"I'll reach out my hand to you, I'll have faith in all you do
Just call my name and I'll be there"- I'll be there.
My alarm clock went off. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, turning over to see Molly lay asleep next to me, curled up in a little ball. I didn't want to wake her, she looked so peaceful. I didn't want to take her where I was taking her today, but I know that I have to. I propped myself up on one arm.
"Mol... Molly, wake up?" I whispered and gently shook her arm.
"Huh?" She yawned and opened her eyes.
"It's time to go..." I sighed. I watched her face drop and she nodded.
"Okay..." She whispered and flicked the covers off.
"What clothes do you normally wear?" I asked.
"Erm, I'll probably wear joggers and a baggy top, I like to be comfy for it really, we'll be there for a while" she said, trying to smile.
"When was your last bit of treatment?" I asked, trying to make conversation.
"A week ago today." She said, pulling out a pair of big, pale grey joggers and a white, floaty vest top. She plodded sadly into the bathroom with her clothes, I watched her go. As the door closed, I found my head in my hands. How could I take her to this place? Why did I sign up for this? I mean, I knew we were helping make a young girls dreams come true, but I never in a million years expected to develop feelings for her...
"Luke?" Molly called.
"What?" I asked, getting up from the bed.
"Can you come here please?" She called timidly. I got up from the bed and walked over to the bathroom, edging the door open.
"What is it?" I asked, peeping round. She was stood there in her joggers and bra, I swallowed the lump in my throat.
"I.. I can't fasten my bra, I keep trying, but my hands just tremble... I..." She began.
"Here.... Let me help you?" I asked stepping out with my arms outstretched. I took hold of the sides and she let go. I could see her hands shake as they dropped to her side.
"Thanks..." She whispered, turning to stare at the ground.
"There... All done...". I smiled and attached the clasp. I stood behind her and looked at her in the reflection of the mirror infront of her. I watched a tear roll down her cheek. "Hey... Hey...hey?" I asked, spinning her round to look at me. I reached out and wiped away her tear.
"I don't want to go today Luke..." She mumbled as her bottom lip began to quiver. I reached out and pulled her into my chest.
"Awh Molly, I know you don't... I wish you didn't have to go either. But you need to, it's going to help you get better..." I said.
"I can't get better Luke... It's only slowing down the inevitable..." She sobbed into my chest and I held her close.
"Hey.... Slowing it downs better than nothing. And I'd swap places with you if I could..." I sighed.
"Don't say that, don't ever say that..." She cried harder.
"No, I would Molly, you're an incredible girl and don't deserve any of what you're going through. You're one of the most amazing people I've met in my life. You go through all of this and you still manage to smile?" I smiled sadly down at her and tried to blink away the tears that formed in my eyes as she stared back at me.
"Really?" She smiled.
"Absolutely!" I smiled back and planted a kiss on her forehead. "Now come on, get your top on and we'll head down to get a taxi yeah?" I added.
"Yeah!" She smiled and pulled her top over her head.
"No make up?" I asked.
"No point..." She half laughed and wiped away her falling tears.
"Hey Molly, listen, we're going to do this together okay? You and me... Together!" I smiled, picking up my phone, keys and wallet and holding my hand out for her to take.
"Together?" She asked brightly, taking my hand.
"You have my word... Until the end..." I smiled, pulling her hand to my lips to kiss and taking her towards the door.
We walked to the doors of the hospital in silence, Molly a little way ahead of me. She knew where she was going. She walked straight over to a desk and signed on before we went and took a seat in a waiting area. I looked around, most of the people were old, 40s at least, if not older. Molly brought the average age down by a good 10 years. I swallowed the lump in my throat as I turned to look at her. She held her hands bunched together on her lap and she stared at the ground. Her legs were jiggling about. I placed my hand on top of hers...
"Molly?" A male voice called out, her head darted up.
"Hey... You're going to be okay!" I whispered.
"Would you like to follow me this way?" The doctor asked.
"Promise..." I whispered and placed my arm around her as she got up from the seat and walked down the pale, bare corridors.
"Lovely weather outside?" The doctor smiled at us both. Molly just nodded and looked away. What a prick? Whys he talking to her about the weather at a time like this?
He typed a code into a door and walked into a room, holding he door open for us both.
"Thanks..." Molly murmured, barely above a whisper. I didn't thank him, not after the weather comment.
"Take a seat on the bed for me Molly!"
The doctor smiled.
"Thanks..." She murmured again.
"You can sit there if you like?" The doctor gestured to the blue padded chair next to the bed.
"Cheers..." I replied and sat down next to Molly, taking her hand in mine. She forced a smile at me.
"Okay... Should we get started?" The doctor asked. Molly swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded. I squeezed her hand. The doctor started the procedure by taking her pulse, temperature and checking her height and weight.
"Take a seat back on the bed Molly, I'll go and get the IV and the medication..." The doctor nodded and left the room. Molly's face dropped. This was clearly the bit that Amber had warned me about.
"You're gonna be okay, I promise you..." I began as the doctor wheeled an IV machine in and a table full of clear bags full of liquids. Molly closed her eyes and lay back against the bed. She shook her head and blinked quick to stop the tears that had formed in her eyes. I stroked the back of her hand with my thumb. Amber was right, this is unbearable.
"Okay Molly, pass me your arm?" The doctor asked. Holding his hand out for her to place her arm in, a sterilising wipe in the other hand. Molly reluctantly gave him her arm as he wiped the cleaning fluid on her wrist. She scrunched her eyes up and her bottom lip began to quiver. The doctor shot me a concerned look, I nodded.
"Hey Molly, look at me okay?" I urged her as the doctor reached for the needle.
"I don't like needles..." She whispered, her lip still quivering.
"Hey, nobody does, just look at me, not over there, just right at me okay?" I begged, her eyes rested on my face. She looked like a frightened little girl. I watched the doctor insert the IV drip into her eyes. She closed her eyes and frowned deeply. I pulled her free hand to my mouth and kissed it gently. Her grip on my hand tightened, just as Amber said it would.
"All done Molly!" The doctor said, fastening off the drip, she nodded nervously.
"You're so brave Mol!" I smiled at her, I was so proud of her.
"We'll put the first lot in, you've got 4 bags today Molly, they should make you quite tired and quite weak. She's not driven has she?" The doctor asked, attaching the first bag to the frame.
"No, no, we got a taxi!" I smiled.
"Ah good, just make sure she takes it easy for the rest of the day?" He asked.
"Of course!" I smiled again. He attached the bag to Molly's drip and left the room. I watched as the clear liquid travelled down the tube and into her system. Molly just lay sadly against the bed, staring at the ceiling.
"Luke. I'm so sleepy.." She croaked.
"I know babe, why don't you try and go to sleep?" I asked.
"I might?" She sighed and shuffled down on the bed. I pulled the blanket up over her and let her lie down. I held her hand until I knew she was asleep...
The doctor came in to change over the bags and Molly slept through the entire thing. I held her hand the entire time, not letting go. I wanted her to know that I was there as soon as she woke up. I wanted her to know I hadn't left.
The doctor did a blood test and then we woke her up.
"Hey lovely, sleep well?" I smiled.
"Hmmmm...." She yawned, sitting up slightly and rubbing her eyes. All the light and colour had drained from her face. She looked like a different girl, still smiling though.
The doctor walked in with a concerned look on his face.
"We have some news for you Molly, would you like us to contact your parents?" The doctor asked.
"No, what is it?" She asked, worriedly.
"Are you sure you don't want them here?" He asked again.
"Just tell her, she wants to know now..." I asked, a harsh look on my face seeing the concern on Molly's.
"Okay... The cancers spread to your blood Molly. We're going to have to increase the number and amount of your sessions to slow it down. The pains going to start, you're going to grow weaker, you'll lose your hair..." Tears streamed down her cheeks. She opened her mouth to speak, nothing came out.
"What does that give her, months? Weeks?" I begged in angst.
"Days..." The doctor sighed, looking to the floor. "I'm so very sorry...." He sighed before getting up to dismiss himself and give us some privacy.
"Molly?" I whispered. No reply. "Come here beautiful..." I sighed, scooping her off the bed and pulling her onto my knee. She curled up in a ball and sobbed onto my chest. I cried with her, this was breaking my heart.
"I don't want to die.... I don't..." She choked.
"I know baby..... Shhhhhh... I know" I whispered into her hair, rocking her from side to side as she cried.
A very brave and very frightened young woman...
You don't mention death when it's hovering near someone you love. You don't want to attract the reaper's attention.- Amie Kaufman