Half A Blink Away
A Year Earlier
The cold wind tickled my nose and made my eyes water. My fingers felt like squishy icicles as I rubbed my eyes for the ninetieth time. Michelle rested her head on my shoulder as we sat on a plaid blanket in my front yard: gazing upon the stars.
“It’s crazy,” she whispered.
Without looking away from the sky I responded, “What?”
“Seems like it was just yesterday we were five years old,” she started softly, “We had our whole, entire lives ahead of us. And now…”
Her voice trailed off.
I looked away from the twinkling stars and into her eyes.
“But now everything is coming to a close end,” I finished for her.
A long pause fell between us. Everything was just like it had always been since we were kids. We would get together at least once a week, set up a picnic blanket and just watch the stars in silence. But this time felt eerily different and I knew why.
Michelle had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer exactly one year ago today. And she know that everyday she lived was another step closer to her grave.
“There’s so much i want to do and so many places I want to see. Not to mention everything I’m going to miss with Jason,” she broke the silence.
I stared out into the distance and pondered her statement for a moment. For the past year, the conversations and discussions had always been the same. We both knew that our time together was coming to a close but neither of us wanted to accept it that way. At least I didn’t want to accept it.
“Miranda,” she said softly.
I felt a cold tear trickle down my cheek.
“I know it’s a hard topic but we have to talk about it,” she started, “There is no ‘if’ in this. Only ‘when’ and when I do bite the dust, I need to know that my son is safe.”
I brought my gaze back to hers.
“Will you take legal custody of Jason?” she asked.
I thought for a moment and answered, “Of course.”
Obviously, there were thousands of other details we needed to discuss and terms and what we would have to do to take Jason away from Karter, etc. But I knew that she didn’t need me to press into her right now. No, right now she needed a safe reassurance that her son was going to be okay when she wasn’t there to protect him.
“I will never let anything bad happen to your boy,” I stated.
She smiled and rested her head back onto my shoulder and we resumed our admiration of the stars above.