And so time began to pass.
And Rose began to die.
At least, it looked, sometimes, like she was dying. I went to visit her in the hospital every single day, even though half the time she acted cold and bitter, and the other half of the time she did nothing but cry on my shoulder. The chemo made her skin ghostly pale, and my Rosie, who had always been slender, began to look alarmingly thin. Huge bags formed under her eyes, and her mother, worriedly, would always tell me that she hadn't been eating that day. Or the day before.
Sometimes Eric visited her in the hospital too. It seemed like he was having better luck with her than I was, because they would sit in her room for hours and talk. From my place in the waiting room outside her door, I could hear them both rambling on about nothing, but he always managed to make her smile. Sometimes she even laughed.
One morning I glanced at the calendar on the waiting room wall and realized, with a start, that school would be starting the next day.
At least it would for me.