Chapter 21: Revelations

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"Tom, will you just take us home?" I pleaded. He agreed, and we drove quietly to mine and Rob's apartment. We went inside without a word. Rob had stopped to get the mail, and I continued to the penthouse upstairs. I unlocked the door and walked into our kitchen. I set my bag down and brought my head up to see Katie.

"HOLY SHIT!" I screamed.

"Calm down!" Katie replied, laughing.

"You scared the fuck outta me!" I exclaimed.

"Alex." I whipped my head around to see Zack.

"How many times do I have to tell you to fucking leave?" I growled. He chuckled slightly.

"You have no idea. You're life's gonna become a living hell. Rob's just using you," he shook his head. "He doesn't love you."

Zack was just trying to get inside my head.

"No way in hell," I replied through gritted teeth. "He loves me. My life is perfect."

"He's using you. Plus...you know, I'll just let Katie tell you." He chuckled and left.

I turned nervously to Katie.

"What's going on?" I asked, my voice shaking. Katie looked at the ground. For the first time in days, I realized how haggard and worn she looked. Her dirty blonde hair was messy, and her hazel eyes were clouded and glazed. Her cheeks were hollow. She had lost weight.

"Well, when you and Rob went out, I went back to the hotel and took a shower." Where the hell was Rob?
"And then I came back to see Dr. Grieg." Her voice trailed off. "I have cancer, Alex. The doctor said I had about two months to live." It took me about five seconds to register what was going on.

"You...you're a fighter! You can do it Katie I know, yeah!" I said shakily. She shook her head sadly.

"Alex, it's stage four breast cancer," Katie whispered, her voice straining.

"NO!" I shouted. "NOT YOU TOO!"

"Alex, I'm going back tonight."

"NO!" I screamed, my thoughts flooding with emotion. "YOU CAN'T DIE! I NEED YOU HERE! YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND!"

"Alex, you're my best friend too," Katie said softly.

"You can't go! Boston has some of the best cancer centers in the world. I...." My voice trailed off.

"I want to die at home. In Holmes Chapel with my mum and da. And Henry and Miranda. I want to die at home," she repeated, her eyes glazed over.

"Henry...you and Henry," I realized. She nodded sadly.

"Goodbye Alex." Katie got up and wrapped me in a bear hug.

"You're my best friend. You always will be. You've been so supportive, and I couldn't ask for anyone better. Goodbye Katie-Did," I said, squeezing just as hard back. She let me go, and stepped out silently, with one last glance my way.

My mother was dead.
My father was dead.
My sister was dead.
My best friend was about to die, too. I suddenly felt dizzy, and went to lie down. I went into mine and Rob's bedroom and sat on the bed silently sobbing.

"Why?" I whispered to no one in particular. "Why Katie? She doesn't deserve it. She doesn't deserve this hell." I heard a soft knock on the door.

"Alex?" Rob asked. I lifted my tear stained face.

"What?" I snapped.

"What's wrong babe?" he asked, coming over and sitting on the bed. "I saw Katie crying. What happened?"

"Katie has stage four breast cancer, and about two months to live. She's leaving tonight to go back to Holmes Chapel, 'cause she wants to die at home," I tried to suppress sobs. I crawled over to Rob's side pathetically. I put my head on his chest and started silently sobbing again.

"Just stay with me until I fall asleep, yeah?"

"Yeah."

He put a fleece blanket over us and put his arm around me. I could feel his chest rising rapidly, and I could tell, he was silently crying too.
That night I experienced something I never wanted to, ever again.

[dream]
"ROB!" I yell. No answer. "KATIE?" No answer. "HENRY?" No answer. "LOUIS? LUKE? NATE?"

Still no answer. I weave in and out of people trying to find my friends. But I can't. I finally get to the end of what looks like a long, narrow hallway. There are six doors. I go in the first.
Katie is lying on the ground, her eyes wide open and not breathing. I know she's dead.

I go in the next room.
I see Louis writhing on the ground, blood gurgling from his lips, and his cheeks thin. I know he's about to die, too.

I go into the third room. Nate. Like something out of a horror movie. A single knife is protruding from his chest. His eyes glazed over. And he's dead, too.

Henry. He looks peaceful, until I see the bullet hole in the side of his skull. Four dead.

Luke. Blood is foaming at his mouth and he's thrashing on the ground. Then he goes still. Five.

The last room. Zack and Rob. If I try and save Rob, Zack dies. If I try to save Zack, Rob dies. Running out of time. And the trigger is about to be pulled. Rob. Zack. But I'm not quick enough. As I'm about to save Rob.....

*BOOM*

And I'm too late. And now everyone I love is dead.

[end of dream]

"ROB!" I woke up screaming. I felt his arms go protectively around my waist.

"What's wrong?" he asked, panicky and sleepily.

I started shaking.

"I'm just glad you're here," I whispered.

"What happened? Bad dream?" he asked. I nodded, but continued shaking like a leaf.

"All of you were dead," I whispered. "Katie. You. Zack. Luke. Louis. Nate. Henry. All dead in some gruesome way." I slowly tried to sit up, but I was shaking so badly I couldn't even prop myself on my elbow.

"I'll grab you another blanket and a sweatshirt," Rob said. "Maybe you'll stop shaking."

But I knew I wouldn't. Before I could protest, he had taken off his sweatshirt and got a heavy blanket. He came back over and threw the blanket over me, and gave me his sweatshirt. It was nice and warm, and I curled up against him.

"Thank you," I whispered, pecking his cheek.

"You're welcome," he replied. I felt his arms around my waist. His head on my shoulder. His warmth radiating onto me. It was nice, and I hadn't felt like that in a long time. I tried not to concentrate on it, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the disturbing images out of my head. We stated in the same position for about an hour. I kept thinking of Katie. She was always there for me. And I needed to do the same for her. Katie had cancer and two months to live. I had a plane that I needed to catch. She needed me, and I knew exactly what I needed to do. I felt Rob stir behind me, and immediately felt a pang of guilt.

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Well that chapter really depressed me. But anyway, Zack hasn't really appeared much yet, so....so yeah. Sorry bout that! But he'll appear soon I promise. Well...ttyl my Nutella Jars!
-L

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