Author: Tripoli PM
When a family member is on his deathbed, the rest of the family comes and says their goodbyes.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Tragedy - Words: 2,379 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 11-27-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4681925
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A.N: Yep, it's been quite a while since I've put up a story on this site. Just lack of good ideas, I guess. Either way, I just had a good idea, so I just picked a show I used to watch. And here you go!
Claimer: Not this. I don't even own the socks I'm wearing on my feet right now. What a shame. I like them.
"Donnie, Ren…" Eileen sighed as she sat down at the kitchen table in front of them, looking very troubled. Both siblings exchanged a glance. "I just received a call from the hospital a moment ago. The doctor says… he says that Louis took a turn for the worst… He's only got about… an hour or so to live."
Ren bit her bottom lip and sighed, resting her chin in her hand, staring at the salt shaker. She couldn't look her mother in the eye without feeling even more depressed. "Everyone knew he was going to go anytime now anyway. I'm surprised he even lasted this long."
Eileen only nodded slowly, staring into space with a lost look. Ren didn't blame her mother; she was feeling a bit lost and alone herself.
"I'm just going to call your father and tell him, and we'll go see your brother," their mother said, standing up and grabbing the phone off the wall. "We should all be there when he does… You know…"
Eileen dialed the number of her husband's work and waited for him to answer. The phone picked up after the second ring, and Steve's tired voice answered hello. With everything going on with his youngest son, insomnia and nightmares had been preventing him from getting a decent night's sleep in a while.
"Steve, honey, this is Eileen," she said, trying to mute her sniffles and dry her growing tears, "The hospital called… and…"
"Alright, I'll be right there as soon as I can. I'll meet you at the hospital," Steve said, then hung up the phone. Eileen stood still for a moment, staring at nothing as if in a trance, until she realized what she was doing and hung up the phone.
"Come on Mom, let's just go and say goodbye to Louis," Donnie said, standing up from the chair and escorting her out of the kitchen. Ren, following her mother and brother, grabbed Eileen's purse on the way out.
The car ride to the hospital was mostly in complete silence, except the occasional sniffle and sob from Eileen and Donnie. Even Ren had a couple silent tears in her eyes as she thought of her life in the future.
Life with Louis was unpredictable. He would do something different everyday. It would either be some new idea for a prank, to get out of something, or just something unusual and unexpected. He was the exact polar opposite of his sister, who liked everything predicted, expected, and in it's place. The two constantly fought and bickered, but during the rare chance they did cooperate, they did a wonderful job and got along perfectly.
Even with all that, Ren couldn't imagine life without Louis. It would be too much of a chunk of her life missing, nothing would be the same again. And though she didn't like it too much, she would miss the unpredictability that came with the youngest brother.
When Eileen parked the car in front of the hospital, Steve, who was standing on the sidewalk by the front door of the building, quickly rushed over when saw his family step out. He kissed his wife, who was crying as she hugged him for comfort, and ushered her and their children inside and to the front desk.
"Hello ma'am. We're here to see our son, Louis Stevens," Steve said to the receptionist. The lady typed something on the computer before pointing towards the left.
"Yes, he is on the second floor, Room 112, on your right. Just sign in on the clipboard by the door, and you can go ahead and visit him. Have a good day."
Steve nodded thanks to the lady before picking up the pen hanging from the clipboard, signing his name and the date. He was the first one to enter into the hallway, followed by Donnie, who was leading Eileen, and Ren.
Everyone was crying by the time they reached the elevator. It was by then that the shock and numbness of everything had officially worn off, and it was now 'Oh my god, I'm never going to see him again.'
"How much time does he have left?" Eileen asked in the elevator. Steve sighed and looked at his watch.
"About 45 minutes, at the most. Nine minutes each alone and then the last five together," he said sadly. Eileen let out a sob and nodded.
The family paused in front of Room 112, as if afraid to enter. They were apprehensive as to what condition they would find Louis in. Ren, after a moment of nervously staring at her brother's door, offered to visit him first, and quietly slipped through the door.
Louis wasn't as bad as she had expected him to be. All the IVs and monitors that he had been hooked up to the last time they had visited him a couple days ago were gone, and although he was very pale, didn't look too bad. The thing that irked Ren the most, however, was the strained, gasping breathing he was making.
Pulling up a chair beside his bed, Ren took her brother's hand in hers, wincing as she felt the shock cold of his skin. "Well, to start things off, I'd like to say I'm sorry for every cruel thing I've said and did that you really didn't deserve."
There was no response. Not that Ren had really expected one from him. But in a strange way, she kind of liked the one way conversation she was having with Louis. She could pour all of her heart out without getting interrupted every second or questioned about her all her beliefs. Although she did want her brother to be conscious so she would know her brother would hear and understand what she had to say to him.
"Our personalities just clashed horribly, that's all," Ren continued, smiling a bit as she remembered every little thing they argued about. Who got to eat the last box of cereal, who got to choose the channel on the TV, who got used the bathroom first… The littlest of details had the biggest arguments.
"Just about drove Mom and Dad insane though. Telling us to just get along for five minutes," Ren said. "Never did."
Silent again, she sighed, nostalgic from all the memories going by in her head. She would of never admitted until now, but she loved her brother dearly.
"I always thought you would be the death of me, Louis. Of course, I always just thought on the outside," Ren said sadly.
The last couple of minutes she spent in the room with Louis, Ren didn't say a word; just silently cried. She knew that what she said to him was enough, and if her brother could hear everything that she had said, he would understand and be happy with it.
Before she knew it, her nine minutes were up and Donnie poked his head in and told her it was his turn to have a word with Louis. Giving him a kiss goodbye on his forehead, Ren left the room and let Donnie in.
"Hey Lou," Donnie said quietly, taking the seat his sister was in just a moment ago. "It's a shame our last conversation between us has to be one you can't reply back to."
He gave his brother a gentle but playful shake of the arm, before frowning. "It's just not going to be the same without you. Who else am I going to boss around and record my times for football? I mean, you're my little brother, you're too important to lose."
Donnie was about to say something, when Louis's gasp-like breathing turned into something that sounded like a rattle. It was written in one of his heath books he read at school one time, when a person made the noise just before he died The thought made him feel even more depressed about death.
"I have to tell all your friends, when you die, what happened to you. They don't know yet. Heck, they probably think that you're recovering now," Donnie gave a small laugh. "Yeah, I wish. Wish you didn't have to go and die on us this soon. You should at least of gone out with style. That's way more like you. Make everyone remember you."
He looked at his unconscious brother a moment before sighing. "Your funeral is going to be so depressing. It'll be the first funeral I've ever been to," Donnie said. "You should feel honoured about that..."
"I feel like an idiot. Like I'm talking to myself or something."
Donnie poked lightly at Louis's hand, as if he almost expected a response.
"Donnie, could I have a word with him?" Donnie looked over his shoulder to see his mother in the doorway.
"Sure, go right ahead," he said, giving the seat to his mother and leaving, closing the door behind him.
"Oh Louis, of everyone in the world, why you?" Eileen cried, taking her son's cold hand into her own. "I mean, look at how young you are!"
For a moment, all Eileen did was break down and cry at her dying son's side. Almost thirteen years of raising Louis, all gone away. Eileen didn't know how she could live the same without something that was so close to her. As proof, she still dearly missed a diamond necklace Steve bought for her years ago that she lost.
No parent should outlive the child.
"I remember, when you were just a baby, I always rocked you to sleep every night. Donnie tried to once, but he ended up making you cry even worse," Eileen reminisced, closing her eyes. "When we first brought you home from the hospital, Donnie took you right from my arms and ran off through the neighborhood to show all his friends.
"Sometimes I wish I could just go back and live through those days again," Eileen sighed, entwining her fingers through his hair. "When all my children were just babies and came to me for every little thing, important or not."
Closing her eyes, Eileen began to softly hum a lullaby, called Lavender Blue. She began to cry as she went through the song, only getting halfway before breaking down totally in tears and couldn't hum anymore. It was a special old song, that she heard from her mother, and so on and so forth, going back many generations.
"I'm sorry, I… I just can't take it anymore," Eileen said, getting up and heading out the door. She only spent about six minutes with Louis, but she couldn't take anymore of the pressure of dealing with her son's future death. And she felt terrible about it.
"Steve, go ahead, you can go talk to him now," Eileen said, half-heartedly waving her husband into the room. He gave her a questioning, sympathetic look, but he didn't say anything about it and entered the room.
"Well, Louis, this isn't exactly the way I was expecting to say goodbye to you," Steve said, taking a seat. "I was more thinking along the lines of you moving out of the house. And at least then you would come back."
Steve rubbed his hands together, slightly nervous. He wasn't exactly sure why he had the odd feeling, though. Perhaps it was how he was going to react when Louis actually did die, or what he was going to say to him.
"I know I didn't really give you enough attention in the past," Steve said, "and that I always pushed you to try to be perfect. But you aren't perfect. I'm not perfect, your mother's not, and either is Donnie or Ren or anybody. I guess I didn't realize that at the time.
"But I would like you to know, for your last twenty or so minutes, that we all love and care for you very much. You mean a lot to all of us, and we wouldn't have you any other way. Even if you did have us pulling our hair out sometimes."
Steve didn't say anything for a while after that, perhaps to let everything sink in. If that was possible. But he believed that an unconscious person could still hear and sense what was going around him. Sort of like a baby. Trapped in a womb, but still knew what was happening.
"I had two older brothers myself, along with a younger one. My parents would always push me and my younger brother to be more like our older brothers. But they were far from perfect. I mean, your uncle killed himself taking steroids for sports, remember? About five, ten years ago," Steve continued, looking out the window. "People do stupid stuff everyday, that they could of easily avoided. Crime, car accidents, slacking off… That's far from perfection."
Sighing, Steve stood up and wiped away the tears that were forming in his eyes. "I don't think you doing have much time left." He opened the door, and his wife and children looked up to him. "You can all come in."
And so, the four remaining family members gathered around their dying one, waiting for the inventible to come. None of them spoke, nor cried; just watched as the youngest slowly died in front of them. It wasn't until five minutes from his last breath they began to actually mourn outwardly; and even then they were tears of silence.
Have a wonderful day, and tell a family member you love them.