Chapter Thirty Seven

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A/N: another graphic from @paperheart_XO along with a video that should be listened to while reading this chapter. (Phone users can play the video while reading).

I had drifted in and out of consciousness for a while, not being able to see or hear anything when I did so. Just brief flashes of light before I went under again, back to square one.

When I finally woke up for real, my eyes were disorientated and my limbs were tired. I struggled to open them with the bright light directly above me, and when I did all I could see was white. My eyes adjusted, and I saw a ceiling that was white. I already made the assumption of a hospital, but my mind couldn't put together why I was here.

I moved my head to the side, and I suddenly heard people talking. I recognised my mother's voice, and soon enough I saw her come into my line of vision. I had to remind myself to breathe as my mind started to panic a little, the beeping on the monitor increasing.

"Shh, Stephanie, calm down," she said, trying herself to remain calm as she bent over me. "You need to be calm and relax."

I listened to my mother and tried my best to calm down, my mind still confused and unknowing. I didn't dare move any of my limbs, and a sudden throbbing in my ankle started to become more and more obvious.

When I spoke, my throat was sore and dry. "Water, please," I pleaded. My mum rushed to the bedside table next to me, picking up a cup of water with a straw. She brought it to my lips, and I greedily downed the whole cup.

"My ankle?" I asked after a moment, my voice still sounding a little scratchy. "It hurts."

"Yes, Stef," my mother said, sitting down on the bed while making sure that she didn't sit on my leg. "You've broken it."

"How?" I asked, my mind still confused. I put the pieces together, I must have hit my head.

"You slipped and fell down the stairs," she replied. "You must have been rushing, and your foot hit a stair in a bad position. You've snapped it, and then you hit your head," she said sadly.

"Did this happen yesterday?" I asked.

"No, three days ago. You were out for one, but they kept you under to do some extensive testing," she replied.

I was fully awake now, and aware. I didn't try to move, I didn't want to. "What testing?"

"They.. A—they..." she looked down in her lap, beginning to sob.

"Hey mum," I said, suddenly feeling guilty. "It's fine. I'm okay. What did they test?"

"The treatments aren't working," she blurted out, covering her mouth with her hand. "It's getting worse, Stephanie. Your cancer is growing."

My heart dropped fourteen miles. I couldn't speak, I didn't know what to say. My whole body seemed to slump, and my face turned from hopeful to depressed in milliseconds.

"No, but it's.." I tried to speak. "It's.. that's a lie.."

"I'm sorry darling," she said, trying to stop the sobs. "I'm so so sorry."

She carefully hugged me, as if I was as fragile as glass. I heard her words, her apologetic and destroyed words, but I couldn't process them. It was like a numbness. I didn't want to die. We stayed like that for many minutes, none of us speaking a word.

My mother sniffed and wiped her eyes, finally calming herself down. "Your father is bringing down some clothes, so he will be here soon. You have some, uh, friends? Visitors? They've been waiting outside."

My blood went cold, and my mood suddenly turned stoic. I nodded. "Let them in." The words were reluctant, and she gave me a hesitant look before standing up.

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