Chapter Eighty-Eight

Lucas shifted somewhat uncomfortably in his seat and watched as Melanie smiled up at the young woman who stood before them.

“Thank you for everything, Stephanie.” His wife said warmly. “We really appreciate it.”

1

“My pleasure.” The young woman smiled softly. “Just remember to take it slow, like I showed you. Especially the stairs.” Her eyes shifted toward Lucas. “And Lucas, if you need any help or have any questions you can call me any time, okay?”

Lucas nodded, unsmiling. “Sure.” He said weakly, and found himself unable to meet her gaze.

Out of the corner of his eye he could see her smile falter slightly, but she said nothing and simply turned her attention back to Mel. “See you next week.” Stephanie said kindly, and with a small wave, headed for the door.

“I like her.” Melanie smiled widely and turned to face her husband as soon as the young woman was out of earshot. “She’s a really sweet girl, I can tell.”

His wife was looking at him expectantly, and Lucas realized she was waiting for some sort of reply. “Yeah.” He said finally, his voice flat. “I guess.”

2

There was a flash of concern in Mel’s eyes for a moment, but she kept her smile. “And she was really helpful, don’t you think?” She continued. “Which is good, because I’ll be needing my strength for this weekend… I can’t believe Sam and Laura are flying all the way out here to visit.” Her smile widened. “I can barely remember the last time we saw them in person, can you? Monte Vista must be amazing…” Mel shook her head. “I mean, I know they’ve sent us all those pictures, but I bet they don’t really—”

3

“Stop.” Lucas interrupted abruptly, his hands clenched at his sides. “Just stop. Okay?”

He watched through narrowed eyes as the smile vanished from her face. “Honey, what’s wrong?” Mel asked nervously.

5

What’s wrong?” Lucas repeated incredulously. “Mel, listen to yourself! Jesus…” He shook his head, trying unsuccessfully to calm down.

Melanie reached for his shoulder hesitantly. “What’s gotten into you?” She asked softly.

Her husband pulled away from her touch, rising to his feet quite suddenly. “How can you just sit there and pretend everything’s fine?!” He demanded. “We have hospice care visiting our house for Christ’s sake!” Lucas cried.

“I know…” Mel said quietly, her voice pained.

7

Lucas ignored her, his voice continuing to rise. “They had to teach me how to help you out of bed! How to walk you down the stairs!” He couldn’t remember the last time he felt so angry. “Pretty soon I’ll be carrying you! Hell, before long you won’t even be able to go down the stairs at all!” Lucas was practically screaming. “So you wanna know what’s wrong? You’re dying, Mel. And there’s nothing I can do about it.”

8

He fell silent then, hanging his head as a slight warmth crept down the side of his face. Lucas wiped away the tears with the back of his hand, breathing heavily as he tried to calm himself.

God damn it… He thought, ashamed as he realized just how much he’d lost control.

It had been a rough year. After Mel’s painful decision to let her disease run its course, Lucas had stood by her every step of the way. It had been a slow decline, and only recently had things started to really go downhill. The hospital had finally suggested at-home hospice care just a few weeks ago, and after much discussion, Lucas and Melanie agreed.

But after putting on a brave face for his wife for so long, Lucas was finally reaching the end of his rope. And seeing Mel remain so calm and unfazed in the face of what lay ahead was all it took to push him over the edge.

“Lucas…” Melanie rose to her feet with a bit of difficulty.

He bowed his head, embarrassed. “I’m sorry, Mel. I… I don’t know what came over me.” Lucas shook his head slowly.

I do.” His wife replied in a whisper, caressing his cheek gently with the back of her hand. “You don’t have to apologize.”

9

Lucas lifted his head, and tried his best to return her soft smile.

“Believe me,” Melanie continued, “I’m hurting too, Lucas. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m terrified.” She confessed. “But I don’t want to spend whatever time I have left dwelling on it, or getting upset over something I can’t control.” Her shoulders shrugged slightly. “So I’ve learned to accept it… Because it’s like you said – there’s nothing we can do about it.” She finished sadly, though a slight smile lingered on her lips.

Lucas did not immediately reply as he furrowed his brow, lost in thought. Well, maybe there’s nothing we can do now He realized. But maybe later

“You’re wrong, Mel.” He said seriously. “There is something we can do. Or, I can do, at least…”

10

His wife eyed him curiously, but said nothing.

“I can bring you back!” Lucas explained. “We have what we need… I just need to figure out how to make it, and we’ll have the cure.” His bright green eyes lit up slightly as he spoke. “And then, I’ll use it to bring you back.”

Melanie simply shook her head. “And what about Evelyn?” She asked softly.

11

Lucas’ face fell. “I-I’ll bring you both back.” He replied, trying his best to sound confident. “There’s gotta be enough for two of you.”

“And what if there isn’t? What if you had to choose?”

He hesitated, just for a moment. “I’d choose you.” His voice was barely more than a whisper. “Evelyn would never forgive me for it, and I’d probably hate myself a little bit too…” He admitted. “But I know I’d hate myself even more if I didn’t bring you back. I can’t lose you, Mel. And maybe I don’t have to… Not for long, anyway.” Lucas shrugged.

12

His wife turned away, sitting back on the couch with a shake of her head. “You don’t mean that.” She insisted. “You have to do what’s right. And giving Evelyn her second chance, keeping your promise to her… That’s what’s right.”

13

Lucas fought his impulse to argue with her, and instead considered her words for a few moments. And the more he thought about them, the more unsure he became of what he should do. With a heavy sigh he took a seat beside her on the couch, saying nothing. He lowered his head into one of his hands as he fought back the hot sting of tears in his eyes.

14

“And besides, I don’t plan on staying behind anyway.” Mel continued gently. “I’m not happy about this, Lucas. Believe me…. But when my time comes, I think I’ll be ready.” She said simply. As she spoke, she slid closer to him and reached out, taking one of his hands between her palms.

15

“You gave me the most incredible life.” Melanie said sincerely. “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve you, Lucas. But whatever it was, I’m so happy I did it.”

She smiled gently at him as she spoke – that same beautiful smile that gave him butterflies the first night they met. The same smile that had taken his breath away day after day for the past fifty years.

16

“I love you, Mel.” He whispered, finding his voice at last. “More than anything.” Lucas tried to hold back more tears that now threatened to fall. “And… When you get wherever it is you’re going…” He took a breath. “Promise… That you’ll wait for me?” He said thickly.

Melanie said nothing and simply pulled him close, pressing her lips to his. Lucas wrapped his arms around her, sighing as her mouth moved slowly against his own.

18

He relished in the feeling, trying to memorize the taste of her lips, the heat of her breath, the sound of her sighs – every detail, every moment, everything about the beautiful, perfect woman he held in his arms…

Because soon, he realized, memories would be all he had left of her.

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29 Responses to Chapter Eighty-Eight

  1. O'jenn says:

    Stop making me cry! I am running out of tissues over here!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. theplumbob says:

    Oh, I only just realised what Lucas has been wearing lately! Lots of black… but there’s still a bit of green in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. raerei says:

    Good job Lucas. Let it out, protest, cry. It’s the only way you’ll learn to accept. Love this. . . And color metaphor?! Ooh. This I must see!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jes2G says:

    AND…not sure how you thought this was filler! It was totally necessary.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. thebookthief24 says:

    Krysta is going to FREAK when she finds out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SimmerSteffie says:

    I am so sad! I knew (or expected, anyways) it to happen but I’m still not ready! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  7. whattheplum says:

    You stayed super true to Lucas’ character here. It would have been maybe easier to just skip past it, but I think the story needed it – we needed to see him react this way.

    And honestly (yes, this is gonna be rambly ’cause it’s past my bedtime ;D), the way that Lucas interrupts the story’s flow forward for a moment is really perfection – grief, too, does have these back-and-forth moments like this, where you’ve accepted it and are ready to move on but still get interrupted by bursts of panic/denial/anger. I noticed myself correcting Lucas in my head as he offered each desperate suggestion (No, Lucas, you probably don’t *actually* want to revive someone who is suffering from cancer, so they can keep suffering from cancer) – it’s the same thing we do in our heads to our own desperate voices when we’re in this position. If there were one singular ‘reader consciousness’ I feel like Lucas is representin’ for that fool part in us that just doesn’t wanna let go.

    In short: damn, you’re good. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The Ghost says:

    I swear I almost cried. I’m holding back tears right now… 😥

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad I got a brand new box of tissues for this. It’s so real with hospice added in it…the first few paragraphs reminded me of when my grandpa needed hospice care. My grandpa held on for four years, hopefully Mel doesn’t…because it’ll make it harder for those she leaves behind. Aaaanyway, time to read the next chapter and have my heart stabbed repeatedly, probably.

    Like

  10. lolamonroe14 says:

    Wow! you are an AMAZING storyteller!….. So I’m at work reading this story (taking a break of course hehehehe…) I have a complete meltdown my co-woker rushes over to me in a panic and ask what’s wrong and I tell her I’m reading a story… she scrolls up a little and says is this about a cartoon? I say “Nope” and I try to explain to her what exactly the SIMS is… The look on her face PRICELESS! :)….

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thank you so much for reading!! But I’m sorry I made you have a meltdown haha This part of the story was SO emotional for me. I love Mel, and writing about the end of her life was so sad for me! People always have amusing reactions when I try to explain about Sims and SimLit/Sim stories too haha so I understand!

      Thank you again for your lovely comment. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story and I hope you like the ending as well! You’re getting close! 🙂

      Like

  11. lovesstorms says:

    First, the comment above is hilarious. Sims does equal cartoon, but not at the same time. To someone who doesn’t do sims or know anything about them, they’d assume cartoon. Haha! >_<

    As for this chapter, I'm not surprised Lucas has reached the end of his rope. It's so hard watching a loved one die before your eyes. I've done this, but only for like a day or two (not there during the hardest part, in my opinion). I literally kept checking my Grandma in her room while she lay in bed. We knew she had very little time and we were just visiting her. So, my weirdo self kept checking her wanting to be the first to discover her. I'm more sad now than I was then. Probably because I was young. Still, me and my morbid self. lol

    They are super sweet together here. I love them, but I can't help but love Evelyn more. I'm not necessarily wanting Lucas and Evelyn together, but I feel like the time has come for Evelyn to get her wish. I'm ready. You'd better not disappoint me or I may never speak to you again (or at least for a very long time). 😐

    Liked by 1 person

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