I stood outside her bedroom door, an asprin and a glass of water in my hands. I clenched the hand that held the asprin into a fist and knocked on the door. "Iris? Can I come in?"
I waited a few seconds in silence. "Yes." She croaked. I entered the room and looked over at her. She laid in bed, clutching at her stomach in pain. I walked over to her and handed her the water and asprin. Her hands shook as she took them, and when she tried to bring the glass to her lips, she spilled it all over herself. She sighed as I took the glass and set it on the nightstand. "Do you want a towel?" I asked. She shook her head. Small beads of sweat rolled down her forehead but she still shivered. Purple splotches were all over her arms, and her skin was a sickly white.
"Iris, please let me take you to see a doctor." I begged. I was becoming worried that this wasn't just the flu, as she insisted. "No.." She whispered. Shaking, I set my hand on her forehead. "You're burning up."
"I'm fine." She snapped, though she clearly knew she wasn't. "Iris look at your arms. You're all bruised up and you're sweating like you just ran a marathon. You are not fine. I'm taking you to the hospital." She grimaced, but didn't argue. Carefully, I scooped her into my arms. "Oww.." She moaned. "It's okay, Iris, it's going to be fine." She was lighter than usual, but I wasn't surprised- she hadn't eaten hardly anything in almost a week.
I brought her outside and sat her in the front seat of my car. As I tightened the seatbelt, she rasped, "Stop it! It hurts!" I jumped back, then sighed. "I'm sorry, Iris." I kissed the top of her head and walked around to the driver's seat. "I'm sorry, Sam.." She whispered. "Shh, baby. It's okay." I said. She didn't say anything else until we got to the hospital. I unbuckled her and picked her up again. She winced, but made no sound. I brought her inside and speed walked towards the reception counter.
The nurse looked up from her computer screen before I said anything and gasped. "Oh my." The next thing I knew, they were rushing Iris into a room, hooking her up to IVs and machines of all different kinds. No one would answer me when I asked what was happening. Suddenly, I was ushered out of the room by a tall male doctor.
"Sir, what's going on?" I asked frantically. "She doesn't look good. I can't say for sure what's wrong, but I have a pretty good guess." He sighed, looking back at the room Iris was in. "I'm going to need you to fill out some forms for me." I took a clipboard and pen from him, but didn't move. "What are you doing to her?" He ignored my question. "You can sit down over there in the waiting room and fill those out." And he walked away.
Frustrated, I stomped over to a chair and filled out as much of the forms as I could. After that, it's all a blur. I remember a nurse coming for the forms, and asking me lots of questions. Then the doctor pulling me aside and telling me that I needed to go home, and that he would call when the test results came back. After a lot of argument, I headed home. The night was quiet and lonely.
The next morning, I didn't bother getting dressed. I laid on the couch and watched TV, but I wasn't really watching it. I was worried about Iris. I couldn't sleep that night, and so I stayed up looking through the photo album she'd been working on before she'd gotten sick.
It seemed like forever, but finally the phone rang. "Hello?"
"Hello, is this Samson Richards?"
"The test results for Iris have come back, we'd like to have you meet us back at the hospital to discuss them." Almost immediately I ran out to my car and drove to the hospital. I parked my car and ran into the hospital. I found the same nurse from two days ago at the reception counter. "How is Iris? What's wrong with her?" I panted. She frowned. "Iris is in room 206. Dr. Muller should be there waiting for you."
I hurried up the stairs and down the hall until I found her room. I took a moment to collect myself, then walked inside.
Iris was sleeping, and the male doctor, Dr. Muller, was sitting in a chair next to her, writing something down. He looked up at me. "Hello Mr. Richards." "Please tell me what's going on!" I pleaded, just barely holding back tears. "I hate to keep you waiting any longer, but I was hoping we could talk when Iris woke up."
I nodded, understanding but impatient. I pulled a chair up next to her and sat down. She looked almost the same as when I'd brought her, only her skin wasn't as pale and she was in a hospital gown.
I watched her for about 20 minutes, when all of a sudden, she started to moan. I sat up in my chair, anticipating the moment that she'd open her eyes. Her eyelids fluttered, then opened wide, revealing her sky blue eyes. She looked over at the doctor, then at me. "Samson.." She smiled weakly, bringing her arm up to trace my jaw with her finger. "How are you feeling, Iris?" Dr. Mullen interuppted. She glanced over at him and said in a sarcastic tone, "Just dandy, Doctor."
He sighed. "We got your test results back." She took a sharp breath. "They both came back postitive for leukemia." She stared up at him in disbelief, then looked over at me, her eyes wide with worry. I grabbed her hand with both of mine as tears slipped down my cheeks. "I'm very sorry." Dr. Mullen said, exiting the room.
(6 months later)
"Hey Iris." I said, peeking through the door. "Hey Sam." She patted a spot near her feet on the bed. I entered and sat down. I watched her as she scribbled something into a notebook. "What are you writing about?" I asked. She handed it to me. I read the title, which was in big, bold letters at the top of the first page. It read, '100 Things To Do'. I continued reading down the page. Number one was to go on a ferris wheel. I didn't understand. "Iris, what is this?" And just as soon as I'd asked, it hit me. "No, no, Iris, no."
"Yes, Samson." She said. "But, you can't!" "Samson," She took a deep breath, "All of the treatments have been unresponsive. The doctor said I have, at the most, a year left. For sure another six months. I don't want to spend the rest of my life here. I made this list because I want to do all these things before I die." I winced at the last word. I couldn't believe this was happening. I didn't want her to leave the hospital, but if it was what she wanted, then it would happen.
I kissed her forehead. "Okay."