Three Months To Live
Three months is all I have, three months.
Five years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. The same cancer that took my mother. It was quick and sudden. I always thought that I would have more time with her, then the next day, she was gone. Now here I am; I thought that we beat it the last time, that it was gone, now it is back, and it is worse.
Sebastian takes my hand as we cross the road. We both have not said anything since we left the doctor’s room. I don’t know why I am not crying. I am not even sure if I am shocked. All I know is that I am so grateful to have Sebastian here to help me through this.
Sebastian has been my closest friend for over seven years; he was my brother’s best friend. After my brother passed away, he took it on him to look after me. We have been friends ever since then.
It is with heavy hearts that we finally find ourselves sitting in the car in silence. But there is only one thing that now worries me. “Sebastian, what do I do with three months?”
“Kati, I wish I knew the answer to that. I wish I knew what to do to make you feel better and how to take the cancer away.”
He takes my hands in his, I can see that he is just as defeated as I am. He is trying to put on a brave face, but he fails to remember how well I know him. So after a few more moments in silence, he speaks. “What would you like to do with three months?”
“I don’t know what to do with three months.” I think about what I am supposed to be doing. “I am not going to sit in a hospital bed for three months and die. I don’t want people to sit and feel sorry for me.”
“Do you want to do everything you never had time to do before?”
“That is such a cliché. I have done most of the things I would have liked to do.”
He holds a little tighter onto my hands and for a brief moment, I see a smile creep around the corners of his mouth. “That is what I love and admire about you most, Kati; you are happy with just the simple things.”
“If you had three months, what would you do?”
“I would spend them in peace. I would say my goodbyes and leave for some place quiet and away from everything.”
“But I only have you, Sebs. I have nobody else to say goodbye to. I don’t even know where my father is, and it’s too late to start looking anyway.”
Then I see a brightness in his eyes. “Let me take you away. Somewhere breathtaking and peaceful. Somewhere you will be happy and safe. I will spend every last minute with you there. Right by your side.”
“Sebastian, I will get very sick in the end. I won’t be able to do anything; I will be too weak and too tired. I won’t be myself anymore.”
“It does not matter, Kati; I will still be there. I will not leave your side; I promised your brother I would always look after you and I want to look after you.”
“I cannot ask for anyone else to be by my side. But, Sebastian, what if it is only two months?”
“Then I’d say we better get you home so we can pack. But the Kati I know will fight for much longer than three months. Promise me you will not give up, that you will fight every minute.
“I will fight with every single thread of hope I have left in me. Sebs, I don’t want to die.”
Sebastian turns toward me and wraps me in his arms. Then tears start flowing down my cheeks. His arms have always been the safest place for me. When I am pressed against his chest, I do not want to be anywhere else. And I know that I will be seeking his arms more often in the next three months.
After another half an hour we drive home in silence once again. Sebastian holds my hand the entire time. This has changed the outcome of my life; I don’t want this to change him. If I push him away now, it will break both our hearts. I don’t want him to hurt. I need him more than anything now, but is it fair to ask him to give up three months of his life. Put everything on hold for me. He has such a good heart, and I love him for that.
As we finally pull up outside my apartment, I run upstairs to go pack, while he goes home to do the same.
This will be the trip of a lifetime, so I am taking my time to pack and say goodbye to things, not people. If I take one minute too long on all these material things, I lose a minute on something real.
I am ready to say goodbye to all of this. When Sebastian picks me up, I want to be ready to smile; I want to walk out and put all this hurt and pain and everything wrong about the messed situation behind me and close this door. I will not sit and feel sorry for myself and worry about what was or what could have been. I have 1,576,800 minutes, and I am going to make every one of them count.
So as Sebastian returns and helps me carry down my bags, I give a glance over the room and kick the door shut. This life is over, now my three months begin.
“Are you ready to go Kati?”
“I have been ready all my life.”
“Now that is a cliché.”
He gently helps me into the car as if I am a porcelain doll. He might have the hands of a real man, but when he touches me they always seem so soft, as if he is extra careful when it comes to me.
“Do you want to get something before we hit the road?”
“Can we go to the coffee place around the corner? They make the best latte.”
“Something tells me that we might not have enough coffee where we are going.”
“Are you still not going to tell me where we are going?”
“No, it’s not going to happen.”
What he does not know is that I do not give up that easily, I am going to drag it out of him even if I ask him twenty questions. I don’t know what he could have arranged on the short notice that we were driving home from the doctor’s room. Knowing Sebastian, he has got something up his sleeve again.
“Just give me a hint Sebs?”
“No, not telling you.”
“Is it close?”
“Not too close.”
“Is it far?”
“Not too far.”
“Is it a beach?”
“A beach is not peaceful.”
I did not take him for a beach person in any way and I, myself cannot stand all that sand. Then what else can it be?
“Is it at a river?”
“Depends on what kind of river.”
“I did not know you get different kinds of rivers.”
“If you don’t know, then it’s not it.”
“On a farm?”
“That is smelly and definitely not peaceful.”
Yes, I definitely do not imagine him as the farm boy type, he might get his hands dirty but not as dirty as that. So what do I have left?
“Are we camping in the middle of nowhere?”
“I won’t set my foot in a tent.”
And I am so relieved that it is not that, I was not looking forward to all the mud and not even to mention the spider that comes with camping. Guess there is one more thing I can think of.
“Is it in a little cabin in the woods?”
“Do you always ask so many questions?”
“Only when I don’t know the answers.”
He bursts out in laughter as I think I have about exhausted most of my guesses. He has one of the most gorgeous smiles I have ever seen. Sebastian is special in his own way, he can have any girl he desires, but yet he spends his time looking after me. Some days I don’t think that he just does because he promised my brother that he would, it is more like he is doing it for himself.
Then he looks over at me while he rests his hand on my leg. “We are going to drive for a bit, and I promise you that you will like it. I will make sure that you are happy and safe. Please get some rest now; you have had a bit of a day.”
“Sebastian, thank you. If I don’t say it enough in the next couple of months, please remember that you have meant so much to me these past seven years. I am really glad that you came into my life.”
“I am glad you came into mine too. Kati, I would give anything to change places. I would rather take your pain on than let you slip away.”