If you haven’t read Chapter 4, here is the link:
“So, where are we going, Ricky?” I asked as I turned to look back at my sister, who had fallen asleep on the RV’s couch. I still can’t believe that I agreed to this. It was for Athena, that’s for sure.
“Well, I figured we would leave Washington and just drive for a day or two. I want to head to Cali, but I’m still debating it.” He spoke, still looking back onto the road. “I’m sorry if I dragged you with us, but I had to ask her.”
I looked at him, as he looked into the mirror and smiled as he watched my sister sleeping for a split second. “I really love her. I’m just shocked that she said yes. Didn’t even think about it for a second.” I was kinda surprised because this isn’t something that Athena normally does.
I wonder why she wanted to all of a sudden leave? I pulled out a map of the United States and saw different states circled. California, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, and Florida were all circled. One was circled in a different color, which caught my eye. It was New Jersey. It was strange, but the ink looked familiar.
“I know you do.” I sighed, I looked over at him, watched him as he watched the road. “Why did you plan to leave?”
He didn’t flinch when the question was brought up, he sighed. He stayed quiet for a few minutes before he had a chance to speak. “I want to meet my father. I haven’t told you or Athena this, but the real reason why your mother has always wanted me to stay away from you guys, especially, Athena, is that I have cancer.”
I was shocked. Normally, we have always told each other everything, but this was something that he hasn’t mention to either of us. God, if Athena finds out, she is going to be crushed. Ricky turned into a gas station and pulled up to one of the pumps.
Shutting off the engine and turned to face me. I could now see in his eyes how sick he truly was. It hit me how much he has changed, but why did he felt the need to not tell me? Or Athena? “Please.” He stared at me dead in the eyes. “Don’t tell Athena. I’ll tell her when I’m ready.”
Ricky got out of the RV and slammed the door. Which woke Athena up. I turned to look at her and smiled. “We are at a store if you want something to eat.” I said, as she sat up from the couch and yawned.
“Sounds good to me.” She got up and left the RV. I was about to leave as well, but my phone started to ring. I didn’t even check to see who it was and just picked it up. “Hello?”
“Logan, how’s everything?” I heard my father speak.
“Fine, but did you know, about Ricky?” I asked. My father knew I was very blunt about stuff. I could hear him being silent.
“He told you, didn’t he?”
“Yeah, Athena doesn’t know, but is that why you let us go with him?”
“Sort of, but I want to tell your sister and you in the morning. I love you both.” He said.
“Love you too dad.” I hung up. All this of this information was hitting me all at once. Ricky has cancer. Dad came back. We have an aunt who is a vampire.
I think I just need to sleep on this all.
The next day, I pulled into an RV camp, just so we could all sleep. Logan walked over to the store to grab some more supplies. Once he gets back, we are going to call their dad and let them know what else is going on.
I watched Athena sleeping, she looked so peaceful. I finally convinced her to sleep in the bed that was in the back of the RV. I climbed into bed with her and got under the covers. She rolled over and laid on my chest.
My heart started to beat faster. This has been something I have dreamed, for a very long time, although, I won’t be able to do it much longer. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her before I go.
A tear fell from my cheek as I thought about it some more. I didn’t have the heart to tell her. I didn’t want to tell her, but I couldn’t keep it a secret. I was about to fall asleep until I heard the RV door open and close.
Logan walked in with a few bags and placed them on the table. I got up, making sure not to wake up Athena.
“She still sleeping?” Logan asked as I nodded and then pointed back outside.
“I need to talk to you.” I said as Logan put some of the stuff away and then walked back outside with me. I closed the door and paced back and forth before I started to throw up. Logan started to rub my back.
“You okay, man?” Logan asked as I stood back up and leaned against the RV. “It’s getting worse, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” I said, taking a moment to breathe. “Which is why I want to ask you something.”
“Tonight, I was wondering if you can let Athena and I have the RV to ourselves?” I was nervous about asking him. “I need to tell her because I don’t have much time.”
“Sure man. Are you gonna, do it?” Logan said, which I could see that it was uncomfortable for him to ask. “I don’t care, but just use protection.”
“Only if she wants to. I won’t force her.” The RV door swung open and Athena stepped down. “What time is it?” She asked.
“It’s about noon, but we need to call dad, once you eat something,” Logan said as Athena nodded and walked back into the RV. Logan turned to me. “How much longer do you think you have left?”
“Not sure, I’m a ticking time bomb.” I chuckled, it wasn’t funny, but it was true. I rubbed the back of my neck as we both go back inside the RV.
“How is everyone?” I heard Tanner ask, I waited and wanted Athena or Logan to answer.
“We are okay, Dad, but we are still really confused on why you let us go with Ricky.” Athena asked as she looked at Logan and me.
“Well, you guys are going to meet your Aunt Marie. She’s in California and since Ricky is going there, I figured you guys would tag along and meet her too. You’re mother and I are going to head out and meet you guys there tomorrow.” he explained. I’m glad he didn’t tell him the real reason why I’m heading to Cali.
“Why now?” Logan asked.
“One of your mother’s best friends had died, but come to find out, my sister saved him and turned him. He and my sister want to meet you, but they are going to burn in the sun in the next week since there is no cure to vampirism. I figured you guys would want to meet both of them.” We heard him pause. “I’m so sorry we never told them about you guys.”
“It’s okay, at least we are going to meet them now.” Athena said.
“It’s not okay, I wish I had told you guys sooner. Anyway, your mother, Ricky’s mother, and I are on our way. We are about to board the plane. Stay safe and we love you.” Their father hung up. I got up and sat down in the driver’s seat.
“We better get going. I have to meet them at the airport.” I said as I started the RV. Before I could switch it in gear, Logan stopped me.
“Let me drive.” I nodded and got out of the seat as he whispered. “You need to tell her, so spend time with her in the bedroom. Just shut the door. I don’t want to hear anything.” I smirked as I looked up at Athena.
I grabbed the box of pizza that Logan picked up before we called their father and brought it in the bedroom, where Athena was crocheting away. I shut the door and sat on the bed next to her.
She stopped crocheting and placed them on the nightstand and grabbed a piece of pizza. As I grabbed one, she took a bite of hers.
“Are you sure Logan can drive this?” She asked as I could see she was a little worried about him driving an RV all by himself.
“He’s fine. Listen, there is something I need to tell you.” I said, but she put the pizza back in the box and moved it off the bed. I finished the piece and then looked at her. “You need to be calm when I tell you, okay?”
She nodded as she got closer to me. I didn’t want to tell her. She was already going through a lot, but she needed to know. Especially, if I’ll not be around much longer. I took a deep breath and looked into her eyes.
“I love you, Athena.” I paused and then cleared my throat. “I’m dying. I have cancer.” Her beautiful face went from smiling to sadness. I wanted to hug her, but she just stared at me.
“H-How long?” She asked. I was confused.
“How long what?”
“How long have you known and not told me?!” Her voice started to rise. “Does Logan know? Do my parents know?”
I grabbed her hand, but she pulled away and moved herself away from me. “Answer the questions.”
“I found out when I graduated. They ran tests and I’ve got maybe another month or two to live.” She placed her hands over her mouth as she cried more. I wish I had told her sooner, but my mother beat it to tell her mother. That’s why she didn’t want me around Athena, she didn’t want me to fall in love with her and then I die.
I went over to hug her, this time she let me. I wrapped my arms around her and held her as long as I could. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want her to let go. I wanted to spend as much time as I had with her.
“Say something, please.” I asked, I looked down at her and looked into her eyes, she was heartbroken. It was all because of me. I went to kiss her forehead, but she moved and I got her lips instead. They were warm and loving, just like the last time we kissed.
I pulled away, but she held my head in her hands. “Please, just let me kiss you.” She spoke softly.
“I just don’t want it to go further unless you really want to.” I said. She stared into my eyes, again.
“I want to. I want you, Ricky.” She said as she pulled me into a kiss again. Laying us both down on the bed. I pulled away again. Looking into her eyes, I could see the worry that was showing in her eyes. Her hands started to linger down to my pants.
“Are you sure you are ready?” I asked as she stared at me. “I don’t think you are. I think you are scared to lose me.”
Athena’s face looked blank for a second as she pushed away from me, siting up on the bed, wiping the tears that just started to fall. “Do you know how long I’ve wanted to be with you?” She paused and turned to look at me. “I know we are both young, but I had planned a future of us. We were going to go through college together, get a beautiful house, get married and have kids running around the house.”
I stayed silent. I’ve always thought of being with Athena, building a life with her too, but I stopped thinking about it all after I found out I was dying. It was the reason I pushed her away. I didn’t want her to think that we could be together forever unless it could happen.
“I love you, Ricky. More than you know.” She sighed and covered her eyes. Her voice was starting to crack. “You lied to me. I’m sorry if I wanted to share something special with you before you die. If you don’t want to let me, it’s fine. I’ll just go.” Before she could stand up and leave, I grabbed her arm and pulled her back down to me.
“Don’t leave, please. Just let me explain.” I sat up and held both of her soft hands. “I-I didn’t know how to tell you. Your mother figured it would be easier to not mention it, but she was wrong. I was wrong. I should’ve told you sooner. We just need to take this day by day until my last. The one thing I want from you is your happiness.”
I wiped her tears and smiled at her. She was so beautiful. I just can’t imagine leaving her side.
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