Since I know barely any French other than the cliche ‘bonjour’ and ‘oui’ sort of thing, I am using google translate so any serious mistake in translations is because of that. Also, my game was giving me difficulties so not quite as many pictures as I’d like, I am sorry about that.
It had been almost two years since Henri and I had out first breakup, and we had broken up five times since then. Three minor fights, one medium fight, and one major fight that lasted two weeks. But we got back together eventually–we always did. Always would.
We loved each other–and it had been exactly twelve months, two months, and seventeen days since we started sayin’ that. And I didn’t care that we were just teenagers, because I knew I loved him.
Our relationship wasn’t always the easiest. Despite his promise not to push himself, I often discovered he was doin’ just that and had to pretty much drag him back to his home which was much easier to do since I got my driver’s license. Then we’d bicker for a while, he’d apologize and I’d forgive him. Stubborn little twit.
Not that things were all fluffy on my side of things. I tended to rely on my powers more than I should’ve, and easily got upset whenever he fibbed. I tried to be patient since it wasn’t exactly bad lies. Except that it was the reason for our major fight… when he got pushed to his limit after I told him to stop lying to me. It was innocent at first, I asked him if he had seen a movie yet, he said no, I said it was a lie and… well it got kinda out of hand until he was yellin’ at me that I needed to stop jumping down his throat and actin’ like I knew everything. I sorta told him I did know a lot… not exactly the best thing to say in a situation like that.
It was just hard since I couldn’t exactly block my abilities and I did eventually tell him about them. I promised him I did my best to not pay any attention but sometimes it was hard. Hen was kinda down about that for a while but eventually told me it was something that couldn’t be helped and he still felt the same about me. Though, in his words, it was annoying for me to know when he was horny. I didn’t tell him that I really didn’t mind knowin’ somethin’ like that.
He also told me a bit about his sickness, over time. I still didn’t quite understand it but almost anyone who had it, got it from genetics. His mother’s family had been dealin’ with this for a few generations so a lot of his maternal family had died. The survival rate was real low since there wasn’t a cure and those who did survive, it was pretty much just a miracle. After he told me that, I knew there’d be a miracle in our lives. He had to survive, it wouldn’t be fair otherwise. Him dyin’… it wasn’t right. Especially since… he hardly had any time left…
“It progresses quicker in males,” he told me one day while we played cards. “My mom lasted until she was in her late twenties, and her mom lasted about the same but my great-uncle… died when he wasn’t even… twenty…”
I was silent at that but inside my emotions were going crazy with fear and misery. Less than four years. Except, there’d be a miracle. There had to be.
Durin’ these two years, a lot of things had changed in the house. The biggest being Daddy resigning. Well, it was more like a forced resignation. ‘Princess Rupert’ was published and Mom got mixed reviews. A lot of people praised it, a lot of people hated it. Some places refused to have it in their store. And of course, the idiotic stockholders and power brokers that basically run the company Dad worked for decided that the whole thing was ‘too controversial’. Dad, who was up for possibly being a CEO in a year or two, was asked to step down.
I hadn’t seen Mom so upset in ages. Course, we were all backin’ Dad to fight the whole thing but he decided it would be better if we didn’t. He explained that fighting the whole thing would reflect him in a bitter light. Sure enough, the newspaper all talked about how classy Dad acted during the whole thing so I guess he was right. Still, those jerks shoulda gone to court!
On the flip side, ‘Princess Rupert’ was so popular with some groups that my maternal daddy was asked to do some big talks. It did mean him leavin’ for long periods of time, but it was okay. I took on the responsibility of my own education and also Simon’s education (okay, so sometimes I did skip my lessons when Mom was gone and then stayed up the night before he was supposed to be home crammin’ for whatever he told me to read over).
Duncan went through a lot of mood swings. For a while he was real broody and miserable, and then after the whole ‘Rupert’ incident, he started getting into fights at school. One day he’d be bragging that he was going to lose his virginity (ew) and the next he’d insist he’d be celibate for the rest of his life (yeah right). There were only two things that seemed consistent for him. One, his wallowing in self-pity and two, his anger at Henri which I had no idea where that came from, but one day it seemed like he woke up thinkin’ ‘I hate Henri’ and stuck with it. He refused to take me over to Hen’s place, and whenever Hen was here at the same time as Duncan, my brother would just stalk around in the background and shoot daggers from his eyes.
The final thing that changed in the two years was when Granddad fell, when I was fifteen. I was in my room readin’ a book that I was supposed to write an essay about when all of a sudden I was hit with a wave of terror. It practically choked me to the point where I felt like I was gonna drown.
I dropped the book and stood up, clutching my chest and gasping for air. The terror and fear swamped me. It was all there was and I felt myself slowly startin’ to black out. No, I thought, desperately trying to hold on. NO!
I staggered to the bathroom and flung myself at the sink, quickly turnin’ on the taps and splashing my face with icy water. The blackness remained at the edge but wasn’t quite as pressin’. I splashed my face again and tried to figure out where the emotions were comin’ from. It didn’t take long since only two people could fling their emotions onto me like that from far away. My maternal daddy and my grandma.
The fear and terror was comin’ from my grandma.
I began screaming for someone, clutching at the sink as the blackness started in again. I felt my maternal daddy thunderin’ up the stairs and when he came into the bathroom, I fell against him and tried to explain what was going on but it was hard to speak.
“Grandma…” I gasped out, clutching at Mom’s shirt. “Grandma…” Before he could ask, his phone rang. I knew it was her. “Answer it!” I begged, hopin’ if he got on the phone with her, the emotions would calm a bit.
“Mom?” He flipped open his phone and cradled it between his ear and shoulder as he put his arms around me again. I heard her shrieking, and his arms loosened. “WHAT? No, no, I’ll be there right away–no–what? Yeah, it’ll be okay, Mom. It’ll be okay…. Yeah, I’ll call him.” He hung up the phone, his face very pale.
“Wh-what is it?” I managed to get out.
Mom stared at me–no, he was starin’ past me. Just for a minute. Then he shuddered and began searching through his phone contacts. “Your grandfather fell, Serenity. We need to get to the hospital. Get your shoes on. Hello, Zari?” He left the bathroom and now cause he was feelin’ all terrified, it just made things worse for me.
I wanted to cry out to him, tell him to please help me. But he was talkin’ to Uncle Zari, letting him know what was going on. He was so scared–I had to suck it up, otherwise it would scare him even more. No need to add me faintin’ into this mix.
Come on, Serenity! I pinched my legs and slowly they began working, dragging me into my bedroom so I could get my shoes on. Dad was at his new job and it was a school day so the only other person home was Simon. He was downstairs, where Mom now was. Where I needed to go.
Stairs. Okay, you can do it. I slowly took the stairs, clinging to the railin’ and finally getting to the first floor. “Do you want me to stay here with Simon?” I asked, stumbling over towards the couches.
Mom just stared past me again. “Yes. Yes, that would be ideal. C-call your father, okay? I’ll… I’ll call when I can.” He kissed the top of Simon’s head and then hugged me tight before running out of the house as fast as he could.
“Wh-what’s going on?” Simon asked, his eyes wellin’ up with tears.
I gave him a hug, mostly for his sake but also kinda for my own, to try to stop myself from faintin’. “Grandpa had an accident,” I said, smoothing down his hair. “Mom needs to go to the hospital to be with Grandma, okay?” I was still smoothin’ down his hair and he began scowlin’ so I quickly drew my hand back. “Why don’t you go grab some chocolate milk for both of us?”
“Okay…” He headed to the kitchen while I pulled my cell out. Henri’s name flashed on the screen, indicatin’ a missed text. I just gripped my phone, kinda wanting to call him… I really needed him right now, but I needed to call Dad more.
I still hadn’t heard anything by the time everyone else got home from school. I had to tell them everything and we all just sort of sat in the livin’ room with the TV on, though I doubted any of us were paying any attention.
The house phone rang and Duncan leaped for it before I could even get up off the couch. “Hello?!” he gasped out. “D-dad? Is everything okay? Is Gramps okay?….” The five of us scurried over and stood near him, watching. Waiting. “…uh-huh…..uh-huh….” I clenched my hands into fists. Dangitall, Duncan! “Yes… I see… No. No. Yes. Okay, yeah. Goodbye, Dad.” He hung up the phone and as soon as he did, the rest of us shouted “WELL?!”
Duncan jumped slightly. “Grandpa sh-should be okay,” he said, his hands shaking. “He was unconscious for a while but woke up a bit ago. He… he broke some bones. His… his hip I th-think…” His eyes and nose were gettin’ redder and redder.
“Is Gramps gonna die?!” Mal wailed.
“Of course he’s not!” Kaylee snapped, smacking him upside the back of the head. Mal just started to cry, and Simon yelled at Kaylee. Soon the two of them were fighting while Mal cried and River just booked it out of the room as fast as she could. Duncan was trying not to fall to pieces, so I had to take control.
“Kaylee! Simon! Stop fighting right now, it doesn’t help anything and you know Gramps would be mad if he knew what you were doing right this minute!” I said as sharply as I could muster, as I put my arms around Mal. “It’s okay, Mal. Grandpa will be okay. But we need to be brave, okay?” I put my fingers under his chin and he looked up at me, sniffling and nodding. I gave him another hug. “Why don’t you and I make him a card, okay?”
“Otay,” he sniffled into my shirt.
Dad got home after a bit, bringing some pizza with him for dinner. None of us really ate much, we just wanted to know what was going on but there wasn’t much to except what Duncan already told us earlier. Grandpa’s hip was broken and he had a lot of bruises, but the worst thing was that this fall had messed up his head even more and he was having a real hard time recognizing people. Dad told me and Duncan that last bit in private, not wantin’ to worry the younger kids.
“Will he get better?” Duncan asked, reaching over and taking my hand.
Dad looked wearily at us. “We’re not sure. His hip should heal, but we don’t know about the memory problem since he had been having some trouble with it before this happened.”
All I could do was nod and clutch Duncan’s hand, glad my brother was right there. I felt so scared. I loved my grandparents and–I didn’t want to lose them.
Tears started dripping down and Duncan pulled me close, hugging tightly. “He’ll be okay. Gramps is stubborn. So’s Grams. She’d never let him…” But Duncan couldn’t finish the sentence so he just kept hugging me as I tried not to cry.
“Oh Sen, I’m so sorry hun,” Henri whispered that night when I finally called him. “Do you need me to c–no, it’s late, but if you do need me to come over I will.”
“I wish you could come over,” I sniffled. “But the last things my parents need is finding our their daughter’s boyfriend sneaking in at nine at night.”
Hen gave a snort. “Darling, I’m so sorry baby. But if there is anything I can do, I mean it. Even if it’s something as small as bringing over some of those brownies that you like so much. I will. I will stay up all night tonight baking them and I’ll be over there first thing in the morning.”
“Oh Hen…” I was trying my hardest not to cry. I could feel all my grandma’s worry and sadness inside me, and that tiny niggling fear was still there. Fear about death. Fear of losin’ the partner she had for most her life. Her soul mate.
The next morning, just after ten, Henri showed up on my porch with a platter full of my favorite brownies.
It had been months since the fall, but Grandpa was doin’ better even if he didn’t recognize us most the time when we visited. I was ‘Viola’ almost all the time but I didn’t let it bother me, it wasn’t his fault and he really was trying. The worst times were when he didn’t recognize Grandma. It was somethin’ I couldn’t escape since she always had this horrible, heart-breaking feelin’ inside of her when he did and I could feel it every single time it happened. I couldn’t escape it.
And now there was something else I couldn’t escape. It was super late at night so when I heard the ringtone on my cell that was for Henri’s cell, I knew something was wrong but I thought maybe–I thought… I didn’t think it would be Dr. Laroche. I didn’t think I’d hear those words.
Henri took a serious turn for the worse and was in the hospital. And he might not make it till morning.
Because of the hour–2ish in the morning–I wasn’t sure if we could go up and see Henri. Visiting hours were long over but Dr. Laroche pulled some strings so my maternal daddy and I were at least allowed to go in and go to the floor where Henri was being kept. We were taken to a room where Dr. Laroche was staring at a cup of coffee. Not a trace of arrogance in him this time, nothin’ but a hollow sadness. No wait, there was something else in there. A little bit of hope. Because of that, I knew Henri was at least still alive.
When we entered the room he slowly looked up from the mug. “Oh, Serenity–Sebastian, je suis heureux que vous ayez entré.” Dr. Laroche stood up, nearly dropping the coffee. “Je suis désolé. Les règles de l’hôpital disent…” He trailed off and realized he wasn’t speaking English. “I–I’m sorry, I… I…”
Mom went over and put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s okay, you don’t need to apologize for anything. How is Henri doing?”
“He is… asleep right now,” Dr. Laroche whispered. “Doing better, though–a little bit. Not as much as I’d like him to be, but maybe enough to make a recovery right now.” The hope inside him surged, and my heart leaped. A recovery? He might make a recovery? “As I w-was saying, the hospital… I mean, I appreciate you being here but I am afraid you will not be able to go in and see him right now, since you’re not immediate family…”
“I don’t care, I’m not leaving!” I blurted out. “Henri is here, I’m staying here, I’m not–I’m not going anywhere, even if I c-c-can’t see him…” I went over and sat down. There was no way I was leaving. The hospital would have to call the police to drag me out kickin’ and screamin’ if they wanted me out of here.
Dr. Laroche gave me a distant smile as I folded my arms. “I do appreciate you being here,” he said, coming over and sitting down next to me. “Perhaps you just being on the same floor as him will… help him…”
I bit my bottom lip and didn’t dare look at him. “Will he–will he–“
“I don’t know,” he replied. “It could go either direction at this point. There…” He stopped and I knew there was somethin’ else but he wasn’t gonna say what. I twisted my hands in my lap and tried not to cry. “I was informed you could stay here with me, if you desire to stay the night.”
“Of course I’m staying,” I replied stubbornly and looked at Mom who was nodding in agreement. “We’ll stay. I want to see him as soon as I can.”
There wasn’t much of a conversation to be had, so I curled up against Mom and eventually started driftin’ in and out of sleep. At one point when I was half-awake, I heard Mom and Dr. Laroche talking more seriously about the situation, the stuff Dr. Laroche hadn’t wanted to say in front of me. I didn’t hear everything but I did hear a few words. No cure, nothing they can do, things just shutting down, weaker and weaker. I kept my eyes closed tightly, and just hoped that if this was the–end–that Henri would be okay enough in the morning for me to see him.
I woke up at some point after it was light out though I didn’t know what time it was exactly. Dr. Laroche was gone, and Mom was asleep. I gently lifted his arm off of me and sat up, stretching my arms. Was I able to go see Henri now? Or had he…? Might not make it till morning, Dr. Laroche had said in the night. But he was doing better. Right? So he was okay. Right?
I got up and left the room, knowing Mom was gonna flip out when he woke up but I had to go see Henri. Problem was, I had no clue which room he was in and I really didn’t want to widen my range because then I’d be feeling more of the hospital than I’d like to.
Thankfully, Dr. Laroche stepped out of a room. I quickly went over but couldn’t see inside. “Sir, is Henri…?” I stared up at him, hoping beyond measure that everything was okay. Everything felt like the night had gone well, but I had to hear the words.
“He’s awake,” Dr. Laroche said softly. “It’s not quite visiting hours but you can go in and see him, but only for a few minutes. He needs to rest.”
I nodded and went into the room, trying not to run. Henri was in bed, propped up a bit on some pillows and staring at the TV which was on cartoons. When I came in, he looked over and saw me. “Sen!” he said a bit hoarsely. He quickly fumbled with the remote to turn the TV off. “Dad said you… were here…”
It was hard hearing him havin’ to make such an effort to talk. I sat down as close to the bed as I could get and took his hand in mine, bringin’ it up to my lips. “I’m so glad to see you.” I began kissing his hand over and over. “I was so scared!”
“Sen, don’t… please don’t… cry…” He wriggled a bit so he could sit up straighter, and then he pulled his arm closer. Since I was still holding onto his hand, this brought me closer to him. “I promise… when it’s time… I will hold on… long enough… to see you one… more time.” And then he kissed me, rather slowly and more clumsy than anything else but it was better than any other kiss from him I ever got.
I kissed back and then decided, screw the rules. I climbed onto the bed and snuggled up against him. I put my arms around him, he put his around me, and I put my face against his chest. “It’s not your time right now,” I said stubbornly.
Henri chuckled and I felt his mouth against the top of my head. “No,” he answered. “It’s not… my time yet… my love. Not yet…” His fingers brushed against my arm and I closed my eyes, snuggling even closer. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Hen.” I could feel he was as scared as I was, so I had to stay calm. I didn’t want to make him feel worse by sobbing. I had to stay calm for right now. But it was hard to stay calm. All I could think of was my grandma, and how she felt when Grandpa fell. That terrible fear of losing… her everything. My everything. Henri was everything to me. I… Unless a miracle happened, I was going to lose him one day. But not today.