Chapter 1 - The Dark Horizon
The cold breeze of the calm spring day soothed the girl who sat on the front porch of her home. The sun was rising, colors of blue, purple, and pink painted the sky like watercolors.
The girl by the name of Asterin sipped on her hot coffee with eyes filled with tears, a small frown plastered across her lips as she stared at the sky above her that could be easily mistaken for a beautiful piece of art. Small tears fell from her eyes and she let them fall not caring a bit to wipe them away.
Sounds of footsteps coming near interrupted the silence. "¿Que estás haciendo aquí afuera?" It was her mother standing in the doorway with a concerned expression, noticing the tears rolling down her daughters cheeks.
"I just wanted to be alone for a bit." She sighed, watching the steam of her coffee dissolve slowly into the air.
Her mom sat next to her now also looking at the sunrise. "El sol es muy bonito." She looked back at Asterin who's frown had deepened a bit more than before.
"I don't think so." She stated with slight firmness lacing her tone. Ignoring the look her mom gave her she got up from her place and quickly went back inside her house.
"Asterin!" Her mother stopped her as Asterin had reached the first few steps of the stairs. "¿Quires hablar conmigo?"
Asterin groaned. "No I don't." She continued going up the stairs to go to her room. Once she was in her room she closed the curtains of the window in her bedroom, covering the suns rays from her view.
The sun reminded her too much of her sister.
It had been two years now.
Two long years since she has last seen her sister, Amara. The last time she saw her smile. The last time she's heard a sarcastic joke come out of her snarky mouth. The last time she felt her comfort. Two years since she saw her sister go into the surgical room lying in a hospital bed while dressed in those hospital gowns.
She remembered it as clear as day.
Asterin had been worried all day two years ago. She was anxiously tapping her foot against the floor of the hospital, sitting on the seat next to Amara's hospital bed. "Ay hermana todo va estar bien, cálmate." Amara had said on the day of the surgery, trying to reassure her younger sister.
"No puedo calmarme." Asterin sighed, rubbing her forehead. "I'm just worried, they are cutting into your head." She started biting at the ends of her nails.
"It won't be the first time, remember? They have gotten a tumor out before." She smiled at her but Asterin didn't return it and looked down at her converse. "Asterin, mírame." She looked up from her shoes and met her sisters soft, brown eyes. "It will be fine, they will just take it out and I'll be ok. This is going to help me." She reached for her hand. Asterin hesitantly placed her hand in Amaras, squeezing it not knowing it would be the last time she would hold her hand.
A doctor had entered the room after knocking. "Time for surgery. You ready Amara?" The doctor smiled at her patient.
"I guess." She smiled back, kindly.
As they started to take Amara away down the hallway she said one final thing to her sister. "Te quiero! I'll see you when I'm out!" She smiled from the old hospital bed, waving at Asterin.
A couple of hours had passed when Asterin and her mom received the news, apparently during the surgery Amara had terribly seized and was declared brain dead. They claimed they did everything they could have done. Asterin shut herself out from the world after that, she felt like she lost part of herself. Most of the time she just stayed in her room or went to party's to get drunk and/or high out of her mind.
Everyone always told her that her sister was in a better place, that she's not suffering anymore. This made her even more upset because, who were they to say those things if no one knows how death feels, not until their heartbeat fades.
She just wished she held Amaras hand tighter that day.
Asterin cried into her pillow completely unaware a boy not too far away from where she lived was also feeling grief, not the grief for another person but grief for himself.
Haden took off his beanie, exposing his head that barely had any hair on it since it had been growing for a bit for the first time in years. He had just came back from a doctors appointment a couple of hours ago. The doctors had come back with terrible news.
Haden had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which is cancer in the bones when he was fourteen years old, now he was seventeen.
Hearing the words of the doctor that was treating him since he was first diagnosed, Dr. Kenny, didn't exactly shock him.
Over the past few months his cancer wasn't very active since his leg amputation a few months ago. So, going to this appointment he was hopeful for good news since it was only a checkup on how he was feeling and to see if the cancer had increased and he felt hopeful for the first time in five years, going to an appointment.
A couple of hours ago, Haden laid down on the hospital bed staring up at the plain, white roof, counting each tile. "Hunny." His mom said to catch his attention. He hummed in reply. "Whatever happens we are here for you, ok?" He turned his head to look at his parents.
"I know." He muttered, not taking his eyes off of the roof, keeping count.
A knock was heard through the room meaning that his doctor was here with news. "Hello, Haden how are you feeling today?" He asked but he didn't carry his usual smile that he always had on his face when he saw Haden.
"Ok, I guess." He shrugged, sensing something wrong.
Dr. Kenny nodded and pursed his lips. "So I've looked at your lab results and-" he stopped talking to take a deep breath in. "The cancer cells have suddenly come back terribly and we are going to try chemotherapy again." Hadens face completely fell. "I'm so sorry to say this." His parents both let out cries of pain for their son.
Hadens face didn't have one trace of emotion. "Again?" He swallowed thickly.
"I'm so sorry, kid" His family's eyes were now spilling tears next to Haden.
Hadens face was still blank. "Uh, thank you, Dr. Kenny." He gave him a tight lipped smile.
Dr. Kenny had a very sad expression on his face since he grew to care for Haden over the years of treating him. "I'll leave you now." He left out the door.
He didn't exactly know how to feel. All those years suffering from chemo, and him trying to be strong to survive this terrible disease felt like nothing. He didn't want to go through all of it again, he couldn't help but feel terribly overwhelmed.
The drive back to his house was extremely silent, his parents and sister too afraid to say anything that could upset him.
Once Haden entered the house he left as quickly as he could with his prosthetic leg to his room. He flopped onto his bed with a sigh. All he wanted was to have never gotten cancer in the first place. He wished to be normal for once. To go about his day without a worry on his mind. To live his life.
Suddenly he felt salty tears sliding down his cheeks. "Haden? Sweetie?" His moms broken voice said from the other side of his closed door. He kept quiet, wanting to be alone.
"Cameron, he probably just wants to be alone right now." His dads voice that held a French accent was heard, talking to his mother.
"Come in." Haden had called out, wanting to tell them something.
"Comment allez-vous?" His dad asked him.
"Terrible, I wanted to speak with you two and Camille as well, if you could get her in here." They called for his twin sister and she soon arrived. Haden say up on his bed with his head being rested on his hands. "I don't want to do chemo again." Their faces all morphed into despair.
"What do you mean by that?" Camille's voice broke.
He sighed and rubbed his forehead. "You know what I mean."
"You can't." His mother shook her head vigorously, not believing what her son is saying. "Please this about this, Haden." She knelt down to his level, tears in her eyes. "Think about how this can save you for good, and you'll have the future you've always wanted." She cupped her hand around his face, wanting, no needing for him to change his mind.
"I'm sorry, but I've already made up my mind, and nothing will change it, I will not suffer the way I did before, if I die from the disease I want to be happy not in pain lying on a hospital bed." His face showed as if he were unfazed by his own words that caused the hearts of his family to break awfully. "Now, please, I'd like to be alone." His mom got up and stared at her son, her bottom lip between her teeth as if she was trying her hardest not to sob at that very moment.
They all left without another word. I mean what else could they say?
Now, looking out of his window, he saw the bright sun lighting up the sky no signs of darkness around. What used to be a safe place for him now made him annoyed. He pressed his lips into a thin line and closed the blinds, the darkness enveloping his room as he cried silently on his bed.
So, the two teens laid in bed crying softly. They had lost all hope of happiness and relief as they sat alone far into the darkness.