I jumped out of the car and slammed the door shut behind me, running in the rain away from him. In the darkness rain pounded against the concrete as I ran in heels, of all things. I heard his car door open and him running after me.
I didn't stop, instead pushing myself harder as my tears mixed in with the rain, both now pouring down my face. I felt his hand grab my arm and force me to stop, whirling me around to to slam into his chest. I collapsed against him and he caught me, whispering soothing words to me as we became soaked. He buried his face into my hair and tried to shush me, but his voice was shaky. "It's okay, Taylor, I'll be fine, I promise. I promise, I won't let this take me away from you."
He was trying to be brave for the both of us. We both knew he was lying. But neither of us mentioned it.
Not when when he became sicker and sicker, not when he lost his hair and his skin became more taut against his bones, not even when he was too tired to even look at me.
I prayed for him every morning and night. He got better, he got worse, then better, then even worse. We fought we, we loved, we said goodbyes so many times that it made my head spin. I dropped my entire career along with his just so that I could be there for him, despite his protests. I loved him.
The day before it happened, I was sitting beside his bed, playing with his fingers while he breathed softly beside me, asleep. It wasn't labored, like it had been those past few days, so I was calm, thinking that he was having one of his up days.
"Adults," he said weakly. I snapped my head up to look at his beautiful bright green eyes. "Huh?"
"They say we young people don't know what love is-" He broke off, coughing hoarsely and I hurriedly handed him some water. His hand shook so badly that I couldn't help but cover it with my own and guide it to his lips, ignoring his impatient look. He hated it when I had to help him. He took a couple of long gulps and handed me the glass to put on his bedside table. He cleared his throat, sounding a little better. "They say we don't know what true love is. But I think we've come pretty damned close, haven't we?"
He reached up to touch my cheek and I put my hand on top of his, lacing our fingers together.
"I love you." He sighed softly.
"I know." I closed my eyes, willing the tears not to appear. They'd only upset him. "I love you too."
I hated it. I hated this disease with all of my heart, because I couldn't protect him from it. I wanted to pull him into my arms and keep him away from the cancer, but it was invisible. I couldn't fight it, or beg it to stop. And the one guy who could stop it seemed to be either deaf, or enjoying my pain.
"I want you to do me a favor, Taylor."
I opened my eyes, trying to force down the ache in my throat. "Yes?"
"Write me a song."
I was silent for a moment, looking at our entwined hands. Before this, we had always written songs together. Our number one hit, Forever Yours, came when we got back together after being apart for a year. I felt like he was trying to send me a silent message.
I met his eyes. They still made my knees turn to jelly, my stomach plummet. They still reminded me of a dark, starry night.
"Okay," I whispered. He closed his eyes. "Thank you," he said softly.
It sounded so final, so complete. As if this were the end of a very long story. I opened my mouth to say something, to try and remove the finalness from the air, but a nurse appeared in the doorway, looking apologetic.
"I'm sorry, Miss Taylor, but visiting hours are over."
"That's okay," I offered a weak smile. I stood up to leave, pecking Danny on the lips, our fingers still entwined. "Bye."
I turned to leave but he fisted his hand, pulled me back with more strength than I thought possible, and scooping my neck around with one hand, he kissed me softly and lovingly, but with a sense of urgency. Finally, he pulled back, looking me in the eyes. "Tell little Luke our story, okay? I love you."
I looked at him, confused, but told him that I loved him too and that I would tell whoever Luke was our story. He said I'd know.
It wasn't until I left the hospital and was halfway to our house that I got it.
The next morning, when I got the call from his parents, I wasn't surprised. I was numb. I couldn't cry, as hard as I tried.