Thursday, 26 March 2020





Chemo day arrived. I put on my yoga pants, a baggy sweatshirt and threw my hair up in a ponytail; there was no going to chemo looking fashionable. I grabbed my blanket and my kindle and stepped inside the cab that was waiting for me outside. I arrived at the hospital and headed to the cancer center where I would be a frequent visitor once a week for the next 6 months. Because I waited longer than most to have chemo after I was told my cancer came back, the doctor and I agreed to do a little more aggressive treatment that would shorten the duration of my therapy, hopefully.

Nurse Bailey called me back into the room where a total of 16 oversized blue chairs lined the walls of the sterile white room. There were eight chairs on one side and eight on the other; each chair having its own IV pole and curtain. I never felt comfortable with my chemo treatments. People always looked at me like I was way too young to have cancer. I was the youngest one there for the first 8 months until a 9-year-old girl named Molly showed up.

“Is anyone here with you sweetie?” Nurse Bailey asked with a smile.

“No, it’s just me.”

She patted my hand and gave me a sympathetic look, “Well, don’t you worry, I’m here with you.”

She was an older woman probably in her 50’s with short salt and pepper hair. Her voice was soft but perky. She told me about her ex-husband and her 3 grown children as she sat me in the chair and did some prep work. She excused herself and said she’d be right back. I looked around the room at the six chairs that were filled by people who were here for the same reason. It was weird because being complete strangers, we all shared a common bond.

“Someone is here to see you,” Nurse Bailey said in her perky voice. I looked up from my phone and practically went into cardiac arrest when I saw Connor standing there. I felt like I was going to suffocate.

“What are you doing here, Connor?” I managed to ask.

He sighed and sat in the chair next to me.

“Hello Ellery.”

I continued to look down at my phone, and I refused to look at him. “I asked you a question,” I demanded.

“Nobody should have to go through this alone.”

“I’m not alone, I have Nurse Bailey,” I pointed, still looking at my phone.

Before I knew it, he grabbed my phone from my hands and put it in his pocket.

“What the hell Connor?” I snarled.

Nurse Bailey came walking over, “Ok sweetie, here is your cocktail, bottoms up,” she smiled as she inserted the needle into my port and hung the bag on the pole. I gently smiled at her, “Cheers.”

Connor looked at me, “I’m here as your friend Ellery.”

“Can I have my phone back please?” I asked nicely as I held out my hand.

He took in a sharp breath, reached in his pocket, pulled out my phone and handed it to me. Our fingers touched as he put it in the palm of my hand. My heart started racing like it always did when he touched me.

“This is how this is going to work,” he spoke. “I am going to bring you here every week and then take you home. I’ve hired a private nurse to come to your apartment daily to tend to you and make you comfortable.”

All kinds of thoughts were running through my head; why was he doing this for me? Is this his revenge, to kick a girl during her chemo sessions?

“Why Connor, why are you doing this?” He looked at me with cold eyes.

“I owe you.”

“What the f**k are you talking about?”

“You took care of me once so now I’m returning the favor. I know you don’t have anyone else.”

So now I’ve become his charity case, great. “The night you brought me home from the beach and put me to bed, you said we were even. You don’t need to stay. I’m fine you can go.”

He looked down and laced his fingers together, “I’m staying Ellery, and you are in no position to say otherwise.” I rolled my eyes and tried to think of a million ways to run.

“By the way, how did you know I started chemo today, and how did you know I was here?” I glared at him.

“I know a lot of things Ellery; I told you before that I can find out anything.”

I shot him a look, “Stalker.”

I sat there reading while he sent emails and did business from his iPad.

“You don’t need to be here, I’m sure you have better things to do than sit in a room watching people get chemo for 5 hours,” I randomly said.

“Whether I have better things to do or not, this is how it’s going to be, so let’s be quiet and don’t worry about it,” his voice was flat and cold.

Didn’t he realize I was pissed off at the world at that moment and he was making it worse? I didn’t want him here because it was bringing back all the emotions I tried to bury, but I did want him here because I had a bit of hope in the back of my mind that he still wanted to be with me and that he possibly forgave me. I looked down at my kindle and tried to read, but as I looked at the words, the only thing registering in my mind was Connor.

“How are you doing sweetie?” Nurse Bailey cheerfully asked as she checked my chemo drip.

“I’m doing f**king fantastic Nurse Bailey, because I know that probably by tonight, I’ll have my head down the toilet for a good hour or two.”

Connor looked at me and then at Nurse Bailey, “Ellery that’s enough.”

The nurse looked at him sympathetically, “It’s ok, she’s angry right now and needs to let it out, and I’m used to it. I just try to make my patients as comfortable as possible.”

Connor leaned closer to me and whispered, “Could you please stop being a smart ass? She is only trying to help you.”

I couldn’t look at him because if I did, I was going to slap him right across the face. I didn’t say a word. I was more than ready to rip that chemo line right out of me and run as fast and far away as I could. This is what I wanted to prevent, the hostility, the anger, the resentment. I just wanted to live my life with the time I had left, happy.

That was the longest 5 hours of my life. Nurse Bailey removed the chemo drip from my port and gave me a hug goodbye. Connor grabbed my blanket, and I tore it out of his hands, “I got it.” He heavily sighed and followed behind me as I exited the hospital. Connor opened the Limo door for me as I slid in the seat.

Denny turned and looked at me, “Hello Miss Lane.” He was the only one of the day that got a smile from me.

“Hi Denny.”

Connor climbed in next to me, “How are you feeling?”

I looked out the window, “I’m fine right now; it takes a few hours or even a few days for the chemo to hit you.” The ride to my apartment was silent.

Connor got out of the Limo and followed me inside, “I want you to start packing.”

I turned and looked at him, “For what?”

He took in a sharp breath, “You will be staying in the guest room at my penthouse.” I felt the blood drain from my face, and my heart started to beat faster.

“I’m not going anywhere; this is my home. This is where I’m staying.” But the idea of sleeping in the enormous comfy bed was appealing.

Listen to me,” his voice was raised, “I don’t want you staying here alone.”

I walked over to him and put my finger to his chest, “I’m not your f**king charity case Connor Black, and I don’t need your help, besides you hate me anyway, why would you want to help me after what I did?” I slowly turned around and walked to the sink for a glass of water. I stood there with my hands on the edge.

He slowly walked up behind me, “Ellery, I don’t hate you, please don’t ever say that again. Yes, I will admit I’m still angry, and I will be for a very long time, but I need to put all that aside because you are my friend and you need help. Please put your stubbornness aside and let me help you.”

His voice was soft and his words sincere. I wanted to throw my arms around him and cry into his shoulder, but I couldn’t, he admitted he was still angry and that he was only my friend.

“You said you hired a nurse to come here and check on me.”

He sighed again, “Well, I changed my mind and I’m making other arrangements.”

“Fine, let me get my things.” I gave in because I didn’t have the strength to fight him, and I was scared of being alone.

He turned around and looked over at the wall that was missing a chunk of drywall, “What happened over there?”

I came from the bedroom as he walked over and grabbed my bags, “I threw a vase at Kyle.”

He let out a laugh, “Are you serious?”

“Yeah, he wouldn’t leave so I threw a vase at him; needless to say he left after that.” Connor shook his head and continued to laugh.




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