Warning: The subject matter of this story can be considered sensitive to some. Please be advised.
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The smell of the hospital was always one of your least favorite things in the world. Also the bright fluorescent lights made it nearly impossible to see. “Now be sure to stay extra still. We want to be sure the scan take correctly,” the nurse said. The nurse pushed the board into the MRI and you let out a deep breath. An hour passed and you were pulled out of the machine to be greeted by the nurse again. “Great job. The doctor will analyze the results and get back to you soon,” She said as she helped you from the MRI bed to the wheelchair. Walking around was still difficult for you so you were happy they were toting you around in a wheelchair. The nurse took you back to your hospital room where you could change and then be on your way.
Mari was waiting for you in the hospital room to help you change into your hoodie and sweatpants. “You haven’t told mom have you,” you asked Mari. “No I haven’t though I feel that we really should,” Mary answered back. You winced in pain at moving your arms over your head to put on the hoodie.
“We will tell mom when we get the results. I don’t want her to worry over nothing.”
“I understand young miss. Let’s get you home so you can rest.”
The Monday following your date with Henry you went to see Dr. Jung and he instantly had concerns. It’s now been three weeks since the initial visit. Dr. Jung ran a few different tests while you waited for the chance to do the MRI with contrast. As much as you hated the idea of having one done, you knew you needed to. Something wasn’t right with your body and it had you worried. You hadn’t been able to attend school and next week was finals week. Luckily, Mari had managed to get you permission to do your studies from home. As for Henry, he became your study buddy and helped you on a lot of your homework. Henry didn’t know what was wrong with you but knew you weren’t well. You appreciated the fact that Henry didn’t try to figure out what was wrong either, at least not from you. There had been a couple of times you heard him talking with Mari, but by your request, Mari never gave much detail. Until you knew what was going on, you didn’t want to tell anyone how you truly felt.
Mari wheeled you out of the hospital after signing a few papers and other staff helped you into the car. It was annoying to feel so helpless but at the same time you were happy you had so much help available to you. “Mari,” you said suddenly, “What if I’m actually really sick again? I don’t want to be really sick again… I finally…” “Young miss, don’t put such thoughts into your head. It’s best to try and stay positive,” Mari answered back. Mari reached over and lightly squeezed your hand then pulled away. You leaned up against the car door and shut your eyes. Eventually the feel of the car driving lulled you to sleep.
When you woke up you were surprised to feel your bed beneath you. ‘When did I get here,’ you asked yourself as you went to rub your eyes. “I’m glad to see you’re awake,” Mari said with a kind voice, “You’ve been sleeping for quite a while. Come on let’s get you some dinner.” “I’m not hungry,” you shot back quickly and turned over, your back facing Mari.
“I said I’m not hungry Mari.” There was a small moment of silence. “Just… let me sleep more please.”
Mari’s sigh seemed to echo through the room. “If that’s what you want. But you won’t be skipping anymore meals. If you change your mind or need anything just yell.”
Mari lightly placed her hand on your arm. She squeezed you lightly then left closing the door behind her. The tears you had been holding back all day suddenly came rushing to your eyes. It was hard to determine exactly what was causing these tears to fall. Was it your frustration? Fear? The pain that radiated through your entire being? Maybe it was a combination of all those things but there was one major player to your tears.
Ever since this pain started the colors you usually saw were fading quickly. The thought of losing them broke your heart. ‘Make me live in this pain, but please, don’t take the colors,’ you pleaded with whoever was listening. You clutched the blanket in your fists while angry, shaky breaths escaped your lungs with your quiet cries. “Don’t take them. Don’t take them. Please don’t take them.” You repeated this over and over again until eventually your body wore out and you fell asleep again.
A few days passed and it was rare if you ever left your bed. “Young Miss,” Mari said as she tried to wake you, “It’s time to wake up. The doctor called saying he had your results back already.” Only one of your eyes managed to open while the other was refusing to do so. You looked ridiculous but luckily Mari was nice enough to not comment on it. You winced as she helped you sit up and you did your best to not cry at the pain, but it was inevitable. Mari was startled when you suddenly grabbed her shirt and started to cry into her chest like a child. “Young Miss,” Mari stuttered. “I’m scared,” you said through your cries, “I’m scared Mari.” Mari held you close and felt more like a mother to you than your own mom.
“We don’t know what kind of news it might be.”
“But what if it is bad news? What happens?”
“We get through it. Now stop crying.” Mari pushed you back a little and you could feel her gaze on you. “Take in a deep breath and let it out slowly.” You did as you were told a few times trying to calm yourself down. “Now that you are a little calmer, let’s get you some breakfast, dressed and then we will be off. Okay?” You nodded then allowed her to help you out of bed.
At the hospital you sat in a more comfortable office type chair than in an examination room. A nurse had lead you and Mari into this room and informed you the doctor would be in shortly. Mari told you, you could have attended this meeting alone if you wanted but being alone was the last thing you wanted. Whether this news was good or bad, you wanted Mari there with you. The sound of the door opened and Dr. Jung’s voice boomed, “Ladies! I hope you don’t mind but Dr. Kim will be joining us today.” “Of course not, It’s nice to meet you Dr. Kim,” Mari said. You kept your head down while you fiddled with your fingers nervously.
“How are you feeling today [Y/N],” Dr. Jung asked.
“Fine.” You wanted to get past the small talk and onto the results.
“That’s good to hear. Now, onto why we are here today.” You could feel yourself grow more nervous. “It took us a few days to analyze everything and sadly I don’t have great news.” You could feel your eyes widen but your head stayed down.
“What do you mean,” Mari asked, concern covered her voice. She reached over and grabbed your hands with one of her’s and squeezed them tightly. There was an intense silence in the room and you only wished you could see what they were doing.
Dr. Jung let out a heavy sigh, “It’s cancer.”
Your face shot up to look at him and froze. “Cancer,” Mari questioned. “Yes,” an unfamiliar voice sounded. You assumed it was Dr. Kim. “It’s been in her system for quite some time it appears.” A switch sounded. “This is a copy of the MRI we took a few days ago. All of these spots are the tumors in her body. Judging from this MRI alone we believe it started in the liver and spread throughout. We believe the cancer has evolved into advanced stages at this point.” The sound of Mari’s tears brought you back from your frozen state. “So what does this mean,” You asked quietly.
“You’re very sick [Y/N],” Dr. Jung said, “We should start treatment as soon as possible.”
“Will it do any good?”
“We believe it is worth fighting.”
You faded out from the conversation between the doctors and a crying Mari. You knew Mari would fill you in later. You just couldn’t listen to what they were talking about right now. Everything you had feared came true in an instant.
When you arrived back at the house Mari was still sniffling. You sat yourself on the couch in silence a moment. “Hey Mari,” You said suddenly surprising Mari, “Could you invite Henry over? I want to watch a movie with him.” “Of course young miss,” Mari answered back as she tried to pull herself together. It surprised you that you weren’t crying along with her. Maybe you were too numb at the moment, but you were sure the tears would hit you later. “He’ll be over in about thirty minutes. It’s getting close to dinner time. What should we do,” Mari asked.
“Why don’t we order a pizza.”
Henry arrived and then pizza shortly after. When Henry saw you he hugged you tightly. It hurt, but you didn’t care. His embrace felt so warm and it made you happy to notice that at least Henry’s colors hadn’t faded. The beautiful crimson that surrounded him shone brightly. “I’ve missed you so much,” He said quietly into your ear. “It’s not like we have been apart for long,” you laughed.
“Is it clingy if I say a day is enough to make me miss you terribly?”
Henry laughed along with you and you could feel yourself start to forget today’s earlier events, even if only for a moment. “So what do we want to watch,” Henry asked as he walked with you over to the couch. “Well we have three to choose from. A Musical, a romance or a comedy,” you answered back.
“Hmm, well question first.”
“I don’t mean to sound rude but can you even see the movie? How are you supposed to watch it?”
You started to laugh at Henry’s question. His question made your heart warm because you knew he meant well. “I like movies that have great soundtracks and dialog to tell the story. I may not be able to watch the movie with my eyes but I can still listen to it and enjoy it.”
“Then why don’t we go with a musical.”
Mari helped to put the movie in and left you and Henry alone with the majority of the pizza. Henry held you close the entire movie as if he was afraid to let you go. You held his hand that rested on your leg while your head rested on his shoulder. Eventually the movie ended and the two of you talked about it for a while longer. “As much as I want to stay,” Henry said, “I really should get home and you should get some rest. You look tired.” You nodded then walked with him, hand in hand, to the door. Henry pulled you in close to him, holding you tightly but gently. You wrapped your own arms around him and wanted to pull him closer if it was at all possible. “When can I be with you again,” you asked into his chest.
“You could be with me everyday if you wanted to.”
You squeezed his shirt in your hands. “Can you come by again tomorrow?”
“In the morning?!” Henry pushed you back lightly. You looked up toward his face and started to laugh. His colors were bright. You could see how happy he was. “I’ll be here tomorrow for dinner. In fact how about we cook together? We could watch one of the other movies we didn’t get to see.”
“That sounds wonderful.”
You listened to Henry’s smile appear then also disappear. You could feel him approach you closely and your eyes closed, waiting for him. Henry laughed lightly at your actions then kissed you. His lips felt warmer than usual against yours. His kiss was the perfect combination of firm and gentle, leaving you with wanting more when he pulled away. “I love you [Y/N],” Henry said, his voice slightly serious. “I love you too,” you answered back then kissing him. You tried to match your kiss with his perfect one. When you pulled away from him, he kissed your forehead then left the house. “Did Henry go home,” Mari asked a few moments later. You nodded and listened as she walked around the house while you stood still near the door. “Mari,” you said loud enough for her to hear.
“What is it young miss?”
“I need to get better.”
“We will get you better.”
Without hesitation the treatments started. You were having to do a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. Every other week Dr. Jung and Dr. Kim would run different tests to see if the treatments were working. At some point you were given crutches to help you walk around. Mari also purchased a wheelchair for those extra rough days. Which you had more often than you wanted to admit.
During this time you spent as much of it with Henry as you possibly could. Even though you didn’t feel incredibly well, at the start of your treatments you made sure to go out with Henry. He would take you to new restaurants, dessert cafes, and much more. It wasn’t until you started to really struggle with your treatments that Henry started coming over rather than both of you going out. Henry knew you were sick, however nobody ever told him what you were sick with. He would do his best to make sure you were well taken care of when he was around. There were a few times when Henry had come over but was quickly sent home by Mari because of your health taking a turn for the worse.
After going through treatments for a few months the doctors wanted to hold another meeting with you. This time, just you. Mari helped you into their office then waited for you outside. You listened as Dr. Jung sat in his chair and gave him no time to speak. “So things aren’t going well, are they,” you asked. Dr. Jung let out a heavy sigh, “No, their not. You’re very sick [Y/N].”
“So what are my options? Be honest with me.”
“We can keep doing treatment but I don’t see it making a difference. The cancer has spread so much it’s uncontrollable now. Our most recent scans showed it had moved to your brain. And it’s not in a place where we can easily remove the tumor.”
“What happens if I stop treatment?”
“The advanced cancer would continue to run its course. Similar to how it is now, but possibly at a faster rate.” You sat in silence a moment as you absorbed what Dr. Jung said. “Even if I wanted to continue treatment, how much longer do I have left,” You asked.
“Only a few weeks.” You nodded as you took in a deep breath.
“I would like to stop treatment Dr. Jung. If my diagnosis is the same, I want to stop.”
You could feel Dr. Jung’s gaze on you as you said those words. He started talking with you on all the steps that would need to be taken in preparing for the end. You were surprised you weren’t crying at that moment. Dr. Jung pushed your wheelchair out of his office and allowed Mari to take over from there. “Thank you for everything Dr. Jung,” You said before Mair started to walk away. “Is everything okay,” Mari asked as she helped you into the car to head back home. “Yeah,” you lied. “Mari,” you said, “You mentioned there was a symphony playing the other day.”
“Yes, I did.”
“Do you think we could still get tickets?”
“You would like to go Young Miss?”
“Yes, I would like to go with Henry. Could you please get us a pair of tickets?”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
The rest of the ride home consisted of listening to Mari make a number of phone calls to get you tickets to tonight's concert. After about four phone calls she had managed to grab two tickets for the show. You had Mari contact Henry to let him know of the plans. She said he sounded excited. The concert started within a few hours which gave you plenty of time to get ready.
Once you finished getting ready, you felt beautiful. Mari had helped you put on a beautiful formal dress that gave you confidence. She helped put makeup on you and provided you a shawl to help keep you warm. The doorbell to the house ran letting you know Henry had arrived. “Looks like prince charming is here,” Mari joked. She started to help you stand but you stopped her. “Mari, I have another favor to ask,” you said.
“What is that?”
“I want the house empty when I come back from the symphony with Henry.”
“Mari, please. Just this one time. You can come back the next morning.”
“Young miss I don’t know if I can agree with this. You’re not healthy.”
“That’s exactly why I want to do this. Mari, please. Just this one time.” You listened as Mari sighed and you could almost hear her thoughts. She finally agreed but only on the condition that if something happened Henry called her immediately. You laughed at her a little but agreed. You knew that even if something did happen, other than calling for an ambulance, Mari would be the first one notified. “Oh, one last thing Mari,” you said, “Can you place my voice recorder on my vanity?”
“Yes young miss.”
Mair grabbed your crutches and helped you out into the main room. Mari wanted you to use your wheelchair instead but you were determined to do the best you could to walk on your own. “[Y/N],” Henry called excitedly. You smiled at the sound of his voice and admired the tone of his beautiful colors. “You look amazing,” he said as he admired you. You felt yourself blush, “Thank you, I imagine you look just as amazing if not more so.”
“I always look amazing. What are you saying.” Henry and you laughed together. You even heard Mari let out a small snort as she tried to not laugh. “Shall we be on our way?” Henry helped you out of the house and into the car. Even though the door was shut you could still hear Mari talk to him. “If anything happens let me know right away,” she said to him.
When you returned back to your house it was just you and Henry. “Where is everyone,” Henry asked noticing how unusually dark and quiet it was. “It’s just us,” you said nervously. You removed your shoes and shawl then entered the house. “Would you like some tea,” you asked as you entered the kitchen. Henry quickly removed his own shoes and ran to help you. “Here I got it,” he said as he moved you to sit down in a chair. He took your crutches and placed them next to you. You smiled as you looked over at him. His color was the only thing you could see anymore. Everything else had been erased.
He placed a cup in front of you warning you of the temperature. You smiled as you thanked him. You listened as Henry started to drink then started choking. “Hot,” he said. “Be careful,” you laughed. He laughed along with you until the room became silent again. You suddenly stood up making Henry uneasy. Using the table as support, you walked over to Henry and you felt his hands grip your waist. “Are you okay? What is it you need,” he asked. You sat down on his lap and noticed he had removed his suit jacket. You moved your hand along his shoulder then up his neck and to his jaw. You could feel yourself getting nervous as your heart pounded in your chest. Henry adjusted his hands along your back then lightly, yet passionately kissed you. He kissed you over and over again each one getting more passionate than the last. In a brief moment where your lips were separated from his you asked, “Should we go to my room?” “A-are you sure,” Henry asked nervously. You nodded then Henry picked you up in his arms and carried you into your room.
Even though Henry laid you gently on the bed you couldn’t help but wince at the pain you felt. “Are you sure about this,” Henry asked as he sat next to you. You sat up and your lips quickly found his. “Yes, I’m sure,” you answer back as you released his tie then plucked at the buttons on his shirt. Henry grasped your hand in his stopping you from unbuttoning any further. “If I hurt you,” He said, his voice soft and gentle, “You need to tell me.” You wish you could see his eyes at that moment. “I will,” you lied. Henry kissed you deeply, following as he laid you back on the bed where he then proceeded to treasure you in every way possible.
When you woke up the cool air conditioning of the apartment gave you chills. Henry still had you wrapped in his arms tightly. You smiled and brought up one of his hands and kissed it lightly. Henry let out a small groan then released you and rolled over. You giggled to yourself then started to get out of the bed. The pain you felt was immense and barely tolerable. It took everything in you not to let out any sound. Using what you could as support you made your way to your dresser and searched for clothing to wear. Even though you couldn’t see, you knew where exactly everything was. You made your way to your vanity where the voice recorder rested, placed it in your pocket then quietly left the bedroom, closing the door behind you.
Before going back to sleep you searched for Henry’s suit jacket. After some time and making a bit too much noise later you found it resting on the back of a kitchen chair. You placed the voice recorder into the pocket then made your way back to bed.
You were awoken the next morning by a kiss from Henry and the amazing smell of breakfast foods. “Good morning beautiful,” Henry whispered in your ear then kissed your cheek lightly. “Good morning,” you groaned out. Henry helped you sit up in your bed which was more painful than you let him know. “So I’ve made you breakfast which I have placed on the table next to you. I want to stay longer but I have to get to practice for the recital,” Henry’s voice sounded sad.
“It’s okay, I understand.”
“How long will it be before Mari and the others come back?”
“What time is it now?”
“It’s about seven.”
“They will be here soon.”
“Okay.” Henry kissed you tenderly. “I love you. I’ll see you later.”
“Love you too.” You listened as Henry left your room then came back again to kiss you one more time. You started to laugh as he rushed out of the house saying he would call you later. You reached over and moved the plate of food to your lap. ‘This will only make me sick,’ you thought as you smelled the food. Even still you started to eat the food Henry made for you.
You were in the process of throwing up the amazing breakfast Henry had made for you when Mari and the others arrived. Mari was quick to run to your side and comfort you. “Are you okay young miss,” she asked. You nodded as she handed you a rag to wipe your mouth. “I’m fine. Mari, can you start packing some of my things. I want to go back home,” you said. Your words must have shocked Mari because she didn’t answer you. “We’re moving back home Mari.” Mari helped you into your bed so you could rest and didn’t question what you said. You listened as she packed the things in your room.
A few hours later, Mari helped you into your wheelchair and out to the car. “Did you tell Henry you were moving back home,” Mary asked. You nodded, “I did last night.” The car started to drive away from the house and at the same time your tears started to fall as well. They were quiet and it took Mari a bit before she noticed. “Young miss, what’s wrong,” she asked. Your quiet cries turned into full on choked sobs. Mari seemed panicked and asked the driver to stop the car. Mari got out then walked around to your side and opened the door. You cried into your hands until Mari pulled them from your face. You weren’t sure what kind of expression you were making but you started to hear Mari cry. Mari wrapped her arms around you and hugged you carefully.
When Henry returned to his home from practice he went to pull his phone out but realize he didn’t have it on him. He started retracing his steps in his head trying to remember if he had it during practice. He walked over to his suit jacket that rest on the back of the couch, reached into the pocket, and was expecting to pull out his phone but instead pulled out the voice recorder. Henry looked at it confused trying to figure it out. Headphones were already plugged into it so he placed them into his ears then hit play.
“Hi Henry.” Henry smiled when he heard [Y/N]’s voice. ‘She’s silly,’ he thought. He sat down on the couch and continued to listen. “You’re asleep right now. In my bed. Haha, I’m embarrassed. Um, Since I can’t write you a letter easily I need to do this for you. ……. There is something I’ve been hiding from you for quite a while now.” Henry could feel his heart sink as he heard the playful tone of [Y/N] voice turn sad. “I know you know I’ve been sick for a while, but I’ve failed to tell you how sick I am. I was diagnosed with cancer a while back and at the time of diagnosis… it wasn’t good.” Henry could feel the tears start to come to his eyes as he listened to her voice. “I didn’t want you to worry, so that’s why I didn’t tell you. Earlier today I was told that the treatments I had been doing were now pointless.” Henry couldn’t help but start to cry as soon as he heard [Y/N] crying. “I only have a few weeks left Henry. I’m sorry for being so selfish and telling you this way but I can’t face you.”
Henry grabbed his keys and rushed out of the door.
“I wanted to have my last memory of you to be a happy one. Tonight was the happiest night of my life and I wanted it this way. So please focus on your recital. It’s coming up in a couple of weeks right? I’ll be cheering for you. I know you’ll do amazing. I love you Henry. I love you so much. Thank you for everything.”
Henry banged on the door of [Y/N]’s home. A house worker answered in shock to see Henry. “Where’s [Y/N]? Is she home,” Henry asked before they could speak. “No I’m sorry sir. They’ve gone back home. I’m only here to pack up the remaining items,” She answered back. Henry squat on the ground as he held his head in his arms trying not to cry. “Sir are you okay,” the house worker asked. Henry stood up, his expression blank, “Thank you. Sorry to bother you.” He walked back into his car and drove back home.
He walked into the silent home and stood in the doorway. He pulled his phone out and started calling [Y/N]. She didn’t answer. “[Y/N], please call me back. I need to talk with you.” Henry hung up the phone the sat down on the floor, his head in his hands, and started to cry.
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