A/N Twilight isn't mine
I can't believe it's been a year since I updated this. It's because I had such a hard time writing this final chapter.
I would like to dedicate this story to Katalina Roseph, who passed away recently. I am mourning her loss even though I only talked to her a few times. I wish strength to the ones she leaves behind, and I will forever admire the way she danced through her life.
Sometimes, life just isn't flowers and unicorns. Sometimes, life makes you loose your footing, and you can only hope the sun will come out again.
Get out some tissues. It won't be a nice ride.
I love you.
- Bella -
Being a mother is not like they show it in movies. It's better. I count his tiny fingers and toes, and every day, he has ten of each. A button nose and big blue eyes. Copper hair and a rosebud mouth. His daddy's child through and through.
I love them both.
Interrupted nights and dragging days. Still, he's a quiet child, never asking much attention. Not that he ever has to ask. You are a doting father, getting up during the first half of the night. You never complain. Under your eyes, the shadows grow. Young parents, we are.
The boy, named Anthony Carlisle, learns to crawl, and then to walk. I love to feed him, love I can give that to him. You watch, your face infinitely tender. Mesmerized by the wonder of a mother feeding a child. Often, we're in the rocking chair, me on your lap, and Anthony at my breast.
I can't seem to beat the exhaustion I feel. Giving up my job, I focus on our child. You are around as much as you can, but work demands your attention as we knew it would when you chose this education. That's okay. When you're home with us, we have your full focus.
I love you.
Anthony, my little angel, grows into a toddler that I love more every day. His eyes now green, his hair as thick as yours, his little chin as stubborn as my father's. I push on, but sleep more and more. Must be motherhood. You are the sweetest, taking over care and kid, letting me sleep in the mornings. In the afternoons. Your eyes search mine. I look away.
It's Sunday afternoon and it's raining. Anthony is sleeping - you put him to bed because I didn't have the energy to get up. "We need to talk," you say, but I know it's not about us. We're good; I can feel it in my gut. But your eyes are serious when you sit down next to me.
You take my hand.
A doctor, you tell me. You want me to see a doctor for the exhaustion I feel. I wave you away. "It's nothing." Just a bit tired. Must be the weather. Maybe a cold. Nothing more. It'll pass, I'm sure. I just need a good night's sleep. You cup my face and look into my eyes.
Your parents watch Anthony as you take me to a doc. I dislike hospitals, even though I know you work here. You hold my hand as we wait for the specialist to see us. Minutes feel like hours, and my mind somersaults. I can no longer deny what I've been hiding.
Something is wrong.
The doctor sees me, and does some standard tests. I answer questions on autopilot, my head already back at home with our son. I don't want to be here, but I'll do this, for you. I can't stand it you're worried. I whip my mind into focus, concentrate on the now. The doctor's face is tight in concentration.
I want to go home.
I have to return for more tests. Caught at work, you can't join me for every one, but I find I don't mind as much. It means you will see less to worry about. This, I have to bear alone, I realize. When I get back home, I give in to my tears. As long as they're gone before you get home.
I am lonely.
The call comes a week later, the news devastating. Cancer, the bad kind. We cry together, so scared, so scared. This wasn't supposed to happen. I cry when you make love to me, touching my body that I feel betrayed me. We sleep with Anthony in our midst, constantly touching. We both lie awake every night.
Swept up in treatments, I lose my hair before I've come to grips with what is actually happening. You take leave from work, so we can be together as much as possible, Anthony with us, of course. I cling to you, find comfort in your eyes as my body fights what feels like the inevitable.
I am so afraid.
The chemo takes its toll on my body and demands more than my hair. My weight drops, my energy fails me. Racked by seemingly endless vomiting, I wonder if this really is the best option I have. But I want to live. I need to live. You need me, and Anthony needs me.
I cannot die.
The first few rounds of chemo will determine if I will have some more time on this earth or not. I smile at you, at Anthony, but it's forced. I don't trust the signs of my body anymore, and it makes me panic. I am not ready to die, not yet. There is so much I need to do still on this earth.
I need more time.
I cuddle Anthony one last time before we go to the doctor, you and I. Today I will learn if the cancer was beaten or not. We sit in silence. Everything has been said. I wonder if the news I get today will surprise me. Our names are called and we get up.
Here we go.
Take my hand?
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.