She wiped her tears as she ran towards the rooftop. She doesn't care how many people she have bumped into, she only wants to get out of this so-called hell. Her legs felt like they're too weak to run, but she pushed herself to get to her destination. She doesn't care anymore, because none of the people she knew even cared about what she feels.
She reached the rooftop by the time her eyes were already tired from crying. She slumped down the concrete floor, feeling the exhaustion in her two legs. She looked up at the sky, wanting to curse God for all the misfortunes she had for the past years. She questions why He have to give her this kind of trial at her young age, not her heart nor her mind could even understand why these things happen to her. "Why did you let me live?" She shouted at the top of her lungs. She was taught in Sunday school that God is a loving father, but now she doesn't believe the crap. She looked up, and she saw the concrete railing of the rooftop. She stood up, and walked towards it. "Since I'm going to die, why not take my own life instead..." she said to herself. "It will make life a lot more easier for me..."
She climbed up the rail and stood as she open her arms wide. "Hell... here I come!" she thought. She was about to jump when she heard someone shout at her. "Stop!" She looked back, and she saw a young doctor rushing up to her. "Don't dare to come close or I'll jump!" she threatened him. "No! Don't jump! Let's talk this over..." he said to him. She stepped back as he comes closer to her. "For Christ's sake, just let me die, will you?" she snapped. She made another step, but she realized that there nothing to step on. She lost her balance, and fell from the rooftop. Well, at least she thought. That's what she remembered before she passed out.
"How is she?" Mark asked the doctor as she checked on the girl he saved a while ago. "She's going to be OK, Mark. You don't have to worry about her..." the doctor said. After explaining her condition right now, the doctor left her room. Mark stayed, and began to read the files that was given to him. It was her file. According to the file, her name is Hannah, 18 years old , and she's suffering from Leukemia. Mark looked back at her as she reads her file. From what happened a while ago at the rooftop, he knows that she not only needs to be treated for Leukemia, but she needs help Psychologically.
After reading her file, he decided to stay until she wakes up. He watched her as she sleeps peacefully on the hospital bed. A few hours ago, she seemed to be a disturbed teenager, full of angst and hatred. After a while, she began to open her eyes. "Where am I?" She said as she sat up from her bed. "Relax, you're here at the hospital..." Mark told her. Hannah gave him a disappointed look. "I'm not yet dead?"
Mark just laughed at her. "I'm serious... why didn't you just let me die out there?" she asked again. Mark stopped laughing, and smiled at her. "Why would I let a beautiful girl die out there?" he said. Hannah just smirked at him. "Look, Mister. First, you have no right to get into my business. Second, you don't know what's going on in my life. And Third, I'm not beautiful. You hear me?"
Mark laughed at her again. Hannah gave him a confused look this time. "What?" she said sarcastically. Mark stopped laughing, and went near her. "First, I have the right to get into your business because I'm a doctor, and my job is to save lives. Second, I have checked on your file, and I know what's going on with you. Third, you're beautiful in me eyes. OK?"
"Sounds like you know how to play with girls... Doctor!" Hannah snapped back. "Well, it just so happened that I will be your doctor for hereon... so I made an effort to get to know my first patient..."
"Oh great! I'm his first patient. Thank God if I'll survive this ordeal!" Hannah thought as she listened to his explanation. Then she remembered the what happened to her a while ago...
"Hannah..." the doctor called her as he looked up at her. She could see in his eyes that something is really wrong with her. It was a few weeks back when she had her annual check up, and the doctor asked her to take several tests. She doesn't know why they had to do those things to her. "I believe, it's serious this time..."
"Oh, come on... I'm just stressed out. I'm preparing for college and..."
"Hannah... this is really serious. The tests showed that you have leukemia..."
Leukemia. She felt her world fell when she heard that. Two years ago, her beloved grandma died because of this sickness. And here she is, sitting in front of the doctor who's telling her that she have Leukemia. "How many months?" she asked, trying to put a brave front. "Well, it shows that the cancer cells are already - "
"How many months?" she repeated in a stern voice. "Will I be able to graduate in high school before I die?"
The doctor closed his eyes before he answered her. "I'm sorry Hannah... I believe you won't be able to - " She stood up from the chair, went out of the doctor's office and ran as fast as she could.
[End of Flashback]
"You want to talk about it?" she heard Mark asked. She looked up at him and shook his head. "I'm dying. What else should we talk about?" she snapped back. She got up from her bed, and took her bag. "Where are you going?" Mark asked. "It's none of your business." After that, she walked away from him, and left the room.
It was 9 PM when she got home. The house still dark when she got home. She didn't bother to open the lights, so she went straight to her room.
All her life, she lives in the dark. She doesn't have a perfect, normal life. Her parent divorced when she was 5. She lives with her mom, who doesn't have anything to do with her. She's always out, partying, dating or working. Her dad? She never saw him again after the divorce. From what she knows, his dad remarried and lived in another city. The only person who cared for her is her grandma, but two years ago, she died and left her. At school, she doesn't have friends. She used to have friends, but they only used her to get better grades. Since then, she decided to isolate herself from the rest of the class. Sometimes, the guys in her school would make fun of her. She would fight the guys back, or beat them up, that's why she's always at the principal's office. Her mom would always come and bail her out, but when they're already home, she would slap her and beat her up. And now, she found out that she's dying. She barely even have six months to live. She wouldn't be able to fulfill of her dreams because of her sickness.
She curled up on her bed, her tears starting to fall from her eyes again. "What have I done to deserve this punishment?" she thought again. The pain's starting to sink in. The truth is, she doesn't want to die. She's scared to die...
She started to hum the lullaby her grandma taught her when she was a kid. From humming, she started to sing the song.
"When I am lost,
You shine a light on me and set me free
When I am low,
You wash away my tears and take me through
The loneliness and emptiness
Through the darkest night
Somehow I'll survive through it all..."
She started to cry again. What she needs right now is someone who would comfort her, and tell her everything's going to be all right. At this point, she longs for someone who could show her compassion, sympathy. She wished that for once, her mom would be a mother to her, just like those moms in TV. But she's all alone, there's no one around to hold her and make her feel loved.
Maybe her sickness is a blessing in disguise. Her mom always tells her how much she despises her. At least when she's gone, she wouldn't be a burden to her mom. "But why should I prolong this agony..." she though to herself. She reached for her side table, and she took the blade. She cut herself, one, twice, thrice. She could feel the pain, and she could feel the cold blood flowing out of her bed. She lay on her bed, and closed her eyes as she awaits for her death...
She pictured a white, cloudy room filled with angels playing with their harp. She pictured her grandma, smiling at her as she comes near her. She pictured happy cherubims running around. She pictured a golden path, a garden filled with different types of flowers. She thought she was in heaven as she carefully opened her eyes. Yes, she sees a white room, and people wearing white. But instead, she sees doctors and nurses. Again, she's at the hospital. "Crap..." she thought. She's suppose to die. It's her fate to die. Why can't God just let her die now? Why should He prolong her agony?
"Another attempted suicide?" she heard a familiar voice say. "Yes, Doctor. She slashed her wrist several times." Hannah pretended to sleep as she listened to their conversation. She haven't figured out why she's here. Who brought her to the hospital? "How's my daughter?" she heard a man's voice said. She thought that the man was talking about another patient, but it seems that the doctor and the man were talking about her, and her condition. Shortly after the man left, she opened her eyes, and she saw the doctor who saved her that afternoon.
"It's you?" she said. Mark smiled back at her. "So, you really want to die, huh?"
"I told you, it's none of your business. I'm going to die anyway!" she said weakly. Mark took a chair and sat beside her. "It's my business because you're my patient... I'm a doctor and - "
"And you save lives... yeah I heard that this afternoon. Why can't you just let me die?"
"Because you're worth saving, princess..."
Hannah looked up at him, dumbfounded. "I haven't introduced myself yet. I'm Dr. Mark Han. I'll be your doctor from now on." He said, smiling at her. Mark extended his hand to her, but she just looked at it. "I suppose you already know who I am." Hannah said. Mark put his hand on his pocket. "Yep. Hannah Shin. 18 years old, diagnosed with Leukemia, and a stubborn, suicidal, mentally-disturbed girl." he said. "Why can't you just leave me alone?"
"Why can't I? I have to make sure you're going to live!"
"Nobody cares if I live or if I die... I just want to die now..."
She started to sib again. Mark Stood up from her chair, and sat on her bed to comfort her. "I don't know why you want to die, but what I know is you have your dreams... and I'm hear to make sure you'll be able to chase your dreams..." he said in a low voice. "It's no use now... nobody would really care..." she said in between sobs. "Then what about your dad?"
Hannah looked up at him and gave him a confused look. "Your dad was really worried when you got here..."
"You don't understand... I don't have a - "
Their conversation was interrupted when a man entered her room. "Oh, Mr. Shin!" Mark said as he greeted the man. The man smiled at him, then smiled at Hannah. "I see my princess is awake now..."
Hannah just stared blankly at the man standing by her bed. He slowly walked towards her, and leaned down to kiss her on her forehead. "Hello, my princess..."
Hannah's dad was in town that day, so he decided to pay her a visit. He saw that the door is open, so he decided to enter their house. When he went to her room, he saw her lying lifeless on her bed, with blood covering her arm. He didn't waste time, and he rushed his daughter to the nearest hospital.
When he saw his daughter awake, he didn't question her why she have done that. Instead, he hugged her tight, and thanked God she's alive. He only wanted to spend some time with his eldest daughter, and to make up for the times that he was not there for her. God knows how he tried to win the custody of Hannah, but his ex-wife won the battle. He appealed for visitation rights, but his ex-wife wouldn't let him see his daughter. He tried to hear from Hannah, and from what he heard, his ex-wife is not treating her well. After this incident, he decided to take Hannah with him. He talked to his ex-wife about this, and she agreed to let Hannah go with him after she's discharged from the hospital.
Hannah have already met her father's "new family". She pictured her step-mom to be like an evil stepmother from fairytales, but she was the exact opposite. She's very caring and compassionate. She always look after her, and she treats her like her own daughter. Her half-sister is not that bad at all. She's funny, and she always tries to make her smile. There are times that she wants to isolate herself from this "perfect" family, but her step-mom would always insist that she join them. Before she knew it, she fell in love with this family... and it's hurting her so bad.
Her father still doesn't know her real condition. She doesn't want anyone to know. If she dies, she wants to die alone. But after joining her dad's family, she realized that she wants to live for them. She wants to live a little longer and stay with them...
She stepped inside Mark's office. She doesn't have an appointment, but she wants to see him. He's her last hope. As soon as she walked inside his office, Mark looked up at her. "Hannah?" he asked. "Cure me, Dr. Han. Please make me live longer..." she said. Tears started to run down her cheeks as she pleaded. "I know I still have time, please save me, Dr. Han..." Mark stood up from seat, and went near her. He didn't say a word, instead, he embraced her, and let her cry.
After a while, they both sat on the couch. Mark explained what they have to do to cure her - the chemotherapy, the radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplant. "We have to try chemotherapy first, and if it doesn't work, we'll try the other treatments." Mark said. All throughout his explanation, Hannah remained silent. "Hey, are you listening?" Hannah looked up at him and smiled. For the first time, he saw how her face lit up with her smile. Mark smiled back at her. "See, I told you you're beautiful... you just have to smile once in a while..." he said. "Thank you, Dr. Han... the truth is, I'm scared..." Hannah finally said. Mark took her hand and squeezed it. "I'll be there for you, Hannah. Trust me..."
"Would you believe, I haven't told dad about my condition. I was thinking of dying alone... but then he came..." Hannah started. "I have been alone for all of my life... It was my grandma who loved and cared for me, but she left me two years ago. My mom didn't love me, and it was only my dad and my step-mom who gave me the love I've always wanted... I want to live for them... I don't want to hurt them..." she continued. Again, the tears cascaded from her eyes. Mark now realized the reason why she changed her mind, and why she tried to kill herself. Mark put his arm around her, and let Hannah lean her head on her shoulder. She closed her eyes, and she began to hum her lullaby. Mark listened to her as she hums. He could feel the the pain and hope in her lullaby. Her voice is like that of an angel - soothing and lovely.
When she's finished humming the lullaby, she opened her eyes and smiled at Mark. "That was lovely..." he said. "My grandma used to sing that to me. I hum this lullaby whenever I feel sad... and after that, I don't feel sad anymore..." she explained. He held her hand again and smiled at her again. "You have to be strong, Hannah. This will be a difficult process, but you have to stay strong..."
The chemotherapy session started the next week. Hannah gathered the courage to tell her family about her condition before it started. Both her dad and her stepmom were in tears when she explained her sickness. Like her, they also want her to live much longer so that they could make up for the lost time. Her family have been supportive of her, and always makes sure she's OK. Mark was supportive as well. They have become closer during the process. He makes sure that he accompanies Hannah during her chemotherapy sessions. Even though it hurts, Hannah would pretend she's OK, and will put on a brave front. When she's in pain, she just sings her lullaby to make it go away.
But it seems nothing will work out right...
"Mark... I don't think she'll make it..." Dr. Quan, one of the specialists said to him. Mark stood up from his seat, and looked at Hannah's file. "The cancer cells have already spread. She can no longer produce white blood cells..."
"How about a bone marrow transplant?"
"With her condition, I don't think it will work either..."
Her condition has worsened, but it doesn't show in her face. Unlike before, Hannah smiles a lot now. She tries to be happy, even though she's in pain. Her willingness to live makes her stronger. And it just breaks Mark's heart knowing she would die anytime soon. "I don't want to give up on her..." he thought. All the possible treatment would not work on her, since the cancer was detected at a later stage. Right now, he's asking God for a miracle - that she would live longer. As long as he could see the smile on her face a little longer, everything would be all right for him. He's not yet ready to let her go and let her die...
"What?" Hannah said when he noticed Mark just staring at her. Lately, Mark seems a little spaced out. They were at the hospital's Green house that time, looking at the flowers that have bloomed that spring. "Mark, are you listening?" she asked again. Mark looked at her blankly. "What was it?" he asked. Hannah just shook her head. "Nothing that you should know..."
As Hannah started to walk, he reached for her hand, and held it tight. She looked back at him, and he could see the sadness in his eyes. "Mark?"
"Please, just let me hold your hand..." he said. She sensed that he wants to tell her, but something's holding him back. Was it about her condition? As days pass by, she feels weaker and weaker. She tried her best to hide what she feels, but lately, she could not hide it anymore. She knows that she will die anytime soon. The doctors didn't tell her anything, but she could feel it. She's still scared to die, she's still scared to lose everything she loves - her stepmom, her dad, her little sister, the friends she made at the hospital, and Dr. Mark Han...
He have been like a big brother to him, but what she feels for him is not just a brotherly love. He never gave up on her, and he was there all through her pain. She had another reason to live, because of him. But she can't tell him what she feels, because she's not ready to be rejected. She knows he only treats her as his little sister, and that's all she is to him. She was thankful to God that he met this wonderful man, even it's too late. Maybe that's the reason why her attempts to kill herself didn't succeed - because she's destined to meet him. He saved her twice, and he's trying to save her now, and she's thankful that he's always by her side.
She looked into his eyes, and then she hugged him tight. He embraced her, not wanting to let her go. Then, she began to sing her lullaby again.
"When you tell me I'm the only one you need,
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Breaks away the clouds surrounding me
All I have I want to give to thee..."
After she sang the lullaby, she let go from her embrace and looked into her eyes. He stared into her eyes, and moved closer to her. As soon as their noses touched, Hannah closed her eyes. "Is he going to kiss me?" she thought. Before she knew it, he pressed his lips against her. Her first kiss... she wished time would stop at that moment. If this is a dream, she wants to dream this moment forever. She wants to stay this way for the remaining days of her life... "So this is how it feels like..." she thought. At that moment, she had mixed emotions - she was both happy and sad. Happy, because she kissed the guy who have her heart. Sad, because this moment could end anytime soon.
And the kiss ended. That moment of ecstasy ended, but she have no regrets. He continued to stare into her eyes after their kiss. "I... I'm sorry, Hannah... I didn't mean to kiss you..." Hannah became disappointed. Maybe for Mark, the kiss was a mistake. But for her, it's something special, something that she will treasure until the next lifetime.
But the truth is, he said sorry because he feels like he's taking advantage of Hannah. He's scared Hannah would be mad at him, and will shut him out of her life completely. The truth is, he's in love with him since the day he first saw her. When he learned that she have leukemia, he was willing to do anything to make her live. He wants to see the smile on her face... and yes, he succeded. The day she smiled at him was the happiest day of his life. That's why he's determined to cure her. If he could only see the smile on her face, if he could only kiss her lips once again, if he could just make her live longer, then he would be fulfilled as a person and as a doctor. If he could only take away her pain, and if he could only share her misery to show her how much he loved her.
Both of them are running out of time. Hannah only have a few days to live. Who knows when she will die...
"I need to see you..." Mark said on the phone. As few days has passed since the day he kissed Hannah. Hannah was trying to avoid him whenever he's around. When he makes his rounds, she pretends to be asleep so that she could avoid him. He understood why Hannah was trying to avoid him, but it hurts him him so much. He know he doesn't have enough time, so he decided to tell Hannah how he feels. He decided to tell her how much he loves him.
"Why?" Hannah said on the other line. "I want to tell you something..." Hannah agreed to meet him at the Green House that night. She have also decided to tell Mark how she feels for him. "I don't have much time left..." she thought. Lately, the medications does not work on her anymore. When she goes to her chemotherapy session, it becomes more painful that not even her humming could make her forget the pain. Aside from that, her vision became blurry, which only means once her sight is gone, it will be her end.
After his shift, Mark ran to the nearest flower shop to get Hannah's favorite flower - roses. As he was about to leaave, a group of teenagers went inside the flower shop and robbed it. Mark tried to resist them, but he ended up being stabbed in his heart. The people around him took him to the Emergency room to treat his wound, but as soon as the ER personnel left him, he sneaked out. Not withstanding the pain, he tried to go to the green house to meet Hannah. "I can't disappoint her... I have to tell her everything..." he thought.
At the green house, Hannah patiently waited for Mark. Despite her blurry vision, she was able to sneak out of her room. She have been waiting for hours, but he still didn't come. "Where are you, Mark?" she thought. She's getting more worried as time passes by. It's very unlikely of Mark to be late. It's getting darker outside, and her vision's slowly fading. "Please God... please don't take my sight right now... If I'm going to die today, please let me see Mark's face for the last time..." she prayed silently. Feeling a little weak, she leaned on the bench, as she waited for Mark.
Just then, she heard the door open. She knows she can no longer see, but Hannah saw a white light coming to her direction, and she saw Mark walking up to him. "Hannah..." he said in a low voice. Hannah tried to walk towards him, but when he reached him, she almost fell. Mark tried to support her. "I thought you'll never come..." she said. "I have to see you, Hannah..."
Mark feels weak. He have lost so much blood from the accident, but he tried to come so as not to disappoint Hannah. They sat on the bench, and Mark embraced her tight. He knows that with his condition, he would only have a few hours to live, and if he'll die, he wants to die in the arms of the girl he loved most. "I wanted to give you a bouquet of roses but something happened that's why I'm late..." Mark explained. "It doesn't matter, Mark. As long as you came, that's all that matters to me."
"Hannah, I'm sorry if I let you down... I'm sorry if I was not able to save you this time..."
Hannah looked up to him and smiled. "I knew right from the start that I'm going to die. I just wanted to live longer for my family... and I'm grateful to you because you did your best to save me..." she said in a low voice. Hannah closed her eyes and put her head on Mark's shoulder. Then, she began to hum her lullaby.
"If I should fall
Your love is strong enough to lift me up
If I'm afraid
You chase away my fears
And take me to
A brighter place
Beyond the rain
And I feel alright
Because you're by my side
Through it all..."
Mark closed his eyes as he listen to her song. He held her close to her, and gently kissed her forehead. "I... I love you, Hannah..." he whispered to her. "I loved you since the day I saw you... I loved you, and it hurts me when I see you in pain. I can't afford to lose you..."
Hannah let out a faint smile. "Thank you for loving me, Mark... I wish I could stay longer with you, but..." she was not able to continue what she's about to say. She felt more weaker than ever, and her eyes seems a little heavy. "I'm tired... I don't want to sleep, but I'm tired... I still want to stay with you here..." she finally said. "If... if you are tired... then you have to sleep... I feel a little tired as well..."
"I... I just want to say that I love you too..."
She began to hum her lullaby again.
"When you tell me I'm the only one you need,
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Breaks away the clouds surrounding me
All I have I want to give to thee..."
At the last note, at the last line, Hannah fell into a deep slumber, never to be awake again. Mark felt her heart stopped beating, he kissed her again in her lips, just like the last time, and he too closed his eyes and slept peacefully. Their lifeless bodies embraced each other, until the next morning...
Labels: one-shot, Roses