It was later that same night and everybody was sitting around on the living room floor by the fire. The only light that was given was the orange glow from the flames and as the room grew quiet you could hear the crackling wood burning away. The smell of the cookies still roamed the air and Julie couldn't have asked for a better day.
Olivia was lying against Elliot as she tried to keep her eyes open. All of the children were quiet thinks to all the delicious cookies they had stuffed their stomachs with. Elliot looked down at Olivia and noticed she was starting to look a little pale.
"You feeling alright?"
She nodded, "I'm fine."
All the kids now had their attention focused on Olivia because they knew how she was. If they were around she wouldn't say if she felt bad because she didn't like being weak in front of people.
"You don't look so good," Elliot said placing his hand on her forehead to see if she had a temperature, "You feel warm."
Olivia sighed, "I'm fine, El."
Elliot sighed, "Liv..."
Olivia stood up and walked away down the hall into the bedroom they were staying in. All the kids just looked to Elliot for an explanation but he didn't have one.
"I'll go check on her," Julie said, "You guys should spend some time together."
Julie got up from her spot between Dickie and Lizzie and made her way down the hallway. "Mom?" she asked knocking lightly on the bedroom door, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Olivia said again. This time Julie knew it was a lie. She could hear the tears in he voice as she talked.
Julie pushed the door open and saw Olivia sitting on the bed with her arms squeezed around her pillow and tears in her eyes. Julie felt like crying instantly. "Hey," she said walking over to her and giving her a hug, "What's wrong? Why are you crying?"
"I'm just tired," Olivia said forcing a smile on her face, "I'm okay. Go back out there and have fun."
Julie sighed, "What hurts?" she asked.
Olivia looked at her in the eyes and started crying even harder, "I'm sorry," she said quietly, "I hate that I have to do this to you. I hate it so much."
"I hate it too," Julie said with her own tears now falling freely, "I wish you weren't sick. I hate that you don't feel good."
Julie wrapped her arms around Olivia again and held her tightly until her mother stopped crying. She had never seen her mother cry before until this whole cancer ordeal. She always saw her mother as a super hero. Someone who was able to see the good in everything and never cried. Seeing her cry like this made her realize just how much pain she was suffering.
"You okay now?" Julie asked.
When there was no answer Julie got a little worried and pulled out of the embrace of Olivia to see that she was passed out. "Mom?" Julie asked with fear evident in her voice. "Mom?!" She lay Olivia down on the bed so that her head was resting on the pillow and then took off running to get Elliot.
"Dad!" she said breathing heavily, "Mom's unconscious!"
All eyes were on Julie and Elliot practically jumped into the air and ran to call an ambulance. When the EMTs arrived they rushed to get Olivia on the gurney and to the hospital.
"I hate to run but-"
"Go," Dickie said to him, "I'll take care of everything here. Just make sure she's okay."
Elliot nodded and patted Dickie on the shoulder. It was then he realized that Dickie was a man now and he had nothing to worry about leaving him in charge.
Julie was scared for her mother and worried that she wouldn't be okay. She wanted to ride with her but there was only room for one other person in the ambulance.
"Hey," Maureen said sitting down next to her on the couch, "It'll be okay. Your mom is tough. She'll be fine."
Julie shook her head no. "You don't understand," she said sadly, "She was crying. She was scared. She's never scared."
Maureen sighed and looked up at Kathleen who had heard what Julie said. Kathleen gave her a sad smile. "She's tough," Maureen repeated.
At the hospital Olivia was now in her own room resting. She still hadn't woken up but the doctors didn't seem too worried. They had to put an oxygen mask on her for awhile to get her oxygen levels up but once they were high enough the mask could come off. Elliot was sitting next to the hospital bed holding Olivia's hand in his. His mind was wondering about all the things that could go wrong.
"Stop worrying," Olivia said groggily.
Elliot looked down and saw that she was awake, "You were unconscious and you still know what I'm thinking," he said with a small smile, "That's one of the many things that I love about you."
Olivia forced a smile, "I'm sorry," she said, "I didn't mean to ruin the night."
"You didn't," he assured her.
She sighed and turned her head toward the window where the blinds were open, "It's snowing," she stated.
Elliot nodded, "It sure is."
"I don't want to die," she said in the weakest voice Elliot had ever heard come from her, "I don't want to leave you and Julie."
Elliot felt his heart break into a million tiny pieces, "You won't. You're going to get better. Just like before, okay? It just takes time."
Olivia nodded but she didn't agree. Somehow she knew that this was different than last time. Last time she didn't feel like this, it wasn't the same. This time, everything was so much different. She had so much to live for and so much left she wanted to do. She wanted to see Julie grow up and get married. She wanted to have grand kids. She knew it was too much to want. Her life always turned out this way and this time it wasn't any different.
"Julie?" Olivia asked, "Is she okay?"
"She's a little shaken up," Elliot answered honestly giving her hand a gentle squeeze.
"I shouldn't have let her see me like that," she said sadly, "She was probably scared."
"You should call her," Elliot said taking his cell phone and handing it to her.
Olivia accepted the phone and dialed the familiar number of Julie's cell phone. It rang twice and then Julie answered.
"Hey," Olivia said, "It's me."
"Hey," Julie said wiping the tears away from her eyes, "Are you okay?!"
"Yeah," she answered, "I called to see if you were okay. Dad said you were a little scared."
Julie nodded even though Olivia couldn't see her.
"I want to tell you something," Olivia said to her, "I want to tell you something I didn't learn until a short while ago."
Olivia took a deep breath and looked to Elliot for support. "That's it's okay to be scared," she stated, "It's okay to be afraid and it's okay to cry. That doesn't make you weak or anything. If anything it shows people just how strong you are." She heard Julie sniffed and she reached to wipe her own tears that were falling freely.
"Okay," Julie said.
"Okay. Hey Jules?"
"I love you."
"I love you too, Mom."