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 Season 7

Episode 87

(Such Good sunshine)

Cloris's body decayed at considerable speed, like a plant with broken roots which could no longer absorb nutrients from the soil, withering with each passing day.    

Sean tried all kinds of methods to prolong her life, but that was all it was, a temporary measure.    

As for Cloris, the ending of life was expected. What she resented most was death being longer and more painful than it needed to be.    

With each passing day, her body self-destructed on its own. The tumour grew, spread, consumed and squashed the very organs that worked to sustain it. 

Cloris was skin and bones, pale as a ghost and her face barely masked the ordeal inside. If it were possible, Sean would have given her his body instead of watch her scream in agony.  

Cloris had a constant headache that never seemed to go away. But things started to get more difficult after the delirium set in. The only thing she could do was sleep. However, it was getting harder and harder for her to wake up once she'd fall asleep.    

Sean knew that Cloris needed time to rest, but he was afraid that she would never wake up once she'd close her eyes. Each time felt like it could be the last time he would see her.    

One fine day, the air was sweet with the fragrance of freshly cut grass and the birds chattering in the trees. The sky was blue with just a few stratus clouds making their unhurried way towards the ocean. The sun was already a friendly ball of yellow above, promising more heat as the day progressed.    

Sean felt that the perfect weather would benefit Cloris's health, so he tried to coax her into going outside for some sunlight. However, Cloris preferred to shut herself in a dark room so she could sleep, rather than go outside, which to her, felt like a daunting task to tackle.  

But Sean wasn't going to take no for answer today. If Cloris wasn't going to come out, he wouldn't mind carrying her out of bed even if it provoked her ire.    Much to his surprise, Cloris didn't refuse and she didn't show any signs of displeasure at his request.   

 "I want to see the flowers." she said, looking frail as she clasped the bedside handrail for support.    

Sean was pleasantly surprised and his face lit up with joy. "Well, let's go and see the flowers then. You can see as many flowers as you like..."    

Cloris agreed to go under the condition that Sean wouldn't carry her in his arms, so she had him sit her on a wheel-chair. She was too weak to walk by herself but inside that fragile body was the spirit of a strong woman, stubborn as ever.    

A squeak sounded from the other room and moments later Sean rolled Cloris out in a wheelchair. The warm light of the sun showered Cloris with life anew, but it revealed her pale skin that looked worse than it did before. Her lips were blue; skin, grey; eyes, dull with exploded pupils.  

She raised her hand to shade her eyes, squinting at the bright sun above. She realized it was harder now to adjust to the brightness around her.   

Sean immediately put an umbrella over her head to protect her from the dazzling sunshine.    

"Don't." Cloris said softly.  

  Sean had grown accustomed to her snapping at him all the time, so whenever she spoke to him calmly, it would feel strange and alien.    

Perhaps she had finally come around.    Sean hesitated for a moment, feeling skeptical, but he eventually put the umbrella away.    

Cloris stretched out her hand and spread out her pale palm, allowing the sunshine to kiss her body. She could feel the warm temperature in her finger tips.  

In a moment of silence, she took it all in and breathed a deep sigh. "What a beautiful feeling. I am afraid I won't be able to enjoy this feeling again in the future."   

 A sharp spasm in the chest contorted Sean's face. "Nonsense! If you want to feel the sun, I'll bring you out everyday."    Cloris smiled bitterly, pausing to catch her breath. "Let's go see the flowers."   

 Sean pushed her wheelchair into the garden. "What flowers would you like to see? I'll have them all planted here. It will be beautiful when they blossom. This garden belongs to you. So you must get better and so that you can take care of it by yourself..."   

 He picked a beautiful rose and handed it to Cloris. "The flowers here are planted under sterile condition. It's safe to pick them from here."   

 Cloris took the flower from his hand and brought it close to smell it. In a subconscious gesture, her nose wrinkled and she drew her back in, feeling a little confused.  

Sean noticed the change in her expression and asked, "What's the matter? Is there a problem with the flower?"    

"No." Cloris shook her head. "I can't smell it. Is it not supposed to be fragrant?"    

"Of course not..." Sean's suddenly stopped mid-sentence, as soon as the thought registered in his brain. His pupils shrank and he immediately corrected himself, "Yes, this type of rose is without fragrance..."   

 Cloris brushes against the soft petals, only to pause. "You lied."   

 "Cloris, I don't..."    

"Of course roses are supposed to be fragrant. It's just that I've lost my sense of smell."   

 "That's not a problem." Sean looked rather flustered but soon he calmed down and said, "I will cure you and restore your sense of smell."  

Cloris shook her head despairingly, feeling deep pity for herself. "So I can't even smell anything anymore. I wonder what's next? Sight or perhaps my hearing?"    

"No, it won't be like. Trust me." Her hopelessness splinters inside him caused him more pain than her cancer.    Cloris looked ahead blankly. "Push me over there."    

She pointed to a low bush on the other side, which was covered with colorful flowers.    

When they were close, Sean picked her up and sat her among the flowers under the sun.    

Cloris ran her fingers over those little flowers from time to time. Sean once planned to remove all these flowers and planted new ones, but now he changed his mind since Cloris liked them so much.  

Sean answered softly, "They don't know about it yet. When you get well, I'll bring them to see you, okay?"    

Cloris said nothing in response.    

The reason why Sean didn't want Cloris to see Mr. and Mrs. Lu was because he wanted her to fight the cancer and continue to persist. He was afraid that once Cloris saw her parents, her wishes would be fulfilled and then she would have no desire to live anymore.    

So even if she was displeased with his answer, he would not compromise this time.    

"Forget it. It doesn't matter anyway." 

Cloris did not insist, but her pale little face could not hide her disappointment. She laughed at her own expense. "Even if they see me now, they probably won't recognize me, will they? Their daughter Cloris is not as ugly as I am."  

"Who said you are ugly?" Sean looked at her affectionately and continued, "In my heart, you will always be the most beautiful person in the world."    

"Only a freak like you would say that."   

 "Yes, if speaking the truth makes me a freak, then so be it."  

  Sean wasn't angry. Perhaps there was nothing Cloris could ever say or do that would offend him.    

It seemed as though Cloris had nothing else to say to him, so she spread out her arms and slowly laid on her back.    

"Cloris, I don't think it's comfortable to sleep here..." Sean wanted to pick her up.    

But Cloris held his hand willingly for the first time in a very, very long time. "Please lie down with me, brother. We haven't had the chance to spend some quiet time together."    

That old familiar "brother" softened Sean's heart. How could he refuse her? Sean held Cloris's hand, and sat on the ground, leaning over and looking at her side profile with pensive eyes.  

The sun above them was warm and comforting. Cloris slowly closed her eyes and fell silent, lost in thoughts. Sean looked at her curiously, wondering what she was thinking about.    

Looking at her lying peacefully, made him wish he could freeze that moment in time forever.    

In that way, they would never be separated.    

After a while, Cloris fluttered her eyelids open.    

When Sean noticed this, he immediately reached his hand out to shade her eyes from the dazzling sunlight. "What's wrong?"   

 Cloris turned slowly and saw only darkness. Having realized what it was, she closed her eyes as if nothing had happened. "Nothing, I just want to lie down a little longer."  

"Ok, I will be here with you." Sean put his arms around her and held her tight.    

Cloris didn't resist. The thought of losing her sight just like that came as a surprise.    

And just like that, she became blind.    

"I am so sleepy."    

Cloris suddenly opened her mouth. This time, she found herself unable to hear her own voice. In view of what was happening, she felt more relaxed instead of being concerned.    

"You can sleep for a while if you want." Sean patted her on the back as if trying to coax the baby to sleep, but he didn't know that the woman in his arms could no longer hear a word of what he was saying.  

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