Disclaimer: I don't own the mighty ducks (Disney does)
Authors Note: Hey! I want to thank everyone writing about the ducks. Because of your writings, I was inspired to write this.
Summary: Julie has a secret from the ducks. As it is gradually unrevealed, will the ducks be able to help her through the toughest time of her life? And what's wrong with Connie? (Julie & Adam, Connie and Guy)
"The test results confirmed our fears Ms. Gaffney. The results found this problem with your heart," Dr. Williams said as he looked toward the obviously shocked father and daughter.
"My heart? Are you sure? I know I've been really tired lately, but lots of teens go through it, I mean I live in a boarding school. Every teen is always tired and for the most part I've been pretty healthy person in good shape," Julie replied. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. A heart problem? How can that be? She shook her head in disbelief. Her father took her hand and grasp it tightly, so that she knew that he was there supporting her.
"I've check the results Ms. Gaffney"
"Just call me Julie. I hate being called Ms. Gaffney. It makes me sound so old."
"All right, Julie. You have something called restrictive cardiomyopathy caused from hereditary hemochromatosis, the problem your father said your mother had. It's basically when the muscle in your heart becomes stiff and doesn't allow enough blood to enter the ventricles because of too much iron in your heart. I had to get a second opinion and she confirmed it. It's a very rare condition and truthfully Julie; you are the first patient I've ever had to have this kind of disease."
"Are you absolutely sure Doctor?" Mr. Gaffney said. His face looked as though it had aged ten years after hearing the news. He looked so sad and so distraught, but tried to keep a comforting face for his daughter.
"We're 100% positive on this, Mr. Gaffney. I'm sorry."
"Am I going to be okay? I mean, how serious is this?"
"Well Julie, any problems with your heart is serious and with this condition, it usually develops heart failure."
Julie couldn't believe what she was hearing. "hea..heart failure? Are you serious?"
"Yes, but it's not what you think. Heart failure doesn't mean your heart stops pumping. It just means your heart is not pumping blood effectively, not giving the body its oxygen and nutrients. But Julie, it depends on how rapidly this condition develops. It could be years till you have heart failure..."
"But it could also be months... days even..." Julie said. Her eyes started to well up. This could not be happening. It's our senior year. We're going all the way this year. I'm with the love of my life. We're going to go to college soon. This can't be happening. She remembered everything that happened to her mother and father, even though she was very little at the time. Her mom was tired all the time, coughing, wheezing, and had trouble breathing, while her father going through hell and back when he lost her.
"Don't think negatively like that, Julie. With the shape and condition, you're in. It is very unlikely and if you change your diet and fluid intake, you'll be okay."
"What do we need to do, Doctor Williams?" Mr. Gaffney asked. He wanted to make sure he did everything he possibly could to help his daughter get through this. He had to. He couldn't believe that this was happening to his daughter; first his wife, and now his daughter. He already lost his wife, he wasn't about to lose his daughter.
"Well, like your wife, Mr. Gaffney, Julie has to decrease her sodium intake severely. She can only intake around 2 grams per day and can't eat anything like potato chips, pretzels, salted nuts, pizza, canned anything, olives, frozen dinners. She should avoid drinking alcohol, and being realistic, I'm sure your friends and yourself have drank before, so I'm saying now... limit yourself to one glass max and very rarely, Julie. You should also limit the amount of fluids you intake. I would recommend no more sodas and just juice and water..."
"Is there anything else, doctor?"
"Yes... unfortunately Julie... you're going to have to limit your physical activity..."
"What? You're not saying what I think you're saying; PLEASE say you're not saying that..." Julie replied. This is NOT happening. Tell me she is not going to say what I think she's about to say.
"Well, I know that you're a goalie, so you're not skating back and forth the rink, which is a good thing, so you can try it out, but the first sign of trouble Julie, for your own sake, you have to stop."
"Thank you for everything doctor," Mr. Gaffney said, as his daughter stood there in silence; her eyes, cold and distant, staring blankly off into the distance.
"I'm going to prescribe some chelating agents, beta-adrenergic blockers to control palpitations, and vasodilators to reduce the pressure that the heart must pump and I recommend a treatment of phlebotomy before she leaves for school..."
Julie just stared at a wall. She didn't know what to think, what to do... Her father gently helped her off the chair. They both quietly walked out of the doctor's office and got into the car. Both of them sat there in silence...
Mr. Gaffney picked up the medicine, as Julie sat in the car, just staring expressionlessly nowhere. They soon go into the house and Julie finally looked and turned to her father, her lips were quivering and her hands were shaking.
"Am I going to die dad? Am I?" Julie collapsed crying in his arms. Mr. Gaffney took his daughter into his arms and tried to remain as stoic as possible, but a single tear rolled down his eyes.
"Things are going to be okay, baby. We're going to get through this and live life to the fullest we can." Mr. Gaffney silently promised himself he would do anything possible to make her the happiness she can be. They both sat there in the middle of the living room, crying in each others arms.
Hours later, the phone rang.
"Hi, Mr. Gaffney. Can I speak to Julie?"
"Sure Adam. One second, lemme go get her."
Adam heard Julie's father shout out her name and her yelling back that she got it.
"Hey Catlady, it's me."
"Adam! Omg, am I so glad to hear from you."
"Me too. I thought you were going to call earlier, but I guess I was mistaken."
"Oh sorry. I just had some other things on my mind right now, that's all."
"Is everything all right? How did the doctors appointment go?"
Julie stopped for a second. I can't tell him on the phone. This will hurt him so much... I know if I was in the same position, this would kill me.
"Oh yeah sorry. Everything's fine."
"Yes Adam. Everything is fine." Julie tried to sound as relaxed and relieved as she could, but it didn't convince Adam.
"You don't sound all right, but I'm not going to push it out of you. You'll tell me when you think the time is right. I love you though, Julie, I hope you know that."
Whew. Julie loved that Adam knew when to stop pushing; she loved everything about him. "I love you too, Adam, so much. You have no idea... You mean so much to me... I love you..."
"I love you too, Julie. You know I'll be there for you for anything, thick and thin."
"I know... but honest I'm fine. I'm just happy to hear from you right now; that's all. So, talk to me. Anything happening in Minnesota?"
"Oh yea! I actually do have some great news. Orion called and said that there are going to be a bunch of scouts this year to recruit for the minors! "
"Omigosh... That's great Adam! I know that's what you've dreamed about..."
"I know and you know, maybe if we're lucky, we can be together!"
"Adam, you know the chances of that happening are so slim... I mean I'm not even allowed to play in the minors."
"I know, but you're a straight A student and star goalie of the Mighty Ducks, so you'll probably get to go to any college you wished!"
"I hope so... But in case, you have to promise me something."
"What is it?"
"Promise me you won't change your plans for me. Don't give up something you want for me."
"Julie, you're the one I want. I've basically loved you the moment you skated onto that ice rink during the junior goodwill games. I don't want to be away from you ever. With everything in my life, you are my one constant. I love you and I want to be with you more than anything."
"But I couldn't live with myself if you gave something up that you wanted for me. So just promise me Adam."
"If me promising you this makes you happy, then I promise Jules."
"All right... I have to go. I love you Adam."
"Okay. I love you too Jules. I'll see you soon."
As soon as they hung up, Julie slumped to the ground. God, I wish he was here. How can I ever tell him this? She gently and gradually got up from the floor and walked over to her room. She plopped onto the bed and hugged the penguin Adam got for her at the school carnival and just cried her heart out.
The Next Morning
"Morning Sweetie. Did you sleep okay?"
"Actually, I didn't really get any sleep at all. A few hours here and there."
"You should get more sleep, you know."
"I couldn't help it dad. I just needed to do some thinking. Either ways, the sunrise was beautiful."
"What were you thinking about?"
"School, the ducks, hockey, college, my future... or lack there of."
"hey hey... don't say that. You heard the doctor. There's no telling when this would happen. This could happen years and years into life."
"Mom situation wasn't the same, you know that. By the time we found out, it was too late to help her..."
"Why are you sorry Julie?"
"Because I know you hate talking about mom, especially about the illness."
"I don't hate talking about mom Julie," her dad said as he reached over to her and put his arm around her shoulder. "It's just very difficult for me to relive those memories. I...I just miss her so much."
"Dad, can I ask you something?"
"When mom was dying, was she in pain?"
"No, well at least I don't think so. If she was, she certainly hid it very well from me. She was just tired all the time and had a hard time breathing sometimes... The thing that upset her the most was that she wouldn't be able to see you grow up to the beautiful girl you are now, but I know she's watching you from up above. Your mother was a wonderful woman. She had a heart of gold. She lived everyday to the fullest, even the day she passed. She loved us and knew we loved her back unconditionally and that was all she needed."
"What do you mean?"
"Do you regret being with her even though she was dying?"
"No... not at all. There was actually a time where I was so angry at her. I was angry that she had left me alone; angry that she wasn't going to see you grow up. I wanted her to be there when you had your first kiss, or your first period and she wasn't, but one day, I just remember everything she had left me, all the memories, and I've learned to cherish it till the day I die."
Julie smiled at the thought of her parents being together and happy. She didn't remember much, but the pictures he had shown her said it all, but doubt still plagued her mind.
"Does it still hurt that she's gone?"
Her father's face turned solemn. "Every day of my life: but with time, it gets easier. Honey, I know what you're thinking and don't think this way. We caught the condition in good time. It could be years before anything truly happens."
"You don't know what I'm thinking dad! You don't know what it's like: to know that your future is uncertain... to dream all these things in life, only to know that they may NEVER happen now...""Stop this right now! Your life is not over! You can still have your dreams SO JUST STOP!"Julie stood there shocked at hearing her father scream like that. He had never screamed at her like that ever before. She just couldn't believe it."I'm sorry Julie, I didn't mean..."
"I know dad, I know."
She turned to hug her dad as tightly as she could. "I love you dad."
"I love you too."
After a moment of embrace, Mr. Gaffney began to speak about the school situation as gently as possible.
"Julie, we need to talk about the school situation."
"What do you mean?"
"I would really like you to stay in Maine with me."
Julie quickly removed herself out of her dad's grip. "Dad, no. My life is at Eden Hall. The Ducks are there, Adam is there. I can't leave them."
"I don't want you to be alone."
"I'm not going to be alone. I'll be with the ducks. I'll be with Adam. I want to be with Adam."
"Sweetie, you know I want you to happy more than anything. But do you really think you want to have Adam to go through this? Because even though I never regret a second I spent with your mother, it's a lot to go through at his age. You guys have only been together for two years, while your mother and I were together since..."
"Since high school... but Julie, we didn't know about her condition till we were married! Maybe even after that!"
"He'll be there for me..."
"But at what cost?"
Julie twinge at what he said. He was right though. Adam would go through the flames for her, even if that meant risking his hockey career as well and she didn't want that.
"You're right, dad. It's not fair to him, but I still want to go back to Minnesota. We can make this work."
"You're not going to give this up are you?"
"All right, maybe I can transfer there or something, but we'll work it out, but promise me, if there is any trouble, anything, you will tell me, all right?"
"I promise, but please don't tell the school about my condition dad."
"Because they will kick me off the team for safety reasons and everyone will know and I don't want Adam to find out, not like that, at least until I can figure out something dad."
"This is a very dangerous game you're playing Julie."
"But if you were in the same position, you would have done the same. Being in love means letting go when you need to and I need to..."
Julie gave her dad one more hug and left to her room. She didn't know what she was going to do, but she knew she had to do something.
AN: I'm sorry if you guys thought this chapter went extremely slow. It'll get better, I swear! Lots of comments please! Tell me if you like it or not!