Sunday comes around and Jordan and I drive to my parents in time for church and brunch.
"Stasia, darling, it's so nice to see you" my mom says as she smiles and hugs me. She's dressed in her Sunday's best; a beautiful mint green dress and orange pumps with a poofy pink hat.
"Hi mom" I say as I hug her. "Oh Jordan! It's so nice to see you!" She says and let's go of me to hug him. "Hi miss M" he says and hugs my mom. "Where's dad?" I ask as I follow her into the chapel. "He's on his way" is all she says and leads me and Jordan to their usual seats. We sit for awhile, me and my mom catching up and Jordan interjecting once in awhile, but stays mostly silent as my mom talks till she has nothing else to talk about.
"Is that my Ana and her Jordan?!" I hear my dad say loudly from behind us. I turn around and smile as I see his salt and pepper grey hair and giant smile. "Dad!" I say as I get up and hug him. "Sir" Jordan says as he shakes my dads hand. "Ah, Jordan, you've always been respectful, and I have confidence you're treating my daughter right, it's nice to see you" dad says and Jordan nods. "It's great that you came to the service, afterwords we'll go get pancakes at Ana's favourite breakfast place."
At church we worship, take communion and give an offering, Jordan drawing on the bulletin as the pastor preaches, but I know he's still paying attention.
He nudges my hand as he sees me subconsciously picking at my black tights, telling me not to ruin them. I nod and stop picking at them, flattening out my wine coloured pencil skirted dress.
After service we socialise a bit with people that I haven't seen in awhile, the usual boring conversations like "how's school?" And "oh is this your boyfriend" but nothing worth actually taking about.
"Brunch, shall we?" My dad says and me and Jordan nod. My parents walk out of the church ahead of us and as me and Jordan walk out he grabs my hand and I can't help but get a weird feeling in my stomach knowing that one day we'll probably be walking down this same aisle, but in a suit and a big white dress.
We go in Jordan's car and my parents go in their car and we meet up at my favourite breakfast place since I was a kid; Leni's breakfast.
"Your parents are just... they're great" Jordan says and I smile. "Thanks, bear boy" I say and ruffle a hand through his hair.
"Kids" my dad greets with a smile as we get out of Jordan's car. "MGMT" Jordan whispers to me and I roll my eyes in endearment and smile like an idiot. I have the greatest boyfriend ever.
We get seated and Jordan and my parents talk and it's good to just be able and listen for awhile, not have to be answering questions for once.
"Oh, Stasia, you've got to tell them about Joyanne's" Jordan says. "Yeah, how could I forget?!" I say and sit up straighter as I explain Joyanne's.
"So you have a shop there?" My mom asks. "Me and Jordan" I say and grab his hand under the table. He gives a reassuring squeeze and leans slightly closer to me. "Wow, you'll have to give us the address so we can check it out sometime!" Mom exclaims. "Yeah, honey, that sounds neat" dad agrees.
"Ah, breakfast!" Dad exclaims happily as the waitress comes up with our food. The waitress dishes out all the food and we sit, talking and eating and it's just really nice.
Jordan points to the ceiling and smiles and at first I raise my eyebrow, confused, but then I listen close and Classy Girls by The Lumineers plays and I smile. "This is such a cute song" he whispers and I nod.
"Listen, Ana" my dad says. He gives my mom a sorrowed look and grabs her hand. "Your mom got diagnosed with breast cancer two days ago" he says and I feel my breath hitch. Jordan wraps his arms around me immediately and pulls me close as my eyes fill. "I know honey, it hurts us too, but we have to pray and trust God's got it."
So we pray right there at the table.
As I hug my mom when we leave I have a different view on her now. She's fragile now. She's light now. She's weak and tired. The whole ride home Jordan holds my hand and strokes it with his thumb; a reassuring touch that I wish would calm me.
When he drops me off at my apartment he hugs me really tight and promises everything will be okay. I'm not so sure though.
I go to my canvas and I paint.
Baby blue, dark blue, yellow, cream, and light pink go on in jagged stripes and improper lines.
Right as I think that everything looks perfect, I put a black slash across the whole canvas.
It's like my life.
I stand back and look at my dramatic piece, finally breaking down into tears and crying on my knees on my apartment floor.
My life is over. My mom will die and my dad will become a hermit.
I sit there and cry for a little while, crying about everything. Getting it all out.
"This is ridiculous" I think to myself and get off the floor. I dry my eyes and go to the fridge, grabbing a jug of orange juice, then go into the cabinet to grab sweet biscuits. After I have both my snacks I go into my room to grab my laptop and a notebook and bring it out to the living room on the couch. I grab a few blankets, snuggle up and research breast cancer.
Three hours later I have four notebook pages full of healthy diet choices, exercises, all the best hospitals for treatment, signs it's getting better or worse, and good things to do to take your mind off of it.
I leave a message at my school that I won't be in for Monday class because of a family need and then go to bed.
Always waking myself up with some happy, upbeat song, Little Bird by Ed Sheeran blasts in my apartment speakers, and despite the whole situation from yesterday, I smile, trying to hold on to the good in life, and this is a really good and happy song.
I do all the morning basics; make my bed, brush my teeth, brush my hair, then go out to the kitchen and look for food from the breakfast genre.
As I go in I pass my painting depicting cancer and I stare at how tragic it looks. I grab the black paintbrush and swipe it around a couple of times until I have a bird, and then I hope to myself that this will be the situation in reality; my mom will be a black stripe for awhile then she'll turn into a bird and be okay.
Well be excellent for that matter.
I hope she'll be okay. Cancer sucks.
I make myself breakfast and text Jordan to tell him I'll be at my parents all day and then head out. Taking the notebook and all my notes I head out the door, blasting If You Can't Hang by Sleeping With Sirens.
I drive to my parents with an angry playlist and try to determine if I'm angry or upset, but I can't pinpoint a person I would be angry with so I reckon I'm just afraid of my mom dying.
I walk right into my parents house, greeting Martin, the dog I bought for my parents last year when I left so they'd still get to take care of someone. "Marty, hi baby" I say and lean down to pet the boxer.
"Stasia is that you?" I hear my mom call from upstairs. "Yeah it's me, I brought some stuff I wanna go over with you" I call back. My mobile buzzes with a text from Jordan saying that he'll take care of our shop after class and that he loves me. I love him too.
"What was it you want to go over with me?" She asks as she comes down the wooden stairs. She wears a large pink robe and slippers, and as I look at her I try to outline her dainty little body in the large robe. Her face is slightly sunken in and she looks worn, I suppose she's tired and afraid of dying also and it's taking a tole on her.
"I was up late last night online looking some stuff up on the web" I reply. "About what?" She asks politely. "Well uh..." I say, hesitant to mention about her cancer, as it's the topic that is hard to talk about. "Breast cancer" I try to say boldly, but it comes out shaky.
"Okay. Let's see what you got" she says softly and sits down, gently taking the notes from my hand. She leafs through the notes, squinting to try and read my small and packed handwriting.
I take it out of her hands after awhile when I start getting impatient and read it her, all the nutrients that will help her, the exercises she can do to keep her strength. I show her all the information I've collected and in return she hugs me tightly.
"I love you, mom" I say. "Love you too, Stasia" she replies. A deafening silence falls over the both of us and it scares the hell out of me. "Stasia aren't you suppose to be in class?" She asks, and I'm grateful for her breaking the silence. "I called in and told them I was gonna miss, this is more important" I say and grab her hand. "Alright well, can we just have fun the rest of today?" She asks and I smirk. "Of course, let's have you change and I can do your makeup" I say and she smiles.
We walk up to her and my dad's room and she changes her clothes in the closet while I pull out makeup from her bathroom vanity.
"Ready?" I ask. "Yep" she replies while flattening her flowing floral shirt. I turn on my morning playlist with happy songs and sit her down so I can begin with her makeup.
We make small talk while I do her makeup and when we're all done she smiles and thanks me.
We get in my car and I tell her that I'm taking her to mine and Jordan's shop, and she asks all sorts of questions about it.
It's a good talk.