She

Reads: 379  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hold it like they are the most important person in the world, because they are. They need to know that.

Submitted: May 24, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 24, 2013

A A A

A A A


 

Her breathing was slow, there was a crackle. The nurses looking after her had stopped coming in with meds, just sticking their head in, or taking her pulse. They would put their hand on my shoulder squeeze a little before leaving. I held her hand like she had said a million years ago.

Hold it like they are the most important person in the world, because they are. They need to know that.

Her family were around, waiting…

 

Her breathing was even slower, Don’t breath with me, you might pass out, and miss it. She joked once, it killed me. I left the flat then, I went for a walk. When I came back she was worrying her lip. Sorry. I forget, it’s not just me going through it. I kissed her forehead then. And she kissed me properly, it was the last time we… she was in hospital the day after next, on O2 permanently, and she’d never come home again.

 

“Matt, do you want anything?” someone said from the door. I shook my head. There was only one thing I wanted.

***

 

 

There was a loud laugh coming from somewhere behind me. I turned it was that loud. There were two girls, one holding her belly, bent over, holding onto her friend, laughing. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She stood looking back at her friend. I’m sorry, but you did not?

“I did.” The other girl said. “I did. I couldn’t not.” No I don’t think you could have. I have to go, I’ll see you later though coffee? “yeah of course, three right?” she nodded and she walked away.

 

I don’t know what I was thinking but I waited around til three, and she walked in, still in scrubs. She looked tired, her hair was falling out but she still had a smile on her face. She kind of stopped for a second scanning everyone, before her face froze in shock. God she was beautiful

Caddie, you cow, what are you doing here? She screeched across the café.  Another girl, Caddie, stood and she launched herself at her friend. I thought you were still back home? I thought you weren’t meant to be here until later.

“I got started earlier, so here I am.” they hugged. Don’t worry everyone, the terrible twosome are actually quite brilliant. She said to the entire café. They all laughed. Everyone must know her. Her eyes glanced my way. Before darting off again. I watched her have coffee with the entire café holding court as it were.

 

I did not over hear them talking about getting a few drinks at a bar. I did not harass my mates to come to the same bar. I did not watch her dance. I did not watch her flirt with nearly every person there.

 I didn’t dance, but it took every ounce of self-control I had not to go up to her and ask. She was wearing a very short white dress, and I couldn’t tear my eyes away. She made friends with everyone here, or she knew everyone. She flitted from one group the next kissing and hugging and I just wanted that to be me. I finished my beer with my eyes on her. Lou elbowed me. “She’s got everyone here wrapped around her little finger hey?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I said dragging my eyes down to my hands. I scrubbed my face out of frustration.

“Yeah you do.” He was gone. And over to her, oh god they were looking over here, she was smirking, then smiling, then laughing, the same kind of laugh I’d witnessed earlier. How did he do that, make friends in an instant. Lou wrapped his arm around her waist and started walking over she diverted him to the bar, leaning over, she was talking to the bartender, they all looked out way and then she let Lou bring her over.

She looked me up and down, I couldn’t even tear my eyes away.

Matt right? She said. I nodded. She smiled. I’m Mitchell she slid into the booth. Lou disappeared out of my radar completely. She was watching me, her eyes narrowing slightly. God I should say something. Anything. Just…

“You have the best laugh.” She smiled.

Thanks I like your shirt she poked the button. I grinned, a bit like a fool. But she was smiling back, her eyes were crinkling up. A tray of beers and a glass arrived. For you and your mates. Lou pointed out I’ve nearly bought everyone here a drink except you guys, so I think it’s fair that I do that now. She picked up the glass with what looked like juice in it and sipped before passing me a beer. For you specially Matt, Lou says you should relax.

“Do you just make friends with everyone?”

No, I don’t really like children, with the elevensies. She scrunched her nose, it was … adorable.

“What?”

You know when they have to snot running out of their nose, so beyond gross. She made a face sticking her tongue out to show her disgust. I sipped my beer, more like had half of it, but… you know.

“Do you come here a lot?” she laughed.

There are more interesting questions than that Matt, ask something else?

“What are you doing in London?” he smile fell

Running away from my problems actually.

“What kind of problems?” she scrunched her face to the side.

I don’t want to ruin your night, ask me later. With that she stood want to dance? I didn’t,

“I can’t dance,” but she pulled me out onto the floor anyway

She kissed me three songs later and I took her back to mine after that. She stayed.

I knew I was gone when I woke up in the morning and she wasn’t next to me. there was a note though. With her name and her number and what could be a quick sketch of me, sleeping. I could hear Harry out in the kitchen, he was making tea.

“Are you awake?” he called out.

“Yeah.”

“So Mj’s pretty cool?”

“Who the fuck is Mj?”

“The person you had in your room last night, the one who bought all of us drinks, the one who left you a note and made me clean my teeth.”

“Really?”

“What’s the note say?”

“It’s her number and her name is Mitchell, and I think I’m completely smitten.” Harry laughed and jumped on me. his fingers playing with my ear.

“Do you want to be?”

“Why on earth not. I mean did you see her, and her laugh. Did I tell you about her laugh?”

“Yes mate, like it’s the only thing I’ve heard out of your mouth for the last 24 hours. Tea?”

“Yeah.” I pulled out my phone. I had a great time last night. L

Me too. Mx.

Can I take you out tonight?

Yeah, I get off work at 8 is nine ok?

Yeah. See you then.  I left it there only to realise I didn’t know where to pick her up from, it was the middle of the day, god she probably thought I was an idiot. Where do you live? I rolled my eyes at myself would I ever work out how to talk around her.

Lmao I wondered how long that would take you.

Half a day is not good

Nope, but pick me up from 7/890 charlston Circ 9 tonight, we can eat or something.

I’m taking you out, you’d better let me choose the place. You’ve done the rest. J

Yeah I’ve started taking over lately. I like that you told me to stop.

 

That night I picked her up, she was wearing a beautiful dress and pulled on an amazing coat, her hair was up, which was a shame but you could see her cute little ears. Her smile was massive when she opened the door.

“Hi. You look beautiful.” She smiled. you don’t look so bad yourself. She leant in and kissed me. Wow. She was quiet.  When she said it, like she couldn’t quite believe it came out of her mouth. where are we going?  She grinned up at me.

I thought I was the one telling the story here.” She laughed and let me guide her down to my car. Please do.

 

 

The morning came and we still hadn’t slept yet, we talked about everything. She was so cute, wrapped in my hoodie, she looked so small. Just as the sun was coming up she kissed me pulling me close. I pulled her back over.

You’re meant to make the moves Matt. She whispered before nibbling on my neck.

 

I woke later and she was wrapped around me. her fingers were playing with the hairs on my chest.

Harry wants to know if you’re in for tea, and if you are can you make your potato thing, I cant quite remember what that was now. I kissed her forehead.

“I’m so glad you didn’t run away.”

So what’s in your potato thing?

“its like a potato bake. Nothing really.”

I love potato bake, you’ll have to save me some, bring it round after my shift. She crawled out of my arms.

“where are you going?” she grinned zipping up her dress.

I finish at 8 again. I’ll see you later.

 

 

“I’m completely gone.” We were at the pub, Lou and Harry were sitting opposite me. They had declared it a boys night, no girls around. But I knew well enough that they wanted to know what was going on. So I told them, and I was, I was completely gone.

“I like her.” Harry said after sipping his drink, whatever the fruity special was.

“You would.” Lou replied “She didn’t freak out with your head in the door?” with a raising on his brow.

“I was sitting on the bed actually.” I groaned. “I’m like 90% sure she was naked and was just like chilling, and this one asleep through our giggling.”

“Even better.” Lou flicked a chip off his plate landing in my drink. I picked it out and flung it back at him without much thought, we’d perfected this routine after many years of lamenting our woes.

“I think she likes me.” Harry said, I looked up. He as grinning, like he’d known he was going to get a rise out of me. god was I that predictable.

“Maybe.” Lou smirked over his glass.

“She likes you.” Harry taped my hand, “really, like as much as you like her. God you hetero normative people make sick with all the sugar that just rolls off the two of you.”

“It’s good though right, I mean she’s not weird or anything?” Harry laughed.

“Only in so far as she works shift work and will put up with your gay roommate moving in on her territory.” Lou grinned.

“I would never move in on Matt, he’s way too… well no I guess not but he’s my friend. Stop insinuating I’m making a move on every boy I see.” Harry threw a chip at Lou who caught it in his mouth. We had definitely known each other too long.

“Matt, I like her too. She’s funny as fuck really.” He leant over and ruffled my non-existent hair.

 

 

 

We’d spent a month together, and tonight I had finally made her the potato bake she had requested. I went to hers after she finished work. The door opened. Not Mitchell. Her friend from Oz, Caddie.

“Oh right, your Matt, umm, I don’t know… if now is…” Chell walked round the corner. She looked her whole body was slumped, her eyes were red, her hair was up in what she had called her ‘dealing with it’ pony tail but mostly she looked angry.

Come in Matt. I stepped over the threshold Cad’s I love you babe, but… Caddie nodded and picked up her coat.

“I’ll be at Jake’s, ring me, I’ll be right back okay?” Chell nodded and closed the door behind her. Her eyes met mine.

“What’s going on?”

Nothing, come in feed me your brilliant potato bake. She grinned but it didn’t reach her eyes

 

We sat at her table, and she looked sad.

We have to stop this, what ever it is, or going to be.

“Why?”

I’m not… I’m sick, I’m more than sick. I have cancer, and it’s really not good.

“So why do we have to end.”

I’m dying.

“You can’t know that.”

Matt, I’m dying, I have stage four ovarian cancer, with metastases in my bones lungs and liver. It’s spreading and I just… my hair is starting to fall out. I haven’t had my period for three years, I can’t last through a day at work any more, I cant nurse, I haven’t told my family ,I knew I was sick I ran away to London so I wouldn’t have to tell them, my doctor came to me on my break today, he said I needed… to make decisions, I’m not going to see my thirtieth, I’m dying. She was crying. I pulled her into my lap, she tried to get away, but I held her close. I rocked her, trying to get her to calm down a little bit. And she did, slowly. Falling asleep on my shoulder. I took her to bed. And we both slept for a couple of hours.

I’m sorry she said when I woke up I didn’t mean to lead you on. I cried then. I loved her and I wasn’t going to get to spend the rest of my life with her. I told her that and she smiled, it looked like it was the first real smile on days. I love you too. I kissed her holding her close.

“Don’t leave me.”

I can’t promise that. she kissed my shoulder. Before we broke down. 

 

 

***

 

Her breathing was irregular now, it could happen any time. Any breath could be her last one. She was surrounded by family, but I was still there holding her hand. She had stopped holding it back a week ago, it was too much, but she still smiled when she saw me there.

 

The last thing she said to me before slipping into this coma was I love you Matt, so much. It was raspy and broken, it looked like it took a lot of effort, and I wanted to tell her to stop, save her strength, but what for, really. I wish she had more time, to tell me things I never knew, I didn’t know her family all that well, they didn’t know me, but she had made it clear when they flew over that I was not to leave. And the boys, and her friends were to be allowed in whenever they were around.

 

There was a definite rattle. I leant forward to kiss her hand, “Chell, you can go. Do hold on for me, we’re all here now.” Three intakes later, she was gone. There wasn’t another. I stepped out, letting her family say their goodbyes. I had done that, more than once. It was so final now; they didn’t need me taking up room. Lou was by my side as I slid down the wall, he put me in a sitting position, just sitting beside me. Her sister came out and sat on the other side of me, she gripped my elbow. Her chin on my shoulder.

“She…” I nodded. I couldn’t listen to anything right now. Her sister seemed to have the same understanding Chell did. A tear rolled down my cheek at the thought.

 

***

 

“You’ve seen people die right?” she nodded, meeting my eye. “What’s it like?”

Weirdest thing ever. She inhaled thinking. One minute there is someone or something inside the body, fighting to keep living, and then there isn’t. I mean there’s a build-up, a lot of the time, but, … yeah there’s this body struggling to do what it needs, this person fighting for life, and then not. It’s humbling to watch I nodded. God.

“Will you let me be there?”

Li, you don’t want to see that.

“No I don’t… but I don’t want you to be alone.” She nodded.

I don’t want you to be alone either. I want you to let your friends take care of you. I nodded and she kissed my forehead. And I don’t want you to be alone forever either.

“I can’t think about that.”

I can and have. I’m cool with being the girl every other is measured against but I don’t want you to not live I want you to be a Dad she sniffed and whipped a tear away Even if it’s without me. I want you to do that. I nodded.

“I really can’t think about that.” she nodded.

I’ll write it all down for you somewhere.

“Please don’t’ do that. I don’t want a death letter.” She rolled her eyes.

Maybe I want to write you one and be all macabre and dramatic. Please let me. I’m the one dying.

“Please don’t.” she sighed.

Bad day? I nodded. She had lost so much weight. Her face was gaunt, but she still had that glint in her eye, especially when she saw me. Her smile would kick up a notch and she would demand I be as close as I could. Even though she was tired all the time, she didn’t sleep. 

 

***

 

I wore her favourite clothes to the funeral. I told them all how I fell in love with everything about her, from the way she scrunched her face to the way she loved everyone. I told them all how she’d asked me to ask them to smile when they thought of her and her long flowing red hair spinning about in the sun. Not to hate her because she couldn’t stay but to love her because she had been. She asked me to ask them to remember her and how much she loved life, and how much she loved every single one of them. The hall was packed out, of her friends from home, and her patients and workmates from every hospital. She had touched so many lives.

 

***

 

I covered my head with the pillow trying to drown out everything, Chell had sent me home, she needed some alone time, I got that I did, but I wanted… I wanted to see her. The pillow wasn’t working, I could hear every single thought crossing the front of my brain, and every single one of those were fucked beyond belief.

“Tea?” the pillow was torn from my grip.

“Fuck off.” Harry looked completely shaken. “Sorry.” I closed my eyes, again. “Just… please. Sorry.”

 

They were the only words I’d said to him for three days. Then I heard him yelling as I walked in from work. He was on the phone. “You can’t just ignore him. He loves you.” He was quiet listening. I knew exactly who he was yelling at. I tore the phone out of his hand.

“You can’t do that. You can’t. I can’t believe…” I heard the sobbing on the other end of the phone. “Chell…”

I’m okay. God she sounded so small.

“Chell… please.”

No really I’m okay. Are … are you? I sighed.

“Not about me.” I heard her cry more then. “I’m coming over.” I hung up not giving her the chance to waylay me this time. “I can’t believe you fucking prick. I don’t even know what to say.”

“Hey my friend has been sulking in his room because some girl he likes won’t give him the time of day.”

“No actually you’re so far off point you don’t even. I could hit you.”

“Tell me what it is. You haven’t spoken to me for three days. I’m waiting like a good friend, but I’m not about to let you be walked all over…”

“She’s dying you insensitive prick. Not everything is about you. Fuck.” He lost all colour. Even his hair flattened.

“What do you mean?”

“She has cancer, and has for a really long time. and she found out… its not going away.” Was the best I could offer.

“Fuck…”

“Yeah.” He pulled me into a hug.

“Fuck.” He kissed my head. “I’m so sorry.”

 

 

 

***

 

 

Harry waited until a week after the funeral when he gave me the letter.

“She wrote one for everyone, she had yours in mine, and she didn’t want you to have it until you really needed it.” He put it in front of me on the table,

 

Dear Matt

I love you. Simple opening I know. But I do. So very much, you little shit worming your way into my heart when all I wanted to do was not that. but you were successful so gloat all you want. Please remember that.

Please do some things for me Matty, please find someone to love. Please use your squinty smile that makes my heart all squishy. Please be a Dad, and stand up at you kids school events and cheer because you love them and can’t hold it in. remember that life is fun and show your kids that. it doesn’t matter if they’re bleeding, unless they are doing it on the carpet, because then the stains will never come out, and even my Grandma can joke about that. remember if you have kids and they bicker, its just love. Remember that I would have been an awesome Mum, we could have been amazing parents. I wanted a little boy named Charlie, brown hair, brown eyes, though I don’t think that was ever going to happen, and I always wanted a little girl with red hair and blue eyes, because I was always the only one. I did get that ginger cat though. And learn how to braid, because it will always be stylish, and little girls will always love their dad. I do. I hope he’s okay. I’m sure he will be eventually. Actually I’m not, I’m not sure he’s going to be okay at all, I’m really worried and scared. My sister will be okay, I left everything to her, with stipulations that you were to have anything you wanted, because it was yours aswell. I know how generous me letting you have things you already own. But I though she would benefit from it most, not use it as a shrine to go and get mopey at.

I really want to be wrong, I really want there to be a heaven, and I want to see you up there. Or look down on you. Or anything. I really want to be wrong. I want to send you messages, like in the movies with the feathers or am I making that up? Buy a bird so I can send you messages with feathers.

I love you.

I lied when I told you I didn’t, I do, I will, hell I went and wrote you a macabre and dramatic death note. Mind you I’m working my way through everyone. your is the hardest though. Mostly I’m telling people I love them and to remember the such and such memory, but you there are so many things I’ll never get to say, like

I’m pregnant.

No I don’t like that yellow I want this yellow, (even is its exactly the same colour)

Don’t you blame me for this, they’re your children.

I love you ( at our 1 year anniversary)

Of course. Yes, yes, a million times yes.

I will

I love you (at our 5 year anniversary)

No I don’t want to I have a head ache.

Don’t we have enough kids? (at like 4, I like to think we would have had four, it’s a nice even number don’t  you think)

I love you (10 years.)

Look there’s number 1 graduating.

Look number 4 graduating. We’re free, lets go on a holiday for 5 years.

I love you 20 years.

I love you every morning I don’t get to wake up by your side.

 

I’m sorry.

 

I love you.

m.

 

 

 

Harry found me the next morning I hadn’t moved from the lounge. He pushed and pulled me into the shower, when I got out, Lou was there. Neither of them said anything but pulled me out of the house. They took me to a pub and forced food on me. It hurt, it was going to hurt, I was going to pick at the scab all the time. I was going to be okay.

 


© Copyright 2020 Moojones. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Romance Short Stories