15. Breath of life
A little vision of the sun in the end
But all the choirs in my head sang, no oh oh oh
It's a harder way and it's come to claim her
And I always say, we should be together
And I can see below, cause there's something in there
And if you are gone, I will not belong here
Breath of life - Florence + the machine
Elijah has been amazing. When Scott or Izzy have been using our car he drives me back and forth between school and Allie's, my house and Allie's, his house and Allie's... I've spent a few of those nights in bed with him, just cuddling and kissing. He's been my rock this whole time.
He's the only reason I've been brave enough to face Allie. I've gone to the movies with them eight times now. She keeps wanting to watch this corny romantic comedy over and over. I can't tell you the name of the movie or even what it's about because each time we go I sit in between them and hold hands with them both. Elijah grounds me, and Allie... I just watch her smile at the screen.
For a year she's been my best friend. It's disconcerting having someone else at my side.
I walk into the bathroom and turn the shower on as hot as possible. I slide my pants and sleeping shirt off and step into the shower. I wince as the scalding water runs over my skin but don't move to turn the water down. Pain is good. It means I can still feel.
I let my fingers brush over the scars on my shoulders. The scars on my chest. The ones on my stomach. Down to my thighs. Down my legs. And down my arms.
I lean back against the shower wall and let my eyes flutter shut. Yesterday I finally introduced Allie to my parents.
My mother had to be obvious and ask if Allie is sick. At least Allie didn't hear.
It was amazing though. Scott, Izzy, Allie and I took Caleb to this indoor mini golf place. Allie was in her wheelchair and Caleb and I took turns pushing her around.
Caleb is back at school now. He goes to the Institute, sort of a boarding school except the students are allowed to come home on weekends if their parents are willing to get them of course.
The school is far and our parents are always at work so we don't get to see him as often as we would like.
Sharp banging pulls me from my thoughts and I realize the water is now cold. I must have been in here quite a while. I can hear Izzy's voice from outside the bathroom door.
"Will come on! Some of us want to go to school!" Ha! The day Isabelle and Scott Drayson want to go to school will be the day the sky turns orange and pigs fly off of our roof. Well isn't that a great thought.
I soap up my body and hair quickly then rinse it all off. I step out of the shower and turn it off. My charming sister bangs on the door again and I shout, "I'm almost done!"
Just another charming day in the Drayson house. Except I don't usually shout at Izzy. I should apologize...
I pull on my shirt, boxers, black jeans, and light blue jacket that Allie got me forever ago.
I make sure that the scars on my wrists are covered before I open the door. Isabelle is standing outside of it with an unamused look on her face. I feel my throat clear itself, "uh... sorry. When are we going?"
She pushes past me into the bathroom and before the door closes I can just ear, "10 minutes."
Ha! Isabelle getting ready in 10 minutes. I glance at the clock in my room. Shit, 20 minutes until school starts. I was in the shower for two hours! Suddenly I'm not so irritated with Izzy.
True to her word she's done in 10 minutes. Scott is done in 20. And it takes 20 minutes to get to school.
We get our passes, I tell my siblings sorry and head for art class. The only good thing out of this is that I'll get to see Elijah. I walk into the room and hand my pass to the teacher and sit next to Alice, across from Elijah.
He raises his brow at me but I shake my head and tap my notebook. He nods while our teacher explains to me what we're supposed to be doing.
But I nod at the teacher and I flip my notebook open to a blank page. I write a note to Elijah.
Spent to long in the shower today.
He smiles at me and writes back. You okay?
I nod but don't reply. I need to think and he seems to understand that. That's how I go through today. Only holding on, thanks to my thoughts.
When Will and Izzy and Scoty didn't show up to school I was honestly worried. I was worried something had happened to Will and when I texted him he didn't respond.
But I waited in art and he finally showed up. I don't know if I believe that he spent to long in the shower or not. Will is addicted to school. Maybe it was Scott or Isabelle instead.
I go through the school day feeling on edge. I feel like there is something wrong. But I can't put my finger on it.
At 1:50 Will and I are in our final class, chemistry, when the door opens and Mrs. Black, our school Secretary walks in and hands Mr. Hondale a note. He calls Will and I watch Will get up and grab the note. Before he walks out of the room his eyes meet mine.
I raise my hand and tell Mr. Hondale I need a pass to the bathroom. He rolls his eyes, "Go on Bane."
I feel like I'm walking in slow motion as I race to the office. I finally turn down the last hallway and there's my boy. My arms are around him and he burries his face in my shoulder. I don't care who walks by. My boyfriend needs me.
Finally he pulls away and he says,"Allie's parents called. They want me to meet them at their beach house. Well it's Allie's grandfather's beach house. He gave it to Allie's mom in his will. They kept it because Allie loves it so much. Can... can you sign out of school with me and take me? I don't know if I can drive feeling like this... No never mind. I will just go get the keys from Izzy to my car."
I kiss his cheek lightly. "Let's go."
We're both over 18 so technically we can sign ourselves out of school. Mrs. Black wasn't to happy and said we'd both get failing marks on any assignments we got in chemistry.
Finally we got out to my car and he gave me directions to the cabin. I know the area, it's a half hour drive, out of the city. I feel my foot pushing down on the gas hard. I keep myself in check, only going five over the speed limit. While I drive I put my hand on Will's.
I feel the giant need to comfort him even though I think I know what's in store for him today. "She's fine Will. You'll see."
He nods. We're both quiet for the rest of the trip. Finally I turn down into a camping area where I know there are cabins towards the end. He directs me up a hill, where there is a single cabin over the tree line.
I park in front of it and even before I have the car shut off Will is out of the car and walking to the door of the cabin.
As I step out of my car I can see Allie's parents walking out and hugging. It's as bad as I thought...
I step up to Will's side and put my hand on his shoulder. I can see the tears in his eyes as he says, "Where is she?"
Allie's mom nods down towards the beach. "She likes it best down by the water you know... we just came up here to get you. Come on Will."
Will takes my hand, "Can Elijah come if he wants? She likes him."
I know I should say no. This is their moment. But if Will needs me I will be there to the end.
Allie's parents look at each other before nodding and turn to walk down the other side of the hill.
Even though she's far enough away I shouldn't be able to tell I can see her completely. She's wearing plaid and polka dots. Seems to be her favorite combination.
As we get closer Will's hand begins to shake. I squeeze it and he smiles weakly before pulling away. As we reach Allie her parents sit on one side of her and Will sits on the other. I stand back at a reasonable distance.
Allie looks up and smiles at Will. "I'm glad you came."
He smiles again and brushes her cheek with his index finger. "You need me, I'm here."
She smiles wider, "I thought I'd have more time. But I can feel my... My body shutting down. It's hard to breath, if I sit up I'm dizzy. It's time."
The tears in my eyes are falling into the sand. Will pulls her hand to his lips and kisses it.
Her voice is barely heard when she whispers to Will, "Do two things for me."
He presses his ear to her lips and she whispers into it. He pulls away and looks at Allie's father, "She wants to sit in the water."
Allie's parents and Will get up and Allie's dad picks her up and we move to the water. Allie's dad places her bottom half of her body in the water and lays down next to her. Will and her mom joining them.
Allie's parents whisper to her and I look at Alec the whole time. His tears are falling into the water. Allie looks into my eyes and whispers, "I'm sorry I didn't get to know you. Take care of Will for me. He'll need you even if he doesn't admit it."
My tears fall harder and I nod. She turns to her mom and dad, "I couldn't ask for better parents. You two have given me so much. Maybe in a few years you can adopt a little girl who is perfect. She can have my room. She can play with my things. Just think of me from time to time okay?"
Allie's mom sobs. "You are perfect my baby girl. Our family isn't perfect without you."
Allie smiles, "You talked about adoption before we discovered my cancer. Do it on and dad. I will watch him or her grow up."
Allie's dad kisses her on the forehead gently, "We'll see baby. I love you so much. More than..." He chokes up and Allie finishes for him, "all the fishes in the sea."
She turns her head towards Alec even though I know it's a struggle. "You're my best friend William. The day we met was the day I fell in love with you. I know you don't feel the same but you are my light at the end of this big dark tunnel. You will get through this, you're strong. I love you Alliebear."
Will let's out a sob an kisses her hand again. "I love you Allison."
Allie whispers, I can hear the pain in her voice, "Can you... do that other thing please?"
I can still feel the tears racing down my face, I look at Will and he lays her hand down gently on her stomach and cups her face gently between his hands. To my shock and horror he presses his lips against hers and their kissing. Much like the kiss he and I first shared.
Allie's parents burst out crying and more tears fall from my eyes. I'm jealous... of a terminally ill girl. She has a part of him I will never have...
Will finally pulls away and Allie smiles, "my first and last real kiss... thank you. I love you all. Thank you."
From here I can hear the rattle in her lungs even though I know it's impossible. I know she's taken her last breath of life... She looks at Will and I know the exact moment the light in her eyes dies... when William gasps and rests his forehead against hers. Sobbing her name.
Allie's parents hold onto Allie's other side.
And I, I look up to the sky. Goodbye Allison. I will take care of our boy.