Devil Take It All
- Prologue -
What is the point of being a good girl when life throws the worst kind of spin ball at you?
I love life, and embrace it completely. I'm probably one of the few people who can say that and truly mean it.
I mean, what right do I have to hate my life? My parents are amazing and are completely in love with each other and with their kids. I have a brother and two sisters who I love, and who adore me. My looks are better than average, my grades stellar, my reputation even more so. I have supportive friends, and an excellent job. Overall, I have everything to live for.
Except I won't.
My doctor had just given me the news, and I stared at her in silence. She was a beautiful lady, even for her age. She was from somewhere in North-East Africa, so her skin was golden; her hair was in dozens of tiny braids - tied at the ends with tiny red elastics. Her eyes, looking sad at the moment, were brown and her mouth was moving, but I couldn't hear it over the buzzing in my ears.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up on her examination table, only sentence running over and over in my head.
I'm going to die.
A look at the clock on the wall overhead tells me that I'd been out for only a few minutes. My doctor and her secretary were standing in the corner of the tiny office, discussing whether or not to call my family.
Just fifteen minutes before, I had entered the room to find out the results of my blood test. One look at my doctor had put an edgy feeling in me, and her words had confirmed my fears.
"Nessa," she had said solemnly, "your results indicate that you have acute lymphoblastic leukemia - it's a cancer of white blood cells. The best thing for you right now is to be admitted into a hospital, get more tests done, and begin treatment immediately."
"How bad is it?" I had asked.
She had rubbed the bridge of her nose before answering. "The results say that...that it's very late." I could tell it was hard for her; I had been her patient since I was born - almost 23 years! "There's still a chance," she added quickly, "but you need to get admitted now!"
I snapped back to the present as I saw the secretary's hand reach for the telephone.
"No!" I called out, startling them both. "Don't call my family!"
They turned towards me and my doctor helps me sit up.
"Nessa, it's best if they come get you," she explained gently.
"Please don't..." I whispered, "I don't want them to know." I saw she was going to try and argue with me, so I made my voice stronger. "I'm a major by law. You can't disclose any of my medical information to anyone without my consent."
She looked surprised at that. I felt bad for dragging the law into it, but I didn't want to see my family hurting in front of me.
"I'm going to go now," I said, climbing off the bed. "Take care of yourself doctor. You've been great to me."
I saw tears forming in her eyes and gave her a hug. With a nod at her secretary, I hurry out of the office.
As I waited for the elevator to come, I could feel the horror creeping up on me. I'm too young to die, I thought to myself. But the results said that I had a maximum of three weeks to live; I didn't see the point of spending taxpayer money on a lost cause.
The elevator came, and I entered and automatically pushed for the ground floor. When the doors slid open downstairs, I walked out of the building and into the donut store on the corner. There, I bought three dozen donuts and cleared out the lady's donut rack altogether.
From there, I headed straight home.
I plastered a smile on my face as I opened the front door. I looked at the shoes on the rack at the front and did a quick count. My entire family was at home that day, which was very rare given our busy schedules.
I found them all in the den, watching my 19-year-old sister, Aria, competing against my father on our new gaming console. My older brother, 27-year-old Thane, was standing and shouting advice at them. My other sister, 22-year-old Neveda, was sitting with my mother on the couch, leaning on her shoulder.
I felt a pang in my chest as I watched them from behind. This was what they'd look like when I was gone.
I shook off my feeling of gloom and walked over to wave the box of donuts in front of Neveda's face.
"DONUTS!" she shouted gleefully, distracting my father. Aria used the opportunity to beat him in the game, a triumphant cry coming from her mouth.
I spent the rest of the afternoon with my family, enjoying every minute I was with them. We're a close family, so everyone realized there was something not right with me. I shrugged it off every time they asked and made it seem like I was stressed over my post-graduate studies and work.
It was late in the evening and everybody else was asleep. I dressed in my skimpiest dress, applied make-up, grabbed my purse, and headed out to the clubs.
I was on a mission. I did not want to die a virgin.
The club was busy at that time of night. I could barely see where one person started and another ended. Feeling apprehensive, I changed my mission and headed for the bar instead.
I finished a countless amount of shots before heading to the packed dance floor.
Even in the crowd, I saw him immediately. He was a blond god, and every girl was migrating towards him on the floor. I did too.
I had no qualms about elbowing others out of the way, so that is what I did until I was standing right in front of him. He looked down at me with a raised eyebrow, a small smile playing on his lips, and his green eyes questioning. I answered the unspoken question by throwing my arms around him and pulling my body to his.
His arms immediately came around me, holding my waist prisoner against his hard chest. He was taller than me, and my mouth was therefore aligned with his neck. I sucked on it and he groaned, pulling me tighter against him and lowering his mouth to my own neck.
Soon, we were kissing and I was the envy of all the girls, and probably some of the guys, in the room. I could taste alcohol in his mouth, and realized he's as drunk as me.
I didn't care though, because he was just a fling.
I woke up in a strange room, my head pounding with pain. I was naked and there was an arm around me; I followed it to its owner and saw a handsome blond man asleep and snuggled against me. He was also naked under the sheets covering us.
Suddenly, the events of the night before came crashing back.
I had gotten in a taxi with this man and gone back to his place. We had drunkenly fallen into bed, and I had let him touch me. It had hurt.
I could now feel a slight throbbing in my pelvic region, but it didn't hurt too much.
The arm around me shifted, and I turned to see the man watching me with his green eyes.
"Good morning," he said, his fingers teasing my bare stomach and making my insides flutter.
"Morning." I watched him warily. It had just occurred to me that I didn't know anything about this man. Not that it mattered, since I was going to die soon enough.
I just didn't want to be plastered all over the newspapers for being murdered.
He smiled and suddenly rolled on top of me, his mouth capturing mine for a deep kiss. I thought about how wonderful it made me feel and gasped as he began reenacting the activities of last night.
Last night had been a blur and I had lost my virginity in a drunken state, but I am sober now and the feeling of pleasure was overwhelming.
I climaxed, reveling in the feeling of power it brought me, and felt him smile against my mouth. When he climaxed, he moved his mouth to my shoulder, biting on it lightly.
We stayed that way for a long time, and then he rolled us so that I'm on top of him.
"That was nice," I said thoughtlessly.
He laughed and nipped my shoulder again. "I should think so," was his response.
We were silent for a long time, and then he spoke.
"I...hmm...I'm not used to doing this," he said, his fingers playing with my hair.
"Sex?" I asked, puzzled, the side of my face pressed against his chest.
He laughed again. "No," he clarified, "I meant I don't sleep with women I don't know."
I think this over. There really is no point to him lying, and he was drunk the night before. He is probably telling the truth.
"I don't either," I said, and shrugged as best as I could with his arms securely around me.
"Good," was his simple response.
The light in the room had been getting brighter since I woke up, and it was becoming almost blinding. It was probably around 10am.
I slithered out of his grip and climbed out of the bed. My dress, heels, and purse were on the floor, along with his clothes, and my underwear was nowhere to be seen. I remembered with a blush that I had not worn any.
He didn't say a word as I slipped into my dress.
I kneeled to strap on my heels and heard the bed creak. Suddenly, I was being pulled to my feet with strong arms.
"What?" I asked, exasperated.
He studied my face. "What's your name?" he wanted to know.
"Look," I explained, "it was a one-night stand. There's no point in exchanging details. Besides," I added, "I will be dead in a week or so anyway."
He looked confused, but let go of me. "Dead?" he wondered out loud with slitted eyes.
I nodded and kneeled again to finish strapping my heels. "It's nothing contagious," I assured him as I got up. "I have leukemia and am expected to last a maximum of three weeks."
He looked upset and his hand reached out towards me but I sidestepped it. He opened his mouth to say something more, but I cut him off before he could.
"Listen, if you want to know why I did it, it's very simple - it was on my death to-do list," I told him solemnly. "If it still doesn't make sense, look at the bed sheets." I had seen them when I had gotten off the bed, and know they are self-explanatory. They were stained a little red and were proof that I had been a virgin.
He walked back towards the bed to take a look, and I used the opportunity to slip out the door. The door was directly in front of an elevator, and the elevator doors were miraculously open. I quickly dash in.
The room door opened as the elevator doors closed, and the last thing I saw of him was his shocked face.
It's a hotel, I realized as I step out of the elevator. I guessed he was new in town or merely visiting.
And he's rich. The hotel wais the most expensive one that I knew of in the city.
I strode out the gold-framed entrance doors, held open by a young doorman who sputtered at the sight of me in my slinky dress, and got into a cab lingering in front of the hotel.
I gave the driver the address of the club, so I could pick up my car, and took my cell phone out once he pulled away from the curb. It was on silent mode, and I saw that I had 17 missed calls; most were from my family, but 3 were from my doctor's office.
I decided to ignore the calls for the time being, changed the mode to vibrate, and started to put my phone back in my purse when it started vibrating in my hands. It was the doctor's office again.
I picked up to see why she was calling me on a Saturday, worried that maybe one of my family members was ill.
"Hello?" I said.
"Hello?" came the response. "May I speak to Nessa White?"
"Hi Nessa, this is Cathy from Doc-"
"Yes, I know," I cut her off. "Hello Cathy. How are you?"
She ignored my question. "The doctor would like to see you as soon as possible Nessa."
"I can't tell you on the phone - she wants you to come in immediately."
"I thought the office is closed today," I said, confused.
"It is. We made an exception."
I was silent for a bit, wondering why my stomach suddenly clenched.
"Okay," I said finally. "I'll be there in..." I looked at where I was to judge the distance, "...an hour. Is that okay?"
"Yes yes, that's fine." She sounded relieved. I became more nervous.
It had been 40 minutes since that last phone call and I was, once again, seated in front of my doctor in shock.
She had just given me the news, except this time she looked happy.
She was still talking, but I was zoning in and out. "...results were...confused...frantic calls...wrong label...other lady was admitted yesterday...must have given you quite a scare..."
You have no idea, I thought to myself.
She was still talking and I forced myself to listen.
How hard can it be to peel and stick labels? I wondered. Very hard, apparently. The hospital lab technician had mislabeled my blood sample - another lady had been getting hers done on the same day, and he had stuck the printed label with my name on her sample, and vice versa. Her doctor had thought she was fine, based on my sample results, and she had ended up in the hospital the day before with unexplained exhaustion and trouble breathing. The hospital had redone her test results and figured out the error on their part.
Error, I giggled out loud, causing the doctor to watch me with worry. An 'error' had just made me throw myself at a stranger and wake up in his bed. An 'error' had made me give up my virginity to a man I didn't love, and had changed my entire life.
"Nessa?" my doctor was rubbing my back as I gulped for air. "Honey, you're going to be okay."
I nodded, trying to hold back tears of frustration. "Thanks for telling me about the...error."
I let her walk me to the elevator. Once I was safely in my car, I let the tears come, my head on the steering wheel handle. Why did I have to be so impatient? If only...if only I waited a day, I thought sullenly.
My family was very open-minded, but we were also very traditional. Of my own accord, I had not planned to give up my virginity to anyone but my husband on our wedding night. When death stared me in the face, I had panicked, wanting to die having known pleasure...but now...
I sat there for a long time, in that position, but finally drove myself home. It was probably not a good idea to drive after the shock I had just received, but my mind was on autopilot - again, probably due to the shock - and I managed to get home safely. My family was frantic with worry over me, thinking the worst of my disappearance, but they did not yell. They accepted my lie about having partied with friends, and then slept over to avoid driving after drinking.
I was grateful they trusted me, but felt guilty over the lie.
A/N: Since I lost my written chapters for Bet You Can't, I've begun to edit this story to get myself interested in the characters again and get myself out of my pool of oh-my-laptop-died misery. (See my LiveJournal for more whining.)
And yes, this chapter has been switched from present tense to past tense. It's still in first-person because this is a prologue, but I might be switching to third-person for the rest of the chapters. (Aye or nay?) Not much difference in the prologue other than that.
Thanks for any input, and thanks to all my reviewers! I don't think I got around to responding to a whole bunch of Bet You Can't reviews because when my laptop crashed my Outlook mail also went kaplooey - just know I'm grateful to all your reviews!
Update: I've taken into account the advice of my reviewers and decided to do the rewrite as a separate story. You can check it out by visiting my profile page. (Thank you guys/gals!)