SIDE STORY 3 PART 3 - WELL, THAT CAN'T BE GOOD
There's always something bad that follows something good. It could be minor or it could be lethal, either way, something bad always follows something good.
My hands were slightly shaky as I leaned my side against the backboard of the guest bed. My whole body felt a little weak and worn, but I was pretty sure that was a common thing after...you know. I watched Akatsuki as he picked up his shirt from off the ground and slipped it back on. I peeked over at the alarm clock and it read one fifty-three in the morning. Our...intimacy...lasted about a half an hour and I would say it was the greatest half hour of my life, but also the scariest.
Akatsuki sat himself on the edge of the bed next to me and brushed his knuckle against my cheek, "You okay?"
I nodded and smiled weakly at him, "I'm fine,"
He frowned, "You don't look fine,"
"I'm just a little...," I paused to think of an appropriate word, "Wowed."
As he tenderly kissed my cheek, it hit me. What if something happend during? What if it developed into something later? What if something was now unintentionally growing inside of me? I wrapped my arms around my lower tummy and groaned.
"Akatsuki..." I moaned barely at a whisper.
Akatsuki's eyes widened a little and he grasped my face with his hands, "You still can't tell your parents, not unless it's official," he sounded a little panicked, but under control, "If you are...pregnant," he struggled to say the word, "then we tell your parents."
He calmed down after another short second, "There's no need to panic right now. I'm sure you're fine." he kissed me.
"Still," I continued to fear, "my parents would kick me out and slit your throat."
"They're good people," he reassured. He looked down and tugged at the waistline of my pajama pants, "You might want to...tie up your drawstring."
I nodded and with shaky hands, tied up my drawstring. After another few minutes of trying to calm down, I ripped off the sheets and comforters of the guest bed and threw them into the washing machine right away. I wasn't feeling right. I was dizzy and disoriented somehow. I had been getting sick a lot more often in the past few months and it wasn't completely normal for me. The only thing I blamed was the fact that I only got up to four or five hours a night except for weekends. I carefully made my way to the living room and as soon as I let go of the wall of support, I collapsed. Akatsuki rushed up to me and held me up.
"Aya! Aya, what's wrong?" he sounded panicked.
"I think I'm getting sick again," I moaned and felt my burning forehead.
"I'll carry you to your bed,"
"No," I gripped his shirt and stopped him before he could lift me up, "I'll walk. I can't risk Arisa seeing you."
I released myself from his grip and stood up, using the wall as support again, "I'm okay. It's just a fever."
Akatsuki didn't seem to buy it. I knew I had a fever, but I also knew there was something else to it, "If I got you sick, I'm sorry," I smiled weakly.
"Hang on," he stood up and held me against the wall and kissed me softly, "I love you."
Those were the words I love to hear the most, but for some reason it didn't make me feel less sick, "I love you too," I whispered and kissed him back.
"I'll be back tomorrow night," he reassured me as I stumbled into the bedroom.
I collapsed on my bed with only seconds of consciousness left. I knew something was wrong with me, this wasn't a typical fever. I shook it off, thinking I could ask Arisa what was wrong and she would know right away. She's sick all the time, she probably knows about every sickness next to diseases and cancers. I took my mind off of the pain that lurked through my body and thought about Akatsuki and I. We went to the extremes and I had not one ounce of regret in me. If anything did turn out awry in the future, I would stand by Akatsuki's side with confidence.
I was getting pretty worried. For several days, I have had time where I was too sick to hang out with Akatsuki all night so I ended up going to bed most of the time about an hour after Akatsuki would arrive. I've even missed a week of school, along with Arisa who had gotten another flu bug. There was another period of time, however, where I was well enough for Akatsuki and I to have...another night to ourselves.
"Arisa, hold still," I sighed as I played around with Arisa's hair.
"Sorry," she sat still.
Arisa and I were both home sick again. It was only us at home, seeing as Akatsuki was sleeping during the day. He was like a Vampire, I swear. I tied Arisa's pink ribbon in her hair that had her name embroidered in it. I reached in front of her over her shoulder to grab some bobby pins. She grasped my forearm and wouldn't let go.
"What happened to your wrists?" she sounded concerned.
My eyebrows burrowed into a straight line in confusion. I pulled my arm away from her and took the time to examine my wrists. I gasped at what I saw. Hideous yellowish-blue bruises crowded my arm from my wrist to the middle of my forearm. I checked my right wrist and it was bruised just as badly. It made no sense. Sure, Akatsuki had been gripping my wrists, but not nearly that hard. My heart skipped a beat at the fear that something could be wrong with me, but I continued with Arisa's hair.
"How did those bruises get there?" she asked curiously, more concerned.
"I...," I struggled, "I don't know, honestly." even though I was lying.
I finished Arisa's hair in silence and we rotated so she could put up my hair. It was a big tradition for us to play with each other's hair at least once or twice a week. I looked down and made as little conversation as I could, trying to figure out what could be wrong with me. I've almost never been sick in my life, yet here I am, spiking fevers, vomiting, sore limbs, easy bruising, fatigue. I started panicking as soon as I realized some of those symptoms were symptoms of pregnancy. I shook my head, knowing it was impossible to feel those symptoms after only two weeks.
"You need to quit moving," Arisa giggled, nudging my left shoulder. I laughed along with her nervously and continued looking down in fear.
"I'm sorry, Aya, they won't have your test results back until tonight," said mom, slipping her coat off as her and dad walked back into the door.
I hadn't gotten better. I finally told mom and dad that I wasn't feeling well, but didn't tell them about Akatsuki and I, and they took me to the emergency room after they fed me flu medicine and I couldn't breathe after that. The bruises on my wrist from Akatsuki were only worsening, turning a bluish-purplish-blackish color. It made Akatsuki look like an abusing boyfriend, but he always grasps my wrists firmly during...those times. I told mom and dad that I probably hit the poles of my bed corners in my sleep while dreaming. They seemed to buy it, but seemed unsure, thinking that it's unlikey to get bruises that bad in my sleep.
I sighed in defeat as I slipped on my slippers and searched around the bookshelf in mine and Arisa's room for a decent book to read. Arisa followed into the bedroom after me, yawning and rubbing her eye.
"What are you looking for?"
"Something decent to read that's not so religious," I frowned.
Arisa laughed, "Mom and dad are quite the bible bashers, aren't they?"
I rolled my eyes, "Yeah, seriously. I don't get what their problem is."
I reached up to the top shelf for something that looked somewhat decent and grabbed it. As soon as I grabbed the binding and pulled the book out halfway, something went wrong. My knees buckled up straight and I lost control of my motions and my breathing. I fell backwards with nothing ready to break my fall. I fell flat on my back, hitting my head hard and knocking the wind out of me. Arisa ran to my side and shook me around.
"Aya, Aya!!" she panicked. She looked over at the door, "Mom! Dad! Get in here!"
Arisa continued to stare at me, panicked. I wanted to tell her that I felt fine, I only hit my head. I still couldn't say anything, though. After a few seconds, mom and dad rushed in and were on their knees at my side, looking just as panicked as Arisa was. I was confused when dad was pinning me down by my shoulders, as if he were trying to hold me back from something. I wanted to get up, but I didn't even try to, so why was he holding me back? It was when mom was on the phone with the hospital that I realized why dad was holding me down.
"It's my daughter!" she panicked into the phone, "She's thrashing around! No, it's not a seizure, she's never had one!"
Seizure? I was thrashing? Arisa tried to hold my head up, but withdrew her hand right away and held it to dad's face, "Dad, she's bleeding!"
"Get back, Arisa," dad ordered Arisa, gently pushing her away from me.
Arisa's hands were shaking uncontrollably as dad pressed his hand against the back of my head to stop the bleeding that happened too quickly. I didn't even cut my head on anything. What was going on? Arisa's face was consumed with nausea and fear as tears poured down her face. She ran off into another room as mom hung up from the phone and brushed my bangs around and wiped the sweat off of my face.
"Aya, the ambulance is coming. You're going to be all right." she reassured me, panicked.
I sighed out of relief and mom helped dad hold me down by holding my wrists onto the ground on either side of my waist. My heart was beating fiercely, I was panicking, I didn't know what was going on and nobody else did either. It scared me even more to see mom and dad panicked and Arisa crying.
"Daddy, I'm scared," I choked on tears that tried to come out. I used to call him "daddy" when I was young...really young. I must have truly been scared to call him that again.
"It's okay, Aya," mom's voice quivered as she wiped my forehead again with a dirty shirt I had thrown on the ground a day ago, "Just stay with us, okay?"
I nodded and I could feel my body heat up in one instant and freeze in the next. I tried with all my might to stay conscious. I was thankful that we only lived a few blocks from the hospital when I saw three paramedics rush into the room with a stretcher. They lowered a long plastic board-like thing and strapped me into it and lifted me carefully onto the stretcher. I assumed I wasn't thrashing as much, seeing as I was strapped down. The paramedics threw a blanket over me up to my neck and rushed me out of the room.
I wanted to die when I looked over my feet and saw Arsia standing at the front door with her hands covering her face, tears still pouring out uncontrollably. The paramedics shut the doors to the ambulance before I could call back to Arisa and tell her everything was going to be okay. I couldn't hold my consciousness any longer and I slipped into blackness after the paramedics stuck the IV needles in my arm.
My head was killing me. I probably hit it too hard, or the migrane was finally catching up with me after hitting my head. I could hear mumbling and whispering around me and I shook my head painfully, trying to force myself into more consciousness.
"Aya?" I heard Arisa's frantic voice and I heard her stand up to hover over me, "Aya, are you finally awake?"
I moaned, halfway from pain and halfway to let her know I was halfway awake. Everything was halfway now. Arisa stroked my shoulder, letting me know she was right there. I opened my eyes and the light of the room killed my eyes. As soon as my eyes adjusted, I saw the dull gray colors of a hospital room and felt the stiffness of a hospital bed with a flat pillow to support my head. It was probably the lack of pillow fluff that was killing my head. I focused my eyes on Arisa and she looked pale with worry and she sighed in relief.
"Aya," she breathed, "You're finally awake."
"How...," I groaned, "How long have I been out?"
"Hang on," she carefully removed a breathing mask that was placed over my mouth and nose and set it aside, "What did you say?"
"How long have I been out?" I asked again.
"Just about three days," she brushed my bangs around, "Aya, you scared me to death. I thought you were having a seizure or dying or something."
She was scared to death? How did she think I felt? I felt around for the controls to my bed and Arisa generously handed me the controller, almost reading my mind. I pressed the button that would raise the back of my bed and I rose it so I was sitting up straight. I mom and dad were talking with a doctor at the door of the room and as soon as I looked over at them, the doctor escorted them out of the room to talk. Did they get the test results back? Was I...pregnant?
"They're figuring out what's wrong with you, I guess," Arisa shrugged.
I hated when she tried to make everything seem so casual, I knew she wasn't capable of doing that for long. She didn't want me to see her cry again. She hated it when people saw her cry, like what used to happen at school. At elementary, she couldn't help but cry in front of the other students, they were horrible to her. In middle school, she would either unexpectedly cry in front of the other classmates or make an excuse to go to the bathroom and cry. And in high school...I'm worried about her. When she's picked on now, she looks so apathetic about it...until we get home. She would cry for hours until mom and dad got home and would have to leave again.
"Arisa, quit acting so brave. It's pissing me off." I halfway glared at her, "Quit trying to act so tough. I'm not trying to be mean or demanding, but I know you better than that."
She paused for a moment and looked down, "I'm sorry. I'm trying to be confident for you."
"Arisa, I'll be fine," I sighed and smiled weakly, "It's just a little sickness, it'll pass."
Just my luck. The doctor decided to drop by once again, seeing as I was conscious. Arisa stood up and moved out of the way for the doctor. I focused my eyes to read the small print on his nametag and it read "Dr. Makatori"
Dr. Makatori shook my hand and smiled half-heartedly, "You're Kurabashi, Aya, right?"
I nodded and faked smiled while I shook his hand back, "Yeah, I am,"
Dr. Makatori chuckled and gestured to me and Arisa, "You two look exactly alike. I couldn't tell you two apart."
I ignored him as I looked past him at mom who looked like she had just gotten done...crying. Her eyes were red and slightly puffy. Dad approached Arisa and lightly touched her arm, signaling for her to stand next to mom and dad who were standing only about ten feet away from the doctor. Dr. Makatori sighed and looked down at me sentimentally, grabbing onto his clipboard with both hands and holding it down by his waist.
"It's not easy at all, saying this to somebody of your age, but...," he looked back at mom and dad. Dad nodded to him, regretfully encouraging him to go on, "We believe the diagnosis is Chronic Leukemia."
I stopped breathing and my heart stopped for a few seconds. It was when I forced myself to breathe again that my heart started beating again. I figured my face showed little panic, but at the least I had widened eyes.
"We could start chemotherapy now," he started again, "but it would only increase your chances of survival to between ten and twenty percent."
I couldn't cover my mouth with my hands from the IVs that were stuck in my arms, so instead I cried out loud for a short second and let a few stray tears billow out. I looked past Dr. Makatori at Arisa and she broke down, collapsing onto her knees onto the floor and crying in an outburst. Mom kneeled down next to Arisa, wrapping her arm around Arisa's shoulders and crying along with her.
"No...," I pushed back my tears and replaced them with anger, "No, no! I'm not leaving! I'm not going to leave mom or dad! Or Arisa!"
"We could start chemotherapy if you want to," Dr. Makatori suggested, backing an inch or two from my rising temper.
"No! Screw that s**t, chemotherapy isn't going to help!" tears of anger were streaming out, "Find some other way to cure this!!" I knew better than to demand that. I knew there was no cure for cancer and if chemotherapy barely raises my chances to less than a fourth chance of survival, then I won't take that chance.
"Aya!" Arisa cried, buring her face in her arms that coiled around her knees.
I looked up at Dr. Makatori in fury and managed to relax a tad bit when I saw his eyes subtly brimmed with tears. I leaned back in my bed, realizing there was nothing they could do that could raise my chances to be over twenty percent. They did all they could.
I looked down and a few tears of depression slipped out, "Thank you," I sighed, "You may leave now."
Dr. Makatori bowed to me, a long sentimental bow, and left after patting dad on the shoulder. If I had more than a fifty percent chance of survival with chemotherapy, I would gladly do it, but I never had luck when my chances of something were low. I didn't even want to try to survive this if it's something like leukemia. Hell, I'd rather have been pregnant with Akatsuki's baby than have this...but The Fates were against me on that one.
Arisa's crying was getting out of control. Mom helped Arisa up and escorted her out of the room, still in tears as well. Dad took a moment to himself and stood next to my bed as I glared out the window. Of course, when the doctor announces that I have cancer, that's when I start to feel like crap again. My head was killing me again and I looked like a hemophiliac with how badly my wrists were bruised. Dad stroked my shoulder sentimentally and as I looked up at him, tears were also ready to tower over his bottom eyelids.
"Daddy, I'm going to die," I flat out said it. I even used "daddy" again, just as I did when I was thrashing around on my bedroom floor.
"You still have a chance of survival," his voice was shaky.
I exhaled sharply and shook my head, "Less than ten percent without chemotherapy,"
"Then try the chemotherapy," he suggested, "Twenty percent is better than nothing."
"It'll just kill off my good cells too and leave me as a vegetable," I glared away from him, "I'm not going to do it if it won't save me."
There was a long pause and I thought dad was angry with me or debating whether or not he should leave, "I won't force you,"
I closed my eyes and cried out loud once again, allowing any free tear to spill for only a few minutes before the pain surged all over me again. I didn't know if Leukemia really felt like this, but I wanted it all to stop.
"Without chemotherapy, you have only days left," dad choked on his sorrow.
"Daddy...," I groaned, ignoring what he last said. I wrapped my arms around my chest and stomach and curled up, "Daddy, I'm hurting all over." I started hyperventilating unvoluntarily, "Daddy, I can't breathe!"
Dad rolled me onto my back, panicking, and he pressed the red emergency button for the nurse. Dad held me down as I started thrashing around once again with no control over myself. Around four nurses and Dr. Makatori rushed in and took control of me. I knew cancer wasn't like this, not Leukemia. I was remembering back to sixth grade when we were all split into groups to do studies about different kinds of cancer. Some two girls did Leukemia and I vaguely remembered the symptoms, but remembered enough to know that I didn't have Leukemia. I had a lot of the same symptoms, but half of my symptoms weren't close to being involved with Leukemia. I had something else and I knew it, but my chances of survival would still be low if the pain like this continued.
Before I fell unconscious again, images of mom, dad, Arisa and Akatsuki bounced around in my head as I unvoluntarily shut my eyes once more, after the thrashing stopped, into another deep slumber.
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