More than anything I wanted him to tell me it was over or some other type of bad news. Anything but that, anything apart from the life-threatening and life changing disease that was hatched inside of him. All I could think of was what my life would be like if he died. What would happen to me? I drew my senses and asked a very serious question.
“How long have you known?” I asked, not really wanting to know how long he had been suffering without anyone to comfort him or help him.
“A month.” He replied quietly. He had been keeping this to himself for a month and he hadn’t told me? But now wasn’t the time to question why he had kept it to himself. For now I needed to know that he was going to be alright, that something could be done but mostly I needed to know that he would survive.
“What’s going to happen now? Are you going to have chemo? What about an operation? What’s going to happen? What did the doctor say?” Now my questions have started I’m on a roll and can’t seem to stop. “Why have you kept this to yourself? Why didn’t you tell me? Did you tell anyone? There was no need to keep this to yourself! We can deal with it together.” I was stopped by Jared putting a hand to my mouth. He had obviously heard enough or was too confused to absorb all of my questions. He was smiling at me, leaving me feeling baffled and confused.
“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t know how you’d react. This past month has been a waking nightmare. All I’ve been thinking about is how you will feel. I’ve considered what would happen if I die” The words stung and it was etched all over my face. “Not that I’m saying I will die, it’s possible, but I am determined to survive, I need to know that your here with me, because without you I have no reason to defeat this.”
By this time the tears were pouring down my face like a light rain that seemed to grow heavier and heavier as the day wore on. I needed him to pull through just as much as he seemed to need me. “Have you told anyone else? You shouldn’t go through this all alone! Who’s been there to help you?”
“I’ve had doctor’s telling me the statistics and recovery rates. I don’t know what any of it means because all I know is that I have cancer and I might not recover” He seemed to be talking to anyone and couldn’t look directly at me.” I couldn’t tell anyone without you knowing first. But I didn’t want to tell you because if you knew, you could react badly and that would make it real.” He turned to look at me for the first time since telling me. “Gerard, I’m scared. I need you”
“I’ll stay with you. We’ll fight this. You’re not on your own. Not for this.” I guaranteed, meaning this more than any other promise I’d ever made. I was going to stick by him; this was my chance to prove how much I loved him.
“I’m having an operation next week. They are going to remove the tumour. Please be there when I go in for the operation”