Chapter 46 - changes

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POV Mao

*

When mom opened the door, my heart stopped.

She looked way younger, way happier and way healthier than before.
She dyed her hair blond and changed her glasses, she was a new woman.

When our eyes landed on each other she put her hand over mouth as I unconsciously expected, shocked.

And I knew exactly why...

I've changed so much.

When I left New York I wasn't that skinny, I was "normal" if we can say it like that.
I had more hair than I have now.
I had no nose piercing and I was less pale, less tired, less sick.

The fact that I am dying is so obvious today, way more than it was back then.

It's something that I can't hide anymore.

That's why I understood her reaction.
I look like a ghost right now... We can clearly see that life is slowly going out of my body.

*

Before I could say anything, she hugged me.
It felt odd to be in her arms again, after all this time, but so good at the same time.
It was like a breath of fresh air.

"You lost so much weight..." She murmured, patting my back.
"I know Mom, but I'm okay." I reassured her.

I spotted my old piano behind her, it was at the same place I left it.

And I've missed it.

I remember that every time I would go back from the hospital, the first thing I wanted to do is play the piano during hours and hours.
It was my way to escape reality and get my mind of the pain.

In LA I was able to use Grayson's piano, but it wasn't the same.
Grayson's piano was Grayson's piano.

This one has so much story, so much meaning to me.
My Dad gave it to me for my sixth birthday.
At that time I was just back home from the hospital after spending two months there because of an infection.

My parents, my doctors, me, everyone, we were so ignorant.

It was just an infection, right ?

And deep down I knew it wasn't. But I was too young, too naive and oblivious.
So I used music as a way to escape this weird and uncomfortable feeling that something was up.

Something big.

Something life changing in the worst way. Something that I was going to found out about years later.

When it was already too late.

*

Mom stopped hugging me after a while and stepped back to look at me better. She took my head between her hands and scanned my face.

"I like this piercing on you." She told me.

I smiled.

"Thanks Mom."

She smiled back.

I knew that she was not okay. She could smile wild and tell me everything she wanted, I knew that she was sad and broken and scared... More than she ever have been before.

*

After Mom finally let Ethan and I in, she turned towards him.

"You must be Ethan." She said.
"Yeah." He responded.
"Come here," she told him, giving him a hug. "It's so nice to meet you."

Ethan hugged her back.

Oh I knew Mom was gonna like him, without even knowing him. Because she knew that I was happier, she knew that if I let someone in my life it was for a good reason, it was because this person was special and unique.

So for her, Ethan was part of the family, no matter who he was, what he've done, why he was with me.

*

"I am so happy you are here." Mom told us.

And right at the moment when I was about to answer, I saw him.

Sam.

He was getting out of his bedroom. He was so tall, so handsome, his hair was longer than a year ago, he had grown so much it blowed my mind.
He was no longer the small boy I left behind, but a teenager. A young one, but definitely not small.

Sam looks so much like my dad. Both tall and muscular with tan skin and big blue eyes.
I, personally, look more like my mom. Not that tall, with no apparent muscles, paler skin and brown eyes.

And now, because of leukemia, the gasp between my father appearance and mine is bigger.
My skin is so pale that it's almost see-through. My eyes look darker with the dark purple bags under them.
I look like a skeleton, all skinny and fragile.

Sam was looking at me in the eyes and I could clearly see how shocked he was.
Not because I was here after so much time, he obviously knew I was coming. But because I changed so much that it felt almost like I wasn't the sister he knew and who left him a year ago.

I can feel Ethan's conforming hand on my shoulder, but all I can focus on is my brother's eyes.

The way they slowly filled themselves with tears.

The way they were looking at me like I was a soldier visiting his family after months and months risking his life somewhere in the world without any communications.

The cancer not only changed me.

It changed him too.

It changed him too

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