The week passed by like the breeze. Andrianne is out of tricks and excuses to avoid telling Chris of her sickness. Chris felt the need for him to protect her now more than ever but what from? He has no clue of what to do. He had no clue of what to happen. He laid his head on the bed as he watched Andrianne’s frail body curl up on the sofa reading her book.
“What are you looking at big brother?” Andrianne voice startled him out of his silent reverie. Chris just shook his head. “Chris, what’s wrong?” Andrianne asked her voice soft and smooth. She marked her book and went to lie beside her brother.
“Nothing is wrong.” Chris said. He genuinely wants to believe what he said. He really wants to live in the world where everything is in its place. The world that his family is together. Gently he caressed her hair and he kissed her goodnight. Gradually his lids get heavier and heavier as the seconds past. The effort for him to stay awake was no longer available. Soon, he fell asleep beside his little sister. His arms protecting her from whatever he could.
Piper opened the door carefully as not to make any sound. She pulled the blanket up as to cover her children’s body. Chris must have been very tired to not realize she was in the room. She kissed the pad of her forefinger and middle finger then she touched it on Andrianne’s forehead then Chris. “Good night, my children.” She whispered as she rose and walked out of the room.
Not moments later shock of pain washed every inch of Andrianne’s body. The agonizing pain jolts her up. Her sudden movement woke Chris up as well. Every breath she took was excruciating. She felt Chris beside her asking her something. She could not make out what he was saying. She was gasping for air. “Hurts…” Andrianne managed to escape the word out of her mouth. Beads of sweat drenched her clothes.
Andrianne realized she must have been making a lot of noise or Chris has, she was not very sure, Piper, Phoebe and Paige came rushing into the room. She grabbed Chris’ hand with one hand and clenching the sheets with her other hand and tears streamed down her face. She was in too much pain. Her brain could not process thought or words anymore as they came in slurred noises. Her vision blurred then turned hazy before she blacked out totally.
Andrianne forced open her eyes as the sterile smell stung her nose. A warm hand clasped tight her right hand. A familiar feeling, a familiar smell. Chris. “Hey.” She managed, barely a whisper. Her pupil adjusted itself to the light as her lids were forced open. Her head was still spinning a little and her body felt weak.
“Hey, princess.” Chris said barely a whisper. Dark circle under his eyes indicates he had not been away from her for more than a minute. His stubble chin was unshaven, his hair was a mess, he smelt of iron and salt.
“How’d I got here?” Andrianne questioned.
“Doesn’t matter.” Chris answered.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to scare you.” Andrianne replied her voice was still hoarse and rough.
“You don’t have to look out for me. That’s my job to look out for you.” Chris said. Piper came and sat on the bed near Andrianne’s foot.
“You should have told us. Both of you.” Piper said with a sad tone hinted in her voice.
“I don’t want you to worry, Piper. I hate to be a burden to anyone. But I’m sorry.” Andrianne said quietly as she looked at Piper then at Chris.
“Well, stop apologizing. There’s nothing to be sorry about. In the future, if I’m supposed to be your mother I am going to get worried too right?” Piper said. Andrianne looked at Chris; Chris just stared at Andrianne’s hand. Andrianne nodded weakly. Chris’ grip on her hand felt tighter. His eyes burn with the hot tears threatening to mess his hard facade.
“How long was I out?” Andrianne questioned.
“Two days.” Piper replied as she reached for Andrianne’s other arm. Andrianne’s hand felt cold against hers.
“Did the doctor say what was wrong with me?” Andrianne asked Chris. He shook his head then he looked at Piper. “Chris, I know I have cancer.” Andrianne spoke softly to her brother. “Chris, you do know that you look worse than me right now?” she teased. Chris just smiled. “Hey, come on, you promised, not to look sad.” Andrianne smiled.
“I’m your big brother remember, it’s my job to be worried.” Chris said. Andrianne stuck her tongue out. “I’m serious. I’m supposed to look out for you not the other way.” Chris said smiling a little.
“See, that’s not that hard.” Andrianne said. “Mom, you too. Don’t bother about Chris; someday his face will freeze like that.” Andrianne joked. “I can call you mom, right? Piper?” Andrianne asked. Her voice was still a little worn out but she was trying to show then she was fine.
“Sure, you can call me mom. Since apparently, both my sons call me Piper.” Piper said.
“Whatever.” Chris said. “I’ll be out for a while, okay. I’ll be back.” He said kissing Andrianne’s forehead. “You better rest up okay.” Andrianne just replied with a small nod.
“Why does hate me so much?” Piper asked as soon as Chris was out the door.
“He doesn’t. He just has too much on his mind.” Andrianne said. “I know he seems a little weird and stubborn, but really he is a really great brother. If he could, he would tell you everything. He would do everything right. But the thing is he couldn’t. It’s not that he doesn’t want to, but he could not tell everything without altering the future too much.” Andrianne explain.
“You two seem very close to each other.” Piper commented.
“We are.” Andrianne agreed. He raised her up on his own. There are no reasons for them not to be close to each other. Only that Piper cannot know about that. “Mom, I love you.” She said.
“I love you too, Andrianne.” Piper said hugging her future daughter.
“Promise me that you’ll make sure Chris make things better even if I’m gone.” Andrianne said as warm water trickled down her cheek.
“You’re going to get better; we’ll try to make you better.” Piper said, as she wiped Andrianne’s tear with her thumb.
“I have cancer, mom. No one can cure cancer.” Andrianne reasoned. “It’s hard enough for Chris with Wyatt and stuff, now me. I shouldn’t have come but I just want to see him. I’m so selfish.” She said blaming herself for what happened.
“No, you’re not. You’re his sister; you have the right to be with him.” Piper begs to differ. “Chris loves you so much. He could have gone crazy if he found you sick and dying when he returns to the future. At least now you’re giving him a longer time.” Piper said.
“He didn’t know did he?” Andrianne asked Piper. Piper just shook her head. “Mom, I can’t do chemo anymore. It hurts so much. But I know Chris would want me to go through with it, I don’t know, mom. What should I do? What should I do?” She asked as tears streamed down her face. “I’m scared mom.”
Piper embraced her little daughter as she caressed her hair gently. “It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be fine.” Piper whispered softly in Andrianne’s ear. “We’re going to get through this together okay.” Piper said as she pulled away from Adrianne. Andrianne wiped her tears with the back of her hand as she nodded.
Chris entered the room with the same sad solemn face he left. His voice was almost unheard of that day. “Did you break or burn any hospital properties yet?” Andrianne joked. Chris forced a smile on his face. “Chris, please don’t be sad.” Andrianne begged. “Chris, you’re scaring me. Say something please.”
“Never scare me like that again.” Chris’ voice cracked as he spoke.
“God, Chris, I never meant to. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Andrianne said over and over as she leaned forward and embraced her brother tightly.
“Andy, promise me you will never leave me. I have no one else other than you. Please don’t leave me.” Chris whispered between sobs as he held his little sister close to him. His body trembled as she pulled away from him. With the pad of her thumb, Andrianne wiped her brother’s tears.
“Don’t cry.” Andrianne said softly. “I can’t promise you things I know I can never keep. But I promise you that if we can change things now, our future will be different.”
A knock on the door startled the three of them. Piper wiped her tears quickly before the visitors came in. Chris stood up beside Andrianne’s bed. Three men dressed, two of which was still in school’s attire walked in.
“Sir.” Andrianne greeted the oldest man. Mr Smith just smiled.
“How you feeling?” Riley asked.
“Tired.” Andrianne answered one word.
“You’ve been sleeping for two days and you’re still tired?” Riley teased. Andrianne just smiled back at him.
“Andy, we’ve heard. I’m sorry.” Ryder said as he cupped his little brother’s mouth before any other words escape from it.
Andrianne just gave him a quick nod. “Oh, Ryder, Riley, this is my brother Chris, and my guardian, Piper. And that’s their father Mr Smith, he’s my English teacher.” Andrianne said.
“James.” Mr. Smith said correcting Andrianne.
“Sorry. I guess I missed my second meet for the circle. I’m sorry.” Adrianne apologized.
“Hey, I don’t mind.” Ryder said smiling. “One less brat for me to think of. Not that I have not enough trouble with one.” He said nudging his brother. “Just that someone misses you and he began to read classics.” Andrianne and Riley blushed shyly as Riley hit his brother’s hand with full might. Ryder just laughed at him.
“I will be joining you when I am better. I’m past halfway through the book now.” Andrianne spoke. Chris stared at Ryder like he had seen a ghost from his past. The resemblance he has to Ryan is unbelievable.
As Ryder continued to tease Riley with Andrianne every time he had a chance to, Chris and James talked about Andrianne. Piper sat beside Andrianne as they talked together. Andrianne has a feeling that this time her treatment is not going to waste and the pain she will undergo is not for nothing anymore.