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Chapter 15


“Oh, you’re kidding me...” I chuckle as I make my way to the door, and of course when I open it there she stands, a jar of flour in her hand and a huge ass grin on her face. “The pantry, Mia? Really?”


I feel happy.

After months of misery and pain, I finally feel happy. I think I forgot what that was like, to be honest.

“Hey...” her soft voice vibrates against my skin and I immediately feel the smile crossing my lips, just hearing her calms my heart.

“Good morning, sleepyhead,” I whisper before brushing some hair out of her face, and she instantly nestles into my neck, a quiet yawn escaping her throat as she rubs her nose against my skin.

“Hmm...” she moans into my neck while I run my fingers through her hair, trying to sort out the mess she created while sleeping. “What time is it?”

I can’t help but watch the way she throws her arm around me, cuddling closer to me in an attempt to stay comfortable. It amuses me, since usually, I’m the one that sleeps in. But ever since that night, ever since we both just did what we wanted to... Things have changed. I have changed. Dr. James is afraid I’m too dependent on her, which is probably true, but I just can’t help myself... When he suggested that I stay away from her two weeks ago, I almost lost it. The sole thought of not having her to come home to has me terrified, I can’t even imagine life without her by now.

And I know that it’s wrong, I know I shouldn’t let myself rely on someone else, but I can’t change it. I mean, just look at her, the hair wildly sprawled across her face, her lips curled into this tired smile that just takes my breath away... It’s mesmerizing as hell.

“It’s ten A.M....” I finally answer, and she immediately sits up, her eyes opening in a flash and taking in the room like she just got kidnapped.

“What? Ten?! Why didn’t you wake me?! How did I even sleep this long?!”

“Hey,” I chuckle, “would you calm down?” I gently tug at her elbow, letting her fall on top of me with a thud.

“Link!” she squeals, “We have to get up!”

I can’t help but laugh when she tightens her legs around my waist, straddling me properly before pouting like a little girl.

“Why? Where do we have to go?” It’s stupid to ask, really. I know she wouldn’t forget this.

“Link...” she whispers with a sympathetic expression on her face, her hands intertwining with mine which she then rests on her face, letting me feel her warm skin. She’s been doing that a lot, apparently it’s how she gets me out of my nightmares, not that I remember much of it when I wake up from the demons that haunt me. It’s been better lately, really. But I know it probably won’t just disappear. I’ll deal with this for the rest of my life.

“I know, I know...” I finally give in, pulling her down to me to press a swift kiss on her lips. She tries to move back, but I can’t help myself, I just have to feel her again, and so I sit up with her, pressing her against me with my arms circled around her back. It’s the same spiel every morning, but I honestly feel like I’m addicted to her touch, like I just can’t live without it.

“Come on, handsome, I’ll make you breakfast...” she whispers against my lips, but I keep on attacking her, keep stealing kisses she obviously cannot deny me. “Link...” she breathes out, “I’ll even make you pancakes if you get up now.”

That makes me laugh, and I can’t help but pull back again before I study her with a raised brow. “Pancakes? When did we ever make pancakes?”

But she just grins, her flat palms on my chest pushing me back on the bed, the devilish grin on her face igniting every fiber of my body before she speaks, “Never. But it did distract you, didn’t it?” she winks before jumping off of me, leaving me speechless and absolutely gobsmacked as she runs into the living room, her laugh echoing around the apartment.

“Fucking hell...” I mutter to myself before I jump up as well, yelling after her, “You know this apartment isn’t all too big, right. I’ll find you!”

I can’t help but laugh when I enter the living room, her voice resounding from the kitchen, “Who said I’m hiding?”

But as I enter the kitchen I can’t see her anywhere, and for a second I’m actually confused, but then I hear a noise coming from the corner of the room.

“Oh, you’re kidding me...” I chuckle as I make my way to the door, and of course when I open it there she stands, a jar of flour in her hand and a huge ass grin on her face. “The pantry, Mia? Really?”

She laughs again and I can’t help but join in, shaking my head as I place a quick kiss on her forehead. “You’re crazy, you know that?”

“I do. It’s a good crazy, though. Right?”

“Right. Very good crazy.”

Her response is a simple wink before she slips through the door frame, slapping my behind on her way back into the kitchen. And as always I can’t help but watch her work her magic, as she always does. The way she cooks should be illegal, she looks so fucking good and magical with everything she does, it’s hard not to study her 24/7. Especially ever since we accepted our attraction it’s almost impossible to stay away.

I don’t understand how I ended up here, living with this beautiful, extraordinarily strong woman, who even cooks me goddamn breakfast, I mean... What on earth is happening?

She’s quiet during breakfast, which once again is uncharacteristic for her. I don’t know if it’s because of our trip in a few hours, or if it’s something else that’s bothering her. I’ve been trying to ask her more about herself, although I know we still mostly focus on me in our conversations. She always insists that it’s okay and that she’d tell me when she had something to say, but still. Sometimes it seems like I don’t know everything I’d like to know about her.

“What’s your plan for the week?” I ask, taking a sip of my coffee.

But she just bites into her sandwich, her eyes set on her cup of tea which she stirs with the spoon in her hand, and she takes a few moments before she answers, “I’ll be out of the house tomorrow.”

That’s new. She’s usually home on Tuesdays, the only reason she leaves the house that day is to go grocery shopping.

“Okay... For how long?”

“Um... I don’t know. I think at least half the day?”

“Where are you going?” I don’t want to sound controlling or anything like that, it’s just so weird that she’s closing off this way. She’s usually an open book.

“Doesn’t matter,” she mumbles before taking a sip from her tea, and this just makes me raise both my eyebrows.

I’ve gotten to know Mia over the past few weeks, and there are two things that became more than obvious during that time. One: Mia isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. She opens up easily, tells you what she feels and offers her opinion. Two, and this is the more prominent one: Mia is not afraid, in general. She takes on every battle like a warrior princess, like Xena herself she slashes every obstacle that gets in her way.

“I’m sorry, I...” she finally sighs, and once again I can only envy her for the strength she carries around every single day, “You know, my brother once said something that just stuck in my brain. I’m scared of it sometimes.”

She fiddles with the string of the teabag in her cup, and I can’t help but take her hand in my own, maybe it shows her she can open up to me.

“He said that I’m too strong for my own good. That I shut people out by not wanting to lay anything on them, by trying to hide my feelings... He said it made me cold, and apparently I seem calculated at times,” she clears her throat as she studies the rings on her fingers.

“Who said that to you?!” I can already feel the anger curse through my veins at her words.

“It’s not important,” she says, her voice now back to the confident one I’m used to.

“It is, though. Because it’s not true, I hope you know that. You’re not cold, Mia...”

“I sometimes feel like it. But I’m not ashamed of that. If being cold means other people don’t have to deal with my shit, then it’s worth it. I just don’t want to seem heartless”

She says it with so much conviction, so much pride, that I don’t dare fight her on it. “If you feel that way... But you’re not cold or heartless, Mia. You’re warm, like the sun.”

If I can’t fight her on it, I surely can tell her that she’s wrong about that particular part. Because truth be told, I understand what she means, but I can’t imagine anyone ever calling her a cold person. It’s not only rude and unfair, it’s also plain wrong.

“And you’re cheesy.”

Knowing where it’s coming from I decide to ignore the diversion. “And I hope you know you can talk to me about things, right? I know with my situation it might not feel like it, but I want to know things...”

It seems like I hit a nerve with that statement, because she almost guilty smiles back at me, and even though I do feel a bit hurt by the thought that she might not think that I can deal with other people’s issues as well as mine, I also can’t really blame her for it. I haven’t exactly been the poster boy for mental health these past weeks...

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to make you feel weak or anything, it’s just... I don’t know what to think of it myself, you know.”

And I realize that this is it. This is my chance to help her, for once, and not the other way around.

“Maybe I can help you figure out what to think.”

She smiles at me, and it seems like she’s back to her old self, except for this hint of vulnerability that’s running across her features before she takes a deep breath.

“My grandpa hasn’t been doing too well for a while now... And I know my mom, as well as my grandma. They’ll do anything to fight for him, to make sure he gets the care he needs...”

“It sounds like the women in your family have the tendency to do that,” I can’t help but comment, and luckily it makes her smile before she continues.

“Yeah, but the thing is... Grandpa wants to make sure he won’t get resuscitated if something were to happen in the next weeks. He’s a very proud man and doesn’t want my grandma or my mom to have to deal with him when he’s sick.”

It’s an issue doctors deal with a lot. A lot of patients sign a DNR, much to their family’s dismay. It’s painful watching their loved ones go through it, the grief is a constant reminder that doctors aren’t god. They do what they can, but sometimes it’s just out of their hands.

“Well... It’s his life. And as painful as that may be, he should have the right to decide what to do with it.” I can’t help but swallow from the statement, knowing I haven’t exactly made the best decisions in that department.

“Yeah, I know...” she sighs, “Still, it just... It hurts. I can’t imagine life without him. And I don’t know how to comfort my grandma or my mother. Family is everything to both of them, and I don’t know how they’d deal with it, if...” Mia swallows heavily and clears her throat before she continues, “...if something were to happen to him.”

Her voice becomes quiet while she speaks, although it’s obvious she’s trying not to show too much of what’s going on inside her head.

“Mia...” I squeeze her hand. “We don’t have to do our trip today. We can do it another time if you want to go see your grandpa instead...”

“No, no...” she immediately chimes in, “We agreed on it. It’s important we do this, I want to. I have the whole day with him tomorrow, if you’re okay with that, that is...”

“Of course.” And once again I feel so utterly useless, knowing that she has to worry about me, as well as everything else...

She suddenly gets up from her chair and walks over to me, her arms sliding around my neck she slips onto my lap. And just looking at her, at her sympathetic and calming eyes, I’m blown away by her altruistic personality. Here she is, telling me about her issues, and still, she worries about the one thing that could make me uncomfortable.

“Are you ready for this?” she asks, her fingers running through the hair on my temple.

I want to scream no, no I’m not. I want to cry and break down, because fucking hell am I not ready to do this. But I promised, and I owe it to her to at least try. “I guess.”

“You’re on the right path, Link... You’ll be fine.” She presses a kiss on my lips and immediately, I believe her. At least for a moment.

And so it happens that about an hour later Mia parks the car in front of a large patch of grass, and immediately my insecurities flare up, that panic running through my veins as I look out onto the bright green grass.

“Link...” Mia’s fingers run through my hair, her voice calm and collected as I turn to look at her. “You’ll be fine. I’m here. You can do this.”

I can only nod my head, which apparently gives her the sign she needs to get out of the car, and within seconds she opens the passenger door, her outstretched hand appearing right in front of me.

“Come on,” she speaks in a soft voice, and I just focus on her dark blue eyes as I take her hand, letting her guide me through this.

We both don’t say a word as we walk over the wet grass, the soft soil giving in with every step we take. I can’t help but watch the blades of grass wave left and right with the wind, it’s almost hypnotizing just watching them move beneath me.

“We’re here...” Mia comes to a stop, her hand squeezing mine until I finally look up, my eyes settling on the large marble stone in front of us.

Dr. Mary Joan Grey & Dr. Harvey Alexander Grey is written in bold, italic letters, right above the date of death, the date that changed my life in the worst way imaginable.

I get on my knees in front of it, my hand still firmly tucked in Mia’s as I take a deep breath, steadying my voice before I speak.

“Hey mom... Hey dad.”

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