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Before I Die

Guest pamy

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I was going to update sooner but I was having a little trouble with this chapter. This one is from Mattie (and Scott's Pov) the next one will be from Lucas. might still post that one tonight, maybe tomorow.

Hope you'll like it.

Chapter 21 : Fly away

Sometimes she wishes she could make time stop. Or at least slow down. Slow down enough for her to catch up. For her to do everything she has ever wanted to do. For her to live through the motions. For her to have a live. But time doesn’t slow down for anyone. It just keeps going and never stops. Never slows down. Before you realize it time has passed. Months have passed. You wish you could stop it or at least slow it down. You can’t.

It’s been months. Truth be told you wouldn’t change what you have been trough for anything. You’re time with your friends. Your dates with Luke. The funny times you had with your brother. But slowly you are losing focus. You are losing strength. You try to keep it hidden. You don’t want to be locked up. Kept in bed so that you might live longer. You won’t live longer. But for the time you have left, you want to live. You’re just so tired.

It was Scott’s idea really. He proposed that a holiday is exactly what the family needed. And since he was in France, and she has always wanted to see France, why not meet him there? It was a simple request really. And in another time, another place, another life, she might not have thought of it twice. But she heard the question (the one that was not said out loud) and she knew what he truly wanted. They didn’t know how long they had left. And Scott wanted to see his little sister again one more time.

And now here they are. Walking around in Paris. She puts a smile on her face and grabs a hold of Luke’s hand. And smiles. She doesn’t know how convincing she is anymore. The strength is slowly disappearing, and if someone will see it it will be Luke. Or Robbie. That’s what she always thought. Instead the person to notice it was Scott.

She hadn’t seen him in months. Not since Henry’s funeral. It had been such a long time. She was different. She hadn’t really noticed it, her family hadn’t really noticed it. It had happened so slowly. But for Scott, who hadn’t seen her in so long, the change was big. She was much thinner then she used to be. She was pale and she looked like she could faint at any moment. Her eyes had lost their live. And as he looked to her he could almost see her giving up. The only time he sees the light fully return is when she looks at Luke.

Scott sees her for the first time in moths when she gets off the plain. He is immediately taken aback from how she looks. So thin (she must have lost at least half her weight) and so pale. He just wants to rush to her, gather her in his arms and never let her go again. Never let her out of his sight again. He’s afraid if he will she will break. Fall to the ground, shatter and disappear. But he doesn’t. He’s to afraid that if he does that he will break her. He looks at her and he knows. Even if they make plans for him to come and visit them, even if they make plans for her to return. It won’t matter. This holiday right here, will be the last time he sees his little sister. He doesn’t tell his mom nor his brother. He doesn’t tell Matilda either. He just can’t do it.

Matilda looks at the people below her. They almost seem like ants from way up here. She has always wanted to see the Eiffel tower. Stand as high as she possibly could. And look down below at the world. Stand on top of the world. But now as she stands here she feels disconnected. It’s almost as if she’s looking at her future. She stands up high and looks down below. And somehow she feels no connection to the people there. As if they live in different worlds. As if she doesn’t really belong here. She just passing trough. And in a way she is.

She looks at the bird that has landed close to her. It looks so small, so insignificant. But it isn’t. The bird has one thing she does not have. The one thing she longs for the most. Freedom. Sure the bird lands here and rest but eventually it will fly away. It will go wherever it wants to go. It is free to do what it wants. She wishes she had that. The freedom to do whatever she wanted. But she doesn’t.

Her eyes wander to the sky. And she wishes she could fly. Fly away from her pain. Fly away from everything that has happened in her life. Fly as free as a bird. Fly up as high as she possibly can and look down at the earth. Fly and feel nothing. No pain, no longing, no regret. No fear of what is to come. She just wants to escape it all. And flying seems to be the only way. She wishes she could do it. Fly up high in the sky and feel nothing. Fly away from it all. Be free just like a bird. Fly away and never return to this empty life.

In a way she realizes that one day she will. One day – a day that will come far to soon - she will fly away. She will spread her wings and fly away. Up in the sky as highs as she can. And she will look down upon earth. At the people she has left behind. And she wonders if there she will find the peace she so longs for. If there she will find happiness. If she will feel no more pain. No more fear. No more anger. If she will finally be able to rest there.

Matilda Hunter wishes she could fly. Fly high in the sky just like a bird. Free of any burden. Free to do whatever she wants. But as she watches the bird sitting close to her a realization suddenly strikes her. Birds are not as free as they may appear. Sure they fly away when they want, go where they want. But they always return to earth. They always come back. And she wonders if, when she finally flies away, she will return as well. She wonders if Henry is close to her.

She feels two strong arms around her. And instantly she knows it is Luke. She knows when he is close to her. She feels comfortable in his arms. Safe. Protected. When he holds her, when he kisses her. When he is with her. It’s almost as if the pain disappear. For a while she can forget how tired she is. For a while she doesn’t have to fight. For a while, thanks to him, she is strong. She can hang on a little longer. She wonders if this is what love is. She wonders if she had a chance to live, they would love each other forever. Or will they’re love only last forever because it didn’t last? Could she really ask this of him? To suffer forever for a love that might not have lasted the years? But it was to late now. There was no turning back. She has made her choice, and she is to selfish to give him up now. In a way she feels that she disserves to be selfish. She deserves this piece of life. She deserves to be loved. Even if in the end it will end up destroying him, it is not like she asked for this. It is not like she wanted this. Does this make her a bad person? Or does it just make her human?

She looks at the bird and for a second it looks at her. Then it flies away. She stares after it as it rises up in the sky and disappears through the clouds. And she wishes she could follow it. Just jump up and fly away. Fly away from her pain. Fly away from it all. But she can’t. It’s not her time to fly. Not just yet. She still has life left in her. She still has a little bit of time. She doesn’t know how long she has left. Nor does she think it will last much longer. Still it’s not her time. So she stares at the point where the bird disappeared and sighs. It’s not her time to fly. But oh how she wishes she could.

When they leave two weeks later it’s almost as if it’s already over. Scott hugs everybody and forces a smile as he reaches her. He holds her a little longer than he usually would have. And kisses her on the top of her head. The last time he did that was when she was a younger child. They lock eyes and in that instant they both know. This is the last time they will see each other. It doesn’t matter how many plans they make. It doesn’t matter how hard they try. She is running out of time. Out of strength. And he has seen it. She won’t make it until Christmas. Tears appear in her eyes but he wipes them away instantly.

Scott doesn’t know what he’s going to do. How he is going to say goodbye. He has spend as much time with her over these two weeks as he possibly can. But he knew it wouldn’t last forever. The time would eventually run out. It’s the thing he hates the most. Time it doesn’t slow down long enough for them to catch up. It just keeps running on, almost mocking them. He takes a deep breath and tries he really tries. But as they reach their end, as the time comes to say goodbye, he finds it’s harder then he thought it would be. He holds her longer then he ever thought he could. And gives her a soft kiss on the top of her head. Their eyes lock and he knows, she knows. This is it. Their final goodbye. He sees it in her eyes. Their time is running out. Her eyes fill with tears but he wipes them away. She should not cry. He doesn’t want her upset. He wants her happy. For the time she has left. So he fights his own tears and smiles weakly at her. She almost smiles back.

He watches as his family makes their way through the crowd. She knows that as soon as they pass custom they will be gone from his view. She turns around one last time and their eyes lock again. He smiles faintly. She smiles back. She puts her hand up and waves as he blows a kiss at her. Then she turns around and slowly walks away. And he knows. As the tears roll down his cheeks, he simply knows. It’s the last time he will ever see his little sister alive.

Matilda looks out the window at the land below. They’re climbing higher and higher. The tears she didn’t shed before, escape from her eyes. And as she watches the land below her become smaller, her thoughts go back to the free bird. And again she wishes she could simply fly away.

But it’s not her time. Not yet.

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Still today. I'm pointing out here that this is not the last chapter. So it's not the end just yet. Just saying.

Chapter 21 : Forever love

He has never truly thought about time. Sure sometimes he wishes time would go faster (like in a really boring class) or slower (when he’s doing something fun) but he’s never really thought about. Lately it’s all he can do. It’s all he can think of. How much time she might have left. How much time they have left. Everyday he wakes up with this fear. That she has run out of time. That it will all soon be over. He know it is coming. He knows it is inevitable. He wishes he could slow time down. Make it stop altogether. Give her more time to live. But he can’t. And he hates everything.

He’s never really wanted to see France. It’s just another city to him. It’s not very important. But when she tells him they are going to France. And when he sees her eyes light up and the smile on her face he smiles to. Sure he might never have wanted to see Paris. But she wants to see it. And he would do anything for her. To make her happy. Absolutely everything. He holds her in his arms and he feels complete. He feels loved. He wants to protect her from everything. And the thought that he can’t, that he really can’t, hurts him more than he’ll ever admit. And he wonders if this is what love feels like. And he wonders if he will have the time to really find out.

Jack watches from a distance. He wishes he could take the pain away from Matilda but he can’t. He wises he could help his little brother but he can’t do that either. He can stand by Robbie’s side and listen to him, but there’s really nothing he can do or say. He can’t help them. He can’t save her. He can’t give them the time they need. He wishes he could. That he could do anything at all to help them, no matter how small it is. But he really can’t. All he can do is watch from a distance. As the people he loves the most crumble in front of him. As they break in pieces and there is nothing he can do to stop it. All he can do is watch.

He looks at her as she stands there. Looking at the ground below her. He wants to get closer to her. Gather her in his arms and never let her go again. But he can’t move. You see Lucas Holden is afraid of heights. And Currently he is standing on the Eiffel tower. And the only reason he is standing there is because Matilda wanted it so much. So here he stands. And he watches her. He doesn’t know what she’s thinking about as she stares at a bird. For a second he wants to ask her ‘ penny for your thoughts?’ But he doesn’t. He doesn’t ask her because he’s to afraid of what she will answer. He’s to afraid to hear the truth from her lips. That’s she’s scared. That’s she’s in pain. That they’re fighting a battle they already know they’ll lose. That there’s absolutely nothing they can do to save her. That the ending is already set in stone. That time is all they have left.

He swallows deeply and walks to her. He wraps his arms around her and pulls her closer to him. He places a soft kiss on her hair and closes his eyes. And lets his minds wonder. What if they had more time? What if this didn’t hang over their heads. Would they be happier? Would they love each other forever? Or would time eventually break them apart, as happens so many times with your first love? Would he be forever doubting what could have been? What might have been? Or will he eventually forget her, like you’re always forgetting. He closes his eyes and admits the harsh reality. He’ll never know the answer to those questions. And he’s scared. And he’s ashamed to admit that he doesn’t know what to do. Sometimes he wants to run. Run away as far as he can from this pain. From this agony.

Sometimes he just wants to turn around. Run away. He doesn’t want to be living this live. He doesn’t want to feel this. He’s to afraid of what will come. But every time he almost runs he looks into her eyes and he realizes. No matter how scared he is, no matter in how much pain he is Mattie has it worse. He can’t leave her behind. He loves her to much. And he wants to give her happiness for a few months. He wants to be with her. Because when she’s gone, these moments will be all he has left. And he can’t leave them. Because if he does, he will never forgive himself. The pain will be greater then staying by her side.

That same night they are walking in the streets of Paris. And they are met by a beautiful sight. The lights of the fountain in front of the Eiffel tower have to be one of the most beautiful things ever. The stars above them shine. And as he looks at her he knows he will remember this moment forever. He will never forget how happy she looked right there and then. How care free. How innocent. She looked just like a normal teenage girl in that moment. And he will never forget it. And for as long as he lives he will love her forever.

Jack sees it as well. He sees things nobody else sees. Because it’s the only thing he can do. Watch from the outside as everything crumbles. He sees her losing the fight. He sees how scared his little brother is. He sees how much pain she’s in. How much pain they’re all in. And he watches. And in that moment as they’re about to leave it strikes him. As he watches Scott hold Matilda close to him he knows. They are running out of time. Scott and Matilda will never meet again. He doesn’t say it out loud. And he never lets anybody know but in that instant he knows she is running out of time. She doesn’t have much strength left. He can’t really explain why it strikes him in that moment. Or why she is so sure. Only that he is. But there is nothing he can do. So he keeps quiet. He keeps quiet and keeps watching the ones he loves, slowly fade away.

Luke is not sure how long they sat on the plane. The only thing he really knows is how tired he is. A plane is not a good place to sleep. He looks at Mattie and sees how tired she is. And he almost wants to carry her. But he doesn’t. She turns around and gives him a small smile. They walk towards they’re suitcases. That’s when she looks at him and whispers ‘I love you.’ Before he can respond or do anything at all she crumbles and falls. He catches her just before she hits the ground.

And he prays to God that this isn’t the end.

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Chapter 23 : The second scare

The waves softly hit the sand. She sits there watching. She’s sure there’s something different. The world around her has changed. It’s lighter then the other times she stood here. And she watches the waves hit the sand. And she’s sure she is supposed to know what will come next. She’s sure. But she does not. Instead she watches the waves. Calming her down. She turns around suddenly. Knowing what comes next. In the distance, in the far distance she can see Henry. And she wants to go to him. Hug him and never let go again. She’s sure that if she runs she will be able to catch up with him. Her feet however won’t listen to her. And she swears she hears his voice whisper ‘Don’t worry. Not your time yet.’ The whole world brightens and the light swallows her whole….

In the end Jack is not really sure what exactly happened. All he knows that one second everything is alright and the next Matilda is going down. And he wishes he could do something. He wishes he could wake Matilda up. He wishes he could take over his little brother’s pain. His little brother’s fears. Wishes he could look him in the eye and say ‘Don’t worry. Everything will be alright.’ But he can’t say it. Because he doesn’t know if it will be. And he can’t look his little brother in the eye and lie to him. He can’t save Matilda. He can’t save anybody. The only thing he can do is sit there and hold Lucas’s hand. Because in the end it’s not his fight. And it’s not his choice. And as he feels Martha place her head on his shoulder he realizes how lucky he really is. But as his eyes drift to Luke again he wants to give it to him. He would gladly exchange his story for his little brother’s. He would gladly take over his pain. But he can’t. He can only watch.

Scott Hunter knew this would happen. He’s known for years it could happen, but he now he knew. He knew it the second his little sister walked trough those doors. She was not going to be alright. Nobody could help her. He could not help her. And he wishes he had said something to her. Something that would have made the goodbye more memorable. But he couldn’t think of anything. Now as he sits in his apartment and stares at the phone all he does is pray. Pray that it’s not the end just yet. Pray that somehow Mattie will find the strength to fight through this as well. Pray that somehow she will have more time. And pray that she will beat the odds. Pray that he was wrong and she will somehow make it till Christmas. He stares at the phone and waits. His eyes flash to the clock and he watches as another agonizing minute ticks away.

Natasha Andrews has never been one for words. She was simply not brought up that way. Sure she tries to say the right thing. But she always ends up making things worse. She’s not one for words. She is however one for action. She is the one that will hold their hands. And she is the one everybody counts on. To come up with a plan. To somehow make things better. She always manages to plant a smile on Robbie’s face. But as she sees him sitting there – on the floor with his head between his legs. As if trying to hide from it all. – She knows there is nothing she can do for him. For any of them. There are no amount of jokes, there is no amount of money that could make this better. The only thing she can do is sink down on the floor next to him. Wrap her arms around him and pull him closer to her. And hope. Hope that this isn’t the end. Hope that Mattie will pull through. Hope that somehow she is strong enough so that she can keep both herself and Robbie standing.

Martha feels like an outsider. An outsider intruding in a family’s grieve. She doesn’t really belong here. Sure Robbie and Tasha are her best friends. And Jack’s her boyfriend. But she’s not really part of this story. Yet she sits here anyway. She’s no part of the story, yet she does feel their pain. And she wishes she could help. Change things somehow. But she can’t. She sits next to Jack and places her head on his shoulder. And she knows she is the lucky one. In a way. Her eyes meet Tasha’s and she knows they’re both lost. Neither on of them knows what to do. All they can do is sit. Sit and wait for the inevitable. For if it will not happen today it will happen soon. And the knowledge weighs heavily on her heart. But she doesn’t say a thing. And just sits there.

Luke thought his heart would stop. The second she went down and fell in his arms. Part of him wonders if she didn’t know what was coming. If she hadn’t known she was losing. She came up to him and said I love you. And he remembers a distant memory. A recollection of a moment. A moment of a life lived so long ago. A life that somehow he feels was lived by someone else. ‘Never leave without saying I love you.’ And he hopes she isn’t leaving him. He’s not ready for her not to be there. He’s not ready for her to give up. He’s not ready to lose the thing he loves more than life itself. He’s not ready to make it in this world on his own. He’s not ready to lose her. And most of all he’s not ready for her to go away. Because if she leaves now he will not have said it. She will disappear without having heard him say ‘I love you to.’

The light fades away and she is surrounded by darkness. And she wonders if this is it. The end. If her life is now over. If she can finally stop fighting, stop hurting. The darkness is silent and all consuming. And she realizes she doesn’t want it to be the end. She wants to live just a bit longer. She is not ready to die just yet. Suddenly she realizes the darkness is not so silent after all. She’s been hearing sounds all along, but she hasn’t registered them till know. Distant voices she can’t recognize. And a steady beating. A steady heartbeat. She runs trough the darkness desperately trying to make it towards the sound…

Her eyes flicker open. She closes them almost immediately. The light was to shiny. To powerful. It reminded her of another light. She didn’t want to think about that now. The pain in her head becomes almost unbearable. As she forces her eyes open again. At first she doesn’t recognize anybody. The women standing next to her bed is not familiar. But as her eyes focus more she realizes that at the other side her mother sits. She tries to smile, but she doesn’t know if she managed it. She doesn’t know if it matters either. Behind your mom stands Luke. His eyes are red from all the crying and he smiles as he realizes you’re awake. You’re eyes meet and you open your mouth to say something to him. Anything at all. But no sound ever leaves your mouth. You close your eyes again in an attempt to gather strength. But slowly you find your drifting off into unconsciousness again. ‘It’s okay honey go to sleep.’ Your mom softly kisses your forehead. In the far distance before you’re completely gone you hear Luke’s voice. ‘I love you to.’

She not ready to fly away just yet. Heaven would have to wait just a bit longer. So would Henry. It’s not her time just yet.

She still has things to do.

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Hey guys. Thank's for all the reviews. This chapter was actually finished yesterday but after reading the reviews I suddenly realized something. i had completely forgotten about Kit. Seriously. If Barbara hadn't mentioned her she probably would never have popped up in the story again. Which is not good. Anyway on with the chapter.

Chapter 24: The best laid plans

In the end it had been Robbie’s idea. Which came as no surprise. Despite what people may think Robbie rarely had stupid ideas. Most of his ideas were actually pretty smart. The most stupid idea he had ever had was perhaps the time he went running in the woods around the school with Tasha. Completely nude. But nevertheless he rarely had stupid ideas. It was in the execution of those ideas that it often (Alright most of the time.) went wrong. Just like it did today. Still it had been a good idea when he thought of it. Perhaps he should have just asked for help.

Ever since his sister had returned home from the hospital he could see that she was different. Tired. She didn’t have the same light she had before. It was as if she was already giving up the fight. And the truth was he couldn’t really blame her. She was tired. So tired. He just wanted to make her smile. Make her forget even for a second what was happening. But she barely left her room. She had only left the hospital a couple of days ago he reminded himself it was normal. But she wouldn’t even get out of her bed for Luke. He visited her in room instead. He wanted to make her smile. But it had to be something she wouldn’t have to get up for. He sat up suddenly. A smile spread across his face as an idea formed in his head. Yeah this could definitely work.

And that is how and why Robbie found himself standing in the kitchen. He had never in his life cooked something. His mother had never let him close to the kitchen before. It was not that Robbie would be bad at cooking. It’s just that accidents always seemed to happen when he tried something. But for now he was forgetting all of that and focusing on his plan. (When he thinks about this later he will know that his mother was right.) Instead he started to work silently. His sister had always wanted to have breakfast in bed. But his mother had never allowed it. It wasn’t much (he knew that) but it was the only thing that occurred to him. And he would be damned if he wouldn’t make her smile. At least for a while.

Matilda couldn’t really remember her dreams anymore. Which she thought was a good thing. She still couldn’t forget the dream – had it been a dream? Was it perhaps something else? – about the beach. And Henry. Her Henry. But since that night she had not dreamed about that at all. Or if she had she could not remember it. He had told her it wasn’t her time yet. But if those dreams were a clear indication of what was to come her time would come soon. Every time she had that dream she got closer and closer to Henry. And she knew that when she finally reached him it would be all over. Sometimes she didn’t think that would be so bad. She didn’t want to die. She didn’t want to leave the people she loved behind. But she was so tired. This was not a life. And if it was it was not the one she wanted to live.

Robbie looked around the kitchen trying to decide what he was going to do first. He wanted to make her a lovely breakfast. He wanted her to smile at him. But he had no idea where to begin. Maybe he should get his mom… He dismissed the idea it came up. No he would do this himself. He could do it. He walked to the refrigerator and started pulling stuff out. He still had no idea what he was going to make for her. But he knew he had to start somewhere. With a smile on his face he started to work. The fact that he had no idea what he was doing didn’t bother him. Nor did it ever occur to him it might go all wrong.

Matilda stared at the pages of the book. She had no idea why she had decided to read. Only that she wanted to do something and since she still had a couple of books she wanted to read (needed to read before she couldn’t anymore) reading seemed to be the best option. She was in the middle of Pride and prejudice. But she wasn’t getting very far. It’s just that she was so tired. She couldn’t really concentrate. Her mind kept wondering of. She thought of Henry on the beach. To Robbie’s face when he saw she was awake. She thought of the look in Scott’s eyes when they said goodbye. She thought of Luke’s warm embrace and his whispered ‘I love you to.’ The book was in fact soon forgotten.

The sudden ringing of the phone caused Robbie to jump. He had been lost in his thoughts. Perhaps he should be paying more attention to what he was doing. Still deep in thoughts he picked up the phone. ‘Robbie Hunter.’ Nothing. Absolute silence at the other side of the line. There was no dial tone either so he knew there was someone there. His first thought was to hang up. But then his mind started to work and it dawned on him that he knew who it was. He whispered softly into the phone as not to wake anybody. ‘Kit?’ Silence. Then just when he thought he might be mistaken came the soft reply. ‘Robbie.’ Nothing more. No questions no nothing. But she didn’t need to say anything he knew why she was calling. ‘She’s okay. Tired but okay. Kit I think you should come home. She doesn’t have much time left.’ Again silence. A long silence. Eventually she did say something. ‘I’ll come. Don’t tell her. Bye.’ He heard the soft click of the phone and knew the conversation had ended. Still he stayed there with the phone at his ear. As if he could still hear her talk to him. When he finally realized she wouldn’t anymore he hung up. Slowly he made his way back to the kitchen. All the time realizing that that conversation he just had with his older sister was the longest he had had with her since Henry died. And he had a feeling that when Matilda died his big sister would disappear as well. As if she never existed at all.

Still after taking a deep breath he banned those sad thoughts from his mind. He remembered her promise of coming and he knew she would come. She would come because Matilda would want to see her. She would come to say goodbye and then she would disappear again. But for now he focused on the task ahead of him. The making of breakfast. For most people this would be easy. For Robbie it proved to be a challenge. He was easily distracted. And admittedly the phone call was no great help. Not that anything would have made it better at all.

Mattie was staring at the book in her hands. Trying to distract herself from her thoughts. She had heard the phone ring but she had not heard anything since. She had thought that maybe it was Luke or Cassie but since Robbie had made no move towards her room she assumed it was somebody else. Realizing she would never be able to focus on the book she closed it and looked around her room. Her eyes rested on a picture taken years ago. When everything had still been alright. When Henry had been alive and Kit had been here. Kit… She sighed as she wondered if she would ever see her sister again. Tears glistered in her eyes and threatened to escape her eyes. Then suddenly she heard a loud crash followed by a smaller explosion and Robbie’s loud cursing. Immediately she sat up in her bed. Wondering what the hell her brother had done this time.

Beth was sitting on her bed staring at the window. Trying to gather her strength for yet another day. Lately she had been feeling a lot better. A lot stronger. And if she’s honest with herself she knows that that has everything to do with Tony. She never thought somebody could evoke so much emotion in her again. But now she found herself sitting here. Silently wondering why this had happened. Why the world was so cruel to her. What she could have possible done to end up losing her children one by one. Suddenly she stiffened as she smelled something burning. Followed by a loud crash and a small explosion. Then Robbie cursed. Loudly. Startled she jumped up and ran to the door.

Robbie doesn’t know how it happened. He really doesn’t. He thought everything was going well. He was making eggs. Making toast and warming up milk. But then he had probably made a very stupid mistake. You see still distracted by the phone call he had forgotten one thing. When you put a pan on the fire it usually gets very hot. So when he picked it up with his bare hands a sudden pain hit him causing him to drop the pan. The milk (which was hot now) then washed over his feet. Causing even more pain. Cursing loudly he jumped up. Then there was a small explosion.

In the end nothing mayor really happened. Robbie didn’t need to see a doctor or go to the hospital. It was more the shock then anything else. The breakfast was lost. After having dropped the milk the eggs had caught on fire causing a small fire in their kitchen. And the toast? Well Robbie had somehow (though he doesn’t know how he did this one himself) managed to blow up the toaster. At first he was highly disappointed. After all this were his sincere efforts to make Mattie feel better. But as soon as the shock of what happened wore off he looked up to find Matilda doubled over in laughter. His mother coulndn’t contain her laughter as well. So in the end it had worked out well. Though admittedly not how he had intended it to. The best laid plans…

They ended up calling Tony to ask if he could get breakfast for them. Matilda did end up having her breakfast in bed. And after recovering from her laughter Beth forbade Robbie from ever stepping foot in the kitchen again.

On a different not. The explonation of a toaster can actually happen. It happened to my best friend once. Which is also how I learned never to let her make breakfast again. These sort of things however only happen to the crazy under us. And my best friend along with RObbie are definitly one of them.

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Okay I don't really like this chapter. Oh well. ON the Kit thing, I actually didn't just forget to add her to the story. I completely forgot she existed. I never really liked her character. SInce the first second she was on screen I hated her. Which may be why I wrote her this way in the story. Anyway I didnt write this story for so long I actually forgot I put her in it. Good thing I remembered. Though I have to admit some of the things I was going to write in this story now make more sense.

Chapter 25: Wishes

Natasha Andrews had never really thought about doing something like this. And if it had been up to her she wouldn’t have. But she just felt so hopeless. As the days passed by Matilda grew more tired and Robbie smiled less every day. And there was nothing she could do. She had all the money her parents had left her and yet she could do nothing to help them. Nothing to save her. So when Mattie told her about the list she didn’t even think about it. She would have given Matilda all of her money to accomplish everything on it. But she knew they’d never accept it. Instead she focused on the things she could accomplish. If only to give her a little more strength. Which is why she found herself in the position she was in now.

Lucas, being afraid of heights, could not help her with this. Though he would have done it if he was asked. It just seemed wrong to do it. And putting Robbie in a hot-air balloon was just asking for trouble. None of her friends wanted to do it. And that is why Natasha found herself high above the ground. Higher then she ever wanted to be. As she looked at the earth below she wished she had never gotten herself into this. But the look on Matilda’s face takes all her doubts away. There was not much that could be done for her. But if she Natasha Andrews had to spend a couple of hours in fear (okay absolute terror) to make her smile, then she would do it. Because Mattie was Robbie’s little sister. And you loved her. And because it is the only thing she can do for her.

Matilda was flying. Alright it wasn’t exactly flying. Still she found herself high in the sky. And for a moment, when she closes her eyes, she feels free. Just like a bird. As if she can go wherever she’d like. For a moment she wished Luke was there with her. But she had seen the fear in his eyes and had refrained from asking him. And after she had seen what he had done to a simple breakfast letting Robbie come with her was just out of the question. Knowing Robbie he’d find a way to accidently crash them somewhere in the middle of nowhere or something. She was glad that Tasha had offered to come with her. She didn’t want to go alone. She closed her eyes and let the wind blow through her hair. And for the first time in weeks she felt completely at peace.

Robbie shook his head as Jack shook with laughter. His mom (and Matilda of course) had told everybody about what was now being called ‘the breakfast incident’. He was glad he had made Matilda laugh. The only problem was that now Jack burst into laughter every time he laid eyes on him. Actually everybody started to laugh as soon as they saw him. You would think that after so many things that happened to him they would get used to it. Though as he turned his eyes back to the sky he had to admit. It was pretty funny. He still had no idea how exactly it happened though. Not that it really mattered. As his eyes search the sky he realizes he can’t find his little sister anymore. He takes a deep breath as he tries to calm himself down. He was afraid that if he took his eyes of her for a second she would slip away. Fade away from him without a change to say goodbye to her. Disappear like she never existed at all.

Jack stopped laughing when he saw Robbie struggling for breath. He wished there was something he could do. But there was nothing. He was bound to stand on the outsides for this entire event. He couldn’t help them. He couldn’t save Matilda. All he could do was watch everybody around him go down. He takes a step forward and places a hand on Robbie’s shoulder. The only thing he could do was stand by his side. Offer him a shoulder to lean on. And just stand there. Because it’s the only thing he can do. That and laugh at the ridiculous things he does.

Beth was sure the phone would ring any moment. She was afraid to do anything when Matilda wasn’t by her side. She couldn’t leave the house. She was afraid that if she would go away she would miss a call from Matilda. She supposed that the only good thing about that day was that Robbie wasn’t in the hot-air balloon. She looks up as the door opens. A soft smile appears on her face when she sees it’s Tony. At least she wasn’t alone anymore. Tony smiles as he walks through her door. He hasn’t dated anyone since his wife died. Well that’s not entirely truth. He tried dating other people, Jack didn’t like it. Let’s just say he was a rebellious teen and leave it at that. Still he’s sure that now that he’s grown up he can accept things. He just needs to find the right moment to tell him. In the mean time they will just have to keep it quiet for a while. He walks to her and captures her lips in a kiss. (Thinking about it later he realizes that kissing her in the middle of her kitchen , where any of his or her children can walk in at anytime was not such a good idea.)

Jack needed to talk to his dad. He needed some advise. Someone to tell him what to do. What he could do to help the people around him. Somebody to listen to him. Robbie already had enough problems. And while he was sure that Martha would listen and guide him what he really needed was his dad. Since he couldn’t find him at his house he figured he would try the Hunter’s. After all Beth and Tony seemed to have developed a strong friendship. As he looks through the window he sees them kissing. His first reaction is to yell at his father. He has never liked the idea of him dating other women (as he made very clear years ago) and really he would have liked a little bit of warning before seeing that. But as he makes to walk to the front door something stops him. They look happy. Even through all the pain they have been going trough they look so happy. And after everything she has been trough Beth deserves some happiness. And his father has been alone all these years. So even though he doesn’t really like what he’s seeing (and he’s not sure he’ll ever truly accept it) he turns around and walks away.

To soon the flight had to end. Though by the look on Tasha’s face it really wasn’t soon enough. Matilda would have loved to stay up there longer. She would have loved to spend more time flying in the clouds. Among the birds. Still as they land softly on the ground and she catches Luke’s eyes she is suddenly very happy she is back on earth. She smiles and practically runs in his open arms. He smiles and holds her close to him. As if to prove to her he’ll never let her go. To bad he will eventually have to do just that.

Luke was glad when the flight ended. Not that he didn’t want Matilda to accomplish the things she wanted to do. It’s just that he wanted to be close to her. He just really couldn’t get in a hot-air balloon. She looks tired. Always so tired. He’s surprised she can even get out of bed. Though he must admit that she seems stronger than she looks. He just hopes it will last. He smiles as she runs towards him. He holds her close to him. As if by holding her close he’ll be able to hold onto her forever. As if by holding her close he will never have to let her go. If only it worked that way.

P.S. DOn't worry. My friend and I got out of the toaster incident unscratched. Couldn't say the same for the toaster though...

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I didn't really have much Cassie/Matilda in this fic and since they're best friends I thought they should. The idea of the daring game (and most of the dares) actually came from an episode in 2006 (I think) can't remember which one. Also I'm kind of hoping to finish this fic before my exams start.

Chapter 26 : simple fun

It had been Cassie’s idea. She thought that spending some time with her friends was exactly what Matilda needed. That and she wanted to spend one day with her best friend. Afraid that every moment would be the last. She however had just wanted to spend the day at the caravan park. Maybe watch some movies. It turned out the boys had other ideas. The idea to play truth and dare had come from them. So had the idea of a bonfire on the beach (though it would have to a very small one). It wasn’t really truth and dare. Just dare. Of course they would never dream of making Matilda do something that would make her more tired. Still it seemed like a good idea.

And that’s why Matilda ended up seeing things she never thought she’d see. Things she never wanted to see. One of them would be Ric in a dress. With make up on. She couldn’t stop laughing. The look on his face when Luke dared him. Cassie calling him a coward for not wanting to do it. Him wanting to prove her wrong. But what really made her laugh uncontrollably was the look on Mr. Stewarts face when he saw his grandson standing there. It really was a comical sight (it took them a couple of days to convince both him and Colleen that Ric was in fact not gay.) Still it was hilarious. She was thankful to whoever had come up with this idea. She really needed to spend some time with her friends.

Luke couldn’t believe he was going to do this. He knew that Ric would get him back for the dress thing. But this was really to much. Covering his brother’s police car with toilet paper? How did he even come up with this idea. If it hadn’t been for Matilda pleading him to do it he wouldn’t have done it. Which is why he currently found himself hiding in the bushes. Watching as his brother looked shocked at the car. He had to admit this probably had never happened in Summer Bay before. But then his brother completely surprised him by simply taking some toilet paper of the windshield and driving away. Okay now that had definitely never happened in Summer Bay. He could see the others doubled over in laugher. He was so going to get Ric back for this.

Cassie stood in the store staring at the stuff in her hands. Really when she had been dared to go and buy all the condoms in the store it hadn’t seemed so bad. Until she found out who worked there. Why Colleen was working in the story was beyond her. Still she now found herself having to buy condoms from Colleen. If she would do that the entire town would now about it before she had gotten home. This was hell. How had Matilda even been able to come up with this? How had she even known Colleen would be here? When had Matilda turned against her? But she had to do it. She would never be able to live trough the teasing if she didn’t. Then again if Colleen told Flynn and Sally she might not be able to live trough it at all. In the end teasing from her boyfriend and friends seemed less scary then an angry Flynn and Sally. Especially if you threw in Mr. Stewart as well.

Matilda really didn’t know what to expect. She knew Cassie would never make her do something that would potentially hurt her. But she knew that Cassie wasn’t happy about the whole condom thing. In all honesty she really hadn’t known that Colleen would be there. It had just been the first thing she thought off. Still now she found herself standing in a full diner. About to sing a song. When she had written down on her list years ago that she wanted to sing a song in public this hadn’t really been what she had in mind. Still if it was the only way to accomplish it. It’s just that she got stage fright. But then again a table in a diner wasn’t really a stage now was it? She knew that nothing would happen. Neither one of the boys would ever let her fall.

Jack had been deep in thought when he walked to his car that morning. He couldn’t forget Tony and Beth kissing. It’s not that he didn’t want his father to be happy, he did. And it’s not like Beth was a bad person, or that she didn’t deserve all the happiness in the world. Because she did. It’s just that he couldn’t stop thinking about his mom. He guesses he’s afraid that if Beth and Tony get married or something he will slowly forget about her. It’s ridiculous he knows. Still he can’t stop thinking about it that way. That and the fact that one of the clearest images he has of his mom is standing in the kitchen kissing his dad. He stops dead in his tracks when he sees the car. Damn those teenagers. He looks around for a second and then his eyes fall on Matilda, Cassie and Ric. And he knows. They have something to do with this. And since the only one missing was his little brother… oh he was so dead. Then however he saw Mattie laughing and he softened. Alright it was just a stupid prank. Still deep in thought he simply took the paper of his windshield and drove away. This definitely had to be the weirdest sight ever in Summer Bay.

Matilda felt her knees shaking. Really she could climb the Eiffel tower, fly in a hot-air balloon, go skinny-dipping. But she couldn’t sing a song in public. This was ridiculous. Nevertheless she climbed on the table. And before she really had time to think she started to sing. She was sure that her face was tomato red. Still she didn’t stop. When she finally finished she took a deep breath and jumped of the table. (Bad idea Mattie. You’re not strong enough for that.) Still she didn’t let it show that she had hurt herself a little. Instead she smiled as the boys and everybody else in the diner started to clap.

Robbie was going trough his stuff. He did not know why but he had decided to clean up his room. Maybe it was because he simply needed to do something. Or because his room had become so messy he couldn’t find anything in it anymore. Or it was because it would keep his mind occupied while Mattie was out. It didn’t really matter. It took most of the day but he had finally finished. Now he was sitting on his bed. An old photo book in his hands. Pictures from when they were children. From when they were happy. Happy and whole. Tears glistered in his eyes. They would never be like that again. When this all ended he would be the only one here.

They were sitting on the beach. They couldn’t get a fire started but it didn’t really matter. Mattie was looking at the sea. Watching as the waves softly hit the sand. She had a feeling she had been her before. And in a way she had. She wasn’t sure if they were actually dreams or something else. They seemed so real. She felt Luke’s arms around her. She leaned back against his chest as he whispered ‘I love you.’ in her ear. The last conscious thought she had was that. That and the image of the sun sinking in the sea as the waves softly hit the sand. Then there was just darkness.

A phone ringing made Robbie jump up. It was Luke. A completely panicked Luke. Apparently they had gone to the beach and Matilda had passed out. They tried to wake her up but when they didn’t succeed they called an ambulance. She was alright, well not alright, but… He didn’t finish that sentence. He didn’t have to. Robbie knew what he meant. She was still alive. For now. He almost shouts in the phone that he’s on his way. Then he hangs up. He grabbed a jacket and ran out. Not noticing that in his haste he ran against the table. There where all their pictures where. And a picture of Matilda was knocked of off it and hit the ground. The glass shattered into a million pieces. But Robbie didn’t notice that. He was in to much of a hurry to notice anything.

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Chapter 27 : The beginning of the end

At first she didn’t know if she was awake or sleeping. After all she had been sitting on the beach, watching the ocean. Accept that it had been day, and Luke had been with her. Now it was night and she was all alone. Staring at the ocean. Watching as the waves hit the sand. She felt him before she saw him. Henry was here yet again. But she didn’t get up. She was to tired – even in her dreams – to be able to move. She watched as he walked closer and closer until he stopped. Maybe two feet from where she was sitting. Reluctantly she got up and started to walk towards him. She realized she was closer to him then she had been since Henry had died. She stopped right in front of him. Wondering if perhaps this was it…

Luke was feeling so many things at the same time he wasn’t even sure what those feelings were. Which one of them were more pronounced then the others. More important. It didn’t really matter. At first there was fear. Of course there was. Then there was sadness. Finally there was also the feeling that maybe this wasn’t so bad after all. He didn’t want her to die. He wanted her to be with him for the rest of his life. But even he could see she was tired. Tired and in constant pain. And he knew she had no more strength to fight. So maybe it was better for her if it would end sooner rather than later. After all then she could finally rest.

Robbie stared at his little sister. He hadn’t really paid that much attention to her. He hadn’t wanted to. He had not wanted to see the clear sings. But now that she was lying motionlessly in that hospital bed he had to acknowledge them. She was pale. Paler then she had ever been. And thinner. He had no idea how much weight she had lost but it was clearly visible. And she looked tired. Softly he brushed the hair out of her face. Unshed tears shone in his eyes. He knew they were nearing it. The end. But he wasn’t ready yet. If he was honest with himself he knew he would never be ready. But there were some things he still needed to say before she left. He bend forward and placed a soft kiss on her head. Then he whispered ‘Please wake up. Don’t leave me just yet.’ He didn’t care if he was begging. He just wanted her to wake up.

She looked into her brother’s eyes. The brother she had missed so much. She wanted to touch him. To take his hand. To talk to him. To reach out and hold him tightly. But something was preventing her from doing so. It was as if there was a line. A clear line drawn in-between her and her brother. And if she crossed it that was it. Her life would be over. Part of her wanted to do it. The other part was screaming of things yet to do. Of the people she loved. As if on cue she heard a voice. Clear as day Robbie’s voice broke the silence. ‘Please wake up. Don’t leave me just yet.’ Their eyes meet again and Henry smiles. As if he knows it’s not the end yet. He looks at her one last time and then he turns to walk away. She wants to scream after him. Tell him to wait. But it is as if she has lost her voice. She wants to run after him. But she is frozen in this position. She watches as he walks away until he isn’t there anymore….

Matilda hears the voices before she sees the persons. She is waking up. Part of her wishes she could return to the beach. But she knows she can’t. So instead she opens up her eyes and looks around. There were several people in the room. Robbie was sitting next to her holding her hand. Her mother and Tony were in the corner talking to a doctor. A nurse was at her other side. Luke wasn’t here but that didn’t mean anything. He might have gone out to get something to drink. What caught her attention however was the other person in the room. Kit. She had not seen Kit in such a long time. A smile crept on her face and she held out her hand for her. Kit smiled at her and took it. This was perhaps the closest they had been in a long time. They didn’t say a word. The silence seemed to be saying so much more.

Beth cleared the room almost immediately when she saw that her daughter was awake. She wanted so badly to tell her that it was okay. That everything was going to be alright. But she knew it was a lie. And she couldn’t lie to her daughter. But she need a couple of minutes alone with her daughter. Nobody really protested when she asked them to leave. Robbie was as always the last one to leave the room. She sits down on the bed and hugs her daughter close to her. And she just holds on. For dear life. As if while she’s holding her death wouldn’t dare to touch her. Neither one knows how long they sat there. It’s not like it truly mattered.

It was only hours later that Matilda saw the doctor again. In the meantime she had noticed that it had grown darker again. Night must be approaching. She waited patiently for the doctor to explain. If he had avoided her for this long she knew it could really only mean one thing. As he started explaining to her that she didn’t have much time left she never moved. She didn’t panic. In fact she didn’t feel anything. It’s not like she wasn’t expecting it. The only time she opened her mouth was to ask how long she had left. He looked taken back for a second until he told her a couple of days. She closed her eyes. She heard him talking but she wasn’t really paying that much attention anymore. Until it finally dawned on her what he was saying.

She knew the doctor wanted to help. She really did. But as he was telling her that she could live longer. If she stayed in the hospital, she knew that it wasn’t’ what she wanted. She knew this was it. This was her end. She had lived her entire life the way she had wanted to live it. She wasn’t going to give up now. She wanted to live. And sure living for a couple of more months sounded great even. But lying in a hospital bed unable to move; to do anything was not living. At least not in her mind. She wasn’t going to do that. So that’s what she told him.

‘Look Doc. I know you’re trying to help. But it’s not what I want.’ The doctor started to protest but she quickly cut him of. ‘Can you save me? No. Can you make sure I don’t die? No. the thing is I’ve accepted this was going to happen a long time ago. And I decided how I was going to live. And lying in a bed for months was not a part of that. It’s not me. If I’m going to die I’m going to do it at home. In my own bed. Surrounded by my family. On my terms. There’s nothing you can do for me. So please just let me go home.’

He looked like he wanted to argue but he ended up not doing that. He must have realized that she was right. Still he managed to convince her to stay just one more night. If only because it was so late. Mattie didn’t think one more night would truly hurt. And she just wanted to rest. Suddenly she found herself alone again. But not for long. The door opened very slowly to reveal Luke. His eyes were red. His cheeks tear stained. He had obviously been crying. She wanted to say something. Anything but nothing she thought of was good enough. Instead they just stood there. Staring at each other.

Luke wasn’t entirely sure when the tears came. All he knows that he was sitting on the floor in a hospital hallway. Head in his arms. He’s not sure when he started to cry. He does know when he noticed it. It was the moment everybody started to leave the room and his eyes found his dads. At first he wanted to go in the room but he couldn’t get up. It was as if all his strength had finally left him. He took a deep breath willing himself to calm down. When the doctor came later to tell them Matilda would have to stay the night and that she could go home tomorrow his first feeling was relief. This must mean that she was going to be okay for the time being. But his eyes were sad. And even if he didn’t come out and say it he knew. She wasn’t going to be alright.

He walked into her room hesitantly. Not because he was afraid she didn’t want him there. But because he was afraid of what he would find. What he found was the same girl he had held in his arms on the beach. He smiled. He wanted to say something. Anything. But the words wouldn’t come to him. He just stood there. He doesn’t really know how long he stood there. But eventually he started to move. At firs the wanted to sit down in the chair next to the bed but he changed his mind quickly. Instead he lied down in the bed next to her. He pulled her close to him and just held her. He placed a soft kiss on her hair and then he whispered ‘I love you.’

Matilda snuggled close to Luke. Resting her head on his chest. She could feel his arms wrap themselves securely around her. And she felt safe. Loved. And for a moment just a moment all of her strength seemed to return to her. He placed a soft kiss on her hair and whispered ‘I love you.’ She didn’t hesitate to reply. ‘I love you to.’ No more words were spoken. But it didn’t seem to make a difference. She just lied there until eventually she fell asleep. Luke fell asleep shortly after she did.

The doctor tried to convince her to stay one more time the next morning. But she wouldn’t hear of it. She was going to go home there where she belonged. She thanked him for everything he had done for her and then she walked away. No turning around. No regrets. She had made her decision and she was going to stick to it. When she died she would do it at home. Which is where she was going now.

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I know. Two chapters in one night.

Chapter 28: Message in a bottle

She knew from the moment she left the hospital that there was not much she was going to be able to do. She was to tired to weak to really do anything anymore. But she was determined. There was one more thing she really wanted to do. And she was going to do that. If it took all the strength she had left than so be it. She took a deep breath and sat down in her bed. She would write this letter. It was important. If she was asked why it was important she would not have been able to explain it. She would not have been able to tell what made it so important. But that she couldn’t find words to express herself didn’t mean that she was wrong.

Jack had known for such a long time. He had seen everything, including the things others wanted to ignore. There was not much time left. And he couldn’t bear it. He couldn’t bear to watch his brother, his friends crumble down like this. And he just couldn’t life them up. There was nothing he could do. And for the first time since he had seen them kissing in that kitchen he finally fully accepted their relationship. Beth would need somebody. His eyes meet his fathers and they both know. They are the outsiders now. But in the end they will be the ones who will hold everybody up. They will hold everything together. Or at leas they will try.

Tony didn’t even want to imagine what Beth was feeling. The thought alone of losing his son was bad enough. And he had cause to think that over the years. First those awful teenage years and now he was a cop. Still the thought and actually knowing you were going to lose a child had to be awful. No parent should bury their child. And Beth had already buried one. Now she would be forced to burry another. He simply couldn’t understand why this was happening. Then his he thought of his son. He had no idea how Luke was going to get trough this. Nor did he have any idea of how to help him. For the first time he was at a loss to do anything. His eyes met Jacks and he knew that he was just as lost as the rest of them.

Robbie found himself looking at his sister. For the first time in years. It’s not that he hadn’t seen her. It’s just that she had never stuck around long enough for him to look at her. Truly look at her. She looked lost. But then again perhaps they were all lost. But there was a light in her eyes that he was sure off hadn’t been there before. At least not since before Henry had died. And it encouraged him. For he was not sure how long he would be able to hold it together. To be the strong one. Perhaps until Matilda died. He didn’t really want to think about that be he knew it would happen. But then he would fall apart. The idea of somebody being there to hold them together was appealing. But this was Kit and he knew her. She wasn’t strong enough.

Kit hadn’t really talked to her brother since that fateful night. He had tried of course. But she hadn’t wanted to hear him. She had not wanted to hear anything. She knew she couldn’t explain why she had decided to call that morning. Or what made her turn around. It would make her sound crazy. It had been a dream. Just a dream. But Henry had been there. Telling her it wasn’t her fault. To go home. And for a second she had sworn she had seen Matilda sitting there. But she had woken up before being sure. She had no idea why but that dream compelled her to call home. And to come when Robbie told her to. Now however she had no idea if she was actually strong enough for this.

Luke looked warily at the girl walking beside him. He had no idea why Matilda wanted to go to the beach. But she had been determined. She would have gone alone to, but he wouldn’t let her. Whatever it was it must have been important. Still he was afraid she would tire herself out. But he couldn’t say no to her. Would never be able to say no to her. So he took her hand and let her guide him wherever she wanted to go. Soon they found themselves standing on some mountains. Below them he could see the ocean crashing against the rock. ‘You’re not planning to jump or something are you?’ She just looked at him as if he was crazy. At least it was something. That’s when he noticed her holding something. How he had not noticed before was beyond him. Comprehension dawned on him as the list suddenly came to mind.

She knew Luke didn’t really want her to go to the beach. But she was determined. She was going to go. And if nobody wanted to go with her she would go alone. But she knew that even if he didn’t want her to go he would never let her go alone. She looked at the ocean as it crashed against the rock. When Luke started talking about jumping she looked at him as if he had lost his mind. It’s not like she was suicidal. Just dying. She took the bottle out of the bag and looked at the ocean yet again. The message in the bottle. Number two on the list. Important. She couldn’t explain why. Just that it was. She wanted to throw it in herself but she knew she wouldn’t be able to. Instead she looked pleadingly at Luke. He seemed to have understood her meaning immediately for he took the bottle and threw it far away into the ocean. And together they watched as slow but steady the waves moved the bottle and the message in it farther away from them. Until they couldn’t see it anymore.

Mattie had never been sure of how to talk to Kit. They had always been so different. Kit was more of a boy. Always hanging out with Scott. Kit had been closer to Henry (which was only natural) and Robbie. And now she found herself again at loss for words. Words of gratitude for coming. Of understanding. But she couldn’t say them. It didn’t take her a long time to realize she didn’t need to. This was all they needed. Sitting on the couch. Holding each other. Watching ‘a little princess. It was their favorite movie. One of the only things they had in common.

Kit held Mattie close to her. Mainly because she simply didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know her little sister was struggling with words as much as she was. Somewhere halfway through the movie a realization struck her. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what had happened in the past. All that mattered was that she was here now. That she could still hug her sister. And together they watch the movie. And when at the ending the believed dead father turned out to be alive they both cried. For that was one miracle that would never happen to them.

And the bottle kept floating in the ocean. And with each second that passed it distant itself more and more from the shore. Floating away from life so to speak. Just like Matilda Hunter was doing.

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Chapter 29: Goodbye may seem forever

Matilda felt as if she was doing rounds. Everybody she knew seemed to be coming to visit her. As if they knew there was not much time left. Which there wasn’t. People from school. Teachers. Friends. She didn’t really know what to say. Some of them had never talked to her. Others had never really been that important. Some felt sorry for her. Others couldn’t even look her in the eye. Still somehow it was comforting. At least now she would be sure there was nobody she was forgetting. Nobody she wouldn’t say goodbye to.

Cassie was one of the first to come by. And she stuck around for the entire day. Talking to Cassie had always been easy. Like breathing air. But for the first time it was actually difficult to talk to her. Difficult because they both knew what was coming next. And neither knew how to express how much the other one mean to them. Still it wasn’t really necessary. Her being there was more than enough. They ended up talking about silly stuff like they always did. And remembering better times. Time seemed to almost stand still while they were talking. And for a while, just a while it seemed as if everything was as it was before.

Matilda will never be sure who she talked to next. It could have been anyone. The next person she remembers however is Mr. Stewart. It’s a weird image to see him standing in her bedroom. He searches for the right words to say to her; but there are no right things to say. She wishes there was something she could say to him. But she can also never find the words. Eventually he leaves. Only at the end, while he’s already leaving, does she finally speak. And all she asks was of him to take care of Cassie and Ric. She knows there was no need for her to ask. She does it anyway.

Then came Jack. And the realization. She had known Luke for months. She had spend so much time with him. Even with Tony. But she had never even talked to Jack. She knew nothing of him. She knew he was Luke’s older brother and that he loved him. She knew he was Robbie’s new best friend. She knew he was dating Martha. She knew he was a cop. And that was all. She knew nothing of him. And now it was to late. But as she looked him in the eyes she realized she knew the most important things. He loved Luke and he would take care of him. And he would allow Robbie to lean on him. And in the end that was all she really needed to know about him.

She never really talked to Tony. Never said goodbye. She supposed she didn’t need to. Her mother had not told her about her and Tony. But Matilda knew. Matilda knew because her mom was happier. Especially when Tony was close to her. She could have been jealous. Or angry. She could have thought of dad and screamed. She did none of those things. If she had been healthy, if things had been normal she might have. But things were not. And her mom would need someone. So Mattie smiled as she watched them. And she knew that at least with Tony by her side her mom wouldn’t be alone in the end.

Martha was in a way the easiest to talk to. She and Martha had been friends. But not very good friends. Just simple friends. She was Tasha and Robbie’s best friend. It was the only reason they actually knew each other. But Martha had always been nice. Important. Tasha was in a way different. She had gone to school with Tasha. Tash was Robbie’s girlfriend. She had known her longer. And she and Tasha had always been close. And Robbie found in her an equal. Somebody to love. Somebody that loved him. Somebody he would be able to lean on.

But trough it all Luke never really left. He was always there. Sometimes sitting in the chair next to the bed. Sometimes he held her close. Sometimes he stood in the doorway. Sometimes he was just outside the room. But he never really left. He was always close. He held her close to him. Words were never truly spoken between them. Perhaps they were to afraid to say the words they wanted to. Perhaps they knew those words weren’t necessary. Or maybe they were just afraid that if they would say it out loud it would become to real. The silence wasn’t uncomfortable however. It was filled with the words they didn’t say. Words they didn’t have to say. Because the other one already knew. And they could say I love you a thousand times. And I’ll never forget you. And I’ll always be there. But they were just words. Luke held her close to him. And never truly left her side. And in his actions those words were spoken a thousand times clearer.

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Hey guys. It's not the last chatper. I think there are three more chapters. But this is the one you've all been dreading. It was sad to write.

Chapter 30 : Farwell is like the end

The last conversation with Scott was the hardest. Perhaps it was because they couldn’t see each other. They couldn’t hold nor comfort each other. All they could do was talk over the phone. It was the last thing they had left. Neither one really knew what to say. They had known on the airport back in France that this day would come. That those seconds when their eyes met; just before she walked away ; would be the last time they saw each other. Still it was one thing to know another to actually be confronted with it. Still they managed to have a conversation. And say goodbye. Matilda didn’t cry when she talked to him. She didn’t cry when she hung up either. She wanted to cry. She felt like she should. But she didn’t. Perhaps she simply had no more tears left.

The conversation with Kit was long due. It was a conversation Mattie wished she had had many years ago. When Henry died. Still she knew that she had to talk to her. Trying to tell her that everything would be alright. She had to talk to her to tell her she was forgiven. Matilda didn’t necessarily think she needed to forgive Kit. There was nothing to forgive her for. It had been an accident. There was nothing to forgive. She said it anyway. She said it because she knew Kit needed to hear it. And she didn’t want to die with Kit thinking she had never been forgiven. Even if there was nothing to forgive.

Mattie wished she could postpone talking to her mother. She was scared of that conversation. She was afraid that then the tears would come. But she knew she had to talk to her mom. She just wasn’t really sure what to say or to do. She knew that the others were still here. Luke and Cassie and Ric. But now she needed to talk to her mom. In the end she should not have worried. Her mom knew exactly what to say or do. And in the end she did to. The words ‘Don’t worry mom. I’ll always be close to you.’ seemed like the best thing to say at that moment.

And trough it all in the background was Luke. He was always there. Always by her side. Ready to hold her. Talk to her about silly things. Simply be there when she needed him the most. She knew this was it. She knew she should say goodbye to him. Say the things she always wanted to say. Tell him not to mourn her forever. To move on eventually. Find love again. He would have that change. But she could not do it. Instead she found comfort in the silence. As he held her in his arms.

Robbie was the easiest to talk to. Perhaps this was because he kept a smile on his face the entire time. Cracked jokes, fell off the bed. In other words he acted just as he had always acted. She didn’t know if it was in fact an act or if he was trying not to think of what was to come. It’s not like it truly mattered. But eventually even his jokes and laughter died out. And they got serious. They knew this wouldn’t be the last time they talked or saw each other. But they would never say goodbye. This was their moment, their time. In the end Matilda only wanted one thing. She wanted him to promise her that he would go to Paris next year and go to the top of the Eiffel tower. And look at the world below. Just like she had done a couple of moths ago. It’s all she wanted of him. That and that he would never stop laughing. He promise the first thing but said nothing about the second. It was a promise he would not be able to keep. At least not for a long time.


In the end Cassie Turned was the last one to leave the room that day. You would think it would be Luke. That he would have stuck around till the end. But he didn’t. Nobody was really sure why. Perhaps he was tired. Perhaps he just had to get out for a while. Maybe he had lost some of his strength. Or maybe it was just because he knew that if he stuck around longer eventually the ending would come. They would have to find the words to say goodbye. And he didn’t want that. He wanted to remember it just like it was now. Comfortable. In the end it doesn’t matter why he left earlier. It was Cassie who was last to leave. In a way it was as if they had come full circle. It was Cassie who had first seen Matilda on her first day in Summer Bay. And now it was Cassie who (out of her friends) would be the last to walk out.

Cassie had come back in to talk to Mattie for a while. But it was getting late and she should go. She got up and started to leave but lingered in the doorway. She turned around once more to see her best friend. She didn’t look like the Matilda Cassie had known for years. She looked smaller. Paler. Sick. For the first time she looked truly sick. But then she smiled. And her entire face lit up and for a moment she looked just like the Matilda Cassie had always known. And Cassie wanted to say something. Something meaningful. Something that would make this moment special. Important. But she could think of nothing. Mattie seemed to be deep in thought as well. Looking for the right thing to say to her best friend. In the end it was Cassie who said it.

‘You know you’re my best friend right? The best friend I’ve ever had?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘And you always will be. No matter what happens in the future nobody will ever take your place. I’ll always love you. And I’ll never forget you.’ Silence followed. Eventually Mattie talked as well. ‘You’re my best friend as well. I wish I didn’t have to go. But promise me. Promise me you’ll never forget about me.’ ‘I could never.’ Neither one truly knew how to continue. Eventually Cassie walked to Mattie and hugged her. Neither one let the other go for a long time. Then Cassie turned around to walk away yet again.

She turned around one last time. Mattie smiled at her. Cassie turned around and walked away with tears in her eyes.

It would be the last time she saw her best friend smile.


They could not explain why. But that night the entire family found itself in Mattie’s room. Something was compelling them to be there. As if somehow they knew that this was the last night they had. That there was no more time. Robbie had crawled in the bed and was now holding Mattie close to him. He could remember doing this a long time ago. That was a happier time. But it was a long forgotten memory. All they had was the here and now. Robbie held back the tears as he held his little sister in his arms. His strength gone. His laughter died down. He felt weak and tired. But he didn’t let it show. Mattie would not have to know what would happen to him when she was no longer around.

Kit sat in a chair not far from the bed. At first she had wanted to crawl in it to (even if it was a small bed) and hold her little sister. But she couldn’t. That was Robbie’s job. Robbie’s right. He had been here the entire time. He had been strong and had stayed by her side no matter what. And even if she knew that Mattie wouldn’t mind it. She would. It didn’t matter anyway. The bed wasn’t big enough for three persons. It could hardly hold two. She just sat there watching over them. Like an older sister should always do.

Beth positioned herself next to the bed. She didn’t care if it wasn’t a natural or comfortable position. She just wanted to be close to her daughter. She took her hand in hers and didn’t say another word. And together they sat there. As if they knew these were there last moment. As if they knew what was to come. As if they knew this was the end. One by one they fell asleep. Kit was first. Beth followed not soon thereafter. Robbie was the one who stayed awake the longest. Having stayed with Matilda before. Watching over her. But eventually he to fell asleep. Mattie was the last one awake. Mainly because she knew somewhere deep down inside that if she fell asleep that would be it.


The beach was quiet. Calmer somehow. Something was different though. The light. She looked to the ocean. And watched the sunset. She was calm. She felt him before she saw him. Henry. He was waling towards her and smiling. And she knew. She knew it from the second she had found herself on the beach yet again but now she was sure. This was it. Slowly she started to walk towards him. In previous dreams her legs would never respond. Now they finally do. But she’s not sure she wants them do. Part of her wants to return. But something tells her that is not possible. They came to a stop in front of each other. Just like in her last dream. The line was still clearly drawn between them. But this time she did not hesitate. Seeing him had brought her strength. And acceptance. For a brief instant she wondered who had been there for her brother. But it did not matter. She could ask him later. She crossed the line without looking back and hugged her brother close to her. The words I missed you and I love you were whispered. Henry let go of her and smiled sadly. ‘It’s time.’ Mattie wondered for one second if she could still go back. But she knew it deep down inside she had known it all day. ‘I know.’ He held out his hand and she took it. Together they began to walk…


And down on earth, in the arms of her brother Mattie smiled. And so it was that one night Matilda Hunter fell asleep and never truly woke up again.

And somewhere far away Matilda and Henry walked into the ocean. Without fear. Together they walked into the sunset. And eventually they rose up in the sky. And the flew. They flew higher then anything had ever flown before. And down on the beach they left all of Mattie’s pain behind. Mattie finally felt free. At peace.

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