Trouble in Paradise?

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Chapter Twenty Four

When I woke up, it was dark outside. I had fallen asleep? How could I have been that tired? It just didn’t make sense. I got up and checked the time. 8:30 pm.

I immediately went upstairs, not bothering to cook anything, and changed in my pajamas. I got into bed, which was thankfully more comfortable, and dozed off into a more peaceful sleep.

I woke up on Friday morning feeling drained and tired, still. Plus it was cold, the heater not seeming to do the trick of warming up the house. I contemplated going to school or not as I went downstairs to make myself breakfast. I should’ve eaten last night, but I was completely and utterly exhausted.

I cooked myself some yummy bacon before serving it up on a plate. It was early in the morning, and I didn’t have to be at the bus stop for an hour and a half. I didn’t know if I could be bothered going to school, especially considering the fact that I didn’t feel very well.

I decided to take the day off, ringing up to make an appointment with my doctor. She could give me something to make me feel better. After I booked an appointment for two o’clock in the afternoon, I was free to lounge around all day while watching Game Of Thrones.

At around one, I decided it was best to start getting ready. I put on some casual and comfy jeans with a nice warm black sweater and some converse shoes. I grabbed my keys and phone before walking outside, locking the door behind me.

I could deal with walking to the clinic, I knew where it was. So I decided to walk, since I didn’t have my license yet and I didn’t really drive as much as I should of.

Anyway, it took forty five minutes to walk to the clinic, and I still had time to spare before my appointment. I sat in the waiting room, playing silly games on my phone, before the doctor came in and announced my name. “Stephanie Arnolds?”

“That’s me,” I muttered, standing up and following the doctor to her little office filled with posters of body parts.

Comforting.

I sat down on the bed, a sheet of paper covering the place where I sat. She asked the standard questions, my date of birth etc., and then asked me about my symptoms.

I had known this doctor for years, she was a close friend of my mum. She had been there all those years ago, delivering the first round of bad news.

I told her of the tiredness, the weakness, the sweating and the always feeling cold. She wrote these notes down on a clipboard as I recounted anything strange. Her eyebrows furrowed as I kept going, not exactly making me feel confident.

“Do you mind if I keep you here for a while? I’d just like to run a few tests, if you don’t mind,” she said, looking me in the eye.

“Take any tests needed, I’ll stay here for as long as needed,” I replied, a nervous feeling stirring in my stomach. She nodded and typed some things into her computer while I stared at the informative posters that were littered on the walls of her office.

Two hours later, I was free to go. Doc said she would call me later tonight or tomorrow with the test results. I walked back home, and by then it was starting to get dark. Grey clouds rolled in, indicating that a storm was brewing. The rain started shortly after I entered the house.

The house was still empty, so I just walked upstairs and collapsed on my bed, enjoying the soft comfort. I decided that I was hungry so I quickly grabbed a snack from downstairs before I went back up to my room.


My weekend was spent very productively.

By that, I mean I lazed around and did absolutely nothing productive.

Monday morning rolled in, and I was up early. My sleep schedule was currently not a schedule, meaning I wake up whenever my brain feels like it. I should probably set an alarm. Nah.

Anyway, I packed all my books and homework into my bag along with some healthy and nutritious lunch (leftover pizza). I chilled around the house for a while before I walked to my bus stop.

The bus ride was short, and within no time I was at school. Seconds after I was off the bus, I was attacked and engulfed into a bear hug.

“Stef! We missed you so much!” Blake said, squeezing the dear life out of me.

“I would rather not have broken shoulders, thanks!” I replied sarcastically, patting him on the shoulder. Blake was like an excited puppy: cute and sometimes stupidly happy.

“Welcome back to hell, you’ve been missed,” Jordan greeted me with a British accent (why?), acting posh and offering an arm to me.

Xavier was there too. “I’m really sorry about these two, they’ve had more than their needed daily intake of sugar.”

I snorted. “I can tell,” I said, inclining my head towards them. He offered a small smile and a nod.

I even saw Ethan, who just nodded as a tiny sign of a greeting. Well, it was better than nothing.

“Where were you? We were worried sick! You could’ve been kidnapped! Or-” Blake started to yell dramatically but was interrupted. By me.

“I was off on an adventure, battling zombies and fighting crime while driving race cars. All at once,” I said smugly, dusting some non existent dirt off my shoulders.

“Whoa! Teach me, master! I am your student, teach me your ways,” Blake replied, bowing.

The bell rang and ruined our little drama scene...

How sad.

I ruffled Blake’s hair before spotting Belle, who was now walking over to us. She gave Blake a big kiss, making Jordan, Xavier and I pretend to gag.

We all left to give them some privacy.

“Amber is not going to be happy with me,” I muttered, mentally kicking myself.

“Why?” Jordan asked, him and Xavier seeming to be walking next to me as we headed to class.

“I missed the soccer game on the weekend, even though we probably lost. Coach will be pissed too, damn it,” I said, groaning.

“Sucks for you,” Jordan shrugged.

I laughed sarcastically. “So sympathetic.”

“Yeah, yeah,” he replied, shaking his head with a smile. “Wanna come with us ice skating this Sunday? We have nothing better to do.”

I mentally checked my schedule of events planned, which currently had no events planned. “Sure, even though I can’t ice skate. At all.”

“It’s fine, we’ll teach you. I am the best at ice skating, trust me,” Xavier declared.

Jordan scoffed. “As if. I challenge you to a skate off.”

“It’s on.”

I left them bickering in the middle of the hallway, silently laughing to myself as I made my way to the classroom that I needed to be in.

Recess came by quickly, and before I knew it I was being approached by Ethan, and he did not look happy.

He came closer until he was very close to my face, inches away, and he had a nasty - yet somehow hot - scowl on his face.

“Need something?” I said idiotically.

“Don’t you even think about telling anyone about my mother. I swear-”

“Listen, buddy,” I poked him in the chest. “I would never do that. I’m not that type of person. It’s your business, and you’re business only.”

He clenched his jaw but took a few steps back, nodding to himself.

“I’m sorry,” I finally apologised after a long moment of silence.

“Thanks for the flowers,” he muttered to quietly that I had to strain my ears to hear. He stood there, staring at his feet.

“Will you be at the ice skating rink this Sunday?” I asked him.

He looked up then, staring into my eyes. We locked gazes, and it was a bit weird. “Yeah, why?”

“I’ll see you there,” I said, trying to lighten the mood a little bit.

He was gritting his teeth. “Yeah.. I guess,” he said lowly before walking away quickly.

I didn’t know whether to scoff or roll my eyes at his usual attitude, so I just shut my locker and waited for the school bell to signal the next class.

Skip to lunch, I was sitting at a lunch table with the four guys and Blake’s girlfriend, who seemed uninterested in everyone but Blake.

My phone started ringing, so I excused myself and made my way to the hallway. It was my doctor ringing, and I could feel the perspiration on the top of my brow.

“Hello?”

“Hey Stef, we got your results back,” she said slowly. “Would it be alright if you came in later today? It’s better to discuss this in my office.”

“Sure thing, what time?” I asked, biting my lip.

“Around five should work, I’ll see you then,” she said, before hanging up. I gripped my phone in my hands and sighed, wiping my forehead.

I walked back into the lunchroom and sat down again.

“What was that about?” Xavier muttered to me lowly, seeming to be the only one who had noticed my presence.

“A tense phone call, family stuff, you know,” I replied, not quite telling the whole truth.

He nodded, but obviously didn’t believe me. I didn’t press the issue. However, I did notice Ethan staring at me, as if he could see straight through my lie.

After school, I headed home and freshened up a little bit before walking to the doctors office like I had on Friday. The walk felt good, the fresh yet warm air seeping into my lungs.

Once I arrived there, I waited a few minutes before I was called into the doctor’s office. I greeted her and sat down on the plastic covered bed.

“So, what’s up Doc?”

“The amount of times I get that joke a day would astound you,” she laughed nonetheless. I cracked a smile before it became serious.

“Stephanie,” she said seriously and somewhat sadly. “I’m sorry, but it’s back.”

Suddenly, my parents barged into the office, looking tense, frustrated and distraught. They had been running, and now they were panting. They shut the door and sat down, my mother on the verge of tears.

“I’m sorry, but what’s back? What’s going on?” I said, panicked. Something was wrong, something was very wrong.

“You’re leukaemia. It’s returned.”

My mother cried. My father hugged her. And I just sat there, shocked and angry.

I beat this fucking disease once, and now it’s returned?

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