In the Shadows

Chapter 4 - The Sickness

By Kursed SeeD

What do you say to someone when you know they're going to die?

Then again, what do you say to the one who loves him?

I am asking you this because I can't find the answer. I have no words to offer them.

Iím completely lost.

I can see that, deep down, they know what is going to happen. They are just waiting for someone to announce their worst fears.

I don't want to be the one to have to do that.

Then again, I don't want some stranger doing it, either.

So again I ask you...

What do you say to someone when you know they're going to die?

What do you say to the man who has stood by his side throughout the years? Who has handled him getting married to someone else, having a life that doesn't really include him? To someone who would give his life in an instant if only it could save the man he loved?

I am beginning to think there are no words. Nothing that I can say that might make it easier.

These past few months have been a blur in my mind. One day slipping into the next, chipping away at our defenses, leaving only weakened shells behind. A mere memory of what we used to be.

For a while after the vacation incident, everything had returned to normal. (Or, I suppose, as normal as you can call our lives.)

But then... one day... we had all been at the Garden... to celebrate Raine's birthday...

(And this is a day that will forever be etched in my mind.)

Squall had been giving a speech of how proud he was of his growing daughter, who had just turned 7, (Protest as he likes, speeches were always where Squall excelled) when he had began to go extremely pale.

I had noticed and began to move towards him quickly, but I was not fast enough.

He had collapsed before I reached him.

Seifer, of course, had been the first one by his side, calling out to him frantically.

Seifer had also been the first one by his side as the doctor ran countless tests on him. (I didn't tell him, but I knew he slept on that chair beside Squall's bed.)

The only time that Seifer wasn't there when it concerned Squall was when the doctor told me his diagnosis. (Then again, no one had been there. I had made previous arrangements for me to be told first... that way, if it were bad, I could figure out the proper way to tell them... now... if only I had known...)

It was a cancer, spreading deep within his body, ravaging upon his organs like fresh meat.

No, there wasn't any possible way to save him, although they'd sure as hell try.

Which leads me back to what do you say to someone when you know they're going to die?

I have only come up with a few things...

"I'm sorry Squall... there's nothing they can do..."

"It's like this... you saved the world from only Hyne knows what kind of horror, but the doctors can't think of any way to save your life."

"The doctors say it should happen quickly... you won't suffer..."

"Squall, you're going to die."

See? I can't think of anything decent to say. I've got your average words and the blunt truth.

I don't want to give them either.

In an ironic twist, it was never me who told them...

It was they who told me...

"Quistis... I don't want you to cry... I know I'm not going to survive much longer... don't try to deny it, because I know what my body is trying to tell me... but... I don't want you to be sad, Quistis.... because I'm not... don't you understand? I'm finally going to be free There won't be any obligations or duties to tie me down... I'll finally get to be with Seifer. Every night, when he dreams, I can finally be there."

"You really shouldn't frown, Quistis. Sure, Squall's going to lose his body... but he'll still be here with us... He's going to be watching over us... and he won't hurt anymore... we'll finally be together, even if only in my dreams... that will be more than I could have ever hoped for... so can't you be happy for us?"

"Maybe it's selfish of me to say this... but I'm happy I'm going to go... I know Raine will be taken well care of... so I'm not worried about that... and even though I won't physically be here for her, she'll still know I'm watching out for her... so please.... smile for me? Tell me you understand?"

What else could I do?

I smiled and told him I understood.

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