January 2nd, 2010

Dear Diary,

I came back from the doctor's today. It was exactly what they expected – Ardenocarcinoma. I didn't get what it was at first either, but long story short I have lung cancer. Doctor Roderich (he said I can use his first name, considering I'll be seeing a lot of him. The nurse with us mumbled something about wishing she could see more of him. I don't know either) said it's the most common type of lung cancer for second-hand smokers. It was nice to not have to argue with him that no, I don't smoke. I never have. He also said I have a year to live. That's right – I may not be here this time next year. I imagined I would tell everyone today, but that never happened. You see, Arthur-san also got a reply from a publishing firm saying that they'll make him a published author. He was so happy – not that I blame him, 66 rejections is a lot – and so was everyone else:

"Look guys!! LOOK!!" Arthur-san jumped around excitedly – something the man would never do, especially in public. He waved a piece of paper and envelope in his hand as he jumped. I was about to say something about the cancer beforehand, but seeing Arthur-san jump around like a small child intrigued me so much I almost forgot it existed. Alfred-san finally managed to hold him down long enough to wrench what was obviously a letter from Arthur-san's hand.
"Hey guys! Someone's accepted him!! Alright Arthur!" He ruffled the older man's hair, and for once he didn't care. We all understood immediately – he was finally being published. Arthur-san had spent so long trying to get his book into the shops and it seemed that each letter was just one rejection after another. We all tried to keep his hopes high by telling him that all the great authors had many rejections before being accepted. We all applauded and hugged and congratulated him, and it was genuine. That story was as much a part of us as it was a part of Arthur-san, and so we were so happy to see that it was finally taking wing.

No, when I saw the faces of those around me and realised how happy I was for my friend, I knew that today would not be the day. I could not ruin the scene around me – how selfish would that be?

In a moment of pure ecstasy, Arthur-san had agreed to take everyone out for drinks – and he was going to pay. Not that he's a stingy person, but it was odd for him to be so genuinely…well, nice. Alfred-san and Francis-san took advantage of the situation and drank themselves to the point where standing proved impossible. I did not drink much – I was not yet on medication, but I needed to get used to cutting alcohol out of my life. I never drank much anyway, so it was not suspicious. But there more – Heracles-san was there. And well, if last year's entries were not a big enough giveaway – I have feelings for him. VERY strong feelings for him. At some point this year I will tell him this – it's not as if I have much time for an aftermath.
"Let's live tonight like we're dying guys!" Oh, if only Alfred-san knew the reality of his words. We all cheered and toasted Arthur-san and his new book, then Feliciano-kun (not yet drunk, just more carefree than usual) toasted to Arthur-san and Alfred-san – did I forget to mention last year? They got together just after Christmas. About time too. Arthur-san turned redder than the wine in Feliciano-kun's and Francis-san's hands and slurred something totally incoherent at him. Alfred-san just laughed and toasted along with the rest of us. I cannot really remember what happened with them after that – because Heracles-san started talking to me. I know, I sound slightly obsessive, but really I was trying to clear my mind of alcohol and cancer-related thoughts so that I could hear him. He seemed to sense something was not right.
"You're being…quiet. More so than usual, anyway" he had told me, obviously hinting as to whether I was okay. I smiled and told him not to worry about me. To be fair, I could have said something, but today was Arthur-san's day.
"You were gone…a lot today…where were you?" Yes, Heracles-san is a bit spacey when he speaks, but believe me, he's a very intelligent man. It does surprise people, especially when he randomly says something philosophical.
"Ah…ano….I was just visiting someone, I had things to discuss with them" Heracles-san nodded, but did not pry further. He was very good at respecting people's privacy, and he knew that if I wanted him to know something I would tell him.
Some days I feel he understands me better than Aniki, who I remember was shouting at everyone for forgetting Matthew-kun's existence. He was relatively drunk – you had to be to include Ivan-sama in any form of scolding.

I spent the rest of our time in the bar talking to Heracles-san, although Aniki and Arthur-san did decide to ask us to agree with them on things I cannot really remember. It was nice to just be with him – even if my chest did hurt a bit when I had to leave him. I'm sure that was just the cancer though. We talked about how his career was going – he's been promoted to Head Surgeon at the his clinic, but to be fair I've never seen a more dedicated vet – and how he took in yet another abandoned kitten. I still wonder where he finds room for all of them. I'm sure that if he were not a vet himself, his veterinary bills would be through the roof. I decided to leave early – I have a 10 o'clock appointment with Dr. Roderich tomorrow and I really cannot afford to be late. Thankfully no one noticed that it was only 11 PM and happily waved me off. Heracles-san offered to take me home, saying that he would probably be better off not getting completely plastered as well. He needed to take care of sick animals, not hangovers. Again, it was nice being with him, just the two of us. And the cool night air made it easier to clear my mind. I remember we laughed when we remembered the look on Aniki's face when he realised that when he had shouted at everyone, Ivan-sama had been included. And we laughed even more when we remembered how he had managed to make up some excuse – and Ivan-sama had taken it. And I smiled when he pointed out a certain constellation – Aries, I think it was – and because we were too busy looking at the stars we did not notice ourselves drift closer to each other. When I realised this I panicked and apologised, much to his amusement. Well done Kiku Honda – you have officially made an idiot of yourself in front of him. Again. When we finally reached the door of my apartment, I suddenly realised how much I didn't want Heracles-san to go. I honestly though I was going to tell him how I feel. But I'm not that spontaneous. How I wish I were though.
"Well…I suppose I'll see you later then-"
"Tomorrow! I-I mean, I want to see everyone tomorrow." I felt myself blush furiously, and looked at the hallway floor so that Heracles-san would not see. That was the second time I had made an idiot of myself in front of the man I love. But he just smiled at me.
"I…would like to see you tomorrow too, Kiku. Rest well" He smiled one last time and left me. I wish he would not say things like that – he has no idea how much they affect me.

And that was the main events of today. I swear I will tell at least Aniki tomorrow, but as far as Dr. Roderich is concerned they all know. He would just get annoyed at me if he found out they didn't – he made sure I knew exactly how severe this was and how I must make sure everyone knows in case something happens…etc. The man means well, but to say it in such a sombre and serious tone really did not make me feel any better. He did not have to remind me that I'm slowly dying.
I've never put it that way before – it's a bit scary.

I think I should try and sleep now. If I'm seen yawning I might get lectured. Wish me all the best for tomorrow, I have a feeling I may need it.

Kiku. xo