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You Never Said You Loved Me

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March 19th, 2012, my boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer. What I’m about to share is a story about out last month together.

March 3rd, 2012, we officially started dating. We’ve known each other forever, and I knew how outgoing and active he was, but since the first week of March he’s been tired, and weak, always complaining he’s sick or something isn’t right. He just wasn’t acting like himself.

March 7th, 2012, Leon -that’s his name- told his mother what was going on, at first she passed it off as an excuse to miss school, but then she started to notice the changes in his attitude and took him to the hospital for some tests. We waited and waited until finally, March 19th arrived and they received a call from the doctor.

March 19th, 2012, Leon called me at around 1pm; he didn’t go to school that day so he called me at lunch.

“Hey, babe, I have some bad news for you,” he said.

“What’s that?” I asked, I wasn’t really paying attention to his serious tone, but something was telling me something was wrong.

“I just got a call from the doctor; I’ve been diagnosed with cancer. I’m going in for some more tests later; I just thought I should let you know first.” I replied. I could tell he was trying to sound confident and calm, but you I could hear to fear and tears in his wavering voice. It was at that point when I dropped my phone and ran for the front doors. My friends yelled after me, trying to figure out what was wrong, but all I could think of was putting one foot in front of the other and not throw up.

I ran the whole 10 minutes to his house, not slowing down a bit, taking all the back roads to avoid traffic. He knew I was coming, why else would he wait on the front steps. This is just like the time when we were 6, and he broke his foot and called me to tell me to sign his cast. I was so scared for him then, thinking he was dying. We always brought it up, it was a good laugh, but now thinking back to that day, it’s not really funny. Not funny at all.

He looked up at me, shame shading his face, tear streaks down his cheek. He looked so scared and fragile I stopped in place, fell to the ground, and cried.

March 31, 2012, I went to his house early morning, excited for our picnic date he had planned yesterday during lunch. His mother works from 2am-10pm, so we would be alone for the whole day.

I walked into the house like I always do, and made my way up to his room. I knocked on his door twice and let myself in. His bed was made nice and neat but his clothes on the floor. I smiled to myself and sat on his bed, waiting for him to exit his bathroom. I could hear the shower going but nothing else. I wasn’t sure how long he was in there so I just sat and waited, watching TV, which he left on the weather channel.

20 minutes passed and the water was still going. It was at this point I started to get worried. My heart pumped faster and faster, my hand shaking and my knees weak as I reached for the bathroom door handle.

I knocked twice and let myself in, the damp air making it hard to breathe. I grabbed his towel off the sink and whipped the curtain open, unfolding the towel in front of me. I looked forward, nowhere else, and saw no one there. Right then, I knew he passed out in the shower and quickly dropped the towel and reached for the knobs to turn the water off, a pale foot against the edge of the tub proving my suspicions.

I run out of the room as fast as I can, trying not to slip on the bathroom tile and run for my cell. Like any other person would do is call 911, but no, first I call his mother, telling her to get home quick. With no questions she says she’s on her way and hangs up. Now I call 911.

“911, what’s your emergency?” A lady picks up.

“I just found my boyfriend passed out in the shower!” I panicked.

“We’ll send an ambulance right away, what’s your address?” She asks.

I tell her everything but our GSP coordinates, and hang up. About 5 minutes later there’s a knock on the door and the medics are already crowding around in the bathroom yelling numbers and codes at each other.

I tell them everything I know about his medical conditions and how he was recently diagnosed with cancer. They tell me to stay here and wait until a cop comes to question me. I nod my head, not trusting myself to speak, and walk out to the kitchen. I wasn’t going to cry, I promised myself the medics said he was going to be fine, but once I saw the picnic basket and a letter addressed to me, I fell to my knees and cried… again.

April 6th, 2012, Leon is doing worse, way worse. I’m excused from school, but it’s not liked I’d go anyway. Everything that’s happening has me in a mess. I enter Leon’s hospital room the same time a doctor and his mom exit. She pats me on the shoulder and gives me a gentle look that chills me to the bone. I quickly look at Leon, sound asleep and sickly pale.

I take a seat on the hard wooden stool bedside his bed and take his hand. I kiss it and squeeze it, praying for him to recover. He opens his eyes and looks at me. I stare at him, and he smiles. I smile too.

“Hey, how’s it goin?” He yawns and squeezes my hand, the one still holding his.

“Great, you?” I ask.

“Wonderful,” he laughs, but it comes out as a choked wheeze.

I stare at him more intensely, not sure how to reply to that. I blink back tears forming in my eyes and smile. All I can do is smile, and it makes me feel sick.

“What did the doctors say?” I ask after a while.

“I think its best you not know, babe.” He sighs.

“Please,” I whimper, preparing myself for the worst.

“A week.” Is all he says. I stare at him in disbelief; angry at him for making such a joke, but sad but knowing it’s true.

We sit in silence for the whole day holding hands. His mother comes in every few hours to check up on us, making small take, but all we want is quiet. At around 11:30pm I get a call from my mom asking me to come home for dinner. She sounds distressed, all this is hard on her too, she helped raise Leon after his father died when we were 4.

I kiss him good bye, lingering around for a few minutes fixing all the flowers until he tells me to leave, telling me to go home to my family and eat.

April 9th, 2012, I get a call from his mother telling me to get to the hospital right away. The urgency in her voice scares me, and I know it’s time. I call up all Leon’s friends, telling them to get to the hospital, room 106, and to hurry.

I scream for my mom, not knowing where she went. I hate big houses. I hear her calling back from the kitchen area and run there.

“What’s the problem, sweetheart?” She asks as she stirs the soup on the stove.

“It’s Leon!” I say, my voice full of terror.


She stares at me dumbfound for a few seconds before she drops the wooden spoon, “get in the car,” she says running for her purse on the dining room table.

We make it to hospital and meet up with all of mine and Leon’s friends. We quickly make our way to his room where nurses and doctors are frantically running around the room yelling orders at each other. We let ourselves in and greet his mom who’s standing off to the side, watching in horror.

Once the doctors leave, giving us private time we all start talking about school and we’ve missed. After 3 hours of good company, the girls give Leon a peck on the cheek and a hug, and the guys only give him a hug. His best friend and Jeff are the only ones in the room.

“Hey, Jeff, you know what the best thing about staying here is?” Leon smiles.

“What?” Jeff asks, looking nervous.


“The hot nurses,” he laughs, and Jeff laughs too. I sigh and smile, glad Leon is acting like his old goofy self.

“Mind if I stay the night then?” Jeff winks.

“No way man, I have plans!” Leon laughs looking at me, and I look at him in confusion, which only makes him laugh harder.

“Damn it! Better luck next time!” Jeff laughs and walks over to the bed, “look man, I have to go; I’m already seriously late for work. I’ll come visit tomorrow morning, after your ‘plans’,” he laughs and looks at me, which makes Leon smirk at me.

I sigh and shake my head, not saying anything to let to boys have their weird boyish fun. Jeff hugs him goodbye and leaves us alone.

I walk over to the bed and sit on the stool.

“My mom said I can stay the night,” I smile, “as long as I eat though.” I haven’t been eating since the shower incident.

“Oh, that’s great! My mom brought some board games there on that table somewhere. Here, let me get them,” he says, but I stop him from getting up.

“No! You stay down!” I say, my voice alert.


We spend the night playing Sorry and Monopoly, me losing at every game. At around 3:30am we decide to go to bed.

“Come up here, this bed is big enough for two, that chair over there does not, look comfy.” Leon laughs as he scoots over and pats next to him.

I glance over at the ugly yellow arm chair in the corner then smile and Leon, climbing on the bed taking up on his offer. He lifts up the sheets and I climb under, snuggling up close to him. Looking past all his forced smiles and efforts to not lie down, I can tell he’s really tired. I got a text from his mom saying that it was only a matter of days before he leaves.

I hold back tears, not wanting to ruin the good mood he worked hard to sustain.


“Are you scared?” He asked and I reached over to turn off the lamp.

“Scared of what?” I ask nervously, not wanting to know what he’s getting at.

“Scared of being in a hospital this late, what if everyone turns into zombies?” He laughs.

“I think you’ve been playing Silent Hill too much,” I sigh in relief.

“Maybe, maybe not,” he considers.

“I’m sure you have.” I insist.

After about 10 minutes of silence, “are you tired? I don’t want to go to sleep yet, not after I finally have you in my bed,” Leon laughs.

“Shut it, you need your rest,” I laugh. I’m really grateful he’s acting like himself again. I don’t care what the doctors say, he seems fine, however he has always been a god actor.

We spend the night talking and talking and talking, until our words turn into meaningless mumbles. I’m so tired I don’t know what to say anymore, but them this one sentence comes to mind.

“Leon?” I ask.

“Yes?” He says, trying not to mumble.

“You know, you never said you loved me. Why is that?” I ask sadly, and he must have noticed.

“Because, I don’t want you be miss me when I’m gone.” He says, and I can hear the sadness in his voice.

“Please say you love me, I love you. Always and forever.” I say, tears dripping down my cheek, my voice that high pitch tone it gets when you cry.

“I don’t… Feel right.” He mumbles, and I suddenly become alert.

“What was that?” I ask.

“I always… ALWAYS,” he gasps and reaches behind himself and grabs my hand resting on my stomach. I quickly reach for the lamp and turn it on.

“Don’t! Don’t go! Do you hear me? Don’t leave!” I scream, my voice wavering. I sit up and turn around to face him, and grab his hand.

“Love…” he smiles and weakly squeezes my hand.

The nurse on duty must have heard my screaming because she quickly runs in the room and races to the side of the bed. She looks at the heart monitor that’s now beeping loudly, and then looks at me. I can tell form that look that there is nothing she can do.

I quickly lean forward and kiss Leon desperately on the lips, his arms wrap around my back as he kisses me too. I stay there, even when the heart monitor stops beeping and his arms go limp. I ignore the gentle hand rubbing my back and stay there.

Finally I break away and sit up, opening my eyes I look down at Leon’s peaceful tear streaked face. I quickly glance away and look at the nurse, who is wiping her eyes. She notices me staring and looks up, a sad smile on her face and her arms open and inviting.
April 15th, 2012, Leon’s funeral was held and the entire school showed up. There is now an unused classroom dedicated to Leon, one of the funniest, smart, and outgoing, kids in our high school.

April 20th, 2012, a school assembly was planned and I got to share my story. This story. The sweet love story that broke everyone’s heart.


March 19th, 2012, my boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer. What I’m about to share is a story about out last month together.

March 3rd, 2012, we officially started dating. We’ve known each other forever, and I knew how outgoing and active he was, but since the first week of March he’s been tired, and weak, always complaining he’s sick or something isn’t right. He just wasn’t acting like himself.

March 7th, 2012, Leon -that’s his name- told his mother what was going on, at first she passed it off as an excuse to miss school, but then she started to notice the change in his attitude and took him to the hospital for some tests. We waited and waited until finally, March 19th arrived and they received a call from the doctor.

March 19th, 2012, Leon called me at around 1pm; he didn’t go to school that day so he called me at lunch.

“Hey, babe, I have some bad news for you,” he said.

“What’s that?” I asked, I wasn’t really paying attention to his serious tone, but something was telling me something was wrong.

“I just got a call from the doctor; I’ve been diagnosed with cancer. I’m going in for some more tests later; I just thought I should let you know first.” I replied. I could tell he was trying to sound confident and calm, but I could hear to fear and tears in his wavering voice. It was at that point when I dropped my phone and ran for the front doors. My friends yelled after me, trying to figure out what was wrong, but all I could think of was putting one foot in front of the other and not throw up.

I ran the whole 10 minutes to his house, not slowing down a bit, taking all the back roads to avoid traffic. He knew I was coming, why else would he wait on the front steps? This is just like the time when we were 6, and he broke his foot and called me to tell me to sign his cast. I was so scared for him then, thinking he was dying. We always brought it up, it was a good laugh, but now thinking back to that day, it’s not really funny. Not funny at all.

He looked up at me, shame shading his face, tear streaks down his cheek. He looked so scared and fragile I stopped in place, fell to the ground, and cried.

March 31, 2012, I went to his house early morning, excited for our picnic date he had planned yesterday during lunch. His mother works from 2am-10pm, so we would be alone for the whole day.

I walked into the house like I always do, and made my way up to his room. I knocked on his door twice and let myself in. His bed was made nice and neat but his clothes on the floor. I smiled to myself and sat on his bed, waiting for him to exit his bathroom. I could hear the shower going but nothing else. I wasn’t sure how long he was in there so I just sat and waited, watching TV, which he left on the weather channel.

20 minutes passed and the water was still going. It was at this point I started to get worried. My heart pumped faster and faster, my hand shaking and my knees weak as I reached for the bathroom door handle.

I knocked twice and let myself in, the damp air making it hard to breathe. I grabbed his towel off the sink and whipped the curtain open, unfolding the towel in front of me. I looked forward, nowhere else, and saw no one there. Right then, I knew he passed out in the shower and quickly dropped the towel and reached for the knobs to turn the water off, a pale foot against the edge of the tub proving my suspicions.

I ran out of the room as fast as I could, trying not to slip on the bathroom tile and ran for my cell. Like any other person would do is call 911, but no, first I called his mother, telling her to get home quick. With no questions asked she says she’s on her way and hangs up. Then I called 911.

“911, what’s your emergency?” A lady picked up.

“I just found my boyfriend passed out in the shower!” I panicked.

“We’ll send an ambulance right away, what’s your address?” She asked.

I told her everything but our GSP coordinates, and hung up. About 5 minutes later there was a knock on the door and the medics were already crowding around in the bathroom yelling numbers and codes at each other.

I told them everything I knew about his medical conditions and how he was recently diagnosed with cancer. They told me to stay here and wait until a cop comes to question me. I nodded my head, not trusting myself to speak, and walked out to the kitchen. I wasn’t going to cry, I promised myself not to after the medics said he was going to be fine, but once I saw the picnic basket and a letter addressed to me, I fell to my knees and cried… again.

April 6th, 2012, Leon was doing worse, way worse. I was excused from school, but it’s not like I’d go anyway. Everything that happened turned me into a total mess. I entered Leon’s hospital room the same time a doctor and his mom left. She patted my on the shoulder and gave me a gentle look that chilled me to the bone. I quickly looked at Leon, sound asleep and sickly pale.

I took a seat on the hard wooden stool bedside his bed and took his hand. I kissed it and squeezed it, praying for him to recover. He opened his eyes and looked at me. I stared at him, and he smiled. I smiled too.

“Hey, how’s it goin?” He yawned and squeezed my hand, the one still holding his.

“Great, you?” I asked.

“Wonderful,” he laughed, but it came out as a choked wheeze.

I stared at him more intensely, not sure how to reply to that. I blinked back tears forming in my eyes and smiled. All I can do is smile, and it made me feel sick.

“What did the doctors say?” I asked after a while.

“I think its best you not know, babe.” He sighed.

“Please,” I whimpered, preparing myself for the worst.

“A week.” Was all he said. I stared at him in disbelief; angry at him for making such a joke, but sad but knowing it’s true.

We sat in silence for the whole day holding hands. His mother came in every few hours to check up on us, making small take, but all we wanted was quiet. At around 11:30pm I got a call from my mom asking me to come home for dinner. She sounded distressed, all this is hard on her too, she helped raise Leon after his father died when we were 4.

I kisses him goodbye, lingering around for a few minutes fixing all the flowers until he told me to leave, told me to go home to my family and eat.

April 9th, 2012, I got a call from his mother telling me to get to the hospital right away. The urgency in her voice scared me, and I knew it was time. I called all Leon’s friends, telling them to go to the hospital, room 106, and to hurry.

I screamed for my mom, not knowing where she went. I hate big houses. I heard her calling back from the kitchen area and ran there.

“What’s the problem, sweetheart?” She asked as she stirred the soup on the stove.

“It’s Leon!” I said my voice full of terror.


She stared at me dumbfounded for a few seconds before she dropped the wooden spoon, “get in the car,” she said running for her purse on the dining room table.

We made it to hospital and met up with all of mine and Leon’s friends. We quickly made our way to his room where nurses and doctors were frantically running around the room yelling orders at each other. We let ourselves in and greeted his mom who was standing off to the side, watching in horror.

Once the doctors left, we all started talking about school and we’ve missed. After 3 hours of good company, the girls gave Leon a peck on the cheek and a hug, and the guys only gave him a hug. His best friend and Jeff are the only ones left in the room.

“Hey, Jeff, you know what the best thing about staying here is?” Leon smiled.

“What?” Jeff asked, looking nervous.


“The hot nurses,” he laughed, and Jeff laughed too. I sighed and smiled, glad Leon is acting like his old goofy self.

“Mind if I stay the night then?” Jeff winked.

“No way man, I have plans!” Leon laughed looking at me, and I looked at him in confusion, which only made him laugh harder.

“Damn it! Better luck next time!” Jeff laughed and walked over to the bed, “look man, I have to go; I’m already seriously late for work. I’ll come visit tomorrow morning, after your ‘plans’,” he laughed and looked at me, which made Leon smirk at me.

I sighed and shook my head, not saying anything to let to boys have their weird boyish fun. Jeff hugged him goodbye and leaves us alone.

I walked over to the bed and sat on the stool.

“My mom said I can stay the night,” I smiled, “as long as I eat though.” I haven’t been eating since the shower incident.

“Oh, that’s great! My mom brought some board games there on that table somewhere. Here, let me get them,” he said, but I stopped him from getting up.

“No! You stay down!” I said my voice alert.


We spent the night playing Sorry and Monopoly, I lost at every game. At around 3:30am we decided to go to bed.

“Come up here, this bed is big enough for two, that chair over there does not, look comfy.” Leon laughed as he scooted over and pated the empty space next to him.

I glanced over at the ugly yellow arm chair in the corner then smiled at Leon as I climbed on the bed taking up on his offer. He lifted up the sheets as I climbed under, snuggling up close to him. Looking past all his forced smiles and efforts to not lie down, I could tell he was really tired. I had gotten a text from his mom saying that it was only a matter of days before he leaves.

I held back tears, not wanting to ruin the good mood he worked so hard to sustain.


“Are you scared?” He asked and I reached over to turn off the lamp.

“Scared of what?” I asked nervously, not wanting to know what he was getting at.

“Scared of being in a hospital this late, what if everyone turns into zombies?” He laughed.

“I think you’ve been playing Silent Hill too much,” I sighed in relief.

“Maybe, maybe not,” he considered.

“I’m sure you have.” I insisted

After about 10 minutes of silence, “are you tired? I don’t want to go to sleep yet, not after I finally have you in my bed,” Leon laughed.

“Shut it, you need your rest,” I laughed. I was really grateful he was acting like himself again. I didn’t care what the doctors said, he seemed fine, however he has always been a good actor.

We spent the night talking and talking and talking, until our words turned into meaningless mumbles. I was so tired I didn’t know what to say, but them this one sentence came to mind.

“Leon?” I asked.

“Yes?” He said, trying not to mumble.

“You know, you never said you loved me. Why is that?” I asked sadly, and he must have noticed.

“Because, I don’t want you to miss me when I’m gone.” He said, and I could hear the sadness in his voice.

“Please say you love me, I love you. Always and forever.” I said, tears dripping down my cheek, my voice that high pitch tone it gets when you cry.

“I don’t… Feel right.” He mumbled, and I suddenly became alert.

“What was that?” I asked.

“I always… ALWAYS,” he gasped and reached behind himself and grabbed the hand that was resting on my stomach. I quickly reached for the lamp and turned it on.

“Don’t! Don’t go! Do you hear me? Don’t leave!” I screamed my voice wavered. I sat up and turned around to face him, and grabbed his hand.

“Love…” he smiled and weakly squeezed my hand.

The nurse on duty must have heard my screaming because she quickly ran in the room and raced to the side of the bed. She looked at the heart monitor that was beeping loudly, and then looked at me. I can tell from that look that there is nothing she could do.

I quickly leaned forward and kissed Leon desperately on the lips, his arms wrapped around my back as he kissed me too. I stayed there, even when the heart monitor stopped beeping and his arms went limp. I ignore the gentle hand that rubbed my back and stayed there.

Finally I broke away and sat up. Opening my eyes I looked down at Leon’s peaceful tear streaked face. I quickly glanced away and looked at the nurse, who was wiping her eyes. She noticed me staring and looked up, a sad smile sat on her face, her arms opened and inviting.
April 15th, 2012, Leon’s funeral was held and the entire school showed up. There is now an unused classroom dedicated to Leon, one of the funniest, smart, and outgoing, kids in our high school.

April 20th, 2012, a school assembly was planned and I got to share my story. This story. The sweet love story that broke everyone’s heart.

April 22nd, 2012, I got a call from Leon's mom; she said to come over, though she didn't say why. I make my way over, taking my time and gathering my thoughts. I haven't seen her since the funeral. I knock on the door, feeling awkward to just walk in now that Leon isn’t there.

“Hello, come in!” She smiles tightly, and I know she’s had a rough night.

“Hello,” I say stiffly.

“I’m sorry we don’t have time to stay and chat, but I found this letter under Leon’s pillow while I was cleaning out his room. It’s for you.” She smiles handing me the envelope.

“Thanks,” I say and turn around to leave, she following after me to lock the door.

“You welcome sweetheart, come by anytime!” She smiles and walks to her car.


When jog the home, and go to my room. I sit down on my bed and stare at the envelope. I carefully open it and pull out the letter. I look inside as something rattles around inside, and pull out a ring.

I quickly open the letter and see 3 words. Three. Simple. Words.

I love you.

I flip the letter over and find more words, the same words written over and over again.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

And on the last line, the line that scared me the most.

I’m sorry I never told you.



Join the Discussion


This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

Neonpanda17 said...
Apr. 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm:
Thank you!!
 
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lizerina776 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm:
this is such a touching and emotional experience...im so sorry for you :(. keep writing <3
 
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citydancer94This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm:
This story is tragic! i liked the pacing. you should check it for some typos and near the middle it is as if you copied and pasted the beginning twice.... other than that, good work! please check out some of mine :)
 
Neonpanda17 replied...
Apr. 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm :
You're right, sorry!! ^.^
 
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