First half is a regular chapter, second half is just pictures and before the pictures is a song to listen to while going through the pictures, which have the lyrics in them so you can get a feel of where you are.
I felt like I was gonna faint again but I didn’t, I just felt super dizzy and confused. I felt overwhelmed as well–which was the main reason for me thinkin’ I was gonna faint–and all I could do was clutch at Henri’s shirt so I wouldn’t fall. Our teeth clanked together and it was startin’ to get kinda hard to breathe, since our noses were all mashed up.
And then it was over. Henri pulled away and my fingers released his shirt. His eyes were real big and he felt completely disbelieving, like he couldn’t believe he just did that. I couldn’t believe he just did that. So I just stared back.
Finally I gulped and managed to stammer out, “Y-you kissed me…”
Henri went beet red and mumbled, “You noticed.”
More silence. This was bad. I had no clue what else to say. What did someone say when they were just–just–kissed like that! I just got my first kiss, I thought, feelin’ all weird about it. My body trembled a bit and I really hoped again I wouldn’t faint. If I kept faintin’ every time I came here to visit Henri, my dads probably wouldn’t want me to come here anymore. I needed to try an’ hold onto reality.
“You kissed me!” I said again ‘cept this time it was more of a shriek. Maybe… well, maybe a lot more of a shriek than I shoulda made it because Henri flinched.
“I’m sorry!” he gasped out. “I–I–” He lifted his hands for a brief second and then turned to run away. I gaped at his retreating back, still dazed, then began running after him.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! I chided myself as I ran as fast as I could. Henri was fast, usually beatin’ me in races and often being able to catch me in tag. “Henri!” I called. “Wait, Henri!” Way to go, Serenity, you KNOW he was all scared and then you go and shriek at him like he did something bad! Course I was all torn over whether it really WAS bad or not. But I knew Henri didn’t mean it like some perv-o (like that feeling I got from Bobby Whitmeiler when he was lookin’ at my boobs the other day and THAT was just a total perv-o feelin’!), so I couldn’t really be mad.
“Henri Laroche you stop running right now or I’ll SCREAM!” Since I pretty much screamed that, it wasn’t much a threat but it got him. He skid to a halt and just stared owl-eyed at me as I jogged up to him, pantin’ for air.
“Look just punch me now and get it over with,” he said, bracin’ himself.
I straightened up, pushin’ my bangs back and givin’ him a real nasty glare. “If that’s what you really think I’d do then maybe I should!” I raised my fists like I was going to, and I kinda felt like I wanted to. What kinda thing was that for him to say? Did he really expect me to punch him for kissin’ me? That was Duncan’s job.
Henri held up his wands. “No! Come on, Serenity, I’m sorry…”
“Sorry for thinking I was going to punch you, or sorry for–” I stopped and began blushin’, not able to speak the word out loud. “For… you know…”
“B-both,” he mumbled, his hands falling and a look of guilt goin’ all over his face. “I don’t know what I was thinking…”
“You–didn’t want to kiss me?” Suddenly I felt like I really wanted to punch him.
“No! I mean, yes! I mean–” He shook his head. “I wanted to kiss you, Serenity. But–if it upset you then I am sorry for that.”
“It didn’t… upset me… so much as… surprise me…” The words were slow and kinda embarrassin’ to say. Henri looked up and I quickly looked down. “I wasn’t expecting it, y’know?” I kicked at the dirt and sighed. “But, ummm, yeah so… I won the game…?”
I was hit with a wall of sadness all of a sudden and when I looked up, Henri was visibly upset. “Um, well, yeah, I g-guess you did.” He picked at his nails and chewed at his lip. I stood still, waitin’ for something to be said and kinda worried it wouldn’t. I won fair and square, after all. “The thing is–“
“You pinkie promised!” I cried out.
“I know! I will. I–I will, I promise. I just… I need to… figure out how to say it…” He messed with his hair a bit, kicked at the ground a bit, then finally sighed. “Let’s go sit down. Or maybe we should go to your house…”
“We’ll sit down.” I took his arm and guided him to the nearest bench. I felt he was real unsure about this and I didn’t wanna risk him backing off during the time it took to get to my place. “It can’t be that bad,” I said once we were both seated.
He looked up at me with such sadness that it hurt my heart. “It can be,” he whispered. “You deserve the truth, I guess. I–I wanted to tell you, I would eventually–I promise–but… it’s not the easiest thing to say…” He pushed his hair back and gave a small groan. “And I want to say first and foremost, I’d understand completely if… if you don’t want to be friends anymore because of it…”
“Of course I want to be your friend–” I started but he cut me off.
“What I haven’t told you is something big, and something that it isn’t easy to deal with. My mother… I told you she died…” He fidgeted some more and I just let him take his time in tellin’ me, it was obviously hard. Especially if it dealt with his mother. “She died when I was eight,” he finally said. “We just moved here. Dad was hoping… there might be a cure here.”
A cure…? I suddenly had a very, very, very bad feeling.
“There wasn’t though Dad never gave up. That’s why he became a doctor, you know, because he fell in love with a sick woman.” Henri’s lips twitched up into a kinda distant smile. “For years he focused on research.”
“But now he’s a kid’s doctor…?” I asked then got mad at myself for interrupting. But Henri just kept smilin’ that distant smile.
“Yeah, when I was about three he switched over. And when Mama died, he focused solely on helping children getting better.” I sat back, absorbin’ this in, remembering all the mean thoughts I had about his father. His father was just so arrogant… and hearin’ this didn’t change that fact, but why was he like that if he went through so much?
“He does all he can for others because–” Henri fell silent for what felt like forever, and then whispered the next words so low that I almost couldn’t hear’m. But I did.
“Because he can’t help me.”
One… two… three… four… several seconds ticked by as what he said worked its way into my brain. My brain put up a fight, not wantin’ to let it in, but it got in and when it did, my hands flew to my mouth. “What?!” I gasped out.
“I’m sick,” he struggled to say. “My mama had it, and died. My grandmama had it, and died. Everyone in my family who has had it has died.” He sucked in some air that sounded all wrong because he was trying not to cry.
“That’s why I was worried about telling you, because one way or another you’re going to lose me. I have it, Serenity, and I’m going to die.”
I was on the bench for hours. Unable to move, unable to focus. I wanted to say somethin’ to Henri but I didn’t know what to say. I was only dimly aware of him squeezin’ my hand and telling me to take my time to work things out, and then he left since Duncan was comin’ over. The trip back home was a complete blur, too.
All I knew was once I got there, I collapsed onto my bed and I cried. I was going to lose Henri. He was willing to end our friendship now ‘fore things got worse which, after me not being too unhappy about that kiss, were bound to.
But could I just cut things off now…?
How do I get through a night without you?
If I had to live without you, what kind of life would that be?
Oh, I… I need you in my arms, need you to hold…
You’re my world, my heart, my soul.
If you ever leave…
Baby you would take away everything good in my life.
And tell me now. How do I live without you? I want to know, how do I breathe without you? If you ever go, how do I ever, ever survive? How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?
Without you there’d be no sun in my sky…
There would be no love in my life…
There’d be no world left for me.
And I, baby I don’t know what I would do, I’d be lost if I lost you. If you ever leave, baby you would take away everything real in my life.
And tell me now, how do I live without you? I want to know, How do I breathe without you?
If you ever go, how do I ever, ever survive?
How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?
Please tell me baby…
How do I go on?
If you ever leave, baby you would take away everything, I need you with me
Baby don’t you know that you’re everything good in my life?
And tell me now, how do I live without you?
I want to know, how do I breathe without you?
If you ever go, how do I ever, ever survive? How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?
How do I live without you?
How do I live without you, baby?