Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Lighthouse; Part 7, Chapter 4: Written in the Sands

Kaci stared aimlessly at the shelves in front of her, pulling the cart slowly behind her. Mortimer had kept her up late and this morning he'd been eager to repeat last night but she'd quickly slipped out of his bed, laughing as she reminded him that they were almost out of food and eliciting an over enthusiastic groan from him. Now as she stood in the supermarket, she yawned as she placed a box of tea bags into the cart.

"Well I know, it's such a shame, such a young girl like that", "I know, how is she?", "She's holding up, it's her husband I feel for, d'you know he's her carer? He has to look after her day and night", "Well I did ask Nancy exactly how sick she is but she just brushed me off". Kaci's ears pricked at the mention of Nancy's name, sure she was an hour away from the Valley, this particular 'Nancy' could be anybody, but something made her listen all the same.

"I wouldn't be surprised if I were you, I heard she hasn't even told her daughter. I mean I know you don't like to worry your children but you would at least tell them something as serious as that", "Mm, doesn't her daughter go to University up here?", "Yes, such a pretty thing, beautiful red hair", the woman gushed. The hairs on Kaci's neck stood up but she was rooted to the spot, she couldn't have moved if she wanted to. Who else were they were talking about?

"Oh that poor girl", one of the women sighed while the other shook her head sadly. "It's such a terrible disease you know, Cancer. . ." Kaci didn't hear anything else the women said. The pounding of her heart was all she could hear as she stood frozen in place. Her mother was sick. Very sick if what those women had said was anything to go by. Leaving her shopping cart where it it was, she headed out of the store.


"Where's my mom" Kaci said flatly. "Uh Kaci Hi, What are you doing here?" Cyran answered nervously as he pulled the door closed behind him. "I SAID where's my mom", she repeated, jaw clenched, stepping forward. Cyran stepped back blocking her path. 

She looked up at him furiously. "Don't play games with me Cyran I want to see my mom and I want to see her now, Move!" she yelled at him, fighting back tears. "Kace-", "Don't you call me that! Don't you dare call me that! Where is my mother!". "I'm here, Kaci. .  I'm here", said a very faint voice behind him. Cyran's shoulders slumped in defeat, his eyes shut tightly. Slowly he turned and stepped to the side. Kaci's gasped as her brain began to process the broken and bruised body in front of her.

"Mom? Mom? Mo-" Kaci's voice broke, instantly becoming hoarse, her throat dry. She felt like she was suffocating. "It's me honey", Claire smiled but Kaci could see that the smile alone was an effort. "But Mo- Mom what? How? Why? Why didn't you tell me?" Kaci asked. Claire took a slow painful step towards Kaci but she backed away, breathing heavily. "Kaci your mom-", "Don't. Just don't", Kaci cut Cyran off, turning she walked down the familiar driveway and quickly broke into run. "Kaci, Kaci wait!" Cyran yelled after her but she kept going, her legs unable to stop. Before she knew it she was no longer pounding on pavement but sand, when she reached the water she hurled to an abrupt stop, just stopping herself from falling. She picked up a rock and hurled it into the water. Then she picked up another one, and another, until there were no more around for her to throw. In frustration she screamed until she began to heave, and then, she was calm. "Kaci?", she hadn't heard Cyran come up behind her. She stared out at the water, dazed and numb.

It began to rain, slowly at first and then it gradually picked up pace, getting heavier and harder. "Kaci? Kaci. . ." Cyran had to raise his voice over the slight roar of the raindrops. "Kaci your mom, well, she thought it would it be best not to tell you", he saw her shoulders tense but he continued, she needed to know. "She didn't, WE didn't think it would get this bad. We thought she'd see a doctor, maybe have an operation, a dose of chemotherapy and that would be it, that she'd be fighting fit and that you'd never need to know". Kaci scoffed, "And when exactly would you have told me, when she was dying? Dead? After her funeral when?!" she snapped angrily, her voice already hoarse. Cyran sighed, her words stung but he guessed he deserved it. "We would have told you Kaci. . .", He realised how much like a lie it sounded. They had kept something major from her, for a little over a year, he couldn't really expect less. "Do you know how I found out Cyran?" She asked, her voice robotic as tears ran down her cold cheeks.

 He didn't answer, running his fingers roughly through his wet hair and waiting for her to continue. "In a grocery store Cyran, a freaking grocery store. Two Middle Aged Margaret's gossiping in the frozen food isle. THAT'S how I found out my mother had Cancer, so don't you give me that righteous bullshit about you were going to tell me because you weren't, neither was she and YOU KNOW IT!" she yelled, tears flowing freely. Cyran moved forward and tried to hug her but she hit him away, and then she kept hitting him, over and over again in his chest. "Let it out Kaci, it's okay, it's okay, she'll be okay", he said hugging her to him.

 And then she heard the strangest sound, she didn't know where it was coming from until she realised it was coming from her. Loud uncontrollable sobs, forced up and out through her mouth by the pain in the pit of her heart. Her knees buckled and he held her up, fighting back his own tears, knowing he had to be strong for her. "Shh, Shh, baby, it's okay, your mom will be okay", he soothed. Eventually she stopped, all cried out, and just let him hold her tightly, her head on his chest as the rain fell around them.

She stared out at the sea, unblinking, unable to move, unable to speak. All she could see was the shadow of the woman her beautiful mom used to be. "How bad is it Cy?" she whispered. Cyran was just glad it was raining, it disguised the tears running down his own cheeks. "Not good. The treatment's keeping it at bay for now but. . .", he trailed off. "Is she going to die?". There was a long pause before he answered. "Your mom's a fighter. She'll beat this thing, don't give up on her Kaci, never give up on her", he said, squeezing her tighter. 

Kaci nodded. The rain fell harder but neither of them moved. "You know I love you, I'll always love you, and whatever happens, I'll always be here, you can count on me Kaci, for anything, you know that", he kissed the top of her head. She nodded again. Cyran said his next words cautiously. "You ready to go home kiddo. . . Maybe, talk, to your mom. . .", he asked carefully feeling her tense and thinking he'd pushed her too far. Kaci looked at the lighthouse in front of them, watching the beam rotating calmly over the stormy seas offshore. She nodded again, "Let's go".


"Dude I knowww! Ha! He was so drunk he couldn't even stand up- Oh Hey Kace! Kace what's up- Kace? Mortimer! Sandi! Get in here!" Malcolm yelled to his best friend and girlfriend as he hurried over to Kaci. "Kaci, Kaci what's wrong?! You're scaring me!" Sandi asked, eyes wide and panicked as she squeezed Kaci's hand. Mortimer hurried over ". . . Kaci?" he asked gently.

 "It's. . .Mom", she said, her chest heaving "She's. . . cancer. She's dying. . .She's. . .She's.  .  . She's dying", she sobbed, collapsing into Sandi's arms, as she fell to the floor. Sandi sat holding her, rocking back and forth as she whispered soothing words in her ear. Slowly, a stunned Mortimer and Malcolm silently joined them, Mortimer rubbing her back while Malcolm held one of her hands. The guys didn't even try to hide their tears as the four of them sat on the living room floor, each of them trying to remain strong for their heartbroken friend.

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