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Title: Footprints

Type: One-shot

Main Characters: Aden & Belle

Rating: G/A

Spoilers: Yes.

Warnings: I’ll warn you at the start of the chapter if I need to.

Summary: The lead up to Belle’s death.

This is for those of you who haven't read this. Enjoy.

When I walk along the beach my footprints are nowhere to be seen, the sand does not allow me to in print a mark into the rough surface. It’s as though I never walked there at all. Life is short; sometimes people in this world come and go as if they were never here at all. No mark, no footprints left behind. But it’s the moments in time that really count, our purpose in life is to make a change. I myself aspire to brighten someone’s life, leave a legacy behind. The can be a place of pleasurable moments, many memories are constructed by our thoughts and feelings.

Although I know the beach to be a place where people come and admire mother’s nature’s beauties. My image of the beach has changed ever since I learnt that I am being consumed by a lethal disease flowing through my veins attacking my body’s immune system. The beach is engulfed by a serene atmosphere, my vision of the beach and death has a great deal of resemblance. That’s why I’m not frightened of dying, the only thing I’ve been fearful of is...

“Not being with you Aden” Belle’s tears fell only to be quickly wiped away by her soul mate.

“Oh babe, that won’t happen. Do you hear me? We’ll always have each other. Even if I can’t see you, you’ll be on my mind always” Aden pulled her in tightly swaying her gently hoping it would put her worries to rest. Rubbing her back slowly, Aden let out a sigh smelling her hair making a memory. He never wanted to lose the opportunity of holding his one true love; he never wanted to give up the chance to kiss Belle. He promised himself he would always kiss her every chance he got.

“You promise?” Belle looked into his eyes terrified her love would easily forget her once she left this life.

“That’s what they guarantee you once you’ve fallen madly in love with Belle Taylor, unfortunately she’s stuck with you for life”

Belle let out a small laugh only to trigger a cough, Belle caught her breathing scanning his eyes hoping it would reveal his thoughts, she couldn’t understand what had been going on through his mind.

“I love you” Belle whispered fearing she might burst into tears. “And I love you...” Aden smiled playing with her hair. The thought of losing Belle, of not seeing her face every day killed him inside. He wanted to cry, the thought of cancer may him sick to his stomach. He knew the disease would one day take the love of his life, it wasn’t fair. Why was this happening, what have I done to deserve this. Aden punished himself, taking his anger out on the gym hitting the punching bag in a psychotic manner. The same questions had festered inside of Belle’s mind.

Taking in the salty sea breeze Belle coughed as the sudden rush on air was too much for her lungs to handle. “Hey” Aden said protectively using a whispered tone, “You ok, babe” Aden finished his sentence watching her with a desperate look. “Yeah....I’m fine” Belle smiled catching her breath, she knew Aden worried about Belle tirelessly.

Belle wished Aden wasn’t on edge all the time; after all there was nothing more they could do. Cancer had beaten them, they both had no choice but to accept what was to come. A pair of cold, unforgiveable hands would soon reach out to Belle and strip her out her soul – ultimately killing her. There was not a single thing she, Aden or any qualified doctor could do to win the battle. Strolling down to the shore line of the beach Belle and Aden looked into each other’s eyes, “Do you remember coming here?” Aden smiled, there was a distance between them yet the connection between them was stronger than ever.

It was like a magnetic had been smack bang in the middle of the two, the force was strong fighting to pull them closer. “Yes, how could I forget....” Belle remembered the beauty of the place after the sunset the bird gliding through the sky above them. “It was such a perfect moment” Aden continued almost letting a tear escape from his left eye.

“So perfect, I had no idea you would ask me. Even before we knew about the.....” Belle stopped saying the word cancer at this stage was just too painful even though she put her illness at the back of her mind to stop her worrying and feeling any emotion towards her fatal disease hearing the word killed her a little more inside. The word cancer weakened her, it wasn’t a word of power and hope it was an evil and poisonous word.

Belle closed her eyes letting out a small breath she had been holding in, remembering the moment Aden had proposed. “Belle Taylor...” Aden got down on one knee. “Will you marry me?” Aden looked unconcerned. “Oh NO...” Belle said emphasising the word no and saying the word ‘oh’ quietly. “No?” Aden’s heart mimicked a heart attack. “Oh god, no, no, I mean I did mean no...as in its a shock....” Aden looked confused freaking out. “Yes” Belle said quickly. “Yes what?” Aden raised an eye brow. “Yes I want to marry you....” Belle said it as if it was the obvious answer. “Really” Aden’s face lit up. “Um actually....am I allowed to change my answer?” Belle teased. Aden got up giving Belle an evil look, then pulled her in for a hug “Phew...I am so glad you said yes” Aden huffed.

“Why on earth would I turn down an offer like this? I see all those girls drooling over you in the gym they aint getting my man” Belle said cheekily, Aden took this opportunity to kiss her. As the wind blew lightly Belle and Aden stood closely kissing and laughing, “Hey do you want your ring or what?” Aden insisted, he had spent every moment working his butt off in the diner ever since he lost his job on the trawler. Punching his boss really wasn’t a good job.... Aden thought to himself as he thought about measures he went to get the perfect ring.

“Oh.....Aden.....” Belle was lost for words holding her ring. “Do you like it..?” Aden’s voice shook with uneasiness. “I love it” Belle looked up and smiled, “Will you” Belle asked there was no need to finish the sentence Aden immediately knew what she was asking, “Here you go gorgeous” Aden slid the ring on her finger. “Belle?” Belle began to cry, “Its perfect....and so are you” Belle placed her hand on his cheek kissing him passionately.

“You really thought I was gonna say no, didn’t you?” Belle snapped out of her flashback glancing at Aden. “Y-yeah” Aden let out a nervous laugh. “Awww, I would never reject you” Belle reassured him. “Ah excuse me; you rejected me every time I tried to kiss you”

“When!” Belle was insulted. “When I first started working at the diner” Aden smirked. “Oh I’m sorry” Belle giggled.

“Belle...let’s go for a walk” Belle slipped her finger through his holding his hand. “Where are we going” Belle asked in a state of contentment. “It’s a surprise” Aden and Belle then arrived at a spot of the beach, but it wasn’t just any spot it was the place where they had said “I do”.

More images flooded back, Belle sighed closing her eyes once again this time they were filled with tears. Her lip trembled as she remembered her wedding day.

"Belle, I am proud to take you as my wife for all the time we have been together.

There has always been the kind of love and understanding which is only shared when there is true love.

You have helped me become the person I am today

And with your help I will be a better person tomorrow than I was yesterday.

You have always managed to help me through bad times and I cannot imagine my life without you.

Today as we begin our lives as husband and wife I commit myself to you" Aden finished, he had meant every word. Even though he found marriage vows to be soppy he made a huge effort to find the right words. He wanted to express his feeings for Belle honestly.

Belle took a deep breath, "Aden, I will take you in my arms when you need to be held. I will listen when you need to talk. I will laugh with you in times of joy, and comfort you in times of sadness. I will love you for who you are, and help you to become all that you can be. I will age gracefully with you/grow old with you"

The cememory continued.

“Do you Isabelle Taylor take Aden Jefferies to be your husband?” They were alone of the beach, no audience, no annoying parents watching over, it was just the two of them side by side. It was the way Belle pictured her wedding day. “I do” Belle said without hesitation.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride”

“Don’t mind if I do” Aden smirked, the two kissed. “So how does it feel to be Isabelle Jefferies?” Aden smiled, “First of all it’s Belle” Belle said in a matter of a fact tone. “Okay Belle” Aden loved how Belle was such an independent girl. “I love the name Belle Jefferies, it’s perfect” Belle kissed him again.

Opening her eyes back up Belle tears slowly fell. “I don’t wanna leave you, I don’t wanna leave you!” Belle fell to the ground begging Aden. “Belle, babe, hey” Aden gripped his arms around her holding her. “It’s not fair....” Belle sobbed, “I wanna stay with you, I wanna stay alive, I don’t wanna die.” Belle pleaded.

“Belle...Shhhh” Aden kissed her hair. “Why can’t I stay with you, why did this have to happen, why Aden” Belle was now feeling breathless. “Belle, calm down” Aden insisted. Belle’s breathing pattern began shallow, “It’s cold..” Belle whispered closing her eyes. “It’s 27 degrees” Aden said with a confused face.

“No....it’s so cold...” Belle said in a voice that sounded as if she was about to pass out. “Belle...?” Aden looked at her. Her face was pale, her eyes closed, “Belle open your eyes” Aden started to panic. “What..?” Aden’s lips and hands began to tremble. It was happening she was dying, Belle’s head rested on Aden’s chest her forehead against Aden’s cheek. “Belle...!” Aden cried.

“I....I.....love....” Belle struggled to say unable to say the word “you” as she coughed uncontrollably. “I love you Belle, I love you....” Aden whispered crying. “I love you too Aden” Belle managed to gain enough strength to whisper her final words. Aden quickly pressed his lips against hers, one final time. “Goodbye Belle...I’ll never ever forget you. I promise” Aden closed his eyes, holding Belle as her heart stopped pumping and her chest rose for the last time.

It had been five minutes but the pain and anger was raging inside of him, looking down at his pocket he removed one hand from Belle and reached out a packet and a syringe. Filling the syringe with the legal substance Aden rolled his sleeve up and looked at him Aden stretching it out. “I’m sorry Belle; I can’t stay here by myself....” Aden took a deep breath slowly with a shaky hand he injected himself with Morphine. Aden’s heart stopped, the colour of his face had turned white, falling back onto the sand Aden and Belle lied on the beach holding each other.

Belle and Aden had been married for a year now and it was on this day that Belle and Aden got married. Now two memorial plagues remain at the diner. Annie, Irene, Geoff and all those who knew Belle and Aden would stop and remember the two lovers. Even in death their love would never be dead.

In loving memory of

Isabelle Taylor – Jefferies died on 13 June 2009, 4:00pm

Aden Jefferies died on13 June 2009, 4:00pm


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