MY BIGGEST FEAR had come to life and I couldn't move or do anything about it. I was completely frozen on my spot.
"I'll leave you two to talk things out," Asher said and quickly walked out of the room.
Nick was stood by the door the whole time and didn't bother moving. "Why didn't you tell me?" he asked calmly but quietly.
"I-I," I began but I could not find the right words.
He picked up the books from the floor and walked towards the bed where he gently placed them and took a seat.
"I was worried about you when Asher told me you'd been hospitalised so I thought I could bring you your homework and spend some time with you," he said as he looked at me so intensely that I had to look away. "But then I find out this."
My breathe was logged in my throat and I couldn't say anything. I just sat there and listened.
"I never knew you were only playing me for a fool and planned on leaving me just when I realised that I....." he abruptly stopped talking.
"That you what?" I pestered.
Nick ran a frustrated hand through his hair. "That I'm a fool. Gosh this is why I promised myself I would never date again," he tugged at his hair pretty hard. "I should have stuck to the promise I made to myself after Hayley passed away in my junior high," he answered instead. "But I made the mistake of trying to live life a little and now it's biting me back."
"I didn't mean for you to find out this way," I said quietly.
Nick stood up and began to pace back and forth in the room. "Were you ever going to tell me?"
I chewed the inside of my cheek and bit my bottom lip. "I...." I began.
"Thought as much," he spoke with a weird calmness as he sat back down.
I fiddled with my hands nervously because he was right. I never planned on telling him in person, I was going to write him a note or letter explaining everything instead. Weak, pathetic and stupid, I know.
"How did she die?" I asked referring to Hayley.
Nick was silent as he stared at the wall behind me and I slowly made my way to the bed and sat down next to him making sure to leave a significant amount of space between us.
"You remember those two girls in the portrait?" he asked and I nodded. "Hayley and Kayla snuck out one night to go to this new club that had just opened. I told them not to go alone and for them to wait for me or Kai, heck even Jake would have sufficed," he said as he tugged on his hair hard, "but they didn't listen, they never did anyway," he smiled remembering them.
"That night I waited for them to come home but they never did, instead I received a phone call from the hospital telling me that they were involved in a car accident and Kayla had died on the spot while Hayley was in a critical condition," he choked on his words as a tear rolled down his cheek and he quickly wiped it away. "By the time I got there, she had already passed away."
Whoa! That made me feel like a totally selfish person for wanting to put him through that again.
"And the guy who did it was a drunk driver who-who happened to be none other than my abusive bastard of a father."
Tears were now full on rolling down his cheeks and my heart tugged hard. I felt tears begin to well up in my eyes.
"He was arrested but the asshole only saved six months with community service because he was rich. But not once did he ever give us a dime," he sobbed, "that day I vowed to make sure that everyone got the justice they deserved and that's why I decided I was going to become a criminal lawyer in order to fight for people like my sister and Hayley who didn't get the justice they deserved."
Unconsciously, I placed my hand in his and intertwined our fingers together as he continued talking.
"The worst part was that he used to abuse us and my mum when we were young and even though we got a restraining order against him, he still kept on coming back. Then when Kai and Jake's parents were moving here they thought it would be a good idea for us all to move and start afresh," he said looking utterly broken and shattered. "I hate that man for what he took away from me, from my mum and Leah and from Hayley's parents." he finished and I pulled him into a hug as he cried on my shoulder.
"Please don't leave me too, I need you," he whispered.
"I can't make that promise," I whispered back and he pulled away to look me straight in the eyes.
"But there's a treatment and you're on it right?"
"Yes there is a treatment but I have not been able to find a donor and the chemo was only making me weak," I answered as I looked in his eyes. "Even if I were to find a donor the chances of me surviving the surgery are close to none so I stopped all my treatments."
"You did what?" he nearly shouted and pushed himself away from me, "how can you do that? Don't you care that you're going to hurt all the people that care and love you?"
"I'm sorry," was all that came out.
"Please do the treatment and I'll even get tested to see if I'll be a match," he pleaded with such vulnerability that I almost gave in.
"What if I don't make it in the surgery?"
He kneed down in front of me and took my hands in his, "A lot of people have undergone bone marrow transplant and they've survived, you're no exception to it."
"I'm sorry but I don't want to give myself and everyone false hope that I might live and make it," I answered and pulled my hands out of his.
"Fuck!" he breathed. "If that's what you want, then I'm sorry but I can't support you and watch you wither away in from of me when I damn well know I could have done something."
Nick stood up and walked towards the door. He gently placed his hand on the handle.
"Don't go," I pleaded.
"I need time to clear my head," was all he said before he walked out of the room just as tears fell from my eyes.
I sat there staring at the door crying until I couldn't cry anymore and until I lost track of time.
Asher gently opened the door and poked his head in. "Can I come in?" he asked quietly.
I nodded my head and he opened the door as he fully came into view and took me in.
"I saw Nick as he left and now seeing you gives me the impression that things didn't go as you had planned then to," he said as he lay down next to me on the bed and pulled me into him.
"He hates me," I spoke, "Gosh why am I so stupid and keep making the same decisions that leave me all alone and fucked up?"
Ash turned to look at me with his mouth agape. "You cussed! This must really be affecting you that much."
I pulled away from him at stared at him incredulously.
"Seriously that's all you got out of what I just said?" I asked raising my eyebrow at him.
"No I heard you," he answered, "and trust me he doesn't hate you because if he did then he wouldn't have walked out of here with tear stained cheeks and bloodshot eyes. He just needs time to comprehend everything and he'll come around."
"That's what you always say, first it was about James and now Nick," I said as I threw my hands in the air.
Asher looked taken back for a second before he composed himself. "I'm just trying to be optimistic here."
I sighed because I had no right to be angry with him. "But what if he doesn't come around? Then what? I'd have ruined something beautiful and pushed away two of the most important persons in my life," I said as tears brimmed in my eyes.
Asher pulled me even closer to him than humanely possible and I leant my head on his shoulder.
"James doesn't hate you, you've just put him through a lot of shit and pulled the wrong strings but he still loves you and he'll come around soon, trust me," he spoke softly, "and for Nick, he just needs time to get the fact that the girl he loves is about to die and he can't do anything about it. Guys are as much complicated as girls when it comes to emotions and that stuff."
I pulled away and stared into his turquoise blue eyes. "I'm going to make things right."
"I'm going back on chemo and I pray it works considering I'm far gone."
Asher was bewildered as he tried to gauge if I was joking or being completely honest and when he realised that I wasn't joking, he pulled me into a tight bear hug.
"I can't believe you are agreeing to treatment all because of a guy when not even I your best friend and family couldn't do it," he said in my ear. "You're lucky I love you otherwise I would be completely pissed off with you and I would have stormed out of here," he joked and placed a soft kiss on my forehead.
"I know and I'm sorry," I said. "But I'm going to make things right this time and I can start with chemo and hope for the best that a donor comes knocking down on my door," I joked and poked him in the cheek.
"You'll find a donor, just be optimistic and smile like crazy," he said laughing.
"Did I ever tell you how much I love you?" I asked.
"Nope! But I don't mind hearing you say it over and over again," he said with a cheeky grin, "I could even record it and make it my new ringtone."
"I take it back, I don't love you at all."
I rolled my eyes but smiled because for the first time, I actually had the drive to live and it felt amazing.
"I'm going to call your parents and tell them the good news," Asher said as he walked out of the room with his phone pressed against his ear.