely familiar. Engraved in the middle reads "I promise" with a heart and the word Lucas. I slip the ring on my finger and hit the help button next to the bed. Within a minute a nurse is in my room and the boy is awake. "Rose," He breathes. "Lucas?" I ask him. That's the only name I know because of the ring so I'm guessing that's him. His eyes brighten and he nods.
"Obviously I know you, but how?" I ask Lucas, the boy sitting in front of me.
"We're in a relationship. You've lost your memory before and last time you got it back when I kissed you," He tells me.
"I don't know if I should believe you," But something tells me I should
His face drops, but his eyes fall on the ring that I had put on my finger. "It's my promise ring to you," He smiles at it. The nurse finishes injecting something and my muscles relax a bit, some of my pain fades away.
"How long have we been together?" I ask him as he grabs my hand gently and rubs his thumb over it. It feels comforting and right even though I don't remember this man.
"Two years," He replies softly I smile and notice that his eyes are red and puffy.
"You weren't supposed to cry," I pout reaching up and brushing under his eye.
His eyes brighten again. "You remember that, do you remember anything else?" I shake my head no. He sighs and stands up, leaning over me. "Can I kiss you?" He inquires softly. I nod slowly and his smooth lips come into contact with my dry ones.
Instantly I remember everything and I get upset. I pull away from the kiss and pull Lucas against me so that he can't see my face.
"Rose," He breathes a sigh of relief.
"How long was I out?" I ask, shifting positions and making him lay down with me. He encompasses me in his arms and it causes the pain to worsen, but I try to ignore it and focus on the comfort that his arms bring me.
"Five days," His voice cracks.
"You cried," I accuse him, ignoring that I was "asleep" for five days.
"But something happened," He defends himself.
"What happened?" I ask him.
"I missed you," He changes his mind from what he was about to say and replies with that.
"I missed you too. Now spill it," I poke his nose. His face turns somber and grabs my hand tightly.
"The doctors sayd that you probably won't live to see next year," He doesn't look at me when talking.
"That's all?" I ask him, trying to keep calm.
"That's all Rose?" That's all you have to say to that?" He exclaims.
"Look, I'm sorry Lucas. I don't want to die. I do not want to leave you. But if I'm going to die, then there's nothing we can do about it. Lucas I'm going to live as long as I can. But when I can't, I can't," I say extremely serious holding his face close to mine.
"I can't live with out you," He tells me, tears spilling down his cheeks.
"You've done it before, you can do it again. But baby look at me. I'm not going anywhere," I try to assure him.
"What can I do for you?" He questions.
"Hold me and tell me you love me," I whisper, squeezing him tightly. He returns the action and we sit, watching the mute television for a while.
After an hour there's a knock on the door and my sister enters with her husband and kids. "Yay! You're awake!" Aidan runs over and hugs me.
"Hi buddy," I kiss his forehead. He climbs on the bed next to me and Jeremy and Caleb sit on the end.
Lucas changes the channel to Spongebob and turns the volume up. "Careful Aidan," Arianna warns him as he leans closer to me.
"He's fine," I say pushing the pain away and forcing myself to ignore it. She takes the seat where Lucas was as he moves towards the door.
"Where are you going?" I question him.
"I'll be right back. Love you," He forces a smile.
"Love you too," I reply and he walks out of the room.
"How are you doing? When did you wake up?" My sister asks me, grabbing my hand gently.
"I'm okay. And about ten minutes ago," I nod.
"What's happening? Your mom told me that you were going to be fine," She says. I sigh.
"She's in denial. The truth is, there's a very real possibility that I'm going to die within the next two years," I inform her in a quiet voice. Her hand flies up to her mouth and Andrew who was listening has his eyes widen. "It's okay, Arianna it's okay." I nod. "I'm going to fight to live. I'm going to do my best to survive this," I smile.
A tear falls down her cheek and I reach down to grab Koda, pulling him on my lap and trying to keep from flinching with pain. "Koda give Auntie a kiss," I say and he leans in to peck my lips. I smile at him and sit back with him. He gets distracted with Spongebob. "Koda say Aun-tie," I ask him.
"Ah-ie," He replies.
"Close enough," I smile and kiss his forehead.
I can't help but think of how I may never have a child of my own to do this with. I glance over at my sister who is staring at me. "If anyone is going to lose their head over this, it better not be you," I put my hand on her shoulder. She nods, the message computing in her mind, but her posture doesn't change.
We wait for a while just sitting in each other's company and I think about a lot of different things. Lucas comes back in the room with coffees for Arianna and I and I smile at him. He's an awesome boyfriend.