Someone knocked on the garage door before opening it. I was working, and helping Pear learn the system he would be using. I glanced over my shoulder to see Kaliq standing there. “Dad, it’s Ma. She’s in the bathroom, puking.”
I patted Pear’s shoulder and carefully hopped over the half wall that split our office area from the rest of the garage. Not something I ever did until Hana first started getting sick on chemo. Now, it was just faster than running around the whole room. I left the garage and headed for the downstairs bathroom. The door was locked, and from inside I could hear someone vomiting. It nearly killed me hearing those sounds. I hated what the treatments were doing to Hana. She opted not to have surgery, but she was undergoing massive amounts of radiation and chemo treatments. I hated sitting there while she went through her treatments. I held her hand, talked to her, and gave her my support. All the while it was killing me inside. I held up my brave exterior for her, but later in the evening when she slept I cried silently alone out on the balcony.
I knocked on the door softly, “Hana?” Only the sound of her retching responded. “Hana, open up.”
Eventually the puking stopped, and Hana unlocked the door. I caressed her cheek, “You okay?” She didn’t look like my Hana anymore. Even just after a few treatments of radiation and chemo, she was changing. She was frail, thin, and her lips were always chapped.
I pushed her into the bathroom and sat her on the toilet. She held onto me. “Hana, you okay?”
“Tired,” she whispered.
I was tired too. I hated seeing her like this. Before we knew it was cancer, Hana was healthy and never in pain. Now she was in constant pain from the radiation, and throwing up. Her weight loss scared me more than anything. “Want me to get you anything?” I asked as I knelt in front of her. I touched her forehead with the back of my left hand. She was warm, but not hot. Sometimes she had fevers and cold chills that I needed to take care of.
I turned and poured a glass of water from the bathroom sink and handed it to her. She sipped it. We quickly found out it wasn’t best if she drank too fast after getting sick. I waited until she slowly finished the glass and poured her another. “You want to head to the bedroom?”
“I’m helping Riddle cook dinner.”
“She can deal with it on her own,” I said. Hana didn’t need to be near a hot stove in her condition. She needed rest, water, and me. “I’m taking you upstairs so you can rest.”
She protested as I picked her up. “Parker, no. I need to help.”
“No, you don’t.” I pushed open the door. “Kaliq, get the elevator.”
Kaliq turned from his seat at the desk and saw me carrying his mother. He rushed to the elevator. “I’m fine. Put me down, Park.” I rarely fought Hana. She and I argued—a lot—but, I rarely went against her wishes. However, today, she had no say. “Parker Rain, put me down, now!”
“Not going to happen, woman. You need to rest.” Kaliq gave me a smug look, like he knew that I would be paying for this when we got upstairs. I didn’t give a shit. I carried her inside the elevator. My upper arm on my right side hurt from putting weight on the prosthetic. I could handle the metal grinding into my arm. The pain I felt from it wasn’t nearly as bad as the pain I felt seeing Hana suffer like she was. I carried her into our apartment, making Penny open the door. Hana was screaming at me the entire time to put her down. I ignored her—which probably wasn’t the smartest move.
I carefully placed her in bed. She tried to get up, and I forced her down, “You are going to rest, Hana.”
“Let me up, Parker.”
“No.” Her eyes narrowed in the way that made Kaliq and I both cower. Today, I didn’t. “I’m not afraid of you, and you are going to do what I say, Hana.” That was a lie. I was petrified of what she could do to me. I’m not a fearful person, but Hana—she scared me when she got pissed off.
“You really want me to rest?”
“Fine, but when I’m done resting, don’t think you can run from me.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” I kissed her forehead. “Sleep well.”
She rolled her eyes, “I’m not sleeping. Give me my iPad. I’m going to read.”
“You really want to argue with me on this?” I asked. I wasn’t going to let her read. She needed a good rest. She was frail and sick, and I didn’t want her to overdo it. Her face contorted in the face that I was deathly afraid of. She knew it affected me and usually worked on me. I may have flinched, but I didn’t back down. “Don’t give me that look. I’m not backing down.” I stuttered a little, but hey I manage to say it to her.
“Parker Rain, you got me up here against my will, and into bed. Give me my iPad. Now!”
I scooted off the bed and grabbed her iPad from the table across the room. I handed it to her.
“I’ll read for an hour, and then I am going downstairs and helping out with dinner. Understood?”
I raised my hands in surrender, “Fine. Whatever.” Her face lit up, and she went to get out of bed. I pointed at her and shakily said, “Just as long as you stay in bed. I’ll be downstairs helping Pear, you stay.”
Not even an hour past before Hana started yelling for me. I sighed. Pear and Casey were understanding when I had to leave them. Casey had I hired Pear part time after school to work for us until Casey could find a replacement. Pear jumped at the chance, and we were teaching him the ropes on what we did daily. Casey, Kaliq, and I discussed moving the office somewhere more convenient for Casey, but in the end we all decided we like Casey hanging around us.
I left the office area, and just before I acceding the stairs to my apartment I turned to the boys, “Wish me luck.”
“Luck,” they chimed. They both knew I needed it.
I found Hana upstairs—a mess on the side of the bed. She was pale and disheveled. There was sick everywhere on my side of the bed. Lovely. “Oh Hana, what am I going to do with you?” I asked her.
“I see that, and on my side of the bed.” I leaned forward and lifted Hana out of the bed. She threw up right down my shirt. “Lovely. Is that your way of getting back at me?”
“Sorry,” she chuckled. “You were right, I needed a nap. I woke up and started puking.”
“Hold on a second, let me get a recording device. May need to hear that again. I was, what?”
Hana half-heatedly smacked my shoulder. She was too weak to do anything, but tap it. “Shut up.”
I smiled and carried her to the bathroom. I sat her on the toilet and helped her out of her clothes before I took off my clothes and tossed both sets in the hamper. “I’ll wash those when we’re done bathing.” I turned and started the bath for both of us. When I turned back to her, what I saw amused me. She was licking her lips. “See anything you like?”
I smiled wickedly, “Oh really? This old dog?”
“You’re not too bad yourself, Miss Moneypenny.”
She laughed, “Yeah. Sure. Saggy breasts. Losing weight. Bald. And I’m puking all over you. I’m a real catch.”
I bent down and kissed her lips. I caressed her legs and stared her in the eyes. “Hana, I may hate what this poison is doing to you, but you are still the sexiest woman I have ever laid my eyes on. I may be an old man, but my passion for you will always be that of a fourteen year old shy boy.”
“And you weren’t all that shy.”
“No, I guess not. Almost got my ass kicked, if you hadn’t told Asmeed that I didn’t know better.”
“He wanted to kill you.”
“Feelings were mutual at one point.” I kissed her. We hardly ever brought up her late husband, but when we did it wasn’t of jealousy or rage. I never talked bad about him, instead I respected the biological father of my two oldest children. His death was tragic, and should have never happened—even if I was secretly happy that it did happen. It was the reason Hana left and came to me for help.
“Do you think he’s waiting for me in the afterlife?”
“Maybe. All I know is, he better not get any ideas. You’re mine, even in death, Hana.”
“What if I want to be with him, hmm?” She teased.
“Because I know you’ll wait for me.”
“I will always wait for you. I need my James Bond.”
“And I need my Moneypenny.”