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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:


9. 30th September 1918

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2414   Review this Chapter

My eyes opened slowly, as though I was fighting the cruel sandbags of a curtain, no matter how hard I tried, the curtains rose only ruggedly until they at last where wide.

This had to be the worse day yet, I decided.

I felt nothing but heat, I could hear nothing but the sound of blood pounding against my ears, steady as a beating drum. Oh if this wasn’t the realm of Hades, I didn’t know what was, I didn’t want to know. My cough continued to rack throughout my body.

The room was crammed full of frantic nurses bringing medicine to new arrivals—arrivals who still had hope of a recovery. I turned my head slowly to my left where I could see a Priest giving the last rites to an elderly couple, what looked to be a Rabbi doing a similar practice down the room a bit to another ailing mother. I wonder if any one gave those to Edward and I while we slept, I thought, watching both religious men go down to the next bed of a dying soul and administering their appointed rites.

When Edward was nine years old my mother had gotten sick of shingles. The illness had taken a great toll on her, I had gone with my sister to see her. Although that was eight years ago—her voice rang still in my ears, And now as I walk even in the shadow of death—my mind returned to the prayer. So this was the shadow of death? It wasn’t as dark as I though it would be, then of course, I remembered that the sun was setting. Day was done, another day had died; The sun was setting once again, taking from the earth it’s light. This is not how I wanted it to end for either my son or myself. If we where to die, I would have preferred to it to be a quick death—falling asleep, a sudden car crash, being hit by the trolley, —anything but just waiting.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

That’s what the past week of my life had been. Waiting to tell Edward that he had been drafted into the army, Waiting in the Model T to arrive at the hospital. Waiting to see my Husband. Waiting for a medical explanation on why I dreamt my son was sparkling. Waiting for Edward to have a chance at life. Waiting for Edward to die. Waiting for a miracle that was not going to come.

I was sick of waiting.

I thought of Dr. Cullen’s words the day before concerning hope, how it should be our medicine. I had no hope left in me. The fever had burned it up, it had consumed my will to live. Death could not be as horrific as this was. I wanted it to come without delay, so I could be freed from this medical curse.

I tried to sleep—trying to find the rest and reassurance that Sherrie had as she met her final day. In my dreams, I was walking in the same white dress that I had been wearing in the dream of the meadow, only restored and unstained; I was walking to a garden gate, hidden by ivy that was covering the door except for a the handle. Opening the gate, I was met by a glorious garden, Cherry trees in full blossom met with wild flowers and rose bushes, daises and tulips.

The sun shone brightly through the clouds, rays leaking from the floor of heaven. Right in front of me, my eyes where met with Eddie—sitting on the bench we had in our rose gardens, waiting for me with a single daisy in his hand. There is no combination of words known to man that could describe my how my heart felt as I saw him. He wasn’t pale, he wore the a crisp white shirt, his hair combed back nicely, a laugh holding up his ever familiar glasses as he beckoned for me.

Tears sprang to my eyes as I turned to my left where I could hear the laughter of my Anna Sophia and little William, both dressed in spotless white their faces pink with laughter as they where being chased by a playful Sherrie. They saw me and their little faces, if possible lit up more, as I watched my daughter and son run up to take my hands. .

I would have given anything for at that moment to actually be permitted to stay in this heaven—this oasis of joy, of realization, of being free of the pain that had racked my body for days. That is until I realized my heaven had one great flaw, my son was not present.

Darn the tonic—Edward was right, it was complicating my dreams. Where I should be dreaming about my perfect afterlife, I couldn’t. Edward was not in it. Maybe the dream only shows those who have died, I thought, Edward is still alive, he is alive and with me, maybe that is why he’s not there. Whatever the case, I waited. Waiting for a miracle to happen that would let me live or waiting for the unstoppable death that was waiting for me.

Was there anything more I could do for my Edward? I turned to look at him; whenever he woke up, it was only for a brief moment, to make sure I was still alive and by his side, then he returned to his slumber. He didn’t want to out live me, I knew that, he smiled overtime he saw I was still there, yet there was still a twinkle in his eye that held on for a miracle, a get out of jail free card, a way for survival.

Was there anything I could do for him as the time of my probation ran to it’s end? I could hear the familiar sound of a specific person walking down the hallway. Walking through the door was Dr. Cullen. He was on duty already? Impossible, it couldn’t be six thirty already—had I really slept all through the day? I watched with aching eyes as he walked quickly to our beds as he usually did. Our states had breached his calm face, alarm spreading on it like the sun rising at morn.

He quickly glanced at the notes made on our charts by doctors during the day with horrified eyes, then he looked at me. I had to try to ask for a miracle, and who better from a man that looked to be an angel. I knew there was something different about Dr. Carlise Cullen. He was always awake, always alert. Unlike several doctors on staff, he had never fallen ill. He was prompt, he could care for his patients like no other. I had watch his gentle methods of medicine on myself and my son, I knew that if anyone could save my son, it was going to be this man. He was the only one; he was the last hope that I had. If Edward was going to survive, it would be because of something that this doctor alone could do.

“Mrs. Masen,” he put one of his hands on my head. I couldn’t recognize his touch. It was usually so cold, and now it just felt as though there was a dead weight on my head where his hand was.

“Mrs. Masen, you’re burning up,” he began to pour some water from a basin in vain hopes of cooling myself down, lowering my body temperature to a cooler state. I gripped his hand, tightly and quickly, making him drop the basin as it shattered into many pieces on the floor.

The blood still pumping in my ears, I couldn’t hear the shattering of the basin, only seeing the pieces as they fell. I held his hand-with-no-temperature as though I was trying to break it. Of course I wasn’t I just thought, if I hold tight enough, he could quiet possibly understand my last demand. I turned my eyes to where they where staring into his own topaz ones, I could see them reflecting from his pupils.

“Save him,” I whispered lamely.

“What Mrs. Masen?” he asked bending down to better hear me.

“You must save him,” I said with such strength and conviction I thought of Sherrie the last time we had talked together. I must be strong like Sherrie—show no fear, just ask one last request:

“Promise me Dr. Cullen, that you will do everything in your power to save my son, to save Edward. I know you are no ordinary man, you must do everything that you possibly can for him to survive. Something no one else in this hospital can do” My heart was racing—my head was going light.

“Promise me,” I still hadn’t broken eye contact with the doctor who looked as he did when I asked about a sparkling side effect. He looked alarmed, as though I had breached on some great secret.

“I promise Mrs. Masen,” he said with matching conviction. I trusted this man. He had been our companion, our angel throughout this trying experience.

“Thank you,” I said, closing my eyes and breathing deeply, Edward was going to be all right, I smiled to myself. All was going to be well. I watched him walk away almost as though he was contemplating something heavy on his mind—as though he was trying to find away to honor the promise he had just made.

I turned over to my son who laid motionless on the bed beside me. “I want you to be careful Edward—“ I said in a cracking voice. I knew he was asleep, and couldn’t hear me at all, but I had to say my last words to him, in desperate hope that maybe he could and would hear.

“I’ve asked Dr. Cullen to take care of you—I know you don’t want me to leave, but I can’t fight this anymore,” Was I failing my son by giving up into this illness? I shook my head, continuing my words.

“Please remember to listen to him, and to do as your told. I know you Edward, your a fighter, you love your independence, but please, —Obey what Dr. Cullen says, he knows a way, I know he knows a way, that can save you. Just let him; you have so much to live for—you haven’t met that special girl yet....” I chuckled, which wasn’t the smartest thing to do as I began coughing horribly again.

“I love you Edward Anthony,” I smiled weakly from my bedside, looking at my son one last time before I turned to face my bed board, closing my eyes one last time—for a while anyway, I thought.

I could hear a nurse come by and sweep up the broken shards of a basin, but she didn’t disturb me much, she just laid a damp cloth over my forehead, sending very little chills through my upper head.

I slipped into a dream, the fire still burning in my blood, burning throughout my mind, only becoming dimmer and dimmer—was it possible my fever was broken? How stupid I would feel, after a day of thinking of nothing but my looming death, I would be spared in the evening by the breaking of my fever.

The fever was becoming dim. I was relaxed, was it possible, was it possible that I had been freed? In a few more moments, I though merrily, Dr. Cullen’s miracle will have pulled through and I will be healthy. Edward and I will go home—I was free. Dr. Cullen was an angel. There could be no further explanation, this was the only thing that made any inch of sense.

I waited with a smile in my heart—within two days for sure, Edward and I would be back at 254 Cherry Lane eating a large bowl of fresh cut strawberries and reading the paper. Yes, my husband would be gone, grieve of loosing Sherrie, Quincy and Eddie would always linger in our hearts, but my son and I would have survived. We would be survivors.

The fever was gone.

I couldn’t feel it anymore.

I was free.

I opened my eyes. The room was completely clear, it was completely still. I got out of bed, suprised that my feet could still support my body after three days abed. Light filled the room, beautiful and warming. I looked to my right where still slept Edward. Maybe Dr. Cullen was saving him now and soon he would be there with me. I sat waiting, just waiting happily for him to wake up and be well.

“Lizzie,” a voice called from behind. The voice was smooth like the velvet gloves that laid atop my dresser at home, it wrapped around my heart as the name floated through my ears. I knew that voice anywhere, it had been my constant companion for nearly thirty years.

I looked to see Eddie walking through the hallway, as strong and as healthy as he had ever been. He was dressed as I had seen him in my dream that morning—he was the Edward Andrew Masen I had fallen in love with all those years ago.

“Eddie,” my heart was racing within my chest. I ran into his waiting arms. I smiled, feeling safe in his loving, protective arms.

I suddenly pulled back looking into his eyes, which had seemed to register the shock. I realized what this meant. If Eddie was holding me, that meant many things, “Eddie—“ I spoke aloud, as I began putting the puzzle together.

First, Dr. Cullen had not provided me with a miracle.

Secondly, I did not want Edward to suddenly accompany us because, my fever had broken, but only in correspondence to third . . . “Eddie, why are you here, you died three days ago,” maybe if I played delirious, if I pretended the truth wasn’t the truth... A trickle of pain and confusion danced across his face.

“Lizzie, dearest, I don’t know how to break it to you—darling, you died. Just five minutes ago, see—“ he pointed to my bed where there laid a woman with bronze tinted hair, her face not yet peaceful even in death. I was staring at myself, my body.

The third truth was recognized.

I was dead.

“And Edward?” I asked looking at our son who still slept in the bed, neither peaceful or relaxed, “How long does he have?”

I kept my eyes locked on my son as I felt Eddie wrap his arm protectively around my waist, pulling me into his loving arms, he whispered quietly into my ear, “He’ll be with us within the hour.”