Dying Young

19

Clary woke to a beeping noise. She could smell the hint of ammonia in the air around her. Blinking she allowed her eyes to focus on her surroundings. The hospital. Her heart began to race as the memories to the prior events rushed back to her. Isabelle, Alec and Jace knew everything. Jace. Will telling everyone that the two of them were engaged. Where did that come from? Did everyone believe him? Clary could hear her monitors beeping to alert the nurse's station that something was wrong. Shifting her body Clary gazed around the room. Were they still here? Her green eyes landed on a figure sitting in a chair in the back of the room. Clary swallowed causing her to realize just how thirsty she was. The figure began to stand.

"Hel-lo," her voice was barely a whisper. Her eyes trying to focus on the moving form in the darkness.

"Would you like some water?" Clary shook her head she couldn't have heard that right. "Clary? Do I need to go get a nurse? A doctor?"

"Alec? What are you doing here?" Clary squinted as the overhead light came on. She could hear a chair being pulled across the linoleum.

"Here. Drink this." Clary took the small cup that Alec offered to her and pressed it to her dry lips. She took a sip her eyes never leaving Alec. She took another sip causing a small smile to form on Alec's face. "Would you like some more?" Clary nodded passing Alec her empty cup. "The big guys are allowing us to take turns. You could say they've declared martial law where you're concerned." Alec passed Clary the cup full of fresh water. "I could go get someone else if you want." Clary shook her head she wasn't ready to face anyone else. Not yet. "Good." Alec smiled taking the empty cup from Clary before he took a seat in the chair he had pulled over to her bed. "Do you need anything else? Anything?" Clary sucked in her bottom lip shaking her head. "Clary." Alec's head hung as he covered his face with hands. "I don't know what to say." He dropped his hands from his face. "I am so sorry. I jus- I thought I wasn't angry with you but when I saw you at the hospital. I felt. God Clary. I was pissed with you." Clary could feel her eyes beginning to water. "I didn't realize it. I even took up for you when Jace told us everything but then- but then I saw you. And you looked so small-so fragile and-. I lost it Clary. I was angry." Alec had his own tears streaming down his face as he continued. "I'm so sorry Clary. I am. I know you had good intentions. I know it but dammit you're wrong." Clary felt tears streaming down her face. She knew she should wipe her face but the look on Alec's face had her frozen. "You don't know everything. I know you think you do but you don't. Did you ever think about how I would feel if you died and I was at that godforsaken school?" Alec moved his hands to the top of the bed placing them over hers. "I went there for you. Sure I went for Jace and Isabelle but mainly you. You pushed me to be a doctor. I would've been just as happy going to community college. Doing something with computers, teaching. I could've done anything really but you made me see things differently. You made me want it and then- you didn't go and I was miserable. Jace was more than miserable. Izzy- well Izzy was a bitch." Alec shook his head leaning in closer to Clary. "You're right about one thing. I would've stayed happily. Because now. Now that I know the truth. Now that I know you didn't move back to New York I feel relieved."

"What? Alec. I don't understand any of this." Clary knew that she should just be excited that Alec was talking to her but something wasn't right. What he was saying was not the Alec she knew. The Alec she loved.

"I left thinking you meant more to us that we did to you. And then I thought we could make things work between me. Jace and Iz but it didn't. Jace was always drinking making him impossible to be around and Izzy was always out at this party or that one. I tagged along but you know me. I hate parties. I was alone. I hated life at college. I hated you Clary. And I hated myself for hating you."

Clary could barely see Alec from the tears clouding her vision. She had hurt them all so much. "Alec. I'm so sorry. I thought it be better this way. I was scared I would end up dying like my mother. I didn't want any of you to see that. I wanted you to go to school become amazing doctors. Finish what we had planned. I am so-so sorry Alec."

Alec stood from his chair and leaned over Clary kissing the top of her bald head before resting his forehead on hers. "And I love you for the fact that you wanted so much for us but did you ever stop to think that without you our dreams wouldn't be what they were before."

Clary's green eyes stared into Alec's bright sea of blue. "Your dreams changed?"

Alec smiled and nodded. Alec started to open his mouth but stopped when a nurse walked in to check Clary's monitors. The nurse seemed to sense that she interrupted a moment between the two of them; after she pressed a few buttons she left the room quickly without saying a word.

Clary continued to search Alec's eyes for answers. "No. You wanted to be a doctor. You did. Not because of me. Or Jace. Or Isabelle. You wanted it Alec Lightwood. You did. Remember who you are. How you wanted to make a difference in the world. In people's lives."

Alec pulled away from Clary laughing. His hands still intertwined with hers. "See there it is. You have this way about you Clary. You can have someone believing that they can jump off buildings and soar across the sky. Your words are powerful and that's why I wanted to be a doctor."

Clary pulled her hands away from Alec's and wiped the tears from her face. "No sir. You are not going to just give up and change your plans just because things are not cookie cutter perfect. I won't ha-."

Alec placed a hand over Clary's mouth to shut her up. "I never said I was quitting school. Not once. I just don't know what I want to do yet. And I decided that's okay." Clary took a deep breath through her nose before trying to talk over Alec's hand. "I'm not finished Clary." She huffed rolling her eyes. "I met someone." Clary's eyes widened. "Jace and Isabelle don't know. But he wants to come here. He wants to meet you." Clary mumbled something in Alec's hand causing him smile. "He's great. His passion is design but he wants to be an accountant too. So what do you think? Am I crazy?" Alec dropped his hand from Clary's mouth and sat back down in the chair waiting for her answer.

Clary took a deep breath. "I don't know Alec. It's a lot to take in. You tell me that you may or may not want to be a doctor. That you're not happy at school but then you've met someone. And this someone wants to meet me but hasn't met your family. It's a lot Alec." Clary could see the disappointment on Alec's face. "But you want to know something." Reaching out for Alec's hand Clary smiled. "I'm happy as long as you're happy. Life's too short. If you don't want to be a doctor, then don't. If this guy makes you happy then go for it. Who am I to say what's right and what's wrong. Look at the mess I've made. I pushed you, Jace and Izzy away. I have Will announcing our engagement that isn't even real. My life's a mess Alec. It is."

Alec held Clary's hand in between his own. "So you and Will aren't a thing then?"

"No. We're not a thing and I have no clue where that all came from. I know I need to talk to him. I need to talk to Jace too. But-" Alec raised an eyebrow at her. "Right here. Right now. Being here with you is the first time since all of this started that I actually feel normal. And I'm not ready to deal with any of that other stuff yet. Is that wrong?"

Alec shook his head. "Nope. Not at all. I can stay as long as you want."

Clary wiggled both her eyebrows at him as she shifted her body on the bed. "Be careful what you say Alec. I may never let you go back to your mystery man." Clary patted the space on the bed next to her. "Climb on up and tell me more about this guy that wants to meet me."

Alec climbed up on the bed and wrapped Clary in his arms. "He's going to love you Clary."

Clary breathed in Alec's scent as she snuggled closer to him. He felt like home. It took her back to a time before her diagnosis when she would sneak over to the Lightwood's house and climb into bed with Alec. She could remember holding him and telling him that it would never matter to her or anyone else who he chose to love, all that mattered was that he was happy. Clary was there when Alec finally told his family and friends that he was gay after two years of hiding and even though it was a struggle at first in the end everyone accepted Alec for who he was not who he loved. Clary smiled at the memory and then frowned when she remembered that Alec had not told his family about this guy he was dating. "Alec. Why haven't you told Jace and Isabelle about your guy?"

Clary could feel Alec's body stiffen beside her. "I guess it's because this will be my first relationship and even though my family and Jace say they don't care who I date. I can't help but wonder if they're lying. With you I've always known so that's why I want you to meet him first. But only if you're okay with it."

"Sure. I'm cool with it. Besides it'll be nice to throw the spotlight on you for a while. I'm sick of all the attention." Clary grinned as she felt Alec shift in the bed beside her. "I'm just going to close my eyes for a bit. Kay?"

"Yeah. Go ahead. You sleep. I'll think of all the ways this visit could go bad for me. But really Clary you get some sleep." Clary listened to Alec's rambling as she drifted off to sleep.


Anger coursed through Jace's veins as he stared across the table at the person who took Clary from him. How could Clary be engaged to him?

"Okay boys." Stephen Herondale stood at the head of the table his eyes darting between the two boys. "Who wants to go first?"

Jace crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back in his chair. There was no way he was apologizing to that asshat. Will rolled his eyes and leaned back in his chair too.

"Fine. You two can sit in here staring at each other. I don't care. But I can tell you this. Neither one of you will have access to Clary until this thing between the two of you is resolved."

Jace shot up in his chair. "You can't do that!"

Will chuckled. "Why don't you just run back to school? We were doing just fine without you."

Jace shot Will an angry glare. "Yeah. Just fine. Is there a reason you don't want me here Will? Is it because you know I'll get her back? That next to me you're nothing in her eyes."

Something flashed in Will's eyes and it wasn't anger. Hurt maybe. "You know cousin that right there is why I know she won't come back to you. Clary deserves better than you. She always has."

"I knew it!" Jace stood from his chair and pointed an accusing finger at Will. "You've always wanted her. You can't go find someone of your own. Always taking things that don't belong to you."

Will kicked his feet up on the table placing his hands behind his head. "Yeah that's me Jace always going after things that I want. And just so you know I normally get them."

"Stupid son of a bitc-." Jace leaned across the table grabbing for Will but was pulled back by Stephen.

"That's enough." Stephen was holding Jace back but looking at his son. "From both of you. I don-."

Dr. Herondale was cut off by the door opening revealing a tired looking Tessa. Her eyes darted around the room. "Sorry to interrupt but I you told me to let you know when Clary woke up."

Dr. Herondale sighed. "Thank you Tessa." Tessa nodded and turned to leave but Stephen stopped her. "Tessa I need you to stay here."

Tessa spun around to face the three men her face lit with an anger directed toward all of them. "Really? You need me to stay here and do what babysit these two idiots. Herondale men." She pulled the door closed as she continued. "You three are just alike. I don't see why Clary likes any of you. All you do is take. You." Tessa pointed a finger at Dr. Herondale. "You caused this. And don't you dare look at me like that. You should have done better. Been better when Will was younger. Instead you chased after every skirt that crossed your path. Take a good look at your son because he's all you-Stephen Herondale." Tessa turned to stare at Jace. "And you. Coming to a hospital fighting with your own flesh and blood. How old are you? Twelve? Please grow up. So what if Clary left you for Will? That gives you no right to go around punching people. Clary is a big girl. She has the right to choose what she wants and if you loved her as you claim you would want her to be happy. Especially now." Tessa turned away from Jace and looked down at Will. Her expression changed into what Jace could have sworn was hurt. "And then we have the King of jackasses. How could you Will?" Will refused to look at Tessa instead he shifted in his seat and kept his eyes turned down. "I thought you were changing. Was I wrong? I've seen glimpses of a better man but after what you did-I just don't know anymore. Why do you have to force things instead of seeing what's right in front of you?" Jace could see the young nurse's eyes filling with tears as she waited for Will to say something but he never did. Tessa moved her hands to her face and quickly wiped the tears from her eyes. "I've changed my mind." Tessa walked back to the door before looking back at Dr. Herondale. "I am a nurse not a baby sitter. If you need someone to watch two grown men I suggest you hire one. I have work to do." Without another word Tessa walked out the door slamming it behind her.




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