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1918

Summary:
Elizabeth Sophia Masen has everything a woman of her time could want; A loving husband, a son she adores and a easy lifestyle in Chicago. Yet the Fall of 1918 threatens what she holds most dear: Her son Edward The Last few days of Edwards life through the eyes of his mother. "Sequel" to 1918 Now UP! For More of Elizabeth and a vampire Edward turn into "Returning to Chicago" ASAP!


Notes:


5. Evening 27th September 1918

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2060   Review this Chapter

Evening September 27th 1918

I walked through the doors to the hospital in a haze. I couldn’t remember much of what had happened over the course of the last hour, from the time that Edward had telephoned me to meet him. Edna’s eldest son, Samuel had escorted me to the hospital in his Model T so I wouldn’t have to walk all the way to find news of my husband...

Mr. Masen—my dearest Eddie...

He had been all right this morning. He said he had a headache, but nothing more—then again he had coughed a few times in the night, but surly—what was going on? Was I about to loose my husband? Where was my son? Thoughts of funeral processions ran through my mind in a mist of blackness, only to be cleared away with the sight of Edward waiting for me infront of a desk.

He ran into my arms like when he was a little boy. “It’s alright darling, I’m here now,” I soothed, rubbing his back gently. He pulled away and looked at me with troubled eyes, “Mother, Father has—“

“Are you Mrs. Masen?” a beautiful voice asked from behind Edward. We both turned to see a tall man who I must admit, looked absolutely handsome. His facial features where charming, his eyes a rich topaz color, his hair a heavenly blonde, I wondered why an angel would be working in a place full of death. My voice returned to me to reply, “Yes, I’m Elizabeth Masen.”

He walked towards Edward and I, taking my hand in a handshake. “I’m Dr. Carlisle Cullen, I’ve been working with your husband since his arrival...”

“Dr. Cullen has tried his best,” Edward assured quietly, it wasn’t helping my nerves that my son was using the past tense when talking about his father. I chose to ignore Edward’s comment, thinking that surely, this was all a horrible dream in which I would soon be waking from and everything would be well.

“May I see him please Dr. Cullen?” I asked, looking absolutely frazzled I’m sure. The events in the past hour had been tearing me apart. Upon Edward’s phone call to me at the home, I had ran next door, I hadn’t even stopped to put on shoes or a coat, I neglected even wearing a hat, barging into Edna’s home.

“Edna,” I had called, “Edna!” Suddenly my friend walked down the stairs from what seemed to be Quincy’s room, she had been nursing him all day, some horrid cough similar to that of Sherrie’s. “Edna, will one of your sons take me to the hospital,” I asked my voice high and panicked. “The hospital?” her eyes where wide, “What’s wrong? Is Edward alright?” I knew that when she said just one name she was referring to both. I was trying to be strong but the worry was beginning to pull me apart. “Edward called from his grandmothers just a moment ago,” I said all too quickly though a cracked voice,

“Eddie collapsed on the floor, there taking him to the hospital and Edward wanted me to meet him there,” Edna’s thin had rushed to cover the gasp that had just escaped from her mouth. “Is he alright?” she asked, her eyes as wide as saucers, “I don’t know,” I sighed, then one of her sons, Samuel, walked down from Quincy’s room. Edna went into full military status as though she had to send in rescue troops “Sam, get the Model T out, I need you to drive Mrs. Masen to the hospital immediately,” My eyes began to water. “Thank you Edna,” i said through tear eyes, “Don’t you worry about a thing, Emily will go over now and watch Susan” “Sherrie,” I corrected quietly, “Yes, her. Now you take my coat on the rack and there’s some shoes next to the door, we can’t have you going into the hospital barefoot.”

We drove to the hospital in silence and there I stood still after all this flashback, thinking of my husband still as I asked, “May I please see my husband?” A pained look hit his eyes, as though both he and Edward knew something that I didn’t, something that they where trying to prolong in fear it would cause me pain. The Angelic doctor seemed to sense my worry, deciding to calm it, he answered “Yes Mrs. Masen, please follow me...”

We entered one of many rooms I’m sure that all looked the same. Chicagans laid resting in cots, sleeping, hacking, the smell was nauseating. We exited the room only to enter another one similar to it, only slightly less nauseating. In the beds, people lay asleep, some coughing horribly while others held a peaceful expression on their face as they rested—they must either be recovering or, have passed on.

That’s how it was when we reached the bed.

I think I will always be able to remember where it was. Bed number twelve, facing east, a window showed the stars beginning to pop up in the night sky.

We stopped at a bed where slept a man that was white as the sheets, and I realized what Edward had been trying to tell me now. It became crystal clear.

I knelt down at the bedside of my husband. The cold floor didn’t effect me, I felt cold the moment I saw him. With shaking hands, I gently ran my hands through his chestnut hair one last time, it was still as thick as it was the day that we married, or so I was imagining it was, I could still smell the spice that lingered in it—cinnamon and ginger. I stopped, taking off the glasses that still rested on his face as though he had just fallen asleep, neglecting to take them off as he usually did in his study. My hand still stroking his face lovingly, but they pulled back for a moment, his face was cold.

I grasped his hand.

He was cold.

“Dr. Cullen,” my voice was cracking, “My husband—Has my Eddie?” I asked, looking from my husband’s serene, pale face to the face of the man standing at the foot of his bed. He obviously had to have broken this sort of news a lot lately. “Mrs. Masen, I’m sorry but Mr. Masen died shortly after arriving here. He seemed to have had a strand of Influenza he most like contracted from his workplace,”

I knew that my husband was dead the moment I saw him lying in the bed. I knew that, and yet, it didn’t seem he was final until the doctor said it aloud.

It was then that the tears truly started. The floodgates where opened as I sobbed, my head lying down on the bed next to Eddie’s cold hand. I tried to grasp it, thinking that surly he wasn’t dead, and if I just held his hand really hard, my dear husband would wake up. He’d wake up and this will all have been just a rude, cruel joke. We’d go home, get dressed and go to the opera. Edward wouldn’t go to his draft, and we’d be a family. “Eddie, wake up,” I cried, “Show them that you’re alright,” I plead.

“He can’t be gone. He was as fit as a fiddle, last night we danced in the parlor, remember Edward—daddy and I danced to Ragtime and missed a step and fell?” my voice was cracking, “Then he held me under the moonlight, he isn’t old enough to die, he’s only forty-six!” I looked at my husband’s set face, my tear falling from my own cheeks to his. “It was like we where in love all over again, just like everyday has been for the past thirty years” I could tell I was stammering, “Eddie. Was. Fine”

I knew I was hitting delirium.

I felt two strong hands on my shoulders, I turned to see my little Edward, gently lifting me up, pulling me away from my dead husband. “Daddy’s gone Mummy,” he whispered quietly, calling me what he did when he was a young child. “We need to go home—“ he said pulling me away and standing up. My tears disappeared and I turned to the doctor who looked embarrassed for still being present during this family disaster.

“Mrs. Masen, I think that you and your son should stay in the hospital. You’ve both been in contact with this disease I’m sure,” I looked at my son, who had suddenly taken the on the role as the family patriarch and was realizing it s the minutes ticked on.

“Dr. Cullen, I can’t keep my mother here when everyone is dying,” he said faintly, protectively still holding me gently. “ I want to take her home immediately. We have Uncle Peter in the countryside, we could stay there until everything is all right. We’ll leave as soon as.... Proper arrangements have been made,” he told the doctor, I could feel Edward shaking, I didn’t know wither it was over the death of his father or if, if he too— Oh, Lord, not this, not—

“Edward, you look pale,” I said looking at my son. Suddenly I realized the doctor was right. All three of us had been taking care of Sherrie for the past two days; his school had been closed for illness; Quincy had been ill all through the night Edna had said this morning; his grandmother was probably dying of this illness; and Edward Sr.,— Eddie had just died.

“Mother I’m fine,” he said faintly, unconvincing to both Dr. Cullen and I. “I’d feel much better knowing that you two where here, just for tonight. If you feel fine tomorrow morning when I get off duty, I’ll personally escort you back to your home, I’ll even escort you to this country home, but You can receive some treatment here, just in case.”

The angelic doctor seemed rather convincing. It may have been just out of shock for just loosing my husband for the thought that I may soon be loosing Edward too, I spoke “If that’s what you think is best Dr. Cullen, we will stay.”

He called for a nurse who led Edward too some fresh cots with nightclothes lying on them. I turned to the doctor who had been at our side since I arrived. “Dr. Cullen,” I turned to him carefully, “Yes, Mrs. Masen?” He said with genuine sympathy showing in his face for what had just happened to my son and I. “Will you do me a favor?”

The doctor seemed a bit shocked, “I’ll try,” he said his lovely voice matching my in silence, “ I know that I have only known you for this half hour—but Will you be the one that takes my husband to the m-morgue? I’d feel better know that it was a friend taking him there, and you’ve been like one since our arrival.”

He smiled a sad smile, “Yes Mrs. Masen,” he said quietly, looking into to my eyes kindly, “I’ll do you that favor.” I smiled weakly, “Thank you Doctor,” I replied, then turning to where my son was now sitting pulling a night shirt over his head before turning into the bed. His face had a fake smile plastered to it, as though he was trying to give me assurance that all was right and we’d be at home tomorrow morning for breakfast.

And yet, he still looked pale, slightly sickly. He looked as though the moment I fell asleep tonight, he would too. I didn’t know weither it was loosing his father that had cause this change in him or if he was truly ill.

“Doctor Cullen,” I called out again to the man who was about to walk out the door, “Yes Mrs. Masen,”

“I—I know that you probably get this from all the mothers who come in with sick children but—Edward is all that I have now, will you try your best to keep him healthy, keep him alive?” my voice wavered one too many times in the course of the sentence.

“I will Mrs. Masen, I’ll try my hardest,” he answered as I smiled a Thank You and walked away to where my son was hiding his illness.

Dear Lord, I prayed quietly to myself, don’t let me loose my son too.