8: The Note

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"Mom?" she calls, louder than she's usually comfortable being. There's no response. 

Where is she? She has to be in the house; her car was in the driveway, like usual. 

Autumn's heart thuds in her chest. She sets her things by the door and slowly wanders around, trying not to make too much sound, as if she’s afraid of what might be lurking nearby. 

A piece of paper flutters on the table from a gust of wind through the open window, and she jumps. She picks it up. Phew. Maybe her mother went on a bike ride or something. 

My dearest Autumn - 

Please forgive me. I'm just too afraid. I don't want to watch you suffer any longer, though you say you're okay. I love you always, and I'm sad I'll never get to watch you grow up, but even if I hadn't done this, I wouldn't have gotten to, and that's what drives me away. I won't stand around and watch my daughter die. 

I love you always. 


Autumn rereads the note. Is this a suicide note?? Or is she simply abandoning her? Autumn doesn’t want to know the answer. 

Her first instinct is to cry. She is lonely. Her mother has gone, possibly forever, and she now has no one to look after her and comfort her. 

But in an instant, she is angry at her mother. She said she loves her, but if she had, why wouldn't she comfort her own daughter in the last few years of her life that she might have? She is leaving her to die! How could she abandon her like that?

Most of all, she is furious at her stupid cancer that started it all. 

No matter what she is feeling, it doesn’t stop her from collapsing on the floor into tears. She cries until she has no more tears left in her to release. She has never felt more alone. Already she knows in her gut her mother will never be there for her again when she needs her the most. The one person whom she has always trusted was gone.


With much effort, she peels herself from the floor and stares at her bucket list, wrinkled from the dried rain. How could she possibly do all of it alone?

But, she thinks, there is Adrian.

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