Willow Tree March
I'm sorry, I had to. All of you have been waiting for so long to know ;) and yes, the title of this chapter is ALSO a song title :D
Tom was such a sweetheart. Going against his instincts to make me happy was the ultimate proof of his love for me. And I was grateful. My homely apartment, the familiar smell, the unique feel of my checked woollen blanket. I was going back to it all. Escaping the sterile smell of the hospital, the hostile white and mint green surroundings and the strangers around me. But there was one thing I couldn't escape. The fact that I needed a new liver. It lingered in the back of my mind, tainting my delight at returning home. Was it wrong to hope that Tom was a match? Was it wrong to want to live, even if you were risking your fiancée life for it? Thoughts fluttered in my mind like skittish birds that were trying to escape their cage. I begged my mind to stop, to leave me in peace and to let me enjoy my time at home.
And then I realised that Tom had turned off the car engine. Were we home? I looked outside. The familiar windows of my apartment block stared back at me.
"Oh thank God." I smiled and Tom caught my eye, grinning back.
We got out of Tom's Toyota Prius and approached the towering building that seemed to grow bigger with every step. But not intimidatingly bigger, more like protectively watching over us.
We climbed the stairs up to my beloved home and I fished for the keys in my pocket. I heard the tell-tale jingle of my metal ring of keys and knew we were only seconds away from being in my safe haven. My beautiful apartment. I turned the key and the lock clucked before opening, I pushed it open and walked into my kingdom.
"What do you want to do?" Tom looked at me, his hand reaching out to caress my cheek.
"Could I have a home-cooked meal?" I smiled apologetically.
"Of course, you can have anything you want." he beamed at me.
"Fish and chips then!" I laughed and walked into my bed, curling up on the covers.
"If that is you wish, Ma'am!" he called after me.
I reached for my phone on my night stand. I had abandoned it here and only now did I realise how much I missed my music. I put on Glowing in the Dark by Cider Sky, making sure that Shooting Stars by the same fantastic band came after it and that the two songs were on repeat. I had always been a sucker for Indie.
"It's like a single bullet and it guides me through it and the world starts opening up up up." I murmured the lyrics, letting them sink in.
"Sam, did you say something?" Tom shouted.
"No, no. I'm just listening to music." I called back and he replied only by saying.
"Oh...ok." it was something he didn't associate with me. Music.
And the last seconds of the song passed before my focus could return to the music. Shooting Stars opened with it's drum solo and I sank back into the pillows. Home really wasn't home without good music.
I awoke when Tom gently shook me.
"Hey babe. The fish is crisp and the chips are a soggy vinegary mush. Is that alright?" he stood over me and I nodded.
"Just how I like it," I joked and he chuckled.
I turned off the music that was still playing through my headphones. They had dislodged themselves from my ears while I dozed and were now tangled. I plugged my phone in and got up and followed Tom into the kitchen which was filled with the unique smell of cooked fish and vinegar. I sat down at the dining table which was already laid and Tom brought out the dish. Placing it in front of me, he pointed at the items of food, naming them.
"Fish, chips mush, peas, broccoli. You need some veg. So I thought-" in that instant the telephone rang. He walked over and picked up.
"Yes, this is Tom Kent." there was a pause.
"Yes...oh. Alright. Thank you. Goodbye." he looked up and searched my face, finding solace in my eyes.
"I'm not a match."
And I was hit.
"It's like a single bullet and it guides me through it." I mumbled under my breath, getting up and leaving the room...