21 Days

What if you had the option to know how many days you have left to live? Would you take it?

How would you spend those days and how would you say goodbye when they're over? Would it make things easier for you and the people around you to assure you spend your final days actually living?

My name is Niall Horan and for my girlfriend Madison, knowing how long she had left wasn't an option.


3. Day 3


Day 3


Dear Madison,

I had an incredible time with you at the beach yesterday. If I'm honest, it was one of our best days.

Maybe it's because we knew how much it meant? Or because we just took in each others company and embraced the moment? Either way, it was perfect.

You're perfect.

Right now, you're napping. You've had a long day, so I convinced you to go take a nap.

Your mother and father visited today and I saw how much their faces lit up when they saw you, still looking so healthy and alive.

Your mother refused to cry in front of you, but when her and I had a talk about how you were doing, she broke down.

She cried onto my shoulder and I joined her. She repeatedly told me how she can't lose you, saying that she wouldn't be able to cope. I reminded her that she'll never lose you, it's not possible. Even though we may lose you physically, you'll never leave us.

You will never be gone.

Sometimes I forget that you have family.

No, that came out wrong.

What I meant was, sometimes I think that it's just you and I and that these next twenty one days will be filled with just memories of us, together.

Although I'd love to spend every single minute of that time with you, I have to remind myself that you have family and friends that also care about you and need to spend sometime with you during the next three weeks.

I can't be selfish about it. I have to take a step back sometimes and let those people step in to be with you.

I do count myself as fortunate, though.

I'm the one that gets to spend each night with you, and I'm the one that wakes up next to you every morning.

My heart aches for your family because they don't get that. They don't get to kiss their daughter or sister goodnight each night, not knowing what the next day holds.

And I know how much that hurts them.

They're in the same situation as I am. They're suffering and worried, too.

The fact that they trust me enough and are willing to let me spend these last days with you really proves how much they love you. I know you said you were staying with me anyway, but for them to be so considerate of that is incredible.

If that was my daughter- our daughter, I would want to be there with her for each and every second of her final days, so for your family to allow us to be together is just heartwarming.

I'm so grateful. I really am.

They're family to me now, too and I appreciate everything they're doing for us. For you.

Your mother and I didn't dare bring up what happens next, when these twenty one days are up. That doesn't need to be discussed yet, because I still have faith in you.

I have hope in you, Madison. And I know the doctor told us that the outcome is inevitable but there will always be a piece of me inside that believes that maybe, just maybe, you can change that outcome.

Other than you, that hope is all I have. It's what keeps me going.

I also had a talk with your father today, one I should have had a long time ago.

I knew I had to do it now, because if I didn't it would have been the biggest regret of my life.

When he agreed and gave me his blessing, I couldn't help but feel my heart skip a bit as a single tear rolled down my cheek.

I'm going to marry you, Madison.

I know that giving the situation that we're in, we don't have a lot of time to organise it so it's going to be quite small, but I don't care.

Nothing matters other than you becoming my wife. I can't let you go without that happening.

Although you never pushed nor pressured it, I know that being a bride is something you've always dreamed of.

I'm going to make that dream a reality for you and it's going to be the greatest day of your life. Of our lives.

Madison Horan.

The name is perfect, and it's soon to be yours.

Today is a new day, and I still have you.

I love you, Madison. Always.
Yours forever,



As I finish writing, I re-read the name over and over. Madison Horan.

My fingers trace over the page carefully before closing the journal for another day. I stand up and slowly make my way to our bedroom, quietly opening the door. My eyes wander across the room to Madison's sleeping body laying warmly beneath the covers of our bed.

I slide in next to her, my arms gently wrapping around her small frame as I hold her close. My eyes take in all of her, every single detail from her flowing hair to the barely noticeable freckle above her elbow.

She's perfect.

"I heard you come in, you know?" He voice sends a chill through my body as she whispers, her eyes still closed.

"You did?" I smile, slightly tightening my hold on her.

"Mhmm" She nods as a smile spreads across her face. I eyes flutter open and we lay there in silence, just looking into each others eyes.

It's one of those moments that I wish I could freeze and hold onto forever.

"I love you."

"I love you too, Niall."

I place a gentle kiss to her forehead, inhaling her scent.

"Let's get some sleep. We have plans tomorrow." I do my best to hide the smile that's slowly creeping onto my face.

Her eyebrows furrow in confusion, but I know she's just as curious. "Do we?"

Yes, I'm going to propose.

"Yes, we do." I nod, interlocking our fingers before planting a soft kiss to her hand. "One's to remember."

She inhales a breath and sighs contently, nodding as she scoots closer to my body. "One's to remember." She repeats in a low voice before sleep takes over her and I lay like that for a while; holding her close to me and listening to the soft sound of her breathing.


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