It had been another long day at Esthar Memorial Hospital. I had spent many hours here when my father in law became very ill, eventually passing away. I was also here myself about 7 years ago when I gave birth to our, mine and Squall's, first child. She's a sweet little girl, whom is named May. But now I'm back again. We've been taking her here for about a month now for treatments. Squall and I were in a horrific crash several months ago. May was thrown from the Ragnarok. Squall and I came out with some pretty nasty bruises. He did have a small fracture in his right arm, but it quickly healed. I had a sprained ankle, but those injuries were nothing compared to what May was going through.
My sweet angel was slowly dying. At first she acted as though nothing was wrong. But we new all to well the severity of her situation. May had a nasty concussion, and a punctured lung. That wasn't the worse of it though. She had landed on protruding pieces of metal and damaged her kidneys and heart. She could get a kidney transplant if need be. The only problem was that nobody that we could find could donate any kidneys that would work for her, or blood that would be compatible enough. Because of her unique RH factors, nobody, not even Squall and I, could give her blood. We hoped that she could live long enough to donate some of her own blood while we looked for kidneys, so when it came time for the surgery, they'd have blood to use. Our only problem now was her heart. Would it heal on it's own with some surgery, or was it too far gone? Was the stress of keeping her alive making matters worse? There were so many questions but not enough answers. Not even her primary doctor could answer all of them.
I remember the day she told us the worse news I've ever heard in my entire life. The words will forever be burned into my memory.
"About 6 months…that's at best. If she responds well to the up and coming surgeries and magic sessions, she might have another year. I just don't think that her system will be able to compensate for the injuries to those particular organs. And then there's the thing with her blood, making it difficult to find a perfect kidney match. But there's no telling with things like this. Different people pull through differently. All we can do is try our best and pray."
I threw myself into Squall and began to cry like a baby.
"Why?!" I screamed. "It's not fair!"
Each day that May was still able to smile and kiss me, I held close to my heart. But slowly over time her body started to give out on her. It had been almost three weeks now. Her body wasn't responding to the several surgeries and experimental magic, and we couldn't find any perfect matches either. Every night we sat by her bedside, crying and holding her close. Sometimes when Squall and I weren't in her room, I would find him in the hospital's church, on his knees, silently praying. It was something I hadn't seen him ever do. He told me that he never really went to church. Squall hadn't prayed or anything of the sort in front of me. It really pulled at my heartstrings to see him like that.
"All we can do is try our best and pray…" the words echoed in my head again.
"Pray…it never helped before…" I sighed and walked back to room 304 again and lie beside her on the bed. Soon Squall joined me, lying on the other side of May. I placed a hand on her face and brushed the soft chestnut hair from her closed eyes.
"I guess it wouldn't hurt to try…" and with that I quietly prayed to that man upstairs.
That brings us to the present. For the past week my little girl has slowly started to slip away for good. And for the past week I've been praying. I never thought I would actually do it…nonetheless stick to it. Right now it's all I have left.
I sat up slightly and saw that Squall was sound asleep. I definitely had to be quiet. He was completely worn out from crying the past few days. My eyes glanced back down and my precious angel and I was reminded of what I still needed to do.
"Hello Hyne, it's me again. 2:00 a.m., Room 304. Visiting hours are over, time for our bedside tug of war. This sleeping child between us may not make it through the night. I'm fighting back the tears as she fights for her life." I quietly said to the darkness in the room. I drew in a deep breath and eventually continued.
"Well, it must be kind of crowded, on the streets of Heaven. So tell me: what do you need her for? Don't you know one day she'll be your little girl forever. But right now I need her so much more. She's much too young to be on her own: Barely just turned seven. So who will hold her hand when she crosses the streets of Heaven?" My words reminded me of a song I had once heard before. So to lighten my mood a little I put some notes to the words. I then got up and picked up May's favorite toy lion, which was sitting in the nearby chair. I continued to sing quietly to myself as I held the toy with tear filled eyes.
"Tell me Hyne; do you remember the wishes that she made, as she blew out the candles on her last birthday cake? She wants to ride a pony when she'd big enough. She wants to marry her Daddy when she's all grown up." I smiled at the memory of her wishes. It was like it had happened yesterday…
"Mommy, can I marry daddy too?" May asked me.
"Why do you want to do that?"
"Cause I love him." She smiled sweetly.
"But daddy is mine." I said, pretending to pout.
"Mommy, you said we should always share!" May said as she placed her hands on her hips.
Squall just then walked in the room and scooped up the girl into his arms.
"Daddy? Can I marry you too?" She asked him.
"Sure, sweetie. But you gotta wait until you're all grown up."
"Okay!" May said as she wriggled out of Squall's arms and ran to her room. About five minutes later the child returns to us. She's now wearing a white flower girl dress she wore to Selphie's wedding, white dress shoes, and a princess crown from a Garden Festival Play she partook in last year, with a sheet of white tissue paper attached to it. In her small hands is one of those cheap 25-cent rings with plastic gems.
"Here daddy! I'm all grown up now. Now we can get married."
Squall just laughed sweetly at her and picked her up into his lap.
"Kai, just because you're wearing a white dress and a veil doesn't mean you're all grown up."
"Oh…so you don't wanna marry me?" She whimpered.
"That's not it. I would be honored to marry such a pretty girl."
May's eyes lit up and she placed the ring in her father's hand. Squall took the ring and placed it on her ring finger on her left hand, kissing her cheek as he did so.
I'm pulled out of my reverie as a nurse comes in to check up on May's vitals. Once the nurse leaves I walk back over to the bed and pick up her left hand. The plastic ring is still there.
"Hyne, don't you know she's my angel. You got plenty of your own, and I know you hold a place for her but she's already got a home." I sang…hoping he could hear me. "Well I don't know if you're listening but praying is all that's left to do so I ask you Hyne have mercy, you lost a child once too."
How is it fair that such a sweet, young child has to lose her life but those who are cruel and evil can go on living a long healthy life? You'd think that Hyne, being a parent himself, that he would understand how this feels. But I think that he's been childless for so long that he's forgotten the pain. I'm hoping that I can help him understand what I feel. I know, it sounds stupid, but just maybe it might work.
By this time I had turned my body to face the large windows in the room and stared out at the night sky. A few stray tears trickled down my face, falling onto the toy in my arms.
"Rinoa?" Squall's voice whispered to me. I was so preoccupied that I didn't hear him get up and come up behind me. He wrapped his strong arms around me, setting his chin on the top of my head. I didn't answer him at all though. I just continued to pray.
"It must be kind of crowded, on the streets of Heaven. So tell me: what do you need her for? Don't you know one day she'll be your little girl forever. But right now I need her so much more. She's much too young to be on her own: Barely just turned seven. So who will hold her hand when she crosses the streets of Heaven? But Hyne, I know once you've made up your mind, there's no use in begging. So if you take her with you today, will you make sure she looks both ways…and would you hold her hand when she crosses the streets of Heaven?"
I then turned to Squall and let him hug me close to his body; both of us letting our tears fall again.
"Mommy? Daddy?" A small voice whispered in the darkness.
Squall and I both jumped at the sound of May's voice and rushed over to her bed.
"May, sweetie?" I gasped. It was strange hearing her voice. She hadn't opened her eyes or spoke in over a week.
"Mommy…Hyne said that he's sorry."
Squall's eyes darted to my shocked face. My own eyes grew large at the child's words.
"He says thank you for reminding him and that you are right. And also that you have a very pretty voice." She smiled at me.
I bit my lip as tears filled my eyes again. But this time they were happy tears.
"What are you talking about, May? Rinoa?" Squall questioned the both of us. I pulled the little girl into my arms and kissed her on the forehead.
"That's between me and May. Right sweetie?"
"Yup, and Hyne too, mommy."
"And Hyne too…" I smiled. "Thank you Hyne…"
When I heard the song Streets of Heaven on one of my fav country stations, I almost started crying. It's so sad. I think those same thoughts would be running through my head if my own daughter was dying. The song has so much emotion behind it that I just had to write a story to it.
I did rearrange the verses slightly. I left the chorus out a few times and tweaked it at the end. Nothing major. The song meaning still comes across. If you haven't heard this song before, then I suggest you download it. I know country isn't every body's favorite style of music, but this song is a must to listen to. It's just so powerful.
Yes, May does live at the end there if you didn't catch that. I couldn't bear to kill the sweet child. I mean she wants to marry her daddy after all. Awwww!!!!
I hope you liked/enjoyed the story as much as I did writing it.