One Last Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


When an incident shakes them, Ashton opens up his heart for Raelynn, through poetry.

Submitted: November 29, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 29, 2017

A A A

A A A


10:45 am, April 12, 2017

 

Dear Ashton,

I have wanted to tell you for so long. It has been so hard for me these past few weeks. I need you. I wondered constantly if I should tell you. I was afraid that you would look at me differently. Scared that you would leave me. Anyways, here it is. I have leukemia. I started feeling weak all the time a few weeks ago. Then I got dizzy and lightheaded. I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with leukemia. Ash, I feel so bad for not telling you earlier. I am so sorry. Please call me when you finish. I need you.

Love,

Raelynn

 

I fold the letter up and run out the door, grabbing my keys. Outside, the scent of spring rain laced the air. I look up, dark clouds are moving in from the north. I sigh as I get in my car, a 1970 Dodge Charger from my grandfather, and race off to Rae’s house.

“Raelynn? Are you home?” I call while knocking on the door of her condo. The door opens slightly. When Raelynn sees that it’s me, she opens the door wider to let me in. I wrap my arms around her and hold her close, breathing her in. “Rae, I will never leave you. I love you, no matter what.” I murmur in her hair. She lets out a shuddering breath. “Ash, I’m so scared. I don’t even know if I’m going to survive this. What will happen?” she sobs. I pick her up and carry her back into her house, kicking the door shut behind me. I sit us down on the couch and hold onto her tightly while she cries on my shoulder. When she looks up again, her tears shining on her face, eyes troubled, I hold her chin firmly, “Raelynn Grey. Listen. You can’t sulk all day long. Go. Live your life. I’m here for you. Nothing will keep me from you. Nothing, not the weather, not your parents nor my parents, not our friends, not even a universe between us will keep me from you. I will always find you.” I look into her stormy blue eyes as they well with tears again. She smiles a bit as she says, “I love it when you get serious, it makes your accent stronger.” I scowl.

“Really, Raelynn, it is all my fault that my mum and dad decided that they should send me to live with my grandparents while they traveled the world.” I said sarcastically, purposely thickening my accent. She laughs. I get up and walk into her kitchen, “Rae, choose a movie. I’m spending the night.”

We watched movies all night long, falling asleep with her head on my lap at three in the morning. I wake up to the sun streaming through the window. I gently lift her head and lay her down on a pillow. I get up and clean up her house. When I finish, she is still asleep on the couch. I make her breakfast. When I go to wake her up, she barely moves and her breathing is shallow. Panic stirs in my stomach. “Raelynn, hey, wake up.” She shifts and opens her eyes slightly and whispers, “Ash, I don’t feel very good. I feel lightheaded and like I can’t breathe.”

“Come on, I’m taking you to your doctor."

“No, Ash…”  she whispers.

I grab my phone and dial 911.

 

Hello. This is 911. Please state your problem.

 

Hi, um, my girlfriend is feeling unwell. She has leukemia.

 

Hold on, we will send an ambulance over. It should take about ten minutes.

 

Thank you, please hurry.

 

I grab a hoodie and help Rae into it. “Raelynn, look at me. The ambulance will be here soon.” She opens her eyes and we stare at each other. Her dark blue eyes are tired but the silver outline of her pupils still shines bright. In the distance, I hear the wailing of the ambulance and I pick her up and out the door. They were unloading the bed when I burst through the door. I lay her down gently and they put her in. I move to follow them, “Sir, I apologize, you cannot come with us.”

“Please, I´m her boyfriend. She doesn't have any family here.”  I beg.

She sighs and nods to me. I hurry on and hold on to Raelynn's hand the whole time. When we get there, they take her and wheel her into a room, leaving me in the waiting room filling out her information. Before I do anything, I call her parents,

Hello. This is the Grey resident. Who is this?

 

Hi, Mrs. Grey?  It’s Ashton.

 

Ashton, hi, how are you?

 

I´m fine, but I'm calling about Raelynn. She’s in the hospital right now.

 

Oh my God. I'm booking the next flight right now. I'll be there as soon as possible.

 

Please, Ash, watch over my baby.

 

Yes, ma’am.

 

The clock ticked by, seconds become minutes. Minutes become hours. The moment I began dozing off. The doctor came out and said that I could see her. I walk in, only to see her with tubes and machines hooked up to her. Her eyes are closed, almost peacefully. My eyes swim with tears at the sight of her like this. I sit down beside her and take her hand. I whisper, “Rae… please hang on. I know you can. You once told me that you loved the poems that you found in my room. I told you that they were written by my sister, Alina. The truth? I wrote those. I wrote those for you. You make me want to start writing again. Please hold on. I love you.”

For the next two nights, I stay, leaving only to go home twice to shower and change and occasionally during the day to get food.


 

9:37 pm, April 14, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Grey burst through the doors. I quickly move aside as Mrs. Grey flies to Rae´s side. Mr. Grey comes over to me. “Mr. Grey, how was the trip?”

 

"It was fine, thank you, Ashton. And please, how many times do I have to tell you that you can call me, Joel and my wife, Sabrina."

 

"I´m sorry. It just doesn't feel right."

 

"It should, son. Raelynn loves you very much. I am surprised that you haven't moved in together yet."

 

"My parents always said not to until after marriage."

 

Joel laughs, "That is why I let my daughter date you. Respective of her and her family."

 

"Thank you, sir."

 

I smile at the easiness between us. Joel clears his throat as he moves to his wife´s side.

"Ash, what did the doctor say?"

 

"The doctor said that she is in something similar to a coma. She is steady but they don´t know how long it will take for her to wake up. She might not remember much when she wakes up." I finish with a shuddering breath. Sabrina falls into Joel´s arms, sobbing. I lower my head, "I'm sorry."

Sabrina looks up at that, "What are you sorry for, Ash? There´s nothing you could´ve done about it.”

“I’ll leave you guys alone.” Joel nods his head at me and I head out to my car. I lean forward, resting my forehead against the wheel.

 


 

 “Hey, Ash!”

“Oh, hey, Raelynn!” I quickly shut the notebook in front of me that contains the many poems that I write.

“What are you hiding from me? Are you cheating on me and writing all kinds of love notes in there?” She jokes her face bright.

“It’s nothing…” I stutter. She laughs and takes it from my hands. As she begins to read through the words that contain my deepest feelings, I bury my face in my pillow.

 

Through the day, your smile is bright.

Through the night, your laugh is light.

Even when you’re across the world,

your joy warms my heart every night.

Every breath bring meaning to this fight

The fight to love you with all my might.

 


 

The next day, I take out my journal again and begin writing for the first time in two years. I write all day and all night before finally collapsing on my bed and fall into a deep sleep. When I wake up, I shower, eat, and head to the hospital with the notebook in my lap. I gently open the door to Rae’s room and find her mom asleep in the chair, holding on to Raelynn’s hand. As I close the door, Sabrina wakes and smiles at me. “You can go to the hotel and rest for a while, I’ll stay till you return.”

 

“Thank you, Ashton. You are too kind to our family.”

 

“It’s no problem.” I reply. After she closes the door, I sit down by Raelynn and talk to her.

“Hey, baby. We miss you. I miss you so much. Remember the time you found my poems and how I stopped writing afterwards because I was so afraid that someone else would find them? Well, I started writing again, just for you. So, um, the first one is called…”

I’ll Wait.

“I’ll wait no matter how long it takes.

I’ll wait with everything I have,

Every heartbeat

Everyone word I speak

Every thought that passes the heart that belongs to you

I’ll wait through rain or shine,

Through high or low,

Through every smile or tear,

I’ll wait for you.”

 

“I don’t know. When I was younger, right after my dad died, my mom and I would buys journals and write poems to channel out all our feelings, whether it was sadness, anger, happiness, loneliness, or anything. After a while, I stopped until that day you walked in and read that poem that was out of something I hadn’t really felt before, it was out of love. I’ll keep reading my poems to you until you wake up, because eventually, I know you will get up and tell me to shut my damn mouth so you won’t have to hear all these sappy poems.” I laugh quietly. “Well, here I go.”

 

Time

As you lay here,

Seconds turn to minutes,

Minutes turn to hours,

Hours turn to days.

Yet I’ll be here, no matter the time to see you

Open your eyes

To smile again

To say my name

So that I can tell you that I Will Always Love You.

No matter how much time passes

I Will Always Love You.

 

“Yes, it’s true. I will always love you no matter what.”

 

We’ve Been There

Everytime I step outside,

I look around and think to myself,

We’ve been there.

New York City, November 22, 8:30pm, Time Square

Rome, April 6, 11:45am, Colosseum

Las Vegas, July 27, 10:00pm, Fountains of Bellagio

Vancouver, August 15, 3:pm, Capilano Suspension Bridge

Everytime I step outside,

I look around and think to myself,

We’ve been there.

 

“Remember our trip around the world last year? I just turned 23 and you were almost 22. We spent your birthday in Paris because you wanted to see the Eiffel Tower so badly. Then the first thing you do is look for the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore.”

 

Drowning

I can’t find the happiness in the air

I’m drowning in anger

I’m dying in sadness

Only you,

Only you have ever pulled me from the deep,

Saved me from my sorrows and guilt

I almost drowned in anger

I was dying in sadness

But because of you I can once again find the happiness I need

 

“I wrote that thinking of the time you spent all day and night trying to cheer me up after my grandfather died. I blamed myself for not being there, I blamed the world for working him too much, I blamed him for being so reckless. But you pulled on my heart and allowed me to come back from hole that I dug for myself. Thank you.”

 

One Week Later

I lay in my bed thinking of all the things that I confessed to Raelynn. I sat by her day after day, leaving only when the doctors forced me to or when her parents were there. I read poem after poem. Until only one remained. The one in my heart that grieves me constantly. I sit up and open my now full journal, full of the notes and poems and tiny secrets that I’ve confessed this pass week. My pen hovers over the very last page and I begin to write this poem.

 

One Last Time

As I stand here

My heart wide open

My soul bared out

I think, I would give anything just for one last time

One last time to hold you,

One last time to hear you laugh

One last time to see your blue eyes

To kiss you, one last time

To read with you, one last time

To travel with you, one last time

To see you dance and sing, one last time

With my soul poured out,

My heart raw

I pray that you will wake

So I won’t have to hope for only one last time.

 

A single tear rolls down my face and splatters on to the page. I close my notebook and close my eyes and drift of into a daydream. My phone rings and I quickly enter back into reality. Sabrina Grey

“Hello, Ashton? Please come quick. Raelynn just woke up.”

“I’ll be there in 30 minutes, the traffic must be heavy, it’s rush hour.”

“No problem, just get here as soon as possible.”

 

Raelynn

I open my eyes and see my mom and dad sitting there, their faces a mask of worry.

“Mom?” I manage to croak out. Why was I here? Why was my throat so dry? My mom jumps at the sound of my voice and reaches for me as my dad yells for a doctor. Wait, doctor? I look around, I’m in a hospital. Just then, a doctor comes in and asks me a series of questions after handing me a glass of water. When he finally leaves, my mom sits next to me, “I’m so glad you’re back, honey. Ashton has been watching over you everyday.”

 

“Who?”

 

“Ashton. Your boyfriend.”

 

“I don’t have a boyfriend, haven’t had one for the past 4 years.” My mom looks scared before taking out her phone and showing me a photo of me and a guy with our arms wrapped around each other in front of the Eiffel Tower. I look at her with a perplexed face, “Who is that?” My mom doesn’t respond but instead calls for the doctor. “Doctor, Raelynn doesn’t remember Ashton.” The doctor walks over to me and asks me,

“What’s your name?”

-Raelynn Grey  

“How old are you?”

-23

“What are your parents’ names?”

-Joel and Sabrina

“Where did you go to college?”

-Yale University

“Where were you born?”

-San Diego, California

“Where are we now?”

-Seattle, Washington.

“Who is your boyfriend?”

-I don’t have a boyfriend. My last boyfriend was in sophomore year of high school.

“Have you ever hear of the name Ashton Taylor?”

-No

“Raelynn, are you telling the truth right now, we are very serious about amnesia.”

-Why would I lie?

 

My mother walks out and I hear a couple of muffled voices outside the door.

 

Ashton

“Ash, I’m so sorry.”

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

“Raelynn doesn’t know who you are.”

She whispers. I stumble back. No, no, no. Why? I take a deep breath. “What do the doctors say?”

“They don’t know why only that part of her memory is missing. Do you still want to see her?” I nod and she leads me in. I walk through the door to find Raelynn sitting upright, her face once again bright.

“Mom, who is that?” I answer before Sabrina could say anything.

“I’m just someone who is very happy and grateful to see that you are alright. Have a good day.” I quickly walk out and to my car where I let the tears come. Her mom calls me later and I tell her that I would not try to get her to remember me, if I surface in her mind, then I will return.

“Ashton,” Sabrina says, “What will you do?”

“I’m gonna retrace our footsteps from our trip, and see where the memories were made, once again.”

“Be safe and would you send me your plan, please. I want to know where you will be.”

One Year Later

“Hey Ashton, just wanted to let you know that Raelynn’s fine now. She is perfectly healthy. The pictures you sent are absolutely breathtaking. Remember, enjoy yourself and be safe! Bye!”

 

I smile, my worries gone for the first time in a year. I lay back on the warm sand on the Australian beach. I fall asleep and when I wake up, I pack my things and head back to my hotel. Day after day, I wonder if Raelynn is ever going to remember me and all the things we did together. On the paved pathway, I turn around and look back to where the sun was setting over the ocean. A tiny figure is running towards me, tiny and familiar. No, It can’t be. I step forward. She stops in front of me. “Ashton? I missed you so much.”

“Raelynn.”

 

Raelynn

I’m cleaning my room and I find a box under my bed. I open it and find pictures and little trinkets. I open the album and flip through the pages. New York, California, Italy, Paris, Australia, Berlin, and so much more. I’ve been there before? And… then everything comes back to me. Ashton.

 

The End.

 


© Copyright 2018 Corrie Chan. All rights reserved.

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