A few days passed, Mark had not said a word to Leah about what he had heard and things were a little different between them. The biggest conversation they had had since that night had been just small talk. Mark was hardly ever at home and Leah and Roger had no idea where he could be. Leah had taken up Roger's offer of her sleeping in his bed instead of on the couch, only she didn't make Roger sleep on the couch, even though he wanted to.
"I promise I won't take up that much room." She said one night, convincing him to stay; he was on his way out of the room with a pillow and a blanket.
"It's not that… I… it-it's just not right."
"What does that mean?" She knew what it meant but asked anyway.
"Please… I don't want to be alone… It scares me."
"Okay, but just for a couple nights." But it lasted a lot longer than a couple nights.
The first few nights, it was very awkward for the both of them; they slept on the opposite sides of the bed, risking falling off the edge. Yet, as the days passed they got closer and closer and finally Roger was holding her every night, even though he had promised himself he wouldn't. He couldn't, he couldn't lose Mimi... He couldn't love Leah.
One night Roger left Leah quietly and went to the roof. He sat and cried, thinking about Mimi. He couldn't let go, not again, he didn't want to. He loved Mimi and her death hurt him so badly that he believed that he could never love anyone again. And in a sense he didn't want to. He didn't want to get so attached to another person just to be disappointed by losing them, either to death or to another. He couldn't handle it again. He cried, knowing that he was falling for Leah.
When he returned to the loft, he heard whimpering. He rushed to his room to find Leah wrapped in the covers, sitting up, clutching her knees to her chest, shaking.
"What's wrong?" He ran over to her, "Are you okay?"
She didn't say anything; she didn't even look at him.
"Talk to me, Leah. Please." He sat in front of her, with his hands on her shoulders, staring into her eyes. "Leah, please."
"I just… I had… a bad dream." She stuttered.
"Nothing," she shook her head, seeming to shake herself out of the daze she was in.
"Hey, you know you can talk to me."
She started to get back to bed, rolling over pulling the covers almost over her head, trying to ignore Roger. He followed her and lay next to her.
"Please talk to me." He put his head on her shoulder. "You might feel better."
She shook her head.
"Okay…" He stood up, trying not to sound mad, "I'll be… I'll be somewhere."
He almost was out of the room when Leah stopped him. "No… please… Don't leave again… I got scared, you weren't here, and I didn't know where you went… I had this dream… and-and you weren't here… no one was here…"
He just stood there, not facing her.
"I'm sorry," she said. "You can go." She noticed that he was clenching his fists. When she said this he let his hands go.
"No," he turned around. "It's okay, I'll stay." He walked toward her.
"Are you okay?" She asked as he was getting into bed.
"Yeah, I just have a lot on my mind." He lay down next to her.
She sat up, "I'm serious. You're scaring me."
He looked at her. "And you're not scaring me with all your dreams and freak outs?" He sat up. "You won't even tell me what's going on. I just don't know what to do anymore. And you're not even going to try to get help when you're done with your AZT? You're going to die."
"Maybe I want to die; maybe it would be better if I just did die."
This situation was feeling more and more familiar to Roger, and, no, he would not go through this again. "Stop, don't you dare say that. Nothing would be better if you died. Believe me, nothing."
"I don't know anymore." She covered her mouth and coughed, but when she pulled her hand away a look of shock came to her eyes.
"What?" Roger asked trying to see what was in her hand.
"Nothing…" She tried to get up, but Roger grabbed her arm. He turned her hand to see what she was looking at… blood. Even though he knew it was bound to happen, he had been so blind to all the clues. Leah was dying. It had been happening since she came to live with him and Mark. Perhaps he hadn't seen everything happening to her, or maybe he didn't want to. Either way, it was happening. "I'm sorry. Please don't be mad."
"I'm not mad, not at you at least." He got up and left the room, he returned with paper towels. "Here." She wiped the blood of her hand. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah… I'm fine." She sat on the side of the bed, staring at the floor. Roger sat next to her. They just sat there for a few minutes in silence. "Roger?"
"What's going to happen to me?" She looked up at him.
He just looked at her, his face full of pain. He looked down at the floor and closed his eyes, tears flowing from them.
"I'm sorry…" Leah said standing up. "I just don't know what to do anymore… I just don't want to be here." She was standing right in front of him, but he didn't look up at her. "Roger…" He still stared at the ground. "Roger." He looked up at her, eyes red with tears. She just stared into his eyes for a few minutes, not saying a word. Then she bent down and kissed him, and he returned her kiss. At last she pulled away. "Roger?"
"Will you stay with me now? The rest of the night?"
"Promise me, please. Don't leave me."
"I won't. C'mon," He got up and under the covers. "I promise."
"Okay, hold on one sec." She left the room and came back about five minutes later.
"Where'd you go?"
"Nowhere." Leah got under the covers next to him.
"What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything, don't worry about it." She clenched to his chest, she was shaking.
"Leah, what's wrong with you?"
"Nothing. I'm just scared. I'm okay. You're here. I'll be okay."
And he took this as her final answer. Every once in a while a car outside would pass and make a loud noise, Leah would jump. Roger just softly hushed her and she seemed to fall back to sleep. Roger felt her heart beat race, but thought nothing of it.
"… I love you."
He was silent. "I love you too Leah."
"Good… Roger." He couldn't tell what she had said in between, but he assumed it was 'night'.
But what she had really said was "goodbye". The next morning Roger would wake to find that Leah had left him a note. Apparently the 'nothing' she was doing in the other room was taking forty sleeping pills. Leah had committed suicide. She died on Roger's chest during the night, peacefully in her sleep. The way she wanted to go.
I realize this ending probably sucks. And I'm sorry. The story got really personal toward the end and I'd rather it end this way.