PROLOGUE - Eight Years Ago
It all started in high school. I was only eighteen. I had everything in the palm of my hands. At this age, I had my parents and a sweet little sister. I was the captain of the cheerleading team. I had superb grades and I had the best boyfriend ever. Most importantly, I was cancer free.
For the first time, in a while, my life was going in a good direction.
I didn’t think it could come crashing down in a matter of days. It started three months before graduation. I was extremely off. My body didn’t exactly feel like my own. I was in a panic state thinking my ovarian cancer returned. The symptoms I had felt seemed all too familiar. I was often bloated, tired, and nauseous most days. I didn’t think it could be anything else other than my cancer.
I could still hear my Mom’s angelic voice speaking. “Vivian, we’re going to the hospital this instant! We’re not taking any chances,” she said.
“Mom,” I whined. I rubbed my upset stomach, feeling the urge to vomit again. “I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want them to tell me...” I trailed off weakly.
“It’s better to know before it’s too late,” my Dad had said. He had seemed so concerned at the time. I should have known it was all a facade back then.
That day in March was one of the biggest life-changing moments in my life. I went to the hospital with the feeling of nostalgia washing over me. I had done this so many times as a child, it was hard to forget the feeling. Some of the doctors even recognized me. It was sad to admit the hospital felt like my home sometimes.
I remember all the tests that were being done on me. I didn’t get my cancer answer right away. I had to wait a few days before they could confirm anything. What I did get was something else. Instead of getting cancer news, I found out I was completely and utterly pregnant.
“Excuse me?” my Dad had said, voice filled with anger and disbelief. His fiery eyes were locked on my bright blue ones. He had never appeared so angry in his life until that day.
“Are you sure?” my Mom asked. She was holding my hand and I had eventually looked away from my Dad’s penetrating stare.
“Yes, Mrs. Weston. Vivian seems to be eight weeks along,” Channie, the nurse said.
Channie would become one of the closest mother figures I had for a while. Her own child would grow up to become my younger sisters best friend. I would love her daughter, Stella, as much as I loved my sister, Freya.
I couldn’t believe I was pregnant though. I was only eighteen and I barely knew what I was going to do with myself. I didn’t even know how to tell my boyfriend I was pregnant. Never did it occur to me that I was pregnant. I had my periods so infrequently because of my ovary problem that I didn’t think it would be an issue.
My body didn’t even look different-- at least, I wasn’t that perceptive of my body. The thought lingered in my mind and that same day, when I arrived home, I immediately went to my room to check my body. I noticed the swelling of my breasts and my stomach felt a lot different. I was so stupid to not consider it.
When it was confirmed that I was pregnant, I had to tell my boyfriend, Cason. Cason and I began dating at the end of our sophomore year. I didn’t even lose my virginity to him until the beginning of our senior year. He loved me so much he was willing to wait. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for me. I was even his longest relationship.
His only relationship.
Cason was intimidating at first glance but underneath that mysterious exterior, he was the most gentle, loving man ever. He and I were almost opposites on the spectrum. Where he was tough and intimidating, I was soft and sensitive. He was quiet and not so talkative while I was a little loud and talkative.
We were very different but we worked well together.
I remembered going to school the day after, feeling extremely nervous. Cason was surrounded by his friends-- the football guys. He wasn’t smiling or laughing like them, rather he was sitting back and listening. As soon as he saw me, a ghost of a smile appeared on his beautiful face.
He stood up and came over to me. His warm hands were placed on my cheeks as he lowered himself to place a chaste kiss on my lips. I smiled at the contact of his lips. He was looking at me like I was the best thing ever.
He said, “Why do you look so scared, baby? Who hurt you?” he asked in a demanding tone. I couldn’t help but smile at him.
“I have to tell you something really important, Cason.” As the words left my lips, my voice grew quieter by the second.
Cason was inspecting me. “We’ll go to the lake after school.”
Fast forward to the end of the day. Cason took me to the lake we had gone to multiple times. It was also the same spot he had asked me to be his girlfriend. We were sitting by the lake with my head on his shoulders. We enjoyed a moment of silence before I broke it.
I was so afraid of telling him I was pregnant. He might have loved me more than anything but that didn’t mean he wanted a kid. We were only eighteen, we didn’t know any better. Cason didn’t strike me as the type to want kids. We’d never even talk about it.
I remember looking into his green eyes. The eyes that were filled with wonder. “Cason,” I began feeling speechless. “I love you so much. I don’t care what you want me to do when I tell you this. Nothing you can say will make me not have it,” I had said flustered. Cason was beyond confused.
“Vivian, I don’t understand.”
“I’m pregnant,” I whispered.
I felt myself crying in an instant. I knew it was from the stupid hormones in my body. This was the first time I did something so unusual. I was crying because Cason didn’t say anything to me. He just stared at me blankly. He embraced me tightly though which caught me off guard. He placed a soft kiss on my forehead.
“If it’s a girl, she’ll be Liana Beau,” he said and paused as if he were thinking, “If it’s a boy, he’ll be Ivan Beau,” he said quietly.
“Cason,” I said laughing while the tears trickled down my face.
I remembered looking up at him thinking he was insane. He had kissed my forehead again. “I will always love you more than anything in this life... but if bullets are being shot our way, I might have to use your body as a shield to protect Baby Beau.” I gasped and smacked him.
“I’m not really good at much, but I will be good to you. I love you, Vivian.”
So it was then, Cason and I accepted we were going to be parents. We had both agreed to not tell anyone. By the time I would start showing, we would be graduating high school. No one would be able to tell I was pregnant. I wanted it to be our little secret.
Cason and I went on day by day. He spent almost every single day with me. Some nights, he would sneak over and sleep over. He was excited to be a dad. My Dad, on the other hand, was still angry. He barely spoke words to me and ignored me. It hurt but I couldn’t force him to speak to me if he didn’t want to.
My Mom was so happy for me. She wasn’t proud of the fact that I hadn’t properly protected myself but she knew she was going to love this baby. I was still not showing as the days passed but my Mom told me that was normal. My stomach felt pregnant but I didn’t look pregnant.
By the time I was sixteen weeks along, I was finally able to see a real forming belly. I kept my belly hidden by wearing flowy dresses or loose shirts. Most days, I would unconsciously touch my belly and remember I had a secret to hide. My girls from the cheer team wondered why I stopped cheer practice and I had to tell my coach. She kept my secret and gave the girls some excuse-- saying I was sick.
I had woke up on Thursday, exactly one week before graduation. I had felt extreme pain in my abdomen. It was so unbearable I had woke up crying that morning. I touched myself and felt something gooey-- blood. Cason was there with me and noticed the blood. I had been past crying. I knew what was happening.
“Baby,” Cason said in a strained voice.
I knew at that moment I wasn’t going to be a mom and Cason wasn’t going to be a dad. I didn’t even listen to the doctors when they told me I experienced a miscarriage. I had blocked everyone out. I was just numb.
One week after everything had happened, I graduated. My parents were overjoyed and my sister, Freya, was telling me she was proud of me. I feigned happiness but inside I was still hurting from the loss of my baby. Things with Cason had spiraled and I could only argue with him. We were in a bad place.
The summer of my senior year went downhill from then on. I had lost my mother from a car accident, lost my father who couldn’t stand a life without his wife, and lost a baby. I learned I had ovarian cancer again. And I became Freya’s new mother figure.
I had even lost the love of my life, Cason.
Thank you for reading this! This story is probably going to have slow updates but it’ll be finished nonetheless. :) Please, vote and comment!!!