Chapter 22

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"I'm running on autopilot, I just can't dive into the sea of pain in my chest without drowning in it, too."


I knew something was wrong when I watched Lincoln leave today. I knew something terrible was about to happen, but I didn't want to believe it. I didn't listen to my gut.

Because I thought it couldn't be, that just when things got back in order, just when life started to sort itself out again, it surely wouldn't just throw me the biggest fucking curveball in existence... Right?

But now I'm here, standing in Finn's apartment, mouth wide open as I look at my two big brothers.

"What do you mean, we have to go see grandpa?" I ask, still being flustered by this excuse of a greeting when I knocked on the door. The first thing Max said was that we need to leave immediately, while Finn just shot me this sympathetic look, almost pitying me.

"I mean what I say, Mia. Come on, we gotta go." Max is grinding his teeth when he grabs my hand and pulls me out of the doorway, and I already feel the panic rise in my chest, the dread of something being wrong with my grandfather instantly knocks the air out of my lungs.

"Bro, come on. Give her a minute." Finn removes Max's hand from mine and replaces it with his own, giving it a gentle squeeze as he shoots me a sad smile.

But Max just scoffs and rushes down the stairs, while Finn simply looks at me for a minute, his kind eyes filling with tears when he speaks, "Grams called... They said it's time."

"Time? Time for what? He's been fine!" Of course I know what he means, but I'm actually confused. I didn't know there was any indication of pops leaving us any time soon.

"They've had a doctor check up on him every day for the past few weeks. They realized a few days ago that he won't have long anymore."

"What?! Why do I only hear about this now?!" I'm basically yelling at my brother now.

He sighs and tries to wrap me in a hug, but I just take a step back. The last thing I need right now is his comfort. "Answer my question, Finn."

"I... I don't know, Mia. We didn't know much either, it sounded like a routine thing until we got the call a few minutes ago."

"I don't care that it sounded like a routine thing! Did you know about this when we had our family dinner on Friday?!"

Finn doesn't need to answer my question though. I can see it in the guilty expression on his face. He knew. They all knew, and they decided to keep me out of the loop. Again, for the hundredth fucking time.

I rip my hand away from his, working extremely hard on not letting my anger turn into tears as I storm down the stairs, ignoring how he calls out for me, how Max tries to stop me when I reach out to open my car door.

"Mia, calm down..."

"Fuck you! Fuck all of you!" I scream and push him away when he moves to block the door. "Get away from me!"

"Don't talk to me like that!" Max is now yelling at me, too. But my mind is clouded by rage, by hurt. Because once again the men in my family thought they could rule over my life as if it belonged to them, as if they had any right to play with my emotions, to keep this from me.

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