After the proposal, and the amazing concert, Niall and I were closer then ever. Always holding hands, and he came to the hospital nearly every day. We'd talk, laugh, just be together. Sometimes, we'd wander towards talk of the future- it was just little things, sentences that'd otherwise be harmless, but to us they mean so much more, words such as "I'd like shoes like that someday" or "That's such a pretty name, I would name my daughter that" or even "I'll have to take you to Ireland someday to meet my family!" simple things like this usually cause us to fall to silence for a moment- and, sometimes, to wonder- will the things we're saying ever happen? Ever come true? Would I live long enough to buy those shoes, to go to Ireland, to have children? We could only hope... But often times, hope is not enough.

~ ~ ~

A few months later, the night after another MRI, I lay back on my bed, trying to sleep. I put my hands behind my head and look up at the ceiling. I try closing my eyes to the dark room, but I just can't. I sigh and turn to my side. Finally, I sit up and I'm about to call the nurse when I notice a painting on the wall. Of course it had always been there, but I've never really looked at it. I manage to make out through the darkness that it's a picture of serene, blue ocean, with a small sail boat off in the distance. The title is very simple: "Across the Ocean". But then, a very sudden melody, and words, enter my mind, "Across the deep blue ocean... Beyond the golden horizon..." It slowly dawns on me that I've just received inspiration. From who knows where, but I immediately turn and sit back in bed, flashlight and song book in hand. I begin writing perhaps the best song that I ever have.

~ ~ ~

The next morning, I awaken to see the doctor and my mother conversing quietly. "What's going on?" I ask, puzzled. The doctor turns to me with a sad look in his eyes.

"Allie... It's your cancer. It's getting worse now. The cells are no longer frozen. They're now progressing. In fact, they are progressing at a very alarming rate. I'm afraid you don't have much time left. I'm sorry." At his words, I close my eyes and force back the tears. I can't let myself get worked up. I choke them down. I've already accepted my death- I can do this. I bite my lip and squeeze my eyes shut. But my efforts to keep the tears down are thwarted by one thought: Niall. How is he going to take this? He gave me all his love, I gave him my heart. We dared to hope, to dream. And now that dream is crashing down on us. Well that's what we get for dreaming.

~ ~ ~

Niall comes in a little later. I'm too worked up to tell him, so my mom does. He immediately goes and holds me. We just sit like that, gripping each other. His tears mingle with mine, his hand constantly stroking my hair. I sob and carry on, but he cries silently.

"Niall... We knew this would happen. We knew the whole time. Wh-why did we hope? Why were we so stupid? You shouldn't have fallen in love with me. You shouldn't have..." sobs once more rock me as I try to tell him to just give up on me. But he only holds me tighter, kisses my head, and whispers, "Come what may Allie. C-come what may. I will love you, until your dying day." I smile sadly and keep crying. And then I take a deep breath and sing, "Never knew, I could feel like this... Like I've never seen the sky, before." Niall quietly joins me, "Want to vanish inside your kiss

Everyday I love you more and more" "More and more" I echo. We continue, crying this time from sadness and not happiness, "Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings (it sings),

Telling me to give you everything

Seasons may change, winter to spring

But I love you, until the end of time" I echo, "End of time". We're sobbing uncontrollably as we move into the chorus, "Come what may, come what may, I will love you..." Our words are barely decipherable through the tears, but I still manage to echo back, "Love you, lo-o-ove you..." our voices join in a cadence of sorrowful harmony, "Until my dying day..." I begin coughing suddenly. Niall rubs my back and I turn over. Thats when I notice the boys, Dani, Perrie, and El standing there. And every single one of them has tears streaming down their faces. I don't know how it's possible, but I'm crying harder. And then, all of them come up and we all hold each other, just sitting there. Sobbing. It's only the beginning of the tears, let me tell you. I can't help thinking this could be the last hug I ever get from any of them. So I squeeze them tighter. And they squeeze back. We all know what's coming. But nothing can prepare us for my death- nothing.

~ ~ ~

Weeks pass, two or maybe three. I can feel myself growing weaker every day. Eventually I am permanently confined to my hospital bed. Niall never leaves my side, surprisingly granted time off from their concerts. He shows me a video of the boys announcing what's going on, tears once more in their eyes. And then, what's so shocking I can barely breathe, is that afterwards the fans are completely silent- and then a quiet, sweet voice from the crowd begins quietly singing Moments. I watch as the fangirl's voices rise together, and they all join hands. The band begins to play, and the boys attempt to sing with them. I say attempt because they are all choked with tears. I squeeze Niall's hand as hard as I can, which isn't very much. He smiles at me and pushes my hair from my face. I close my eyes at his touch, then make myself stay awake to finish the video. At the end of the beautiful performance, the boys are thanking the fans through thick voices. And then they turn and go backstage for a little while. That's where the video ends. Then I let Niall stroke my face until I fall into a deep sleep.

~ ~ ~

Another week passes, now a month since the doctors told me I'd surely be dying soon. I wonder if I'll make it to my 18th birthday. After a time, I find myself living in almost a blur of time. I feel closer to death each and every day. It's only a matter of time until I'm gone, fallen, slipped away. I try my best to prepare for the good-byes, but I can't. I just can't. It hurts to much.

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