Chapter 60 - everywhere

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POV Ethan

*

Mao and I were on her bed, in her apartment.

Yesterday we left no long after I came back from her oncologist's office.
She just had to do a few more exams and then we were free to go.
She was able to walk to the car and to stand by herself in the elevator, which is really good, because that means she didn't lost all her strength yet.

Yet...

Now, everything is calm. Mao is very tired and weak, I have her hand in mine and I can't help but notice how skinny she is. Her hand is skeletal and pale, I can see the blue veins through her skin, I can feel her pulse, slow and feeble.
She looks so small next to me, so fragile...
It makes me want to always pay attention to her like a glass statue, to be delicate with her, not to break her.
Because sometimes I'm really scared to break her, to hurt her unintentionally. Sometimes I can't control my strength and I know it. I already slapped Gray without the intention to hurt him but did it anyway. I already broke a glass full of water just buy taking it in my hands etc. I'm scared to hug her too tightly or squeeze her hand to the point where the blood can't reach her fingers anymore. I fear to see her hurt and know that it's my fall, I would probably never forgive myself.

And the sight of her, lightly breathing on my chest, is something I could never replace. She's so precious, so beautiful.

I look at her and she has the blanket pulled to her chin, and she looks so cuddly and at that moment I have this weird pain in my heart, it's like there is something there, telling me that being this close to her was something special and I shouldn't take it for granted. That I shouldn't let go.

Sometimes when I'm laying in bed with Mao at night and I can't sleep, I start thinking about everything, wanting to scream and cry. But because I don't wanna wake her up, instead I lay there, and I let the pain just break inside of me.

*

"Stop moving your leg like that." Mao said suddenly, putting her hand on it to stop the movement.

Her hand was cold, and the contact of her skin against mine felt like an electroshock.

"Sorry." I apologized.

She looked up at me and our eyes met.

"What's up, e ?" She asked, with her angelic voice.
"Nothing, just thinking." I lied.

She smiled and caressed my chin with her long fingers, loving the feeling of my growing beard against them.

She always loves when I don't shave and never wants me to do so. It was an unspoken thing between us, but I know her so well, she don't have to tell me.

"What's going on in that beautiful head of yours ?" She asked me softly.

I put my arm around her small waist and pressed her even more against my body, needing to feel her presence. Needing her warmth, even if it was law.

She knew something was up. She knew that when I move my legs like that it's because I'm either stressed or because I have something to say but prevent myself from speaking.

"Tell me." She said.
"What are the results of your last CT scan ?" I asked her.

And when she remained silent, saying absolutely nothing, I closed my eyes, already knowing that it was bad, that it was really bad.

I knew she was hiding something from me. I knew from the moment we left the hospital.

For the first time since she told Gray and I that she had cancer, a year ago, she kept something from me.

For the first time she felt like it was the best thing to do.
And in a way, I think it's what's scares me the most.

"Please tell me." I said.

I needed to know.

But she said nothing, I knew she was holding her breath.

"Mao..."
"I- It's bad, Ethan." She murmured.
"How bad ?"
"Really, really bad..."
"Mao, please, stop beating around the bush." I said, frustrated.

Silence.

"Mao...-" I started.
"The cancer is everywhere." She said quickly, cutting me off. "It's everywhere, there's tumors everywhere."

Silence.

Pain.

Pain.

Pain everywhere.

Pain everywhere

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