Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Common ❯ Part III: Call to Innocence: Chapter Twelve: Goodbye ( Chapter 38 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter Twelve: Goodbye:
First, he lost his mother. And now, he was losing his grandmother too. He broke the news to his family with tears in his eyes.
“Atticus-kun?” Aoi asked. He started to tremble.
“She's going to die,” he said. “My grandma… they placed her in hospice care.” Atticus started crying. Aoi ran over to him.
“I'm so sorry,” she said. She gave her husband a hug. He wept on her shoulder. The children circled their parents for a hug.
He went out to see his grandma on a Friday. The shock gave way to numbness. Atticus couldn't focus at work. He didn't want to talk to anyone. The boss gave him today off.
Atticus stared out the train window. She had always been there for him. His grandmother took him in when his mother neglected him. She pushed him to go far in life. She gave him and Aoi her blessing for their wedding. And now, she was about to die. The thought made Atticus' chest hurt.
The lady on the phone gave him the address to the hospice place. Atticus couldn't bring himself to go right away. It took days and Aoi's support to get him to this point today.
The train stopped in the town he once called home. Nothing had changed about this place. Even when the family visited Aoi's sister. Atticus' heart sank.
“I'm home,” he said. The trip to the hospice would take thirty minutes from the station.
The whole time, Atticus felt empty. The living world could not reach him. People looked like shadows. He wouldn't look up. Each step felt heavy.
The hospice looked so sunny. Bright colors like a daycare. The garden looked so fresh outside. The flowers couldn't stir Atticus. He seemed to float through the doors. The man went through the motions. Sign in, answer some questions, and move on.
He didn't “wake up” until his grandma spoke.
“Atticus-kun!” an old lady spoke up. He saw his grandmother in her bed. Her body looked so frail. They had her hooked up to different machines. She could barely breathe. Atticus had tears in his eyes.
“Grandma,” he murmured. The old lady coughed.
“Don't cry, dear,” she said. “This was going to happen soon.” Atticus slowly walked forward.
“Grandma…” he said. A tear rolled down his cheek. She had always been in glowing health. Seeing her like this broke him. His grandma gave him a weak smile.
“Listen to me,” she said in a raspy voice.
“What?” her grandson asked. She coughed again, violently.
“Grandma, are you okay?” Atticus asked. She put up her hand.
“Listen to me,” she said again. “Don't be afraid to live.”
“Grandma…” Atticus said. She took a deep breath.
“Don't leave this world full of regret,” she said. “Dive in and grab the moments around you. Live like each day is your last. Make your family proud. Make me proud. I love you so much.” Atticus broke down crying.
“I love you too, grandma,” he whimpered. Her grandmother closed her eyes. She would die three days later. Her words pushed him to do what he needed to do for his wife and children.