Friday, 4 March 2011

Prologue - Part 2

The next couple of hours went by in a blur. We couldn't get Lucinda to wake up after she collapsed in the kitchen, and within the few short minutes it took the ambulance to arrive we were very worried.

In the emergency room they performed several tests on her, and after the results of her head CT came back they told us that she had had something called a 'hemorrhagic stroke'. I didn't even know what that meant until tonight. The emergency room physician, Dr. Hart, explained that they had found a very large tumor in Luci's brain, and it had caused severe bleeding which in turn induced the stroke. They had to cut a small piece of her skull out so they could drain some of the blood and relieve the pressure on her brain.

A tumor. Lucinda has a tumor? I must have said 'What?' a dozen times. How do you digest something like that? I don't understand how something like this just happens, seemingly out of nowhere. She was just sitting not 2 feet in front of me laughing and asking if anyone wanted ice cream. And now - yes, she was still 2 feet in front of me, but had a freaking hole drilled in her skull.

"What the hell happened?!" said Iren, speeding at us from around the corner with a furious look on her face. "And why didn't anyone page me?"

"Oh, Iren" I said, grabbing her and burying my face into her shoulder. "I don't even-"

"Its ok, Bella. It will be ok." she murmured into my hair, squeezing me tight. "Don't cry, she'll be alright. Shhh, shhh."

"YOU!" she growled under her breath, releasing me and shoving her finger in Ambrose's face. "I told YOU specifically to take care of her! What happened and why didn't you have anyone call me? You know I don't work down here! I only knew she was here because I saw the chart for her bloodwork! What is wrong with you? Now tell me what happened!"

Ambrose filled Iren in with what happened and everything we knew. All we could do was wait for an oncologist to come and speak with us about what would happen from there. I felt bad for him. For all the guys, really. I sensed they all felt it was somehow their fault.

Iren went to Lucinda's bedside and held her hand lightly. We all just stood there watching Luci sleep until Iren broke the silence.

"Where is Donovan and everyone else?" she asked.

"They would only let three of us stay in here with Lucinda. Dono kept freaking out so he went to the waiting room with Kellie and Amara, and I came here." I replied.

"I'm going to see about getting her moved to a private room. You know how she hates being around strangers and I think it will just stress her out to be in the open like this once she wakes up." said Iren, glancing at her pager. "My boss should be here in about an hour, I'll look into it then. Why don't you go check and see how everyone is and let them know there isn't any new information yet. I'll stay here so I can talk to the doctor if they come while you are gone."

I nodded and just as I was turning to walk away I saw a doctor coming in our direction. She was an older women with a kind face. Her light brown frizzy hair had strands of grey specked here and there. She wore glasses and had this soft floral dress on under her crisp white doctor's coat. I liked her immediately.

"Hello, I'm Dr. Rosenbaum - the ocologist." she said, extending her hand to Ambrose since he was the closest to her.

"Hello, I'm Ambrose" he said, and introduced Spooke and I as he shook her hand.

"Is one of you Ms. Amaranthe's partner, or?" she asked, looking from Ambrose to Spooke and back again.

"Its a bit complicated, really." said Iren, stepping forward after an awkward moment passed. "But they are both roommates and Isabella is a close friend. Lucinda has no relatives to speak of."

"Nurse Withers, nice to see you down here. Friend of the patient?"

"Yes, doctor. Very close friend as well."

"I see. Always nice to see patients in this situation with a good support system. I believe its most beneficial to the road of recovery." said Dr. Rosenbaum, looking at Luci. "Should there be one, of course." she added in softly.

"Well, then." she continued, clearing her throat. "I've re-examined her CT results and as I'm sure Dr. Hart informed you, the tumor is at quite an advanced stage. Before I make any decisions on how I'd like to proceed with treatment, I'd like to perform an MRI so I can more precisely gauge what we are dealing with. I've already booked her in for this evening, until then its best she continue to rest."

 "Ok Doctor, thank you." I said, nodding.

"I just have a question if you don't mind." said Spooke. That was the first he had really spoken since he drove us speeding from the house to follow the ambulance.

Dr. Rosenbaum nodded and Spooke continued.

"How does something like this just happen? She was just fine as far as we knew. The only thing I can even remember is her having some migraines the last couple of weeks, but she is a little sensitive to the weather and we just thought they were from the heat."

"That's a very good question. Tumors often go undetected because they present little to no symptoms in the early stages. There would be no reason for someone so young and healthy as Ms. Amaranthe to get a CT - so unless something out of the ordinary happens they are nearly impossible to catch until a later stage - when it starts taking a toll on the patients body. In her case the only indication anything was wrong was a few headaches, and since those are quite common its easy to think nothing of them. What is unusual is that the tumor is at such an advanced stage that it caused bleeding in her brain. The hemorragic stroke she suffered is an extremely rare event in itself, so its hard to understand why she presented such little symptoms to begin with."

"So there was really no way we could have known?"

"No, I'm very sorry to say, but there wasn't."

Waking up in a hospital with no recollection of how you got there or where your clothes are is never a good thing. As much as I'd love to say I am a fan of painfully bright lights and flimsy little hospital gowns (that let your bottom hang might I add), it'd be a terrible lie.

Isabella was kind enough to fill me in on how I came to be here, and why it is that I have a big bandage on the back of my head. Apparently I had a piece of my skull taken out so blood could be drained from my head. Gives a new meaning to the term 'splitting headache', doesn't it?

In all seriousness I think I am more horrified at the fact that I dropped like a sack of potatoes in front of all my friends, then had to be dragged to the hospital where I had been passed out and doing god knows what else in a room full of strangers. I don't even want to think about how many people saw me in my unmentionables.

Truthfully, I had a feeling there was something wrong. So I was only half-surprised when she told me about this giganto tumor I have. Those headaches I was getting.. I knew that pressure in my head was not normal. I meant to go to the doctor and get it checked out, I truly did. But I guess this is where being the queen of procrastination catches up to me.

As much as I hated being in the hospital at least I had my own room now, courtesy of Iren. Leave it to her to know that would be the first thing I would ask for. It even has a tv and its own little bathroom. I could hear Donovan in the room with me, mumbling to himself and sighing, and Iren trying to cheer him up. Poor guy. We were waiting for the results of my MRI to come. I think it was putting everyone even more on edge.

I never really thought futher than 'there might be something wrong'. I certainly didn't consider what the consequences would be or what toll it would take on those around me. I could feel that everyone was stressed out and exhausted, much more than I was at that point. I think this was one of those times where you see who your real friends are - something dramatic or ugly happens and people tend to show their true colors. It was comforting to hear that most of my friends had been there at one point or another, and that many of them were still there. I hadn't really worked it out yet but I think they were taking shifts so someone could be with me at all times, while the others camped out in the waiting room.

I was just getting out of bed when Dr. Rosenbaum walked in.

"Ms. Amaranthe, I can't believe you are out of bed. How are you feeling dear?"

"I'm ok. The morphine is keeping me really drowsy so I've been sleeping like a rock." I said with a shy smile.

"But the pain is ok?" she asked.

"Well, my head is still throbbing a little bit, but its bareable."

"Thats good. And these guys are keeping you company?"

"Yes," I laughed a little. "there is always someone in here with me, and Donovan won't even go home to change." I said, giving him a look. He just rolled his eyes at me. His sense of humor had completely vanished and it was odd to see him that way. "So whats the news, doc?"

She cleared her throat. "Would you like to sit down?" Her face had this look on it that could only be described as 'not good'.

"No, I'm fine. I need to stretch my legs. Please, just tell me." I said, and braced myself. Iren moved closer to my side and grabbed my hand, squeezing it.

"Alright." she said and paused a moment as if mentally composing what to say. "I am very sorry to tell you this Ms. Amaranthe, the tumor is not only cancereous but has metastasized and spread itself over a large part of your brain. It is covering too much area for us to attempt any surgical removal so next course of action would normally be chemotherapy or radiation therapy - but I'm afraid its too far gone for even that. Even with the most aggressive regimen there is just not enough time."

I waited for her to continue talking. To tell me about some last ditch effort they make when the routine options were no longer..well, options. But she just stood there looking at me. "What are you telling me? Are you saying I'm going to die?"

"Yes, dear. I'm really, very sorry."

"But I feel ok! I can stand up and everything!"

"I know, and its amazing that you are strong enough to do that. But the tumor is progressing at an abnormally fast pace and you will deteriorate very quickly. This is why the bleeding in your brain occurred so suddenly with little symptoms beforehand. The only thing we can really do at this point is keep you as comfortable as possible."

I looked from Donovan to Iren. Both of them were just speechless. I probably would have been to had Dr. Rosenbaum not been talking to me.

"Well, how long do I have?"

"Its impossible to predict this accurately but I would estimate anywhere from a few days to even a few weeks."

"A few days!?"

"Yes, Ms. Amaranthe. I'm very, very sorry.."

I would be dead before the month was up. Thats just great.

I was in the hospital for three days before I woke up one morning and it dawned on me that I didn't have to die there.

Dr. Rosenbaum was right, I was deteriorating quickly. But I couldn't help but feel that the drab walls and sterile smell of the hospital were helping me right along. I was going to die and there was nothing anyone could do about it - fine. But I was going to do it in the comfort of my own beloved (and more tastefully decorated) home.

So after much resistance from Dr. Rosenbaum I was able (well, ok - Iren was able) to arrange to have a portable life monitor and my IV's setup in my house. Iren agreed to stay with me around the clock so I wouldn't have to hire another nurse, and after I signed some form saying I was leaving against medical advice (apparently the hospital didn't want me to come back from the dead and sue them for letting me die in my own house), I was out of there.

Good riddance.

My house wasn't exactly wheelchair friendly and it just sucked that I was too weak to walk on my own, much less climb the stairs. But I can't really complain because that meant I had to be carried around everywhere by one of the guys. I guess dying has its perks.

Once I got settled in things went into a routine that was not dissimiliar to the one that I had in the hospital. Well, minus the getting out of bed part. I slept, and watched tv, and slept, and layed there while people hung out with me, and slept.. It was an exciting life.

It was about a week before I really felt like I was dying. I was barely awake at all and though I could kind of feel and hear people in the room with me, they were more like hazy images than faces. It was all a sort of surreal dreamland, where I was just floating along, drifting in and out of conciousness. It was not painful, as I imagined dying would be. Besides having a little trouble breathing I just felt very, very tired. I am sure I owed most of that to my morphine drip.

People would come to my bedside and hold my hand, whispering their loves and goodbyes. The tension was so thick in the house that (had I been able to walk down to the kitchen) I could cut it with a knife. Several times I heard what sounded like hushed arguing, and I know I heard Spooke and Ambrose fighting outside of my bedroom door at least once. Not that that was an irregular occurance, but still..

It seemed everyone was just holding their breath, waiting for the time I fell asleep only to not wake up again - and it was driving them crazy.

"Nope, nope. I don't want to do this. This isn't right." said Iren, shaking her head and pacing back and forth in front of the bed as she twisted her wrists nervously.

"What do you mean, you don't want to do this? None of us wants to do this, Iren. But what else can we do??" said Isabella, looking up at her sadly.

"There has to be something. We can't just let her go.."

Iren paused and they looked at each other for a long time. Like they were thinking the same thing and just waiting for the other to say it.

Isabella spoke first. "Ariel?"

Iren nodded. "Yes. You saw what she did to Ambrose and Aleron. Maybe she can do something for Luci? Work her magic or witchcraft or whatever the hell it is that she did before. If not save her.."

"..then bring her back?" Isabella finished Iren's sentence. "Go get her! I don't know where she lives. Hurry up Iren, I don't think there is much time left and if she wants to go on some crazy mission like she sent Luci.."

"No need, I'm here."

Isabella shielded her eyes from the brightness that was suddenly in front of her and they both turned and stared in awe. It was like something out of a movie - a gush of wind and then irridescent beams of light lit the room up like a pocket full of sun. There was subtle crackling sounds as the little shocks of mini blue lightening died away, and literally out of nowhere, Ariel was just standing there.

Isabella made an annoyed sound. "Ugh Ariel, you scared me!"

"You can stop looking at the ceiling Iren, thats not where I came from." Ariel laughed. "I'm sorry girls, didn't mean to scare you."

"Well, that was interesting. How..?" asked Iren.

"Just a little teleportation spell I learned several years back. Comes in handy sometimes."

"No, I mean, we were just talking about you.. I was just about to drive out to your place."

"Iren, I've felt you thinking about me the last few days. You too, Isabella. So when you made the decision to come to me, I felt it. I came to you instead because its faster, no?" she said, as she brushed passed Iren and Isabella to the bedside. She placed her hand gently on the side of Luci's face and stared at her for several moments.

"So you know what we were going to ask then?" said Iren.

"Yes, I know." replied Ariel, as she sat down in the chair next to Lucinda's bed. "But I can't do that."

"I don't understand. Why not? You did it for Ambrose and Aleron.. and we can get some of those seed things if-"

Ariel interrupted Isabella. "Its not because of that. I don't expect you girls to understand these things because well, how could you? But I can't just snap my fingers and its done. There are many other things that factor into play and I would gladly do it for Lucinda if it were within my power.., but its not. You see, the only reason I was able to resurrect those boys was because they died of somewhat unnatural causes. It was not their time to leave this world and a meteor falling from the sky and crushing them to death was a wholly odd occurance. Lucinda is dying from a natural defect in her body a disease if you will, and I am blocked from both preventing her death and reversing it."

"Are you saying there is really no options left for us?"

"No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that I can't save her. I do however, know someone that might be able to - and I've already sent for her. I suggest that you guys.. prepare yourselves for what you are about to learn. She will be here before the sun rises."

"Prepare ourselves? For what? I'm confused - could you be a little less vague maybe? And who is 'she'?"

"Its not my place to tell you more than that 'she' is Lucinda's cousin. You're just going to have to wait to hear the rest. But I will be here, and there is nothing that anyone in this house needs to be frightened of."

"Lucinda has a cousin? But I thought she didn't have any family?" Donovan asked again, a perplexed look on his face.

"She doesn't. She didn't.. I don't know!" I stammered. "And Ariel won't tell us anything either so we just have to wait."

"Well, who is she? I mean, what can she do? Is she like .." he asked, jerking his head towards Ariel, who was coming down the stairs.

"I don't know that either. Really, I don't know any more than you do, so stop bugging me." I said, starting to get angry. I felt flustered and confused and maybe even a little left in the dark. Lucinda and I had talked about this several times and she was adamant she didn't have any family.

"Sorry, I just don't understand. I don't know whether to panic, or be relieved or what."

"I think thats how we all feel, Dono. But irritating Iren isn't going to help the situation any, so just chill out." said Isabella, patting Donovan's shoulder as some awkward gesture of comfort.

We waited for what seemed like ages. No one said much, the only sounds being the occassional rustling of Spooke's newspaper, or the floorboards creaking in Lucinda's room as people took their turns sitting with her. The sun was just peeking over the hills when headlights flashed into the living room window and we heard the sound of tires rolling over the dewy morning grass.

I all but lept out of my seat to rush to the window and see who it was, but there was no one there. Just a sleek black (and very expensive looking) sports car. Before I even had a chance to be confused, the doorbell rang. Ambrose and Donovan started getting up from where they were sitting to answer it, but I made a stay there motion with my hand and they sat back down. I looked at Ariel, and after she gave me a reassuring nod I walked to the door. Through the glass panels I could see the person that was standing on the other side. I stood there staring at her for what had to be at least a minute, and it was only after someone behind me cleared their throat that I snapped out of it and pulled the door open.

"Well, aren't you going to invite me in?" she said with a smirk.


  1. Oh my goodness! Bella, you made me cry!! I absolutely loved it! You should have 100% confidence in your writing skills, they are just so awesome! I love the conversations and dynamics between everyone, it is awesome! I want part 3, now! And I know what is going to happen, but of course keeping my mouth shut. ;) I can't wait for more! All my love!!!!!!! <3 kel

  2. Oh honey that was one of the most tragic things I have read in a while.I am not a crier and you made me shed tears.It is a truly beautiful story line and you should be very proud.Give your self a huge hug from me.

  3. I loved it! It is very well written and also very sad. However, I don't love the cliffhanger! I want to know what happens next!

  4. Beth - Thank you so much :) It is certainly not my intention to make people sad but I'm happy its invoking emotion! *hugs self from you*

    Arcanalia - Yay :D Thank you! ♥

  5. OK, no fair to leave us hanging Bella.
    I'll be looking foward to part 3.

  6. WoW Bella that was awesome!!! It was so sad and everyone looked so sad it made me sad. Of course Ambrose and Spooke were still at it. That part made me giggle ;)

  7. Let me talk about how much I loved this. In fact, I will not be able to do it justice with words; here are some noises. OMGUHAMAZINGICANTREALLYSOBEAUTIFULANDSADIWASEMOTIONALLYDRAINEDBYTHEENDOFITREALLY
    This was ridiculously amazing, and heartbreaking and just unexpected. I can't remember if I told you already that I didn't think Eternal would be in it this early and so I was unprepared for the events that led to needing her. And just, you have woven this story so violently (idkwhatimean) at the very start; instead of easing the reader in, you went BAM have this, and it is brilliant. It is super. I love it.
    I will have to login somewhere and PM you! seriously though I had to respond immediately, because you are amazing. x

  8. Smoosh! WherehaveyoubeenIvebeenlookingforyouallovertheplace!! *cry*


    Thank you, I'm glad you are liking it so far :D I understand exactly what are you saying about the BAM! lol

    Drop by DH and talk to me!

  9. I forgot my password like always :( stupid me. I will reset it later and log in, cxan't today; will explain.
    ALSO; you can sometimes buy WA skill books/items eg cameras/nectar maker etc at the consignment store for that challenge you are doing!
    Your sisters look amazing. Damn your talent! :)

  10. Aww Gill :(

    Ok - thank you for the infos. I was completely confused for a second there. Glad you like the girls, I think I will become fond of them as well :)

    Just let me know if you need help with your account or anything. I keep spamming your little profile message wall thing haha. I bet anyone else that sees it thinks I'm a stalker or something. I just wonder where you are is all! *blush*

    Its nice to know you were lingering around, though ♥

  11. Omg, I loved it! I hate the cliffhanger, I wan't more!

    Where has this story been all my lives, do you believe in love at first sight? Because I certainly do now. xD

    Now, when's the next one coming out? :O

  12. This is a great story. Can't wait to see who is at the door.