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Before I Die

Guest pamy

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Story Title: Before I die

Type of story: Long

Main Characters: Matilda, Robbie, Beth, Lucas, Tony, Jack, others

BTTB rating: T

Genre: Drama / Romance

Does story include spoilers: no

Any warnings: no (I think)

Summary: Matilda has had three years to come to terms with her destiny. She made a list of the things she wants to do before she dies. But when the Holdens move in next door things get complicated. When she falls in love with Lucas she comes to realise that she really isn't ready to die...

So I got the idea for this fic from the movie a walk to remember. My other fic will still continue. Just thought off this. Tell me if you like it.

Chapter 1: Before I die

She closed her eyes. She was tired. So tired. She wished she could fall asleep. But she couldn't. Everytime she tried she would hear a random noice and wake up again. This always happened when she was extremely tired. She couldn't fall asleep. She was to tired for that. She turned around facing the clock. Three in the morning.

Slowely she closed the door of the fridge. She picked up the glass and walked back to her room. She put on the light and closed the door so noone would hear her. She sat down and picked up her favourite book. The book was practicly falling appart. That's how many times she had read it. She stared to read.

Slowely she turned the page around. She stared at the words on the page. She couldn't take their meaning in. She was to tired. Maybe she should try to sleep again. Slowely she closed the book. Staring at the title her mind drifted off. She remembered when she got the book. Her brother gave it to her. Henry.

Tears appeared in her eyes. Slowely she shook her head. No no more tears. She had cried so much over the years. She didn't want to cry, she wanted to live. She looked at the title again. She had no idea why Henry gave her the book. A little princesse. She closed her eyes.

She opened them again remembering the list. If she couldn't sleep she might as well stare at that.

She stared at the list. There were so many happy memories attached to it. The hours they had spend making the list. Imagening what it would be like to do the things they wrote down. They had decided to make the list when they were twelf. Fifty things to do before we turn thirty. But it changed in less then a second.

She stared at the list. Henry never got to do more then five things on the list. She smiled. They had always thought she'd be the first to go. She was bound to lose her battle. Yet it was Henry that went first. Ironic. She looked at the list. She knew she wouldn't be able to do any of them. She would never get to thirty.

She stared to think. What were the things she wanted to do the most? That she didn't have all the time in the world, didn't mean she couldn't try. She closed her eyes. Think. Take a gonddola ride in Venice. See Paris from the top of the eiffel tower. She had always wanted to see Paris. Spend time with my family. That was verry important. Learn to ballroom dance properly. Read as many books as possible. Not that difficult. Swim with Dolphins. Dolphins were so cute. Be in two places at once.

Befriend somebody I don't like. Take an African safari. That was very unlikely. She didn't have the time. She didn't have the time or energy to do any of these things. Go abseiling. Learn to drive. Maybe her mum could teach her. She had the energy for that at least. The main reason for not having the energy was that she was very tired. And she had nothing left to live for. If she would have something it would be easier. She had her family, but it wasn't enough. Not anymore.

Go up in a hot-air balloon. Go scuba diving. It was a beautiful under the sea. She wanted to see it. Let go of all grudges. She had to do that. Not that she had a lot of grudges. Dance in the rain. This was something she had always wanted to do. But she couldn't do it. She got sick to easily. It would make things worse. And she didn't want to steal away the little time she had left. Sleep under the stars. She wanted to see all of the stars. It wasn't that easy.

Slowely she wrote everything down. Putting it in the order she wanted to do. Fall in love. That was very important. Everyone wants to fall in love. Most people have a lot of time to find someone. She didn't have that. She wanted to fall in love. She really wanted to. But she had no luck. She stopped writing. Slowely she wrote something at the top of the list.

Suddenly she got overwhelmed by a bad feeling. Closing her eyes she tried to make it go away. When she opened them again she realised that it got worse. The entier room was turning around. Verry fast. She drobbed the list on the floor and lied down on her bed. Everything was still turning around. Closing her eyes she tried to block the feeling away. Slowely she fell asleep. Remembering the last thing she wrote down.

Before I die...

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Chapter 2: The girl next door

She moved around in her bed. In the far distance she could hear someone call out her name. Slowely she started to realise that it was her brother. She opened her eyes and looked around. The paper and the pen were still lying on the floor were she drobbed them. She was lying on the bed, with no blanket on her, shivering. She sat up. At least the room wasn't turning anymore.

Robbie closed the door of the fridge and put the milk on the table. His mum had left to work not thirty minutes ago. He turned around. Mattie wasn't up yet. He screamed out her name again. It wasn't that he wanted to wake her up, he knew she needed to rest. But everytime she didn't answer he got worried. He was so afraid to lose her without saying goodbye. Without having the time. He sighed in relief when he heard the door open. He was just making himself crazy.

Lucas threw his bag in the car. He was angry. He loved living here. All his friends were here. He didn't want to move away from here. But he had to. His dad wasn't listening to him. He couldn't believe it. Summer Bay. It was a little town, at least it had to be one. He couldn't even find it on the map. Though he couldn't find anything on a map. But still. There was nothing for him there.

Jack looked at Lucas. He had not said a word the entier trip. Jack could understand that he was mad. After all everyone he had once known lived in that town. But still a new start good be something good. It would definitly be for him. This was all his fault, he was the one who got transfered. He didn't see why Lucas was mad at his dad and not at him. He looked out the mirror just in time to see the welcome to summer bay sign. This was there new home.

Matilda looked in the mirror. She was wearing Make-up, she had taken a shower. She had done everything in her power not to look so tired. So she wouldn't worry her brother. Her mother. Her friends, who still knew nothing. She didn't want to tell them. She didn't wanted anyone to treat her differently. She sighed. Time to face the big bad world.

Robbie looked up. His little sister was smiling at him. Everytime he saw her he felt worse. Why would it be that a nice young girl like Matilda, who had her entier life to live, was going to die. And other people who had lived their lifes would live longer. How was it possible that he would lose two siblings in less then three years. A part of him still wished that Matilda wouldn't die. He smiled. It's true what they say. The last thing you lose is hope.

Tony parked the car outside the house. Lucas jumped out of it as soon as the car stopped. He didn't want to like Summer Bay. But even he had to admit, it was pretty cool to live near the ocean. But he knew nobody here. All his friends were over there. How could he possibly like this town? He opened the drunk of the car and took out his bag. Looking up he saw somebody get out of the neigbour house.

He froze up. It was a girl. The pretiest girl he had ever seen. He smiled. He could feel his hearth beating a lot harder then it was supposed to. She was beautiful. He heart his brother say something from very far away. But the words were not getting trough to him.

Matilda walked out of the house. She smiled. At least Robbie wasn't so protective that he didn't let her go alone. She needed fresh air. She wanted to walk. She saw a car parked at the neighbours door. She sighed. Great. More new people. She stopped when she saw the guy. Cute guy. Her hearth jumped up. Unbelievable.

Jack saw his little brother just standing there. What was going on now? 'Hey little brother.' No answer. Ok this was weird. 'Yoohooo! Earth calling Luke. Are you there Luke?' 'What sorry.' 'What were you looking at?' Lucas eyes flew back to the other house. 'Nothing.' But Jack looked to and that's when he saw the girl. 'Cute. You got good taste little brother. Wanne go talk to her?' 'What?! No. No. Jack don't you dare.' Jack laughed. 'Relax little brother. Maybe you'll like summer bay after all.' Lucas said nothing and walked to the house. Yeah maybe he would like summer bay.

Matilda stood on the beach. She looked at the ocean. She sighed. She still couldn't believe that she had new neighbours. Just what she needed. A hot guy to move in next door and make her regret all the things she was going to miss. Maybe he would be a good friend. Maybe he could help her live for the last months of her life. She sighed. But how do you tell somebody you have not even met that you are going to die?

Lucas walked trought the house opening every box on his way. He had been sure he packed it. He couldn't have forgotten it could he have? 'You looking for this little brother?' He turned around. His brother was holding his diary. 'Yeah thanks.' 'You know you do realise that keeping a diary is for girls right?' 'Shut up.' 'Just saying there something you wanne confess?' Luke looked at him in disbelief. 'What? No...No...' 'Relax little brother I'm just messing with your head.' Jack smiled at him. Luke smiled to.

Luke took the diary and started to walk to his room. 'So you going to write about her?' 'Who?' Luke turned around. 'You know the girl next door?' 'Shut up.' Jack laughed. 'I'll take that as a yes.' Tony walked into the house. 'What?' 'Nothing dad. Nothing.'

Luke sat down on his bed. Thinking about the girl next door. He would have to meet her eventually. Jack was right. Maybe he would like Summer Bay after all. Jack looked at his little brother. He was glad Luke finally found somebody he liked. He smiled. As long as his little brother was happy he'd be happy to.

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Chapter 3: give her time

Matilda looked at the ocean. She was thinking. The boy next door was cute, but she could never go out with him. It wouldn't be fair. She didn't have the time. It wouldn't be fair to drag somebody into her life. Not now. It was to late for anything now. She turned around when she heard somebody call out her name. In the distance she could see her best friends Ric and Cassie come closer.

She sighed. She wondered if they knew how lucky they were. They had each other. They had a life. Tears welt up in her eyes. She didn't want to cry. Crying wouldn't bring Henry back. Crying wouldn't give her life. Crying wouldn't do anyting for her. She smiled at them. THey didn't know. There was no reason for them to know. Not yet anyway.

Lucas put the last of his stuf away. He had spend the last couple of hours unpacking. In his room. Mainly to avoid his big brother, who had been teasing him all morning long. He sighed. He couldn't get the girl out of his head. She was beautiful. He had never had a girlfriend. He had never liked anybody enough to have a girlfriend. But she was beautiful. Maybe he could ask her out.

He smiled at his own stupidity. He had not even met her. He didn't know her name, and he already wanted to ask her out. That's it, he was sure of it. He was losing his mind. He sighed. He would meet her. She lived next door, he had to meet her. He smiled. He would wait untill he knew who she was before thinking about anything else. But no matter how much he tried, he couldn't get her out of his head.

Tired. In pain. She didn't feel good. Not good at all. She had been at the beach all morning with Ric and Cassie. Now she was on her way home. She didn't feel good. For some reason she was in pain. She knew that it was normal, there was nothing nobody could do about it. Didn't mean it didn't bother her. She stopped walking. Breath easily, she told herself. Just breath. You'll get home eventually.

She debated wether to call Robbie. But she decided against it. If she would do that he would drop everything for her. She knew it. But she would also scare him a lot. And she didn't want to do that to him. Not when it wasn't absolutely necesary. She could keep walking. It's easy. It's just one foot in front of the other one. And whatever you do breath. Just breath.

Lucas walked outside. Talking to Jack. He was trying his best to keep the conversation away from the girl. He knew Jack wouldn't leave him alone if he admited he liked her. Unbebievable. He had just seen her once. For a couple of seconds. Love at first sight they say. Well it exist. At least in his case it does.

'Little brother, you listening to me?' 'What? Sorry?' 'Where's your head? You know what don't answer that. I'll do it. It's with the girl isn't it.' 'Jack. Don't tell anyone.' 'Relax. Secret safe with me. Though I don't understand why you just won't tell dad.' 'I saw her once. He'll think I'm crazy.' 'Well lets change that.' 'What?' Jack started to walk to the house next door, but was stopped by one very nervous Lucas. 'No Jack. You can't do this to me..' 'Relax. Well guess we won't have to go next door. Look over there.'

Matilda looked up. She could hear voices in the distance. For a second she thought it was her imagination. Then she saw them. Two guys. One of them was the guy from this morning. The cute guy. Her hearth jumped up. He was so cute. She smiled. She felt better. The pain was still there. But for some reason it wasn't that bad anymore. She swallowed and started to walk to them. She had to pass them to get to her house. It would be rude not to talk to them.

'Hi. I'm Matilda. Matilda Hunter.' She smiled at them. Jack could see his little brother wasn't going to say anything (to nervous poor thing) so he jumped in to help. 'I'm Jack Holden. This is my little brother. Lucas. We just moved in. And the man you see now leaving the house is my dad. Tony.' Matilda smiled at them. 'NIce to meet you. So you're my new neighbours.' 'Yeah.' 'Hey. I thought I heard voices. What's going on little sis?' Robbie came out of the house. 'These are the new neighbours. Jack. Tony. And Lucas.'

Robbie looked from Lucas to Mattie. He could see it. She liked him. But she didn't really look that well. Over time he had learnd to see what nobody else saw. Except maybe his mum. When his little sister wasn't feeling well, but hiding it from the world. He had to get her inside. He had to lie her down. But he couldn't just leave them hear. He was relieved to hear Tony say that they had to go.

Matilda lied down on the couch. The bad feeling was back. Robbie was making tea. He was good at making tea. She sighed. Outside, she had thought for a second that she was feeling better. But now she was sure that she was getting worse. She closed her eyes. Tired. So tired. She wanted to sleep. She wanted to rest. Slowely she drifted into sleep. Smiling she remembered his smile. Lucas.

Luke sat down on his bed. He felt bad. He had been so close to her. And he had been to nervous to say a word to her. This was ridicolous. He couldn't ask her out. Not when he couldn't get more out then a simple hello. She had seemed distracted. Like she was thinking of something else. Then it hit him. He knew nothing about her. For all he knew she had a boyfriend. He smiled. It didn't matter what he thought. He couldn't forget her smile. Matilda.

Jack looked in the room of his little brother. He was fast asleep. Silently he closed the door and walked to his room. Even though he had been teasing Luke all day long, he actually liked it that his brother found somebody. He would always protect him. That's why he stept in when they met her. He could see that Luke wasn't going to get any words out. Lying down on the bed he remembered the way her brother looked at her. There was someting about that girl. He just didn't know what.

Robbie walked back to the living room. His little sister was sleeping on the couch. Softly he covered her in a blanket. Looking at her lying there so peacefully he couldn't help but cry. He loved her so much. He wanted to protect her from everything. But he couldn't protect her from this. He siged. He walked to the pictures who stood on a table. Looking at the pictures tears rolled down his cheeks. First Henry died. And now Mattie was going to follow. Life wasn't fair. It just wasn't. Silently he praid. Just give her time. Just give her time to live. Just giver her time to love.

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Chapter 4: don't scare me again

Slowely she opened her eyes. On the couch. She was lying on the couch. She moved a little. She looked beside her when she heard a noice. Robbie was asleep in the seat next to her. He was looking over her. She smiled. She must have looked really bad for him to sleep in a chair. For a second she wondered where her mother was. But then she rememebered. Her mum would not get back before tomorow.

Slowely he opened his eyes. He jumped up. His hearth jumped up to. His little sister was gone. He sighed. Stay calm. It's not that he panicked easily, but they were all so afraid. He knew she was going to lose her eventually. That's why he was so scared all the time. She had not felt good yesterday. Maybe she was feeling bad now. He sighed in relief when he saw her come out of the bathroom.

Luke looked in the mirror. He felt ridicolous. He had never worn a uniform to school before. The shirt wasn't so bad. He felt relieved when he heard he could wear jeans. But why, oh why did he have to wear a tie? He didn't even know how to tie one. He smiled. It wouldn't be so bad. Not if he could see Matilda.

Jack walked past the room of his little brother. He could hear him swear very soflty. He walked in and laughed. 'Watch it little brother, if you keep doing that, you'll strangle yourself. Unless of course you're trying to commit suicide.' 'I'm not. This is ridicolous.' 'Come on. It's not that difficult. I'll show you.' Jack smiled at his little brother.

'And if you feel bad...' 'Yes. I will come home inmeadiatly.' 'I still think we should tell Sally.' 'No. Not yet. When it gets worse...' She stopped talking. The exprecience on his face changed instandly. She didn't wanted to say it. But it was the harsh truth. She would never get better. They had to exept it. It didn't make it any easier. She wanted to be able to say if it gets worse, but it would be a lie. She walked forward and hughed him.

He put his arms around his little sister. He wanted to hold her forever. He never wanted to lose her. But there was no point in lying to themselfs. He held her tightly. They had time. She was reasonably well right now. She could be fine for months. Maybe years if they were really lucky. All they needed was time. As much time as they could get.

Matilda was talking to Ric and Cassie. Her best friends. She stopped talking when she saw him walk in. Her hearth jumped up. He was so cute. She coudln't think like that. She couldn't drag him into her life. Not as a boyfriend. But that didn't mean they couldn't be friends. Just as long as he didn't fall in love with her. She smiled when she saw him look her way. When she turned back to her friends she saw Cassie smile at her.

Luke walked into the school. He was walking behind Sally Fletcher. He was trying to listen very good to her. He didn't want her to get mad at him. But when he saw Matilda sitting there he couldn't pay attention no more. His hearth jumped up. Especially when she smiled at him. He smiled back. He felt very nervous all of the sudden. He hoped that he was in the same classes as her.

Two hours later

She smiled at him. She couldn't help it. She liked hanging out with him. She liked being close to him. She couldn't be feeling like this. He didn't need the drama of her life. Her family had no choice. Her friends didn't know. But he didn't deserve it. She saw Cassie look at her. She knew what Cassie was thinking. Suddenly a feeling hit her. The room started to turn. She had to get away. Before she threw up. Or past out. Whichever came first.

Luke smiled at her. She was beautiful. He liked her. He knew he did. It was weird. He had just met her. He wished he could ask her out. But it was to soon for that. Ok. He was to chicken to ask her out. Same difference. He looked at Cassie and Ric. When he had first met her he had been afriad he was her girlfriend. Now he knew she had no girlfriend. He looked at Mattie. Something was wrong.

Mattie ran into the bathroom. She threw up. She could hear Martha walk in after her. Appart from her family Martha was the only one who knew the truth. Well Robbie told Tasha who told Martha, but still. She didn't mind. It was actually good to have someone else. Someone who would be there when she needed someone. Like now. She sat down on the ground and rested her head on the door. Tired. Dizzy. She closed her eyes. She could feel cold water on her head.

She smiled. Martha was helping. She knew she couldn't sleep here. Especially not since her friends were outside. And Luke. She smiled. Suddenly she felt strenth inside of her. He gave her strenth. She remembered the list. Maybe he was the strenth she needed to finish her list. To do everything she wanted. Or at least some things.

Luke saw Mattie run away. He could hear her say she needed to go to the bathroom but it didn't seem right. He saw his worry reflected on Ric and Cassie's faces. This was not good. After a couple of minutes Matilda walked out. She was pale. She was sick. No matter how much she tried to hide it. 'You ok?' 'My stomach. It's ok.' 'Maybe you should go home.' 'Yeah. Luke is right Mattie. Go home. We'll tell Sally.' 'Ok.' Mattie got up and the world turned again. She felt Luke's arms around her.

'You ok?' 'Yeah. A little dizzy.' 'You should see a doctor.' 'We can send Flyn.' Ric looked at her worried. She was his friend. 'No it's ok. I'm just going home. Lie down. I'll feel better tomorow.' More like I'll hide it better tomorw. She sighed. 'Ok. I'll take you.' That was Luke again. He looked worried. She didn't want to worry him. She didn't want him to know. But she couldn't walk home alone. She couldn't. 'Ok.'

He walked beside her. He had wanted to be close to her. But not like this. He was carrying her bag. She couldn't do that. She looked bad. He sighed. Probably just a bug. He could ask her out right now. They were alone. But he didn't dare. He needed to know her better. He smiled at her. 'It's not that far. you ok?' 'Yeah. I'm fine. It's ok.' He sighed. She would be fine.

Matilda walked. She could feel him close to her. But it didn't matter. She was trying hard to pretend that she was fine. She wasn't. She was tired of pretending. Tired of hiding the truth. She was in pain. She could barely walk. She kept walking. She kept breathing. Just because she didn't wanted Luke to realise how bad she was. She didn't want to have to tell him. She would lose him.

Mattie lied down on her bed. She closed her eyes. She had told Luke she'd be alright. She had gotten him outside. Just in time. She had practicly fallen on the floor. But somehow she had managed to lie down on the couch. She tried to remain calm. It wasn't ok. She was feeling bad. Tired. In pain. She closed her eyes. Slowely she got up. Get to the phone. Call Robbie. Call Flyn. Call anyone. She fell down on the floor before reaching the phone.

Robbie ran to the house. He had forgotten his cellphone. Again. This was the third time this week. He just hoped nobody had called him. He opened the door and saw Matilda lying on the floor. For a second his hearth stopped. He drobbed everything he was holding and ducked beside her. 'Mattie! Mattie! Wake up!' He sighed in relief when she moved. 'You ok?' 'Tired. Want to sleep.' 'No. No sleeping.' Soflty he picked her up from the floor and carried her to the couch.

'I'm going to call Flyn.' 'No. I'm ok. I just felt back for a second, but I'm ok now.' Robbie sat down beside his little sister. 'You sure?' She nodded and lied her head on his shoulder. 'Ok.' Robbie held his little sister close to him. 'Never scare me like that again you hear me? I thought you were dead or something. Don't do it again.' 'I won't.' She knew it was a lie. They both new it. But they said nothing. For now they wanted to believe it.

Matilda stared at the list. Robbie had carried her to her room. She was lying down but she couldn't sleep. Her book was lying on her chest. She stared at one of the most important things in particular. Fall in love. It had been so important. She had never thought it would be this hard. Maybe she would fall in love with Luke. But she could never act on it. She couldn't do it to him.

Luke threw his bag on his bed. Looking in the mirror he sighed. The new school wasn't so bad. The kids were nice. The teachers were nice. He sighed. He had to admit. The school wouldn't be so great if Matilda wasn't there. He liked her. He really did. He hoped she would be back tomorow. He wanted to know her more. He smiled.

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Well I said I'd update soon.

Chapter 5: Close to each other

Mattie stared at the clock. Saturday. She hadn't been to school since she had fainted on thursday. Her brother simply wouldn't let her. Nor would her mum. But today there was no school. And today she would hang out with her friends. She closed her eyes. Today she would hang out with Luke. Today. She had not stopped thinking about him. Maybe they couldn't go out. But she was determened to be his friend. She didn't know why.

Luke was looking out the window. He kept looking at her house. He knew he seemed like a stalker. Well acording to his brother he seemed like one. He knew that Jack was just messing with him. Like he always did. But he couldn't stop thinking about her. He had never felt like this before. He wondered if she was thinking about him to. He hoped so.

Robbie sat down on the couch. His little sister had just left. If it had been up to him she wouldn't leave. He would lock her up to protect her. Make sure she was safe. But he couldn't do that. She deserved to live her life the way she wanted to. She deserved to eperience things everyone else would. She didn't have the time to do a lot of things. Even if he wanted to protect his little sister he could never do that. He could never steal the little life away his sister had left. He often wondered what was worse. Dying like Henry, unexpected, sudden, without the chance to say goodbye. Or being like Mattie. Having that chance, but getting worse every day, wondering, hoping, fearing that every day might be the last.

Mattie sat on the beach. Ric and Cassie had gone swiming. She couldn't go swiming. She knew that. Not because she couldn't swim. But because she could get sick. Maybe she wasn't strong enough. Ok. Truthfully she didn't swim because she was to scared to. Scared of something happeing to her. Scared. She was scared all the time. And she knew that even though he tried to hide it Robbie was scared to. She saw it in his eyes. She heard it when he called her name in the morning. She knew it. She didn't say anything nor did he. She never wanted to see that in Luke's eyes. She never wanted him to treat her different. Nor her friends. That's why she didn't tell.

Luke saw her sitting on the beach. She seemed far away. She was obviously thinking of something. Something sad. Something that worried her. He wanted her to smile. She had a beautiful smile. 'Hey.' She looked up at him and smiled. Beautiful. 'Can I sit?' 'Sure.' 'You feeling ok? You know..' 'Yeah. It was just a little bug. I'm fine.' She tried to make the words sound truthfully. She wanted it to be truth. 'Good.' Silence. Luke looked at the ocean. He didn't know what to say to her. He had thought about this a thousand times. And now. Now he couldn't say a word.

Beth Hunter sat at the table. Looking at a couple of pictures. Mainly of her children. Was it fair? Was it fair that she had to lose two children, while other mothers kept all of theirs? Was it fair that appart from losing them to death, she was losing her other daughter to life? Was it fair for her not to want her daughter to go? Was it fair of her to be jealous? She closed her eyes. Was it fair that this was happening to them?

Tony knocked on the door. He wanted to get to know the neigbours. Opening the door he saw her sitting at the table. 'Hey. Euhm I was wondering...' He stopped mid sentence. She looked so sad. 'You ok?' 'Yeah. I was just remembering.' He sat down. Taking the pictures from her hands he started to look at them. 'Who's he?' 'That's my son Scott. And this is my daughter Kit.' She stopped. Something was wrong with her. He could see it. But he didn't want to push. He would hear it over time. 'And this?' 'My son. Henry.' He looked at her as she talked. She was beautiful.

They were talking on the beach. The silence that had felt before was forgotten. They were so comfortable together, it was as if they knew each other for years. They talked about everything. Luke felt so great. He liked her, she liked him. Maybe not the way he liked her. But at least as a friend. She smiled. He smiled. And they talked. As if they were best of friends. As if they had been this way forever.

Matilda felt great. Just talking to him. It was as if they knew everything about each ohter. They talked about everything. Everything that she could think off. Everything but the things that mattered. She smiled at him. He would be a great friend. Just a friend. He could never be something else. She didn't want him to go trough it. He would never go trough it. And even if he would she could never ask that of him.

But nothing of that mattered right now. For a while it felt as if that everything was normal. As if she wasn't going to die. For a second it felt like she would live forever. For a second she felt so close to him. Close enought to feel alive. Just close to each other.

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Chapter 6: the list

Mattie smiled at him. She felt great, better then she had felt in ages. And it had nothing to do with medicine or doctors. No, this was all Lukas. Who could have known that a boy would make her feel so good. She thought she would never have enough time. Now she can at least die with the thought that she fell in love. She had no idea if it was really love or if it was just attraction. But she had no time to find that out.

Luke smiled back. She had a beautiful smile. She was a great person. A funny person. He liked her. He really did. But how to tell her? She looked away from him. There was something about her. Something strange. Almost as if she was hiding something. She refused to talk a lot about her siblings. Only about Robbie. He didn't think much about it. He just didn't.

'Here you go.' Tony put a cup of tea in front of her. 'This is ridicolous. I feel so stupid.' 'You shouldn't be. I mean, I'd feel just as bad if I would lose one of my kids. It's ok.' Beth smiled at Tony. Yeah she had lost one of her children. He knew that. What he didn't know was that she was about to lose another one. And that one of her children was losing herself. But just being able to talk about Henry had helped. She felt that he should know that.

'Thank you.' She just whispered it mainly. He smiled at her. He felt that he had to help her. She was a nice person who had suffered a loss no mother should lose. A father shouldn't have to feel it either. Silently he thanked the lord that his children were alright. But he didn't feel he had done a lot. All he had done was listen. Maybe that was enough. 'Don't mention it. It was nothing.'

Jack looed at the ocean. He had always wanted to live so close to an ocean. He scanned the beach, looking for his little brother. He smiled when he saw him sitting next to Matilda. He looked like he was having a good time. He was glad his little brother was so happy. He deserved it. He turned around. He never saw her. He bumped into somebody hard.

She fell down. All the papers she had been holding were scattered around her. 'Sorry. I'm so sorry.' She looked up. Right in the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. She had never seen him before. She was sure of it. She would have definitly noticed somebody so hot in summer bay. Definitly. 'Don't worry about it.' He smiled at her. She was beautiful. Maybe Luke wasn't the only one with luck. 'I'm Jack. Jack Holden.' 'Martha. Martha Mackenzie.'

Luke looked up. 'Who are those?' 'Drew Curtis and Belle Taylor. The most popular kids in summer bay high. They're not nice. They're number 14.' He looked at her. He debetad wether he should ask. But he wanted to know. Everything there was to know about her. 'Number 14?' 'Befriend somebody I don't like.' He looked at her wondering. He didn't really understand what she was talking about. 'It's a list. A couple of years ago Henry and I made a list. 50 things to do before we turn thirty. Number 14 was befriend somebody you don't like.' 'Oh. Who's Henry?' 'My brother.'

She turned away from him. She didn't want to talk about Henry. Not right now. She hoped he got the message. He did. 'So what else is on that list of yours.' 'Run a marathon. Swim with Dolpins. Visit every continent. write a story. Graduate college. Go scuba diving.Be in two places at once. Learn to drive. Those kind of things.' She looked at the ocean. Smiling. 'So what's number 1?' 'I could tell you. But I'd have to kill you.' He smiled. 'What else is on the list.' 'Take an african safari. Visit Paris. Fall in love. Learn to surf.' 'Surf?' 'Yeah.'

Luke ran away from the beach only to return ten minutes later. This time with a surf board. He wanted to help Mattie accomplish the things on her list. He didn't know how to help her with a lot of them. Right now all he could do was learn her how to surf. His hearth was racing harder then he thought it would be imaginable. He smiled at her.

Mattie looked at him. He wanted to help her. But she didn't know if she should do it. She came to a decision. She would learn how to surf. If she felt bad she could always go home. And so he started to learn her. It was hilarious. She couldn't do anything. But slowely she started to learn how to surf. She was having so much fun. More then she had had in years.

Sitting down on the couch he smiled. Remembering how much fun he had had with Mattie. He didn't even hear the door open. 'Boooo!' Jack jumped from behind him. He jumped in the air. Unbelievable. 'Sorry. You were just so lost in your thoughts. I just couldn't resist.' Luke smiled and sat back down. 'You ok mate?' 'Yeah.' 'I saw you with Matilda in the water. What were you doing?' 'Learning her how to surf. Jack. How do you know when you like somebody. I mean really, realy like somebody.'

Jack sighed and looked at his brother. 'Well. When you can't stop thinking about a person. When you wonder where she is. When you want to be close to her all the time. Help her with everything. That's when you'll know.' Luke stared in the distance. 'You really like her don't you?' 'Yeah. I think I do.' 'Well go for it mate.' 'What? Jack I can't do that.' 'What's so bad about it. Just ask her out.' 'No. I can't. What if she says no.' 'Oh come on mate. I saw you two together ok. She likes you. She was having the time of her life. Just ask her.'

Mattie pulled the sweater over her head and looked in the mirror. She was tired. More tired then she usually was. But it didn't matter. She had had so much fun with Luke. Why did things have to be so complicated. Why did she have to die? Why couldn't she just live like every other kid and fall in love? Why did this happen to her? She looked up when she heard Cassie's voice. Time to be brave. Time to fool the world. Or in this case Cassie.

'Hey.' 'Hey. You ok?' 'Sure.' Cassie and Mattie sat down on the couch. Cassie looked at her best friend. She looked so tired. So pale. Actually now that she remembered it she looked tired all the time. It was almost as if something was draining the life out of her. It was as if every time she saw her best friend she was more tired and paler. She didn't really understand. At first she had thought it had to do with Henry. But now that she remembered Mattie had been looking sick from before that.

'You sure you ok? You look pale and tired.' Mattie sighed. She wished she could tell her. But she was so afraid. Afraid that Cassie would threat her differently. Afraid to lose her best friend. 'I just had a busy morning.' 'Yeah I saw you with Luke. You like him don't you?' Mattie turned red. She could feel it. 'You do. Well he likes you to.' 'How do you know?' 'Have you seen how he looks at you? It's the most obvious thing in the world. So you two going to go out?' 'NO! we can't go out. I can't do that to him.' Cassie was taken back by the outburst. 'Why not?' 'Because I can't.'

Mattie stood up and walked away. Cassie followed. She examined her friend closely. She didn't look good. That was for sure. Something was going on. And she wanted to know what it was. And she would find out. 'Mattie what's goin on.' Mattie couldn't meet her eyes. 'I'm your best friend. You can tell me everything.'

Mattie hesitated. She wanted to tell her. More then anything. She needed somebody to lean on. She had her brother but she also needed her friend. Could she tell her? Could she risk it? Cassie had been her best friend for so long. She wouldn't turn away from her when she needed her the most right? She swallowed hard. Meeting her best friends eyes she came to a decision.

'Ok. I'll tell you.'

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Chapter 7: city trip

'Ok. I'll tell you.'

Mattie walked back to the couch. After the morning she just had, she was to tired to stand up for to long. Cassie followed looking at her. Her eyes were asking her to go on. She didn't know if she could. She knew Cassie was her best friend, but she was still so scared. Scared of being treated differntly. Scared of not being given a chance. Scared of what Cassie might say. Scared of being left alone.

She always knew that eventually she was going to have to tell them. But knowing that didn't make it any easier to tell. Slowely she took Cassie's hand. Partly to support Cassie. Partly to support herself. Taking a deep breaht she started to talk. The longer she talked the worse it got. By the time she finished they were both crying. Tears rolled down their cheeks.

Cassie looked at her best friend. She didn't know what to say. She didn't know what to do. Her best friend was dying and there was nothing she could do about it. But she wans't feeling differently, she would always be by her side. Slowely she took Mattie into a hug. Trying to express everything she felt in it. Together they cried. Untill they had no more tears.

Robbie opened the door. He found Cassie and Mattie sitting on the couch. Holding onto each ohter and crying. And that's when he knew. He knew that Mattie had finally told Cassie. He din't really know what to do. Slowely he walked backwards away from them. Closing the door behind him he walked away from the house. This was something his little sister had to do on her own.

'I'm so sorry Mattie. How long have you know?' 'Long enough. You can't tell anyone.' 'But Ric..and Luke...' Mattie closed her eyes. 'You can't tell them because I want to tell them. I have to tell them. And I can only tell them when I'm ready. Please Cassie. Promise me. You can't tell them.' Cassie looked at her best friend. She knew that Mattie was right. 'Ok. I promise.' Taking her best friend in another hug she started to cry again. She never knew how long she sat there. But it deffintily wasn't long enough.

A week later

Mattie sat in the back of the car. Her head rested on the window. It had been a week since she told Cassie. And nothing had changed. She hadn't told anyone else and Cassie had honored her promise. She had spend a lot of time with Luke. She had felt so great. She didn't know what it was that she was feeling, but it was a good feeling. The problem was she could feel that Lucas was getting closer to her. Getting attached to her. And she didn't want that.

Robbie looked at his little sister and sighed. He knew she didn't want to go to the city. He knew she was sick of seeing doctors and hospitals. But she had to. Everything that could make her better everything that gave her more time. It was necesary to see the doctors. He wasn't ready to lose her. Not yet. He would never be. He kept an eye on his little sister. Just to make sure she was alright.

Luke sighed. This was unbelievable. How his dad had convinced him to go shopping with him was still a mystery. He shook his head. He couldn't believe Jack had gotten out of this. Just because he had a date with Martha. Not that he minded. He was happy that his brother had a date. But it meant that he was here. And not in Summer Bay. He wondered what Mattie was doing. Probably having fun with Ric and Cassie.

Looking up he suddenly saw her. His hearth started to beat faster. That was a normal reaction. He had gotten used to it. What was she doing here? Not that he minded. If he could talk to her, his day would suddenly be a lot better. 'Hey mate. What is it?' 'euhm...' 'The Hunters. Let me guess the girl right.' 'How...' 'I'm your father. I'm supposed to notice this.' Luke smiled and looked at Mattie.

Mattie smiled. She was glad her apointment with the doctor was over. She hated going to the hospital. She hated it because it reminded her that she was running out. She smiled. She was glad that she had convinced her mom to go shopping. Robbie wasn't so happy but he said nothing. Looking up she suddenly met Luke's eyes.

'Hey.' 'Hey. What you doing here?' Luke sighed. 'My dad wanted to go shopping. Unfortunatly.' 'Oh. But shopping is fun.' Luke smiled at her. He knew that everything with her would be fun. Everything even shopping. 'Come on.' Luke looked at his dad. Softly his dad nodded at him. Go ahead.

Mattie smiled. She felt a lot better then this morning. She always felt better when she was around Luke. She looked at the bracelets. She didn't know what she was supposed to do. She liked him. She knew she did. But she didn't wanted him to get attached. She looked at him. Maybe she should back away now. Now that he didn't like her that much. Or maybe, maybe she should tell them.

Luke saw Mattie smile. She has a beautiful smile. He wanted to ask her out. He wanted to know her better. She was his friend. He liked her. Smiling he started to think. He couldn't believe that he thought he would never like Summer Bay. It was even better then the previous town. He would ask her out. But only when the time was right. In other words when he had gathered enough courage to ask her out.

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Sorry it took a while. Here you go.

Chapter 8 : 'It's not fair'

She stood on the beach, staring at the ocean. She saw the kids play and wondered if she would ever have a normal life. She wouldn't. She would die before she got the chance. Closing her eyes she sat down. She was tired. To tired to stand. To tired to care about anything. Her mind wondered of to Luke again. She had found herself thinking a lot about him. If only she would have the time...

Luke saw her sitting there on the beach. Everytime he saw her he realised how beautiful she was. He was nervous. Very nervous. He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. Just breath. Calm down. It's now or never. She likes you. Just ask her out. What could possibly go wrong? If they liked each other they could go on a date. Slowely he started to walk towards her. Trying to make up his mind about what to say.

'Mattie!' She looked up when she heard her name. As she saw Luke aproaching her hearth jumped up. She felt great everytime he smiled at her. When she was with him it was almost as if nothing was wrong with her. If only that was truth. She smiled at him. Trying to fight back the tears. 'Hey. How you doing?' 'Ok. You wanne go for a walk?' 'Sure.'

They started to walk down the beach. He had rehearsd asking her out over and over again and now he couldn't get the words out. He took another deep breath. How was he supposed to do this? Maybe he should talk about something else first. So he did. And of course the only thing that came to mind was the weather.

Mattie looked at Luke. She was sure that something was wrong. He was acting weird. He was nervous. And it seemed like he kept trying to ask her something. Oh no. He couldn't ask her out? He wouldn't. Would he? She didn't want to hurt him. She didn't want to say no. But she couldn't go out with him. She couldn't pu thim in that situation. Please don't ask me out. Please don't do this.

'Mattie, can I ask you something?' Luke took another deep breath. It was now or never. Just ask her out.

'Sure.' Mattie kept her eyes down. She didn't want to look at him. If she did she might start to cry. Please don't ask me out. Please.

'I was wondering...wel we've been hanging out a lot lately...and I like you....and I think...well. That you like me to' He stopped not sure how to go on.

'Yes?' She didn't know what else to say. She wanted him to stop right there. She didn't want him to ask her out. She didnt want to hurt him. But a part of her wanted him to ask her out. It would probably be the only time someone would ask her out.

'I was wondering if you wanted to go out with me. You know on a date.' He said the words so fast, he wasn't even sure at first she had understood him.

Mattie looked at Luke. He had asker her out. She wanted to jump up. She wanted to scream in exitement. She wanted to say yes. In an other time, in another place, she might have said yes. But she couldn't. She didn't want to say it. She didn't know how. She liked him she really did. But he couldn't like her. It would break his hearth if he would find out she was going to die.

He looked at Mattie for a while. She stood there without saying a word. She stared at the sand as if she was afraid to meet his eyes. And maybe she was. She started to shake. She didn't say a word. He needed an answer. He knew she liked him. So all he needed was an answer. If they liked each other there was no reason why they couldn't go out right?

'Say something.' Mattie heard him say it. She knew she had to say something. 'You shouldn't have done this.' She started to walk away from him. She didn't want him to see the tears. But of course he followed her. 'What. Wait. You like me rigth.' 'Maybe. I don't know.' 'So what's the problem. Go out with me.' 'No.' 'Why not?' 'Because I can't!' 'But why not?' 'Because I can't!' 'Why not?' 'Because I can't.' He stopped. 'I want to ask why not but it doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere.' She turned away from him and started to walk again.

She felt him grab her arm and turn her around. 'I don't understand. If we like each other why can't we go out. It's just a date.' 'No. I can't go out with you. I can't.' 'But...' 'Look. It took me a lot of time to accept it. To come to terms with it. I don't need a reason to be angry now! Please. Don't ask me out again. Please.' She couldn't anymore. She turned around and she ran away.

Luke stood there. Unable to move. He felt like his hearth stopped beating. He had been so sure she would want to go out with him. He didn't understand what had happened. He saw her run away and he knew he should have gone after her. But he didn't. He just stood there motionless. Then the tears came.

Mattie ran. She ran hard. She had not run this fast in a long time. She knew she shouldn't be. She would get tired. She would be out of breath. But she couldn't stop. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. It's not fair. She kept running. Trought the entier town. Untill eventially she was home. Home and out of breath. Hardly able to breath.

Beth was sitting on the couch when she heard somebody at the door. When she looked up she almost had a hearth attack. There stood her little girl crying and trying to breath. 'Mattie. Are you ok?' She didn't have time to get up. Mattie was already on the couch.

Mattie held her mother tightly and cried. She had only cried once before when Henry died. But this was a different kind of pain. The pain of a broken hearth. She cried. And she couldn't stop. But she was still out of breath. She knew her mother was worried. She had to say something. 'He..;He....he asked....me...out.' She stopped to catch her breath. 'Luke.' 'Yes.' 'What did you do.' 'I said no.' Beth held her toghter tightly. She knew what had happened. She didn't anymore explaining. 'Why mum. Why did this happen to me? It's not fair! I'm a little girl. I want to live. Why mum. Life's unfair.' Beth didn't know what to say to her little girl. There were no answers.

Luke fell down on the couch. He was home alone. He didn't know where his father or his brother were, nore did he care. He didn't know how long he sat there before Jack came home. 'Hey little bro. I just had the best day. Martha asked me to go to the...' Jack stopped when he saw his brother's face. Sitting down beside him he softly asked. 'What happened?' 'I asked her out.' 'I take it it didn't go well.' 'no. She doesn't want to go out with me.' He started to cry again. He could feel his brothers arms around him and he leaned against his brother.

Robbie softly place Mattie in her bed. She had fallen asleep after crying a long time. He put the blanket on her and kissed her hair. 'Night little sis.' Softly without making noice he walked outside and closed the door. He found his mum sitting on the couch. 'WHat happened?' 'Luke asked her out. She refused.' He said nothing and just sat down. 'She asked me why life was unfair. Why she had to die. But I don't know. Robbie why does my daughter have to die?' Robbie still said nothing. He also had no answers. 'You know they are going to be asking us questions tomorow.' 'I know.'

Robbie opened the door of his sisters room again and looked at her sleeping form. Mattie was right life wasn't fair. He had no answers for her. He believed his siter had every right to be happy, just like everybody else. But he could also understand why she didn't want to hurt Luke. Why? Why was this happening to them. Why?

Jack looked at his brother. It didn't seem real. He had seen Mattie and Luke together. They liked each other. Everybody noticed. So why did she turn him down? He didn't understand it. But as he started thinking there were a lot of things that didn't make sense about Mattie. Something was defintitly off there.

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Chapter 9: her life

She stood on the beach staring at the ocean. She didn't know how she got there. She didn't know where she was. She saw a person approaching her. She knew who it was, but she couldn't recognize him. She heard a voice calling out her name. She turned around. When she turned back to the other person he was gone...

Her eyes flew open. For a second she thought she was still standing on the beach. But she wasn't. She was lying in her room. She wasn't feeling well. Last night sprung to mind. Luke. She closed her eyes again. She didn't want to think about that. Not now. Insteads she thought about the dream. It wasn't the first time she had had that dream. The person aproaching her came closer everytime she had it.

Luke turned around in his bed. He didn't sleep. If he did he didn't sleep a lot. He closed his eyes. He tried to block everything out. The more he replayed it the less it made sense. She had turned him down. That he understood. What he didn't understood was what she had said. She had talked about accepting something. About not wanting to be mad. Mad at who? What was going on. He opened his eyes again. Maybe he was trying to read to much in it. Maybe she simply didn't like him.

Robbie sat down at the table. He couldn't understand why this was happening. Wasn't it enough to lose Henry? To watch Kit go to pieces? Did he really have to lose Matilda to? He closed his eyes. What hurt him the most was that Mattie was suffering. Suffering because she was to afraid to do the things she wanted to do the most. The things she deserved to do. He looked up when he saw her come in. She looked paler then she had done yesterday. She didn't look well at all.

Mattie felt like her head was going to explode. The room kept on turning though she had to admit it wasn't as bad as when she first got out of bed. She hadn't trown up yet. But she was sure she wouldn't hang on for long. She was tired. She could hardly walk. When she saw Robbie looking at her the way he did she knew she looked as bad as she felt. This happened everytime she had those dreams. She felt worse afterwards. Almost as if the dreams sucked the life out of her.

Jack walked out of his house. He hadn't been awake for that long. He stopped to look at the house next door. He tried to shake the feeling off him that something was wrong. It just didn't make sense. She liked Luke that was much clear. But why did she say no. Nothing Luke had told him had made sence. And it became weirder when he saw Mattie run out of the house.

Mattie couldn't hold it anymore. She felt sick. So sick. She wanted to lie down. She wanted to get everything inside her out. She wanted the pain to stop. The physical one and the emotional one. She closed her eyes hoping that it would stop. It wouldn't. The only thing that occured to her, for a reason she couldn't explain, was to run outside. So she did. She felt her big brother come after her. She fel down on the porch. Everything she had eating yesterday came out. She lied there on the floor shaking uncontrolably. Weak she felt so weak. Sick she felt so sick. Cold she was so cold. And Tired she felt so tired. The second she thought that she closed her eyes and fell asleep.

Tony walked to the house. Jack had told him everything. What Luke had said. What had happened that morning. Everything. Jack was right something was definitly off. He found Beth sitting at her kitchen table. Staring at the coffee in front of her. 'Hey.' Beth looked up when she heard Tony's voice. She had knewn this was bound to happen ever since Mattie didn't go out with Luke. She had to tell him. She knew she did. If it was only so that they would understand why.

'What's going on? Luke said he asked Mattie out. Jack said he saw Mattie get sick this morning.' Beth looked at the coffee. 'She doesn't want to go out with him. I respect that.' 'I don't understand. Something is going on. Beth.' She looked up. She had tears in her eyes. It wasn't something good. That much he already knew. 'She doesn't want to date.' 'She's a teenager. Every single on of the wants to date. Plus she likes Luke.' 'Yes she does. But she doesn't want to go out with him. I understand that. I respect her decision. She doesn't want to. She has a good reason.' 'What reason. What is goin on?'

When Beth looked up she knew that she had to tell him then. He would never understand otherwhise. 'Sit down.' 'What?' 'Just Tony please. Sit down.' Tony took the chair in front of her. This was not going to be good. 'She doesn't want to go out with him because...She doesn't want him to get hurt.' 'He's a teenager. They haven't even dated yet and already she thinks about a break-up? He would survive.' She shook her head. 'You don't understand.' 'Then make me understand.' 'It's not that. She's going to ... Die.'

He sat there. For a second he thought he hadn't heard her right. 'She's what?' 'Going to die. She has leukemia. We discovered it three years ago. She had threatement for a while, but the doctors weren't very optimistic. After about a year they stopped. They couldn't tell us how much longer she would live. She and Henry spend a lot of time together. He always thougth he would lose her. He thought he wouldn't be able to live without her. In the end he went first. About a month after the threatement ended. But that doesn't matter. Mattie doesn't have very much time left. She gets worse every day. Today...She doesn't want to go out with Luke because she's afraid he will get attached to her .And then he will lose her. She wants to protect him.'

'He would understand. Let him choose. He can deal with this.' She shook her head again. Tears in her eyes. 'You don't know that.' 'I know my son.' 'And how many times has he been in a situation like this?' Silence. 'The thing is. And this is the most important time. She's a young kid. She has been denied her life. The time she has left she wants to spend it her way. She has that right. It's her life. Let her make the choice. I respect her choices. Because she has the rigth to live her life the way she wants to. Or at least what's left of it.' 'She should tell him.' 'When she is ready she will tell him. But untill then don't tell him. Like I said it's her life. She has the right to tell the world when she is ready. Not sooner and not later. It's her life.'

He didn't know what to say. Everything was so overwelming. He had expected anything but not this. Part of him wanted to tell his son everything. But Beth was rigth. Mattie had the rigth to live the way she wanted to. He knew that he couldn't tell his sons anything. He had to let them live their lifes. He nodded. He wanted to leave that second but he couldn't. He knew that Beth needed somebody by her side. So he sat there. He didn't know how long.

Jack sat there looking at the clock. His dad had been there a long time. He hoped it was nothing bad. He knew something wasn't right but. She couldn't be sick right? It would kill Luke if he would lose her. That couldn't happen to him. He looked at the clock again. The longer he looked at it the more sense a sickness made. Because why else would it take so long for his dad to come back?

Luke lied donw on his bed. He closed his eyes. Trying to calm himself down. He had tried so hard. Maybe he had misread her. Maybe she didn't like him. But why why did she say she didn't want to be mad. Why. It didn't make any sence. It didn't. There was noting logical about it. Who was she mad at? Why was she mad? What had he done? What was going on?

Mattie sat on the beach again. She wasn't feeling well. It had to be really bad, because normally she didn't feel anything in her dreams. It was her escape world. But she still didn't know why she was sitting on the beach. She was all alone. There was nobody nearby. She looked around. Slowely the pain started to dissapear. She felt better by the second. Then the other person appeared again and started to approach...

Robbie sat on a chair next to his sisters bed. She was sleeping peacefully. If you looked at her you wouldn't notice how bad she had been today. He shook his head. He would never understand this. He would never make sence in it. He would never understand why this was happening. Nor would he ever want to. Soflty he stroke her hair. He would sit here untill the next day. Guarding over her. So she would be safe at nigth. That's all he wanted. For her to be safe.

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I was going to update sooner, but like I said in my other fic my sister had an accident and I was with her at the hospital. She's fine now so I'll just go on.

Chapter 10: we're going to lose

Mattie looked at the person. She knew him. She knew she did. But she couldn't recognise him. It was as if her hearth recognised him but her head wasn't following. She couldn't see him. Not good enough. She closed her eyes. The pain had dissapeared. She tried not to think of anything. She wanted to clear her mind. She wanted to know who the other person was. She opened her eyes and looked at the person. She knew who he was. Before she recognised him a white ligth surounded her. Everything around her became dark....

Mattie's eyes flew open. She was shaking. Baiting in her own sweat. Her hearth was racing extremely hard. She tried to catch her breath. It was as if she ran a marathon. Slowely she tried to calm himself down. Deep breaths. She needed to take deep breaths. Just deep breaths. The room turned around her. She felt her food come back up. She closed her eyes. She had to calm down. Take deep breaths. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. She kept repeating the same sentence over and over again. Just breath.

Robbie walked into the room. He saw his little sister lying there. Taking deep breaths. Shaking. She had never been that pale. The cup of tea he had in his hands dropped on the ground. He ran to her and sat down beside her. It had happened before. But never this bad. The problem was they couldn't do anything. All they could do was be there for her. Hold on to her hand and let her breath. Don't lose it. Stay calm. You have time to freak out later. She needs you strong. The words of the doctor flashed trough his head. He took Mattie's hand in his and whispered. 'Breath little sis. Just breath.'

Luke lied awake on his bed. Not sure what he wanted to do. He could get up and face the day. But he didn't want to. But he couldn't lie here anny longer either. He would go crazy. He kept repeating over and over again what had happened on the beach. That was enough to make him crazy. He didn't understand. He really didn't understand. Something wasn't right. Something was definitly wrong. He smiled. Maybe he was imagining things. Maybe he just wanted to believe it. Believe that something was wrong.

Jack sat in the living room. He was definitly sure that something was wrong. Especially since his dad had come home. He hadn't said anything. He had just walked in the house past him. As if he didn't see him. That wasn't like his dad. He had seen that something was so wrong. He didn't dare to ask. His dad looked so bad that he felt he didn't watn to know. It must be something really bad. Maybe it was better if Luke didn't know. If he didn't know.

Tony sat in his room. Staring at a picture of his sons. Mattie. Dying. And his son liked her. This wasn't good. Poor Beth. He couldn't imagine how he would feel if he was told he would lose one of his kids. Let alone two. He sighed. He knew Beth was right. It was Mattie's life. She had as much right as everybody else to make her own choices. But part of him wanted to tell his son. He guessed it was instinct. The instinct to protect his kid. No matter what.

Two hours later

Mattie felt better. She had convinced her mother she felt good enough to go for a walk. She needed fresh air. She watned to be alone. She wanted to think. Maybe she should tell Luke. Maybe he would understand. She started to think. What was she more afraid of? That he would grow attached to her? That she would hurt him by leaving? Or that he wouldn't understand? That he would hurt her? She need to be alone. To think about this. She wasn't afraid. Not of getting sick. She knew she wasn't alone. She knew Robbie was following her. He wouldn't show himself. He wouldn't bother her. But she knew he was there.

Jack walked next to his dad. They weren't really going somewhere specific. Just getting out of the house. It didn't feel right. Leaving his little brother there all alone. But he had a feeling his dad might tell him what's going on. If Luke wasn't around to hear them. He had the feeling it was something really bad. Why else would his dad be acting like this? He had never seen him like this. Maybe he had been like this when his mother died. But he couldn't really remember that.

Robbie walked behind his sister. Far enough so he wouldn't bother her. But close enough so he could react if something went wrong. He knew she knew he was following her. She didn't mind. He didn't want trouble. He didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable. He just wanted to protect her. That's all. She looked a lot better then she had this morning. He sighed. He knew that didn't mean anything. It could go wrong any second. He sighed. He would protect her for as long as he could. But his hearth broke. Because he knew that it wouldn't be long before the time came that he couldn't protect her at all.

Mattie stood on the beach. She liked Luke. And he liked her. In the end that's all she had really wanted. To fall in love. She had never thougth somebody would love her. She didn't want to hurt anyone. But a part of her wondered if it would be better to have someone by her side. Maybe she would hold on longer. It would giver her a reason to fight. Other then her family. She sighed. Tears appeared in her eyes. Was it selfish? Was it selfish to want somebody on her side to hang on to? Was it?

She felt her knees go weak. She wans't as strong as she used to be. She fell down on her knees. The ocean made her wet. It felt great. It made her feel alive. As if she was really a part of this world. She felt her brother come up next to her. She had known he would come. Maybe he thougth she was sick. Maybe he knew she needed someone. She didn't know. And she would never know. She would never ask him. It would couse to much pain. It would hurt him. And she didn't want to hurt him. Not more then he already was.

Robbie saw his little sister fall down. He walked to her inmeadiatly. He wasn't really worried. He could see she just needed someone. If she had been sick then it would have been worse. Soflty he sat down next to her. He put his arms around her and pulled her closer to him. She needed someone to hang on to. And he would be there for her untill the end. He would be strong. He didn't know how long they sat there. He didn't know how long it took for Mattie to calm down a bit. But it didn't matter how long he held her. He always knew it wasn't long enough. Not for her. And definitly not for him.

'It's not fair. I don't want to die.' Robbie tried his best to make his voice sound calm. 'I know. There are no answers. It just happens I guess.' Mattie could hear that Robbie was trying to sound calm. He didn't succeed. She could hear the pain in his voice. She wanted to make him feel better. But there was nothing she could do. 'You like Luke right?' 'Yeah. I really do.' She looked at the ocean. 'What am I supposed to do?' 'I don't know. You have to choice. Your path. Your life.' 'Not a long life. I'm not ready to die. I'm young. I want to live.' She started to cry. 'But I'm not going to. I can fight as hard as I want. I will never win will I?' Robbie pulled her close to him again. He said nothing. He didn't know what to say. 'I'm going to lose aren't I?' 'We always knew that. You're not the only one. We're going to lose.'

Mattie felst his strong arms around her. He tried to make her feel better. Tried to be strong. She didn't know how much longer he would last. She rested her head on his shoulder. Soflty she whispered a question to him. She needed to know. 'What am I supposed to do?' 'I don't know.' 'What?' 'You know what I think? You should tell him. He has the right to know. Tell him. And see what happens.' 'I don't want to hurt him.' 'It's his choice. Tell him little sis. Tell him.'

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