But now, I am different. I knew very well what death was. But that was not the only difference. This time unlike the last, I have to bear in mind about the fate that is to befall from now on.
This was much more painful. I knew it in my heart. But I also knew something else.
As much painful as it was, I had only one way. To make James happy and assure him about me and Jenny. To do this, I have to be strong and happy myself. Only then will he be content. Whatever he says, I believe that being happy means living long.
While that is one thing, I also knew that I had and even greater responsibility. I have to make sure that he does not feel guilty. As much logical a person can be, in this kind of situation, that person would indeed feel guilty.
I knew that he was asking me to move on because he is guilt driven. After today, he might not bring it up any more, but he would surely think how different things would be. To extinguish those thoughts, I will have to show him I can go just fine without him, though it will not be true.
After lunch, we were on the road again. It was late afternoon when we reached home. Mom was probably in a friend's house and only dad was around. He did not ask us what we did or where we went. Though he does not pry details from us like mom does, he would just ask for the sake of curiosity.
When it was sunset, mom came home. It was night and then morning. Now a days, I only went to office for four hours, either before lunch or after.
This Monday, I decided to work in the morning. When I came back for lunch, surprisingly, James was still home.
"Hey," I called out at his form leaning on the sofa. What's with him? His next transfusion is ten more weeks away.
"Hi Jessie." He said and stood up. A little later he joined for lunch.
"Why did you stay home?" I asked him once we were alone.
"Just did not feel like it." He said and it did not give me more doubt.
"You know something Jessie? I have known of this, my health and all, for more than a year." He stopped for a deep breath. "But, I still don't want this to be real. I still wish that this is all just a bad dream." He then looked into my eyes with his crystal eyes. He felt so vulnerable, so easily breakable in that moment.
"I am happy that you could take all this but, I still can't Jessie. I want to live. I want live for very long. I just… I want to live." His voice broke. One can easily tell that he was trying to contain it within himself.
This was new knowledge to me. I had always thought that he came to terms with everything even before I found out. But now, I did not know anymore. When he tried to persuade me to move on, I assumed that he was over it. Probably, this was the first time in my life that I felt an insane amount of stupidity within myself.
"Don't cry Jessie, don't." I found myself in his arms. The last time I cried was when I upset that he was keeping things from me. After that night, till now, I didn't cry. But hearing him say that he wanted to live now made me week.
I did not cry before because, he would be worried. But now that he said those words only means that he believed I was strong. With a new found resolution, I calmed myself down. The tears can wait for when I am alone.
"Well then, promise me James." I walked out of his embrace and held my hand out. "Promise me that you will try to do everything to live longer. Promise me that you won't be sad anymore. You will surprise dad and me."
Time seemed to freeze when he did not show any signs that he heard me. After a quiet while, he held onto my hand and promised me. "I will try."
I felt a bitter-sweet feeling wash through me. I am happy for I saw determination in his eyes when. I was sad when I knew that he was so troubled with this.
It has been a long time since he was with me. He was always there for me. He was the one that helped me when I absolutely did nothing for him. It was always like this in our lives. He held my hand so firmly years ago and never once did he let go; I would never have believed that there would come a day when I would have to live without that hold.
But I decided that I will trudge through this loss, this loss of a firm hold that he had entrusted to me. For him and for myself. And also for Jenny.
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