Chapter 19 - She Talks To Angels (The Black Crowes ; 1990)

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I woke up before Brendon the next morning, my head still slightly buzzing from what had happened last night. I felt a smile slowly creep its way onto my face as I looked down at the beautiful boy sleeping peacefully in my arms. I leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to his forehead before gently releasing him as not to wake him as I then climbed out of bed. I went over to the dresser that my suitcase sat upon and pulled out my clothes for the day; a simple dark gray t-shirt and a pair of black jeans.

Once I had the clothes on, I took one last look to where my boyfriend was still sleeping peacefully under my blankets, now cuddled to one of my pillows. I smiled softly once more before completely exiting my room and closing the door behind me. I made my way down to the kitchen where my mother was already pouring coffee and my dad was reading the newspaper at the kitchen island.

"S-Some things never change," I said with a soft laugh when they turned to face me. Mom rolled her eyes and poured me a cup of coffee along with Dad's as I went to sit next to him. He was, per usual, reading the stock's section of the paper and the radio in the corner of the kitchen was playing The Black Crowes as my mother gently swayed her hips to the music and sang to the lyrics. I had forgotten how much I liked this song, and watching my mother sing and dance to it again now made me remember why I loved it so much.

"Is Brendon still asleep," my father asked before taking a sip from his coffee.

"Y-Yeah," I said softly, taking a sip from mine as well. "He seems to be r-really tired, I guess."

"I wonder why," I heard my mother mutter under her breath with a small laugh.

My eyes widened and my faced burned bright red as both of my parents began laughing gently at me. "H-Haha, very f-funny, guys," I muttered sheepishly.

"All jokes aside," my mother said gently, "I really like Brendon. Your father and I both do, actually. He's a very nice, respectable young man, much like we raised you to be."

I nodded along with her words, smiling to myself as I took another sip of my coffee. "I'm r-really glad you two like him," I said softly, "because I l-love him. I'd be d-devastated if you didn't approve."

My mother let out a soft gasp and covered her mouth as tears gathered in her eyes. I turned to look at my father who had put down his newspaper and was looking at me with a soft smile. "You love him?"

I nodded as I felt my face heat up a bit more. "M-More than I ever thought I c-could love someone other than the t-two of you."

Mom was full on crying now and Dad had completely abandoned his paper in order to wrap his arms around me. I hugged him back tightly and felt him shudder a bit and when I pulled back, I noticed tears in his eyes as well, which completely threw me off. My Dad never cried, and this shouldn't have been an exception.

"I-Is something else g-going on," I asked in a small voice, looking between both of my parents.

My mom looked over at my dad and closed her eyes, sighing softly. I saw them exchange a small glance before my mother walked over to the radio and turned the volume dial down to where the song was barely audible. "You tell him, George," she whispered softly, leaning against the wall.

I looked at my dad with a confused expression as I removed my arms from around his shoulders. "D-Dad?"

My dad sighed gently, turning to face me completely. "Your mother and I went to the doctor for our regular check ups about a year ago, almost right after we took you to college," he started softly, his hands clasped together in his lap. "Your mother was perfectly fine, as she always is, but there were some problems regarding my health."

I furrowed my brows as I looked over to my mother, who was letting tears shamelessly fall from her eyes as she kept her eyes downcast to the floor. I looked back to my dad, who was shaking his head softly. "I guess I wasn't taking good care of myself, Ryan," he said in a voice so soft that I almost didn't hear him. Almost. "My heart and my lungs are damaged," he says quietly, "as well as my liver and my kidneys. I've been on medications for about a year now, and for a while they seemed to be helping."

I knew there was a 'but' coming, and, as much as I didn't want to hear it, I knew I would have to, so I stayed silent while he continued. "But," he started, his voice choking up a a bit, "they don't seem to be working anymore. My kidneys are going to fail eventually, and my heart is probably in the worst condition it could be in for a man my age."

I felt my eyes tear up as I watched my mother completely leave the room, her hand covering her mouth as to not let sobs escape her and make the moment more painful than it already is. "W-Why didn't you t-tell me s-sooner," I asked in an almost whisper, my brows furrowed in part confusion and part anger. "Why d-didn't someone t-tell me?"

"We had literally just sent you off to your dream college, Ryan," my dad said in a pained whisper. "You have this amazing chance to make something of yourself, we weren't going to let anything jeopardize that for you, not even something like this."

I nodded at his words even though I didn't at all agree with his reasoning. I bit my bottom lip harshly to keep from crying as I rubbed my hands over my jeans roughly. "I as-ssume you're t-telling me n-now because you d-don't have m-much time left," I said in a low whisper, not meeting his eyes as I spoke, "s-so how m-much longer d-do you have?"

I heard him sigh softly and, after a long pause, I let my eyes drift up to meet his teary ones. I watched him slowly close his eyes, watching painfully as the tears rolled their way down his cheeks before he spoke.

"I probably won't even make it to the end of the year."

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