I broke. My shattered eyes looked towards my brother- unprepared to tell him the truth. I let the tears slip away. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that this was the way to do it.
“I just missed home, that’s all” I whispered.
He looked at me, scanning every detail of my face.
I faked a bright smile and hugged my niece and nephew, letting their giggling voices fill my heart- possibly for the last time. I sunk into their embrace, their little arms squeezed me tightly.
“Okay kiddos who’s ready for some brownies?” I asked in attempt to lighten the mood.
Their eyes shone and they ran towards the kitchen to grab their little aprons and chef hats.
“And we’ll have some celery snacks too” said Amara, as she followed then into the kitchen.
They whined in chorus.
My eyes watched my family move. I hate to admit this but I envied this life. No matter how many times I said that my career was my life ,there was always this little voice inside that wanted to be wrapped in my husbands embrace on a lazy Sunday morning. I would snuggle into his shoulder and laugh as our kids fought next door. We would reluctantly get out of bed and surprise the kids. They’d yell and begin giggling. We would all run downstairs and make breakfast, the only success that day would be making a mess.
Xavier pulled me out of my dream.
He held my face in his hands, staring intently into my eyes. I shut them close and he said my name sternly. He always did this whenever I tried to hide anything from him. My eyes were a clear indication of my pain and my happiness. I opened my eyes and did my best to be happy. I thought of Rome– his smile, especially when directed at me, but nothing could fix this- nothing could fix me.
I broke in his hands.
I fell to the floor, yelling and screaming.
The kids ran out and Amara told them I was yelling with happiness and sent them into the kitchen as she passed Xavier a look I couldn’t de figure– I began to lose conscious.
Days have passed and there is no sign of Adeline anywhere. I practically ran into H.R. this morning, and they told me they haven’t heard anything. I took her file and returned to my desk. Here I am.
At my desk staring into an abyss of thoughts.
I couldn’t tell how I was feeling.
Relived that her smile wouldn’t pull me from my work.
Scared- that she left.
I opened her file and saw her photo. I picked it up and stared at it.
I couldn’t let her go- not yet- not so easily. I scanned through her file and found all the information I could. Her address, phone number, family, friends, hometown and whatever could help.
Stop One- Her house
I rang the doorbell of the apartment complex and two pairs of teary eyes answered the door. They held a crumpled note in their hand, and there were files stacked on the table behind them.
I recognized the man from the coffee shop- the one with Ember.
The woman was presumably Ember’s best friend.
Before I opened my eyes to speak they handed me a note,
Dear Axel and Willow,
I can’t be here any longer- I apologize for all the trouble I’ve caused you two, but there is something very important for me to do. I won’t be coming back and I can’t stay here any longer. You both have and will always be a part of my family, but I am no longer the same person you have always known. I know you both will go far and in one way or another I will always be with you. I know this is unexpected and you are both surprised but this decision is for the best. Not only for me but for you all as well. We won’t meet again, and I can’t express my gratitude for all you have done for me. I love you both very much.
I couldn’t believe it. They invited me in and we sat around the stacked files.
“She has a habit of hiding her pain”, Willow said- breaking the deafening silence. The man who I assumed is named Axel passed me a file.
“We began going through all her stuff, she took most of the files, but this one came in this morning. She normally picks them up, but she didn’t show so they dropped it off” He said.
My heart stopped beating as I read the first few words…
Dear Ms Adeline Ember Jules,
After completing the last set of tests, we regret to inform you that the cancer has spread too far. There are still a few options of chemotherapy. I understand that you have decided against treatment, but we strongly encourage you to look into your options…
“This can’t be- she was, is in good health” I said my voice trembling.
“That’s what we thought, but the signs were there. The increases doses of coffee, lack of food, easily tiring out, fear of noises, and her sudden disconnection,” Willow said- her voice cracking.
“I love her,” I said.
“I don’t know how or when, but I know that the pain that’s running through my veins has never been there before. I am gonna get her I promise- we can save her right.” I said in hopes of some optimism- any reassurance that she was gonna live.
They exchanged looks and Axel spoke,
“The report made it clear she has possibly only a few days left and we have no idea where she is.”
I walked out of the complex and slid down the wall. I closed my eyes and for the first time in years I prayed.
If there is anyone out there, please help this. Help her, like she helped me. I just want to see her and tell her that I can save her- I can take the pain away. I can buy the best doctors world wide and have them help. Just please- please let me see her. Fix me by fixing her.
My eyes flooded with tears as I rolled up the medical reports in pure agony.