In the three months between us getting tested and finding out the results, Maxxie smoked an ungodly amount of cigarettes and spent a lot of time up on the roof. The kids obviously noticed he was acting strange, and I just told them Daddy and Papa were playing a game that was only for grownups. The days dragged by painfully slow, and as the day to find out our results drew slowly closer, I ended up taking more and more time off work. I couldn’t deal with it. I needed time to think about things. I needed time to think about writing a will and things like that. I’d make sure Mom or Ava got the kids, I couldn’t live with myself if they went back into care.
We sent the kids to Mom’s for the day when it finally got to results day. Me and Maxxie sat outside one of the nurses’ rooms, gripping each other’s hand tightly. The nurse came over and wanted to give us our results separately, just like I knew she would.
“Hadley, can you come with me please?” she said.
I planted a kiss on Maxxie’s lips before heading into the room with her. I almost fainted with relief when she told me my results came back negative. If mine were negative, that only increased the chances of Maxxie not having it, right? I made my way back to him and the nurse called him over.
I already knew his results from the second he left the room. He was in tears. Positive. I pretty much threw myself at him, wrapping him in the tightest hug I could manage. This was all a bad dream, right? It had to be. He didn’t have it. He couldn’t have it. There was no way he had it. Not my gorgeous, perfect, amazing husband. He hugged back just as tight, his tears wetting my t-shirt. I clung to him, my owns tears starting to fall.
"I'm so sorry" he choked out through the tears.
I was crying too much to say anything. He kept crying and apologising.
"You don't have to apologise, gorgeous" I said, still crying.
He sniffled. "I do. I could've avoided it"
I kissed him and he kissed back. The both of us were shaking, a mess of snot and tears.
"Can we go home now?" Maxxie asked and I nodded, sniffling.
Maxxie just about got us home in one piece. The both of us had tried to stop crying on the way home and the both of us had failed. The second we got home, we snuggled on the couch. This wasn’t happening. I’d say I’d fucking kill Cayden for it, but if Maxxie’s results were positive, that meant Cayden’s were too.
"What're we gonna tell the kids?" Maxxie asked.
"We'll think of something"
"Apart from the fact that Daddy was very, very stupid and is paying the price now" he sniffled, laughing a little. All that did was set me off crying again. If I’d walked in on them a little sooner, I wouldn’t be about to lose my husband. “M’sorry, gorgeous” he said, playing with my hair.
"It's okay" I sniffled, hearing just how snotty I was.
He kept playing with my hair and I pressed myself as close to him as possible.
"What am I gonna do without you?" I asked tearfully as he cuddled me close to him.
"Be a good dad, I hope" he said, smiling a little. I just kept crying. "I guess I should probably tell you to move on, too, but the thought of you being with anyone else makes me feel kinda sick" he laughed faintly as he kissed the top of my head.
I let out a weird teary laugh. "I've never even liked anyone besides you"
"I don't want you to be alone, though" he sighed a little. "Anyway, it's not like it's AIDS yet. We'll start thinking about this sort of stuff when it is, yeah?" he said and I nodded, sniffling. He snuggled up to me even more. "Nothing to worry about yet. Just means we need to keep using condoms" he said, giving me this kind of forced smile.
I nodded again, clinging to him as he played with my hair, kissing my forehead. He did his best to comfort me, but I was still trying to get used to the fact that my husband was going to die before he should’ve done. I just about managed to stop crying eventually, though the odd tear rolled down my cheek every now and then. Maxxie cuddled me and I cuddled back, kissing him. I straddled him as he kissed back, wanting to make the most of the time we had left since we didn’t know how long that’d be. We kept kissing and I felt the tears threaten to start up again.
"Do we have any condoms?" I asked shakily.
Maxxie wiped off my tears, carrying me to the bedroom. He put me down on the bed, finding a condom after searching for a little while. I’d ended up on the verge of tears again, and he kissed me as he undressed the both of us. I kissed him again and he kissed back.
"I love you" I said, trying not to cry.
"I love you too, gorgeous" he said, sliding the condom on.
"I love you so fucking much" Don’t leave me.
"I know. I love you too. I've never loved anyone so much" he said, lubing up.
He set up a slow rhythm and I kept him as close to me as possible. The thought of our last fuck flickered through my mind and set me off crying again. I could see Maxxie was trying not to cry, and to be honest, it just made me feel a little pathetic. But fuck it, I was allowed to be pathetic. My fucking husband was dying. I kept Maxxie as close to me as I could, enjoying the closeness. The both of us came, and Maxxie scrunched up his nose a little. Neither of us were huge fans of condoms. I wrapped my legs around him, not wanting him to pull out. I mean, I wanted to remember how it felt with him inside me. He sort of lay down on top of me and we snuggled. I know it was risky to have him still inside me, regardless of the condom, but I just wanted to remember how it felt.
"Don't leave me" I said quietly.
"I won't, Bunny boy. It'll take more than incurable disease to get rid of me" he smiled and I gave him a small sad little smile back. "They have pills and stuff that help, don't they?" he asked and I nodded. He kissed my forehead. "I'm not gonna be going anywhere anytime soon, 'kay?"
He snuggled me again, playing with my hair and I buried my head in his neck.
"I don't want you to go at all" I mumbled, my eyes welling up.
He kissed the top of my head. "I won't, gorgeous. I'll be okay. I'm not gonna go"
Gorgeous, I’m a doctor. I know that’s not true. He shifted so he was on his side, sort of accidentally slipping out of me, wrapping me in a tight snuggle. I pretty much squeezed him to death back. He got rid of the condom, hugging me back equally as tight. Which was how we stayed til it was time to pick up the kids.