forever

The event changed everything, but a story can’t have a central theme unless there are walls to support it, roads that take you there and on, because I can’t just give you a fact and you understand it fully until I explain it. So here it is; I love Harry Styles, but the roads that I take you on to understand may not be one’s that you really want to travel, so heed the signs on the barren roadsides, and understand. I’ll tell you about the days, thirty before and thirty after, encompassing Harry’s attempted suicide.

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63. 25 days after

25 Days After:  Heather calls and tells us that Amy Lee's condition is rapidly worsening. When she does so, and Harry and I are intertwined on the couch, laughing as Zayn tries to throw grapes into Liam's open mouth and Niall messes his aim up by tickling Zayn's sides.  The news shatters the peaceful moment, and I sit up, disturbing Harry.  "It's Amy Lee," I say, and his face twists in horror.  "She's getting worse," I explain quickly, before his mind jumps to any other conclusion.  "We need to go," Harry replies, and he moves fast, grabbing clothes for us, stuffing them into a bag, and pulling out two of his jackets from his closet, tossing one to me.  "What's going on?" Niall asks blankly, and I realize for the first time that they barely know what is happening with Amy Lee, and to stop and explain would be wasting time.  "We'll call and tell you later," Harry says hastily, and he grabs my hand and pulls me out the door.  For the first time, she is drained of energy, sunk in her sheets and her face pale instead of flush with excitement.  "Harry and Louis are here," Heather whispers, nudging her daughter.  Amy Lee's eyes flick to us and she says, in a haughty voice, "I need to talk to Louis alone."  Harry and Heather are stunned, but they oblige quickly, shutting the door behind them. I don't know what this little girl has to tell me, but I want to hear it. I want to remember her voice as she screamed in delight at Disney World, and I want to remember her as she slips away. I just want to always remember Amy Lee.  So I sit down in the chair Heather had been at, leaning over the bed railing and grabbing her small hand. Her nails are painted a pale green.  "Do you like them?" she asks, following my eyes.  "I do. They're the color of Tiana's dress."  As I say that, he head nods approvingly.  "I was hoping you'd remember that. I decided I want to be Tiana. I want to go find magic instead of waiting for it. But I don't blame Cinderella. Some people just aren't strong enough to find it. Or they don't have the chance to."  She pauses.  "I have the chance. Mommy hasn't told me, but I know. She thinks I don't hear her crying."  "Are you scared?" I whisper.  "Oh no," she laughs, and I notice the very faint beginning of her missing tooth beginning to grow back. "I think there is magic everywhere. Maybe there will be even more wherever I go after I die, even more than at Disney World!"  Tears are sliding down my face, and I want to ask where she learned all this. She was just a child. She shouldn't know about death, shouldn't even have to know that it was coming back for her. Heather had said we should chase life, but we were running out of time, and Death was running faster.  "But I'm happy with our picture." She gestures to the framed photo of Cinderella by her bedside. "I really love it. And I wanted to tell you something. About Harry."  I wait expectantly, and when she is satisfied with my silence and attentiveness, she goes on.  "He's really scared of magic. He's scared to have something like that because he's scared it's going to go away and leave him. I think he is upset and worried that you might leave him alone like my dad did my mommy, just because Dad thought Mom made a mistake, and it's not fair."  She takes a deep breath.  "And Harry didn't want to know magic because then he would always want it. I think he had to come to the hospital because it drove him crazy, but he never told me for sure. But you can show him what magic is. I tried to. I sent him letters while he was away, and some coloring pages, so maybe he will get it. I just want you and Harry to live happily ever after if I can't."  I am hardly aware how hard I am crying until she reaches up and brushes her hands across my face. Just a little girl. I remember her age-eight year's old- and wonder again and again how she knows so much. Maybe death felt sorry for her and is whispering the secrets of life to her as It takes her away. I don't know. I don't want to know.  But I did say I wanted to remember Amy Lee, and I will always remember her last words to me, and mine to her.  "Live a Fairy tale for me," she says, her voice soft and shaking with something like sorrow and fear and joy and maybe even relief all rolled into one.  "I will," and I sit with her hand in both mine for a while, until she is dozing off. I kiss her on the forehead and leave the room to give Heather and Harry some time with her.

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