Author's Note: Oh for Beelzebub's sake, my muse should just die or at least stick to one story before I attempt at attacking another one! Would it make any difference if I promised on my life that I'd never start another one after this until I finish one of my stories? Well, if not, humour me and go along with it because I'm just as disappointed as you are, if not more. I know the general aspect of this story has been tried and tried again but I'm attempting it. Don't like it? Don't read.

Warning: Mature content, drug and alcohol use, and profanity.


I do believe that there is a higher power out there; that once you're born you're given a sort of timeline of your life; that timeline is etched into your blood. Some people say that the choices you make are what determine your destiny. I, on the other hand, wholeheartedly disagree with that. I think that your destiny has been set in stone the minute you begin to breathe in this world. But since many people out there would disagree, I think that's why they refuse to accept some things that are thrown at them because they can't take it. Are they afraid? Possibly, but there could be many other reasons to it. As human beings, we are naturally inclined to wonder about the unknown and the unknown is what makes us afraid.

I think that's why people insist that their destiny is based on their choices. They feel safer that way because they're aware of their choices and they aren't constantly wondering that someone somewhere has already determined their life for them.

I take things as they come.

Because I believe in this so-called higher power, there's nothing to be afraid of.

But every now and then, one person bends their beliefs. They come to a realisation that their beliefs could have been wrong all along; I think I've been wrong all along too. Questions have filled my mind ever since I found out. Why me? Did I do something wrong to have been cursed with an incomplete life? I must have if it has come to this.

I'm seventeen-years-old. I'm supposed to have many years ahead of me to live; I have things to look forward to, dreams to fulfill… and all that's been thrown away because I only have six months to live. If you think about it, that's not much time.

Just six months.

Maybe even less.

__________________________
SIX MONTHS

Kajiura Yuki – Sit Beside Me
__________________________

July 17, two years prior.

Pristine Sierre hugged her knees to her chest, alone in the room that encompassed her in a world of intimidating white walls. Her heart beat rapidly in her chest, almost breaking through the cage it was wrapped in, and she tried her best to hold it in. It was telling her she was scared, scared out of her mind of what the results would be. Yet, she tried with all her power to convince herself that there was the absolute possibility that she could be okay.

Deep down, however, she knew she was wrong.

The door to her room opened and she looked up, quicker than she expected. She desperately wanted to know what the results were, yet at the same time she was hesitant to find out. After all, the feeling was natural.

She lowered her legs and tucked her hands underneath them, her sapphire gaze fixed on the elderly man in front of her, clipboard tucked in between his arm and chest, gray eyes downcast but suddenly intent on her. She swallowed a lump in her throat. She knew that look.

It was forced.

Her lip trembled. "Dr. Anderton…?"

He lifted his glasses from his face and pursed his lips. All of a sudden, he couldn't bear telling the young teen her fate. He thought it would have been easy but this wasn't something he dealt with everyday. The little girl in pigtails who used to bounce into his room for a checkup was now older and all the wiser, her eyes that were glowing bright and optimistic were now dim and dead of hope. The news would all the more shatter her – more so if not completely.

Dr. Anderton shook his head.

"You have leukemia. The fatigue you've been experiencing, the way you said it was sometimes hard to breathe, the pain in your joints… those are only three of the symptoms you've been showing. And you have anemia, which is a sign of a blood abnormality and also contributes to the type of leukemia you have. We call it acute leukemia. Basically, many of your blood-forming cells have remained in the immature state so that they reproduce and build up rapidly.

We need to get you treated, immediately. The process will slow down the virus – that is, put you in remission. But that's all it does, Pristine."

Pristine blinked.

Where were the tears? Where were the cries of pain? Where was the feeling of emptiness? Somehow, the feelings that other leukemia patients had felt over the years had no power over her. She felt light and dizzy, however, but nowhere near pain or a feeling so heart shattering.

She stood on her two feet, dazed and numb as she nodded at her doctor's acknowledgement.

"I'll be seeing you in a week to see to it you get the medical care that you need." Dr. Anderton told her, knowing that it was best to allow the girl to leave. "I'll speak to your parents over the phone."

She nodded and closed the door with a soft click.

- - - - - -

Pristine calmly approached the secretary's front desk and slipped her a note. She smiled.

"Sorry Mrs. Verre. I had another doctor's appointment this morning."

Mrs. Verre – the kindly old woman that she was – smiled comfortingly at the girl in front of her, halting a conversation she was currently having on the phone.

"It's all right, Miss Sierre. Here's your excuse slip to second period."

"Thank you."

Instead of heading directly to her class, she decided to take a detour to the isolated courtyard of arches off the side of the school. It was a public courtyard of cobblestone and in the center, a water fountain that streaked into the sky gracefully before pouring down in a splash of crystalline drops.

Books held tightly against her chest, she held her head high as she walked closer, the same thoughts of two years swarming in her head.

'Live your life like normal, Pristine. It'll be easier on you.'

'Seize moments as they come to you. Do what you've dreamed of doing.'

'My dream is to live.'

'Oh, hm… try going for possible.'

'To love…? No. Too hackneyed.'

'Is it really?'

'No.'

'Then go for it.'

'Maybe some other time.'

'Then what?'

'I don't know. I honestly don't know.'

Pristine sighed loudly. If she didn't know better, she could be two different people, her being the less optimistic one. She could be known as the schizophrenic girl that happened to have a disease. The wonders of joy life can bring, she thought sarcastically.

Before she had a chance to enter the arches, she stopped in her tracks.

She noticed that a couple of sophomore boys from the college not too far off from her school were standing in the public courtyard, laughing and smoking, just living life. She knew most of them quite well, one in particular.

He was sitting on one of the benches that stood of the side, two older girls grinning at him, competing with each other to see who would capture his attention first. His tousled and spiked cinnamon-brown hair glimmered under the sunlight, sun-lit aquamarines changing shades every second with every laugh and every frown. A pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses rested in the mop of hair, inching closer down to his eyes. He was dressed in an open button-down blouse, a black tank underneath with the new, stylish faded pants that clung loosely to his hips with the minor help of a black belt.

He was still as she remembered him. Perfect tan, sinewy and fit with the right amount of muscle, a swoon-worthy grin, and defined cheekbones… the silver necklace she gave him years ago still around his neck…

…and that Godforsaken cancer stick caught between his smiling lips.

"Whoa! It's Pristine Sierre!"

She gasped softly, eyes widening at the realisation that she had been caught. She set her gaze on him, but to her relief he was just confused at the sound of her name. Instead, her eyes floated on the other all-too-gorgeous boy standing beside him.

Anthony "Dice" Locke.

"Well shit, what are you just standing there for? Get over here!"

'Look at the predicament you've gotten yourself into! Stupid, stupid girl.'

She advanced towards the college-aged group, aware of the appreciative once-over from the males and confused looks from the two girls she had noticed earlier. Sheepish as she was, she still gave Dice a hug.

"Still a high school chick, huh? Seventeen only, right?" He took one more puff of his cigarette before tossing it away. "You should just skip that senior year bullshit and come off to my dorm. What do you say?"

She smirked, slightly amused. "Still the horny bastard, I see."

Dice gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. "You know it. So what do you say?"

"Leave her alone, Dice."

Her gaze fell on the sitting figure.

"Hey, hey! Finally noticed the beauty, Macon?" He turned to her. "Single since forever. I'm surprised no one's snatched you up yet."

Pristine shifted uncomfortably.

Macon, the youth on the bench, ruffled his hair with his hand before he dropped the cigarette on the ground and crushed it beneath his shoes.

"You should get back to school."

Pristine growled to herself. He was still the prick that he was before. Gathering her courage, she stood up straighter.

"You shouldn't be talking."

"I'm a grown boy; I can take care of myself." He looked at her with the same intense eyes she remembered on the day she had left him and with good reasons too. "You, on the other hand…"

"I recall someone who wasn't able to stand on his two feet on several occasions. What's the difference between then and now?" She retorted with a huff.

Dice choked and laughed silently to himself.

Macon kept his stare on her before standing up. There was something searching about his eyes. It was if he was trying to look for something in her own depths of blue, and she couldn't help but feel the same dizzying feeling she had felt the first time she met him. But this look was different. They were faintly sad and… searching for answers? Answers why she left him? If she had forgiven him for things done in the past?

She didn't quite know.

"Let's go." He said and turned his back on her.

She smiled wryly.

How ironic.

Before Dice left, he turned to her. "Pristine."

"Hm?"

"You, me, tonight at eight?"

Pristine laughed. He was always the one to be straightforward, the one who never thought about repercussions.

She turned her head, eyes skeptical and teasing.

"Are you asking me out on a date?"

He grinned.

"Sure."

Always the joker, she shook her head.

"See you then!" He gave her another squeeze before joining up with his friends.

- - - - - -

His mind was in turmoil.

He hadn't expected to see her, especially since two years had gone by since he had seen her last and he never bumped into her, knowing well that his hang outs were in a radius of her possible appearance. He remembered furrowing his brows in puzzlement when his friend had called out her name. It was then he had noticed that she was, indeed, standing a few feet before them.

Clad in an autumn-coloured summer dress and matching slip-ons, she stood there like he first saw her – unsure, shy, and vulnerable. Her brown hair with faded streaks was pulled up in a bun held by hair sticks, braided strands framing the familiar sweet face.

His mouth curved ever so slightly upwards.

She was still the same – witty, sassy, and beautiful. The only difference was that she was much older and the twinkle in her ocean blues had vanished, replaced with something else less exultant, he noted carefully when he looked at her close up.

And he just had to be an asshole and shrug her off.

Which reminded him…

"Dice, what the hell were you thinking?"

He made a face – something that looked confused, shocked, and irked at the same time.

"What'd I do?"

"Pristine." He said, as if that one word would justify his question.

It did.

"Oh. Well, you know, she's seventeen." Dice smirked. "I'd be dumb not to go out with her. Just one more year and she isn't jailbait anymore."

Macon frowned. "You're not serious, I hope."

"Of course not, you dickhead. I don't want to sound cheesy or anything but she's different from other girls and should be treated as such." He paused. "I don't think I'm looking for anything to happen. I just asked her out, to catch up and stuff."

"That all?"

"Dude, what's with the third-degree?"

"Nothing. Even though we're not quite on speaking terms, she's still something."

Dice threw him an odd glance. "How would you know?"

"I went out with her." Macon sighed with a roll of his eyes. "I thought you knew."

"Thought I knew? You little fucker." He grinned. "When?"

"Back when we were seniors."

"So she was a freshman back then… shit. You didn't tell me."

"Must've slipped my mind."

"Damn right it did."

Silence.

"So you're not interested in her anymore, I take it?"

"No."

"Good."

Before Macon could ask another question, he found himself being dragged away by the two girls who were previously bickering over him.

It was going to be a long day.


End I