Fiona

I acknowledged Chris' devotion with a smile and allowed everything to fall away as he rested his forehead on my own. This wasn't how I wanted to explain things, I had hoped to never explain this. I wanted it to be a distant memory, but he would have found out one way or another.

I heard him while I was in a fog, he loves me enough to stay with me forever. While I love him, more than myself, I know I won't be enough. I will be taking this away from him more than I can give them. I would be comforted knowing he will always be there for me, but at a cost. He will worry about me more than he should, try to carry a burden, and maybe even hide things for me because he thinks it's for the best. What is worse is that he will never have a family with me. I am already taking away his future. He made all these promises not knowing that my staying is only poisoning his future. The thought burns and leaves my heart aching.

"Hey," Chris whispers, wiping a tear I didn't know I shed.

I try to force a smile.

"What's wrong?" he kisses my cheek where the tear used to be.

If I tell him nothing is wrong, he won't believe me. "I am just happy you're here," I lie.

He smiles brightly, "I will always be here, because I love you. I will be here for whatever you need. Hell, whatever you want. Don't you know that you're it for me?"

His words only break my heart even more, knowing that I will break his soon enough.

"You don't know what you're saying right now. You will feel different once the dust settles."

His face darkened slightly, "I know that I love you, I probably loved you the second I laid eyes on you. I know that I felt this way before today and I will feel this way tomorrow, next week, next year and for the next hundred years. I know you and I know you are probably thinking that you are holding me some way, which is ridiculous because my life is better simply having you in it. The sun is brighter, my happiness is happier. You make everything better and I don't want to live without that."

I bit my lip, thinking of what I could possibly say to that. He kisses my knuckles.

"You aren't considering everything, there are things you haven't thought about- "I begin.

"What?" He cuts me off, his tone full of aggression. "I know everything that's important. Yes, we are going to have to talk through the details, but we can work through it," he reassures.

"The details are important," I counter.

"We don't have to do this now. We can wait until you are back at home to talk about all of this."

I can tell he is getting annoyed, but I continue.

"We can't wait, look at what's happened? Anything could happen, I could- "

"Stop! Nothing is going to happen to you! Why are you pushing me away?" he stands and paces beside me. "What do we need to talk about so badly? I will be here through all of this, you will get better and we can go back to being normal!"

I wince at his words. We can go back to being normal. He doesn't consider us to be normal anymore. He wasn't wrong, this is not something normal couples do. Then again, he has been deceived this whole time, I was sick from the very beginning, getting worse as time went on. He thought we were normal then and now his world is spinning at the realization that he has yet to have normal with me.

I remain silent.

Chris kneels beside me, running his finger through his hair, "We can have it all, it's okay to wait a little. We can live together and more. Who knows someday we can travel the world and have a family."

That struck deep to my core, "We won't ever have a family," my voice was cold to prevent shameful tears from falling.

He looks like he is about to ask a question before a whisper in heart gives him the answer. He looks at me with sadness, I cannot decide if it is sorrow for me or sorrow because he is seeing what he will never have with me. I can tell he has been affected as it takes him a moment to formulate a response.

"There is always adoption. We really don't have to get into this right now. When the time comes, we can figure something out," I see the hope die in his eyes. In a matter of syllables his dreams of fatherhood are dying.

I aimless gaze elsewhere, I cannot bear to see his face. I slowly begin to pull my hand from his grasp, wrapping my arms around myself. I take a moment and retreat to my thoughts. I know he loves me, and I love him, but I won't allow myself to be what keeps him from a normal life. A life where he can teach his son to play football or baseball. A life where he can dance with his daughter on his shoes. A life where normal is an afterthought because nothing complicated arises.

I won't allow him to be pulled into my loneliness. I was a girl with no family, a girl without a home.

"I am sorry for all of this. I know what happened last night was a big misunderstanding, but I am glad it happened. We needed to have this conversation and I needed to hear you say…" I screw my eyes shut, "You said you would whatever I needed?" I ask, looking to him.

"Of course, I swear," his eyes are pleading.

"I need you to leave."

His eyes widen in disbelief, "What?"

"Don't make this any harder, just go, please" I begin to cry.

"No, I am not going anywhere. I don't know why you're saying these things…" I can hear his voice breaking.

"You want normal," I spit, "there is the door, get out!" I dig deep to find a coldness to make him leave.

"You are being ridiculous, I am not leaving you because you pity my choices!"

I know the longer I let him stay, the more likely he is to convince me that we could ever truly be happy. I look to my left to try and find the 'call nurse' button. Just as my fingers graze the button, Chris grabs my wrist.

Chris is hovering over me, I feel how breathlessness on my skin. His grip is forceful, I am afraid to look at the expression on his face. My free hand grabs his arm, in a vain effort to force his release.

"Don't," he simply says. His voice is weak and shaky. He cups my cheek and pulls my face to his. My eyes remained closed, I love him too much and if I look into those green eyes I will surely take everything back.

"Fiona, I love you, please," he is begging me to reconsider.

"Say it again," I swallow back the tears.

"Fiona, I love you," he repeats, pausing slightly between each word.

"I love you," I tilt my head up, finding his lips. The kiss is full or passion and angst all at once. I feel him silently begging me to let him stay. His tears run onto my cheeks and I sharply inhale, undone by his breaking.

I take courage and open my eyes to meet his. Neither of us blink, as if we are too afraid the other will disappear. He smiles gently and leans to kiss me again.

As his lips graze mine, I pressed the button. A sob tears through me, "Goodbye."

His eyes are full of betrayal as his sobs intensify.

"Are you alright? Do you need something?" the nurse asks.

I keep my eyes closed, leaning back with my arms arm myself, "I need him to leave," I cry.

"Sir- "the nurse begins.

"No! She doesn't know what she is saying. She doesn't want this," his pleading could be the end of me. He cups my face, I keep my eyes closed trying to turn away.

"Sir, please stop," the voice is getting closer.

Please just go, don't make a scene like this!

"Fi, tell him! It's all a mistake, please don't do this!" his voice cracks and breaks as pins make a home in my heart.

"Sir, it's time for you to leave," his touch fades away, involuntarily.

He is pleading to stay, to stay with me. I never imagined he could cry like this, it was too much. I jolt as he screams my name.

"Fiona," Dr. Smithson comes into the room. I cautiously open my eyes.

"Fi!" my head snaps toward the door, instinctively. Chris is continuing to call for me as he is being dragged down the hallway.

"Just breathe," Dr. Smithson places his hand on my shoulder, rolling his chair beside me.

I turn toward his hand, curling up into a ball, crying harder. He says nothing and rubs my back, reminding me to breathe. I know he probably came to talk to me about lab results and next steps, but he remains silent. I know he has other patients to attend to but her remains by my side.

I take his hand and will the flood to stop for a moment, "Thank you."

"Of course," he nods, "I will come back after dinner and we can talk about all of this," he says waving my chart in the air.

He stands giving me a gentle pat on the back before exiting the room.

I remain curled up and tightly wrapped in my own arms, letting the tears defeat me. Letting my heart break from what I had done.