Short and sweet. Almost at the end here. Enjoy.

Last chapter recap:

The thing was, I realized that I’d seen a scar like that before. I’d seen a scar exactly like that before. Only it wasn’t on someone’s arm. It was on someone’s stomach.

Her stomach.



I found her sitting in my car.

After I saw my dad's scar, I became overwhelmed with the need to find Eliza. I felt like my head was about to explode, and I was having a hard time keeping a grip on reality. So I slowly rose from my place beside my dad's bed and let my mom have a turn occupying it. Then I did a lap around the hospital, trying to find Eliza O'Connor.

I'm not mathematical genius, but it isn't hard for me to put two and two together. Even without a calculator. Eliza had her father's signature stitching on her stomach. She had the same stitching he used to remove a tumor. Conclusion: Eliza had a tumor.

My world was not turned upside down. Out of all the things I could have possible imagined for the story behind her scar, ranging from falling off a bike, to an abortion, to a crocodile attack, a tumor removal was relatively sane. But I still didn't know the whole story behind it.

I walked out into the parking lot to get some fresh air. I'd found Carter and his dad in the hopsital, having what looked like an intense conversation, so I thought I should probably get out of there. When Carter gets upset he's destructive to the area around him. I didn't want to be in the same building as that atomic bomb.

There were fewer than ten cars in the parking lot, on the patron side, at least. It wasn't hard to find mine. Which was a good thing, because I'd hardly remembered where I'd parked it.

I came up to the driver's side door when I saw a girl with long, blonde hair sitting shotgun. I slid into the seat beside her, lacing our fingers together. Eliza looked at me and I stared back at her, taking in her scared expression and tear-stained cheeks. Neither of us said anything.

The car was cold. The Autumn air was really starting to have an effect on the weather and Eliza shivered next to me. I stuck my key in the ignition and turned on the heat. "Thanks, Nick," she said.

And then, because I couldn't seem to say anything else, I blurted out, "I love you."

And I didn't regret saying it.

I risked a glance at her, and I saw a faded smile on her lips. She turned towards me and whispered, "I love you too, Nick. I've loved you since I was nine years-old."

I exhaled, relaxing into my seat. I felt Eliza's fingers twist through mine and I pulled her closer to me, wrapping my arm around her shoulders. I was in love with this girl. And she loved me back. I felt like I didn't need anything more out of my life, it had just been completed. I found my reason for living out the rest of it.

She buried the side of her face into my Red Sox sweatshirt. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you about my tumor," she began, confirming everything I'd been thinking of for the last twenty minutes. I guess it had occurred to her that I'd make the connection between herself and my dad. Smart girl. Smarter than me, that's for sure.

"It's okay," I whispered back to her, content just to be breathing the same air she was.

"I got it when I was fifteen," she continued, "And my mom panicked. It wasn't cancerous or anything, I just got it. So she sent me to Australia because my dad was working there, and I got it removed and I stayed there for the rest of the school year. I'm not supposed to get another one."

I closed my eyes and listened to her breath, content just to hear her breathing.

I said it again, "I love you, Beautiful," and the everything in the world felt natural and right.

Then the door opened next to me and I felt a hand grip my shoulder. I turned to see who it was and my heart began to pound against my rib cage, harder than it does on a regular basis.

Carter looked like he was going to murder me. "What the hell is going on here?"

I had about five seconds left to live.

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