Title page of
Author's Note: This is my first story, ever. It's called Love Song, but it's just a title. Enjoy!
“Mother, Yuri, I'll be back in an hour!"Simon Kowan called, climbing into the red Fiat. The car pulled out of the Kowan's driveway in Sacramento, California.
Yuri did not need to guess where her brother was going. He was going on a date with his beautiful girlfriend Jenni. She stared wistfully at the fading car, and wished she would be with Simon. People often said Yuri did not resemble her family, and they were not wrong. After all, she was an adopted child. Yuri had beautiful black hair and a slim body fit for a fifteen year old, while Simon's handsome features and slick blonde hair resembled his father, who died years ago. Mrs. Susan Kowan “the kind widow” as most people called her, she was a beautiful woman of forty eight. However her kind face had no wrinkles and her blonde hair showed no specks of gray.
Yuri, on the other hand, had a crush on Simon for three years now, and she loved him far more than a brother. His blue eyes could catch any girl's heart. Yuri knew in her own heart that she loved Simon more than anyone else in the world, even Mrs. Kowan. She spent hours reading and waiting for Simon, as she always did. The clock ticked noisily and the sounds of Mrs. Kowan's knitting and her chair rocking could be heard throughout the house.
Late into the night the sound of keys in the door was heard and the door creaked open. Simon the handsome eighteen year old stepped in the house quietly as a mouse and went up to his sister bedroom, who had fallen asleep waiting for him on the couch, her book across her lap. Silently, he went up and put her head on his shoulder. The sleeping girl stirred but fell back into her slumber. Simon stroked Yuri's head gently for a while, and then kissed her cheek. The moments of silence were broken by the loud chiming of the grandfather clock, indicating midnight.
”Yuri, I know of your feelings toward me," Simon whispered into the night and to his sister. His voice was so soothing, like a lullaby." I am sorry I am unable to love you back as more than a brother, but I will always love you, almost as I love Jenny. You are a beautiful and gentle girl, like the night breeze that lures me to sleep each night. I have to go for a while now. Sleep well."
Simon slowly lifted Yuri's face up to his, and then gently placed his lips over hers. It was a short kiss, but a true one. Seconds later the boy left again. Yuri opened her eyes and gazed at the empty driveway, trying to recall the kiss that she only half remembered, then fell back asleep.
The quiet dawn house of the Kowans was once again disturbed by the shrill ringing of the phone. Yuri rose from her bed and picked up the phone that rang at two o'clock. A male voice spoke, “Miss Kowan, this is Officer Joy from the Sacramento Police Department. I think you'd better come down to South Street. There has been an accident, a Simon Kowan…” Yuri dropped the phone before hearing the rest of what the officer said.
Yuri screamed." Mother!"
Then two ladies, one young, and one old, arrived at South Street minutes later. Police cars were everywhere, and there was an ambulance. A small crowd was huddled around two bodies. Everything suddenly was at a slow pace for Yuri, she was shocked and very afraid, and the only thought that ran through her mind was Simon being okay. She and her mother, Susan, rushed and pushed through the crowd, where three officers were examining the two bodies. One was a stranger, whose head was heavily bandaged and stains of blood were visible through the bandage. The other was Simon. The boy's head was bleeding heavily and blood stained his body, where cuts and bruises were located. Two more officers came with a stretcher and lifted the stranger onto it.
"Emergency room immediately! There still might be hope." An officer said.
”What about my brother? He needs to go to the hospital, too!" Yuri screamed, her voice shaking uncontrollable as she stared at the bloody heap of her brother.
”He needs to go! Somebody, bring a stretcher!" Yuri was shrieking, tears streaming down her face as she wrung her hands desperately.
”Miss Kowan, I'm sorry. There is no need for Simon to go to a hospital." The officer said, trying to soothe the frantic girl.
”Why not! That person got to go! There’s still hope!" Yuri cried, shaking her head.
”Simon Kowan is dead," said the officer in distressing voice.
Yuri froze. Her mind just suddenly stopped and the officers words echoed in her mind ever haunting her. Her mother fainted, but Yuri didn't. Before she knew what she was doing, she grabbed the officer's shirt.
”You’re lying. Simon said he was only going out for a little while. He's coming back!" Yuri cried shrilly. At that moment all she wanted was for her brother to come back. She thought she was going crazy. She began to think this was all a bad dream, that Simon was right beside her when Yuri would awake.
”I’m sorry. But he is dead." The officer replied, looking somber. He loosened himself from Yuri's grip and walked away.
Yuri stood, and then knelt in front of Simon. She stroked his soft blonde hair as he did to her, staining her hands with blood from his hair. Her tears spilled and she hugged Simon. The crowd slowly parted from the officer’s orders to leave, leaving Yuri and the dead Simon. The officer came over and patted Yuri's shoulder gently.
”Miss Kowan, we have to take your brother." He said. The officer waved his hand and two other policemen gently pulled Yuri off Simon.
Yuri didn't know why she didn't object. But she didn't argue as Simon was lifted onto a stretcher and covered in a white cloth. The sirens of the ambulance and police cars softened as they slowly drove away. Yuri felt a fresh wave of tears come to her eyes, and she stood staring at the disappearing vehicles. That day Simon Kowan died on December 14th. That day Yuri’s life changed forever.
One Year Later
“Yuri, have you packed all your things?" Susan Kowan called from downstairs.
“Your plane to England leaves at six!"Yuri stuffed the rest of her clothes into her suitcase and snapped the suitcase shut.
“Almost done, Mother!" Yuri calls back. She hesitated as she looked at a picture of her and Simon. Her brother, who would have been nineteen if he hadn't died, had his arm around Yuri in the picture, and they were both smiling happily.
It had been almost a year since the death of her brother. Yuri never really got over the tragic incident, but much to her surprise, life soon became normal again for all everyone else, but never for Yuri. A part of her had died, and she knew it was her heart. The young girl decided to attend a music orchestra school in England. After Simon's death, they never shut down the small beach house that Yuri's brother owned, but nobody ever went there again. Yuri buried her thoughts and quickly placed the picture into her suitcase. She grabbed the suitcase and heaved it downstairs, where her mother was waiting for her.
”Come on, hurry up, dear." Mrs. Kowan beckoned, climbing into the driver's seat of their Fiat.
Mother and daughter bided each other goodbye at the airport. Susan Kowan kissed Yuri on the cheek and told her to go and be careful. Hours and hours later her plane landed at a London airport. Yuri climbed off the airplane along with the other passengers. Security guards stood still as statues at every entrance, and the airport there wasn't as crowded as Yuri thought it would.
The girl's eyes darted around for some sign of what she was looking for, a person or people who represented the Carson Music School. Just then Yuri heard her name,
“Miss Yuri Kowan!" She spun around. A boy dressed in a blue uniform gestured toward her. He ran over and took her suitcase, escorting her to a small group of people who were dressed as he was. The boy was red-haired and freckled. His British accent was strong and he seemed very polite.
”Miss Yuri, this is our president, Mr. Aaron Spiel. And I'm Randy." The red head introduced himself. Yuri nodded and shook hands with Mr. Spiel.
”Welcome, Miss Kowan. We are honored to have you attend our music school," Mr. Spiel said warmly." Thank you for coming all this way."
Yuri shyly says, “Thanks, I’m honored to be a student in this musical school.”She ended with a weak smile.
They escorted Yuri to a van and rode to the school. England was beautiful in an eerie way. Everything in London was so formal and exquisite. The construction was unique and brilliant, in Yuri's thoughts. They arrived at a white marble building and went inside. Pictures and portraits of the orchestra and extraordinary players were hung all over the burgundy wall.
Suddenly out of the corner of her eye, Yuri saw a lock of slick blonde hair disappear at a corner of the hallway her breath caught in her chest as Simon's silvery blonde hair flashed across her mind. Her heart stopped, she felt surprised and hopeful. She dropped her suitcase and ran to the hall where she had seen the boy. But just then the doors opened and a crowd of students holding violins came out. Yuri searched frantically for the boy, but he was gone.
”Yuri, is anything wrong?" the voice of Randy brought her back to her senses.
”Oh, nothing." Yuri hesitated, and then asked." Is there a boy named Simon Kowan in the orchestra?"
Randy looked at her, puzzled." No, Yuri. Do you know someone of the name?" he asked. Yuri's eyes locked with Randy’s, and then she slowly shook her head and remembered what happened to Simon.
Later Yuri was brought to her dormitory, where there were two beds. Randy addressed Yuri to hers, which was on the far right,” Yuri, I understand if you're tired, but in an hour there will be a welcome ceremony for you. You can come if you wish." Randy set down her suitcase and walked out.
She peered around the dormitory and hung her clothes up in a closet that she shared with the other girl. She'd just set down her picture of Simon and her when the door opened and a girl entered. The girl glanced at Yuri, then walked up to her and held out her hand, her blonde curls dangling from an expensive butterfly hairpin.
”Hello, I'm Emily Bradley. You share a room with me." The girl said abruptly in a superior tone. Yuri held out her own hand and shook Emily's.
”I’m Yuri Kowan." She introduced.
”Oh, so you're the girl from America? Going to the ceremony? I wouldn't miss all the attention for the world if I were you." Emily sat onto her own bed and popped a candy into her mouth. “I play the viola, you?"
”I play the harp." Yuri explained. She did not feel like engaging conversation with anyone right now, especially Emily. Emily seemed to read her thoughts, and she hopped off her bed, looking bored.
”Well, I'm leaving," Emily said slamming the door behind her.
An hour later Yuri stepped up onto the stage where was introduced to an orchestra of one hundred and seventy members. Yuri scanned the big orchestra with interest. It was certainly a good orchestra. Suddenly Yuri spotted the platinum hair again. Once again Yuri felt her heart hammer against her chest. The boy's hair was slicked back and his head was down, studying the keys of the grand piano. Yuri dropped the microphone with a loud clang and all heads turned to her. Emily and her huge group of friends smirked and giggled. The boy looked up and Yuri gasped with shock. The boy was Simon. The exact sapphire blue eyes looked at her, except ten times colder, and the same pale skin and beautiful blonde hair.
”Simon!" Yuri whispered her voice hoarse with shock. The boy stepped up to her.
”What do you want, Kowan?" he asked a cold tone.
”Oh, this is Thomas Vacur, our pianist." Randy explained, looking rather embarrassed at Thomas's rude attitude." He's rather inhospitable toward strangers."
However, Yuri didn't hear him; she just thought Simon came back to her. All she saw was her handsome brother, standing alive in front of her. Tears filled her eyes and even Thomas seemed surprise as the teardrops slid down Yuri's white face and dropped onto her harp.
”You’re not dead." Yuri whispered.
”You are very much mistaken, Kowan. I never died. And my name is not Simon, it’s Thomas, T-H-O-M-A-S, in case you can't hear or spell." The boy turned on his heels and went back to the piano.
Why is Simon being so mean and cold? Yuri thought. He doesn't love me, he hates me. Why does he glare at me like that like he never knew me? Clapping her hands over her mouth, Yuri sped out of the auditorium.
”What did you call Thomas, Yuri Kowan?" Emily demanded, rounding on Yuri forcefully, where Yuri was staring wistfully at the picture of her and Simon. Emily snatched the picture out of Yuri's hands.
”How did you know Thomas?" she snapped, staring at the picture in disbelief and disgust.
”That’s my brother Simon when he was still alive." Yuri said, reaching out to take her picture back." Please give it to me!"
Emily smirked and held the picture out of reach, “You really like him, don't you?" she asked. Yuri looked away but didn't answer. To Yuri's horror, Emily dropped the picture. The glass frame crashed to the floor and it shattered. The picture lay in the puddle of broken glass.
”NO!" Yuri cried, bending to pick up the picture. The girl felt her heart shatter the moment the glass shattered. Tears streamed down Yuri's face as she held the picture to her chest.
”Why did you have to do that?" Yuri cried, glaring up at Emily with tear-filled eyes.
”Oh, I'm so sorry. It just slipped out of my hand." Emily said sarcastically. She moved her face closer to Yuri's." But I'm warning you, Yuri Kowan, I like Thomas, so stay away. He's mine." She stepped over the glass a stalked out, leaving Yuri and her shattered frame and heart.
Neither Yuri nor Emily mentioned anything about the picture incident. Yuri performed spectacularly the next few days and their orchestra concert was a great success.
Thomas walked over to his dormitory after the day of exhausting performing. His fingers were numb from playing. He reached his dormitory and found his dorm mate, Willis Patan sitting on the floor, three cups upside down in front of him.
”Want me to foretell your future for you, Vacur?" Willis asked, wrinkling his forehead.
”No thanks, Patan. I've outgrown fortune-telling." Thomas said coldly.
”Come on, Vacur. Try it." Willis nagged, pulling on Thomas's sleeve. The boy swung free and rolled his eyes, sitting down across from Willis.
”Pick one." Willis instructed, mixing the three cups up. Thomas gave an impatient sigh and picked the middle one. Willis carefully opened the cup and took out a piece of paper.
”Oooh, this is a love spirit. It says the girl of your life is getting closer to you now. You will find on her a card that says the same thing as I said to you." Willis said, with a look of awe on his face.
Thomas rolled his eyes in annoyance. “It’s just a bunch of crap, as usual." He muttered, climbing into bed.
The next day, Yuri walked along back to her dormitories after a day of music class. Suddenly, a shoulder knocked into hers and immense pain shot through her shoulder bones. It was Thomas. For a moment their eyes met. Yuri stared deep into Thomas's blue eyes and saw something. She wasn't sure what it was, but it looked like a streak of sunlight through all the ice. She stared at him for a long while and he stared back. Yuri couldn't believe that anyone could look so alike in the world. The girl thought of Simon's handsome face, and his wonderful blue eyes, and that he would be standing here right next to her, them still joking and laughing like old times, if he hadn't died in that horrible accident. If it weren't for that other stupid driver, Simon would still be here— a single tear rolled down her cheek and she let it trickle down her chin.
”Why do you always cry whenever you see me, Kowan?" Thomas asked, narrowing his eyes so they looked like slits.
”You remind me of someone," Yuri said vaguely, looking as if in a trance."Someone that meant the world to me, someone who would be here today if that accident hadn't occurred one year ago." Yuri turned on her heels and sped down the hall toward her dormitory.
She hated facing Thomas. She didn't look back to see Thomas staring after her for a long time. Somehow he remembered so clearly the way she looked at him. The way her tears rolled down her cheeks when she looked into her eyes. He slowly felt his heart crack, as if his frozen heart slowly melted.
Why would he care? Yuri thought. Why would he care about me she cried, unless he really is Simon? Before Yuri could go into solutions of how that was possible, something on the ground caught her eye. It was a card that was laying face down. Curiously Yuri picked it up.
”The boy of your life is getting closer." Yuri read the card out loud. The girl smiled wanly. She didn't believe in fortune telling, but all the same Yuri stuffed the card into her pocket, and then went off to her dorm.
Emily Radley sat in music class, her beady eyes focused on Thomas. How she loved his icy glare and his hair was silvery and admirable. The time ticked by slowly as Emily spent thirty minutes staring at the side of Thomas's face. She noticed his glance turn to Yuri several times and the girl's eyes narrowed into a sneer. He never even looked at me; Emily thought angrily, her glint filled with not envy, but jealousy. What's so great about that Yuri girl anyway? Emily had always been known as the princess of beauty to all her schoolmates, and her wealthy background was very commendable most boys' desire was to have Emily as their girlfriend. And yet, Emily thought glumly, the only boy she loved never even showed the slightest interest toward her. But somehow, Emily Radley was going to get what she wanted, even if her father's money couldn't buy it.
Emily took out her most expensive quill and very carefully and slowly slid it into Yuri's schoolbag. The girl glanced around to make sure no one was watching, before she burst into a fit of fake tears. All heads turned to her.
" Miss Radley, what's wrong?" the teacher, Ms. Spinner asked, her chalk breaking in half out of her surprise.
”My quill! My most expensive and precious quill is gone! It was a gift from my grandma, before she died!" Emily sobbed, pretending to look devastated. Everyone began to look around for her pen.
”Everyone, turn your bags inside out." The teacher ordered. Everyone did so obediently. Emily saw with grim satisfaction that Yuri looked dumbstruck when the quill fell out of her backpack.
”Yuri Kowan, how dare you!" Emily cried, pointing a menacing finger at Yuri. “You are a thief!"
Everyone threw loathing looks at Yuri and the teacher scolded her." Miss Kowan, you must understand that thievery is strictly forbidden and will not be tolerated at this school. I will have to report this. Do you have anything to say?"
Yuri looked at Emily in disbelief but did not say anything. Emily sneered at her. “No, this is unacceptable, Ms. Spinner. I will take the punishment," Yuri said after a moment.
Thomas stared at Yuri in astonishment. He saw Emily frame Yuri. Why hadn't she denied it? He thought, bewildered. Long after class was over, Thomas watched Yuri wash the board and scrub the tables. He stood waiting until she was done, then stepped up to her.
”Wanna go for a walk?" he asked quietly. Yuri looked up in surprise.
Yuri and Thomas walked along the sandy beach in silence. They both stared at their feet and the sand, each avoiding the other's eyes carefully. Finally, Thomas broke the silence.
”Why didn't you deny it and speak the truth? Look at your hands, they are blistering and red from all that work, and yet, why did you not tell the truth to avoid such pain?" he asked, finally finding his voice. It was his first time taking a walk with a girl; he never knew it would be so awkward. For a moment, Yuri didn't reply, as if thinking of an answer.
”Emily Radley is not someone you would want to mess with. She is stubborn as a rock and wouldn't give up until she gets her way. If I don't give up, she will think of more ways to accuse me." Yuri replied earnestly." You know, she seems very attracted to you." Yuri added as an afterthought, or perhaps to change the subject.
Thomas's face clouded over instantly." That's none of your business." He said shortly. “I’ve known Emily for long; she is not quite my type."Yuri fell silent.
”It’s getting cold, let's go back inside." Thomas suggested after another moment of silence. Yuri nodded and they started to walk back to the school.
That night Yuri dreamed of Simon again. She dreamed that he had come back to life, and they had reunited already. Her heart was filled with happiness. They were to be wedded. On the happiest day of Yuri's life, just as the moment when Simon was to give Yuri the ring, Emily came up and stabbed her in the back. She felt intense pain and saw Simon fading away— Yuri woke up screaming and sobbing. It was then that she realized she was still in her dormitory, and that Simon was dead. It was close to midnight, and to Yuri's enormous relief Emily had not yet returned. Her thoughts drifted to Simon, and her heart sank. Why did she have to think about him? She thought desperately. All she wanted was Simon's life back.
Just then the dormitory door opened and the figure of a boy came in. Yuri sat up, her eyes slightly unfocused. As her vision slowly cleared, she gasped. It was Simon.
”Yuri, are you alright?" Simon said." I heard you screaming."
Yuri threw her arms around Simon's neck, “Simon, why did you have to leave me like that? You really scared me when the police officer said you died in that crash!" Yuri murmured, hugging him close to her. Her tears were mingled with sweat from her dream, and she held him.
Thomas was totally surprised. Yuri clung onto his neck and broke down completely. He didn't know why he didn't shove her off and snap at her to come back to reality, but he didn't. He just let her hug him and weep.
”How could you leave me like that? Do you know how much I missed you? I thought about you every night, Simon. I love you so much." Yuri wept her voice shattering. Thomas didn't speak.
”Simon, please don't leave me again—" Yuri gasped. Then, to Thomas's astonishment, she pressed her soft lips on his and kissed him softly.
She's in such pain and suffering, Thomas thought sadly. She must've loved Simon with all of her heart. Tears slid rapidly down Yuri's face from her half opened eyes.
Just then Yuri gasped in surprise, realizing who he really was and stop kissing Thomas, “I—I'm so sorry, Thomas." She apologized hastily.
Thomas continued to stare at Yuri." It's alright." He said, beginning to blush." I'd better go now." he said awkwardly.
Yuri blushed and nodded. She draped a robe around her shoulders and escorted Thomas downstairs.
”Can’t tell me who Simon is?" Thomas asked. Yuri looked at him and shook her head sadly.
”I’m afraid not, Thomas," she said quietly." I'm sorry."
Thomas's smile faded." You know, it's better if you stopped living in the shadow of that dead boy!" he said stiffly, his lips pursed in a thin line.
Yuri turned to Thomas in disbelief." How I live my life is my business, not yours!" she snapped.
”Use your mind, if you have any," Thomas shot back." What good is it to live thinking Simon will come back, when he will never!"
The girl felt a fresh wave of tears flow down her face." And what would you know about love, Thomas Vacur?" she snapped coldly."I bet some block of ice like you never loved anyone in your life! How would you know how I loved Simon?"
Thomas didn't answer.
Yuri stared furiously at him for a moment, and then stormed back to her dormitory. She slammed her door shut. Emily had not yet returned. Yuri was glad. She was getting sick of the girl's taunting. Yuri stood fuming for a long time, hot tears stinging her eyes bitterly.
Thomas stood still in the hallway downstairs. Yuri's words hurt him more than he could have ever imagined. He never thought any words could affect him so deeply. But she was right. He didn't know anything about love, until he met Yuri, until today. And he never did love anyone in his life. He didn't know how to love.
Yuri was right Thomas never loved anyone. He had a rough past. Thomas’ parents divorced when he was only a child. His parents were always away and busy. Thomas lived his mother for all he can remember being with a parent. She was an accountant, quite successful. His parents were always busy and because his father was always, the relationship of both parents soon diminishes. That was when they divorced. Soon Thomas was living with his mother and hardly seeing is father at all.
One day Thomas’ father, a businessman, dealt with the wrong people in which he owned a large sum of money to. Because he was in debt and could not pay his dues, he took money from his in-laws. Promising that he would eventually pay them back, Thomas’ father kept asking for money, soon his in-laws refused him. He was desperate, Thomas’ father needed the money or he knew something bad was going to happen to him. His choice was to kill his own in-laws. He found out that his in-laws were not very rich at all and was not able to pay his dues to those people who invested money to his name and because that he was killed.
Mrs. Vacur had sent Thomas under the protection of a friend. Knowing that Thomas’ father put his family in danger, Thomas’ own mother committed suicide by jumping into a lake. Thomas was only five and never experienced the love a parent would give, only that his mother saved him just to protect him.
Thomas lived for twelve years being tortured and enslaved by the couple who he thought was his parents. Then the couple lost everything from a robbery and gave him to Mrs. Vacur's aunt, an elderly woman who was too old to care for him. On her deathbed, she revealed the truth to Thomas who had never known about his real parents. The old lady gave Thomas her small fortune and he attended the orchestra. Aaron Spiel, upon hearing Thomas's tragic life, took no money from him. He never did love. Only carrying a little thankfulness for his mother's aunt; he had spent his eighteen years of life in misery. Nobody could understand the pain and misery he went through. Now he lived with Aaron Spiel and Mr. Spiel's son, Mr. Spiel adopted him. For the last two years, he had lived like a human.
Emily watched silently behind the door. An angry sneer of jealousy formed her mouth and she exhaled deeply, her devious eyes shining with malice toward Yuri.
It was the next day and Yuri was finished with class. The day was stormy and gray, with thunder rumbling in a distance. She was putting her books into her locker when Emily ran speeding toward her.
”Yuri, I don't know who did it! Come!" Emily gasped, panting slightly. Yuri turned curiously and went after Emily.
Emily led Yuri to their dormitory. Yuri opened the door and gasped. Her drawer was flung open, and all her photos with Simon were torn up and it scattered the floor. Tears stung her eyes as she bend to pick the ripped pieces of her photos. Her heart hurt like crazy and she slid onto the floor. Slowly, she felt her breath catch in her throat. She couldn't breathe. Emily sneered behind Yuri's back and quickly dropped a quill down onto the floor, then gasped.
”Look!" Emily cried bending to pick up the pen again as Yuri turned around.
”What is that?" she asked wearily.
”This pen, it's—it's—" Emily stammered.
”Whose is it, Emily? Whose is it?" Yuri demanded, grabbing the pen.
”It’s Thomas'!" Emily said slowly, studying Yuri's face. Her eyes widened in horror and anger. Then Yuri ran out of the room. Emily's lips curled into a sneer.
Yuri burst through Thomas's door to find him studying. His dorm mate Willis was sprawled over his fortune cards. They both looked up in alarm.
”Thomas Vacur!" Yuri shrieked, tears flooding down her cheeks." How dare you do that!”?
"What are you talking about, Yuri?" Thomas asked, looking at her, puzzled.
”Don’t deny it! Yesterday we fought and today I find my room wrecked and Simon's pictures torn up!" she screamed.
”Knew something like that would happen." Willis said.
”Shut up, Willis. Your room wrecked?" asked Thomas, concerned." But who—"
”And guess what I found?" Yuri went on." This!" she threw the quill down onto the floor. Thomas stared at it.
”That is not mine!" he cried, enraged." Yuri, this is false!”
The girl covered her ears." You know what's false? Is why I ever see any good in a horrid person like you!" she snapped, before bolting out the door, leaving Thomas staring after her.
Yuri cried and cried that night. She didn't return to her dormitory, because she knew Emily would be smirking. So Yuri spends the night walking around the area. She was not exactly angry, just heartbroken. She had trusted Thomas with her heart, and also secretly loved him. Yet he did something beyond horrid, and now the shadow of Simon weighed her down even more. How could she have been so gullible and naive?
Just then Yuri felt the same pain strike her as it did when she found her wrecked photos. Her legs suddenly felt weak, and they buckled beneath her. Her energy drained out of her slowly and she fell down. A loud horn threw Yuri out of her pain. She suddenly realized she was kneeling in the middle of the street and a car was roaring down the road. Maybe this is how Simon died, she thought vaguely. A loud honk and a blinding flash of light. Maybe that's it. The car horn honked again but Yuri didn't have the strength to move. White light blinded her and she knew nothing. Her fortune card fell out of her pocket and was crushed by the wheels of the car.
Thomas ran down the dark street, searching frantically for Yuri. He had never felt so worried in his life. His platinum hair flew behind him and he was breathing heavily, but didn't stop. Far away, he heard a honk, but a car was nowhere in sight. A horrible feeling struck his head and he began to run, shouting Yuri's name. But there was no response.
Far ahead, lit by the dim street lights, Thomas saw what seemed like a large obstacle in the middle of the street. He ran closer and saw it was Yuri. There was little blood at the corner of her mouth. Thomas was horrified. He picked up her body and began to run again, ignoring the cramp in his side. He ran faster than he ever had in his life, even holding Yuri. He felt a prickling tear at the corner of his eye, but it didn't fall.
Ambulance sirens screeched as it sped down the road. Inside the ambulance was a Yuri on a stretcher and beside her was Thomas, Aaron Spiel and Emily Radley. The three waited impatiently outside the emergency room. Thomas paced back and forth with a furrowed brow, while Aaron Spiel peered anxiously at the door. Emily sat still as stone, deep in thought. Yuri was now in the emergency room, and it was all something that started out with her. If she hadn't wrecked Simon's photos out of her jealousy, Yuri wouldn't have left and got hit by the car. Damn it, Emily thought. She just had to get hit, didn't she? But she probably knew about Emily anyway. Yuri just wanted Thomas to like her more, that's why she got hit on purpose. And plus, who told her to go outside at night anyway, Emily thought sneeringly. Yes, that was it. Nothing on earth happens just when it’s not supposed to. Life isn't that on target. Emily got angrier as she thought about it. That little witch! She won't get Thomas! Not while Emily Radley is around.
Three hours later the doctor came out to meet them.
”Miss Kowan is in no danger," the doctor replied. Thomas sighed with relief." There is no need to worry her mother. Just a sprained ankle, a slightly twisted back and a few bruises won't kill her. Yuri has been transferred to a regular ward. You may visit her."
Dawn slowly raised and Thomas was nodding off toward the wall. Yuri was still unconscious and he had been with her ever since. Emily and Mr. Spiel had left later during the night.
Yuri began to stir, making Thomas wake with a start. Yuri's eyes slowly fluttered open. She blinked and saw Thomas peering at her, concern written across every syllable of his handsome face.
”Oh, hi," Yuri said stiffly, sitting up. Thomas awkwardly helped her." What are you doing here?"
"I want to talk, Yuri." Thomas said earnestly.
They walked along the pretty hedges of the hospital garden.
”So." They said in unison, both with different attempts.
”You first." Yuri said.
”No, you." Thomas replied politely.
”Have you been with me the whole time?" Yuri asked. Thomas nodded and she sighed." You didn't have to stay."
”Still think I wrecked your photos?" Thomas asked quietly. The girl didn't reply for a long time.
”I guess not. I was so stunned the moment Emily told me it was your quill. And it hurt so much. I guess I blew up at you." She said.
”It’s still true; you can't live in a shadow forever." The boy began cautiously.
”And what would you know?" Yuri said coldly.
”I don't, but it doesn't seem right." Thomas said defiantly.
”And why do you even care?" Yuri snapped, flaring up.
”Because I care about you!" Thomas blurted out, stunned at his own daring. And before he knew what he was doing, he threw his arms around Yuri." I—I love you."
Yuri stood still in Thomas's embrace, stunned. Thomas, loves her? Of all the girls who liked him, he loved her? He was just like Simon, so sincere, so serious. Tears stung her eyes. Not tears of anger or sadness, but somehow tears of surprise and joy. Her arms lingered uncertainly around his waist. She thought she would never love again, but now she realized she was in love with Thomas. And just until now, did she realize that. Yuri tightened her arms around Thomas, and so did he, more confidently. They hugged for a long time, each admiring the other's kindness and happiness, and yet each just as proud and relieved of themselves. Finally they broke apart.
Yuri confessed she was tired, and her twisted back was beginning to hurt, so they returned to the ward. Thomas sat by Yuri, with her in his arms.
”Thomas, do you know which my favorite poem is?" Yuri whispered, her voice tired but happy.
”Tell me." Thomas said soothingly.
”My mother read it to me when I was little. When my father had died to remind me of him, so she chanted this poem often, it's called" Love":
Love is a legend, love is a story.
Love is a feeling, an experience, and a memory.
It's something I can't see;
it’s something just for two.
Yet I feel so special,
when I'm with you.
Through storm and fire,
I feel the strong desire.
Down cliffs and rivers,
so we can be together,
up mountains and hills,
just me and you forever."
Yuri stopped and leaned on Thomas's shoulder.
”That’s lovely." Thomas said." I feel the same way towards you." He smiled.
Minutes passed and Yuri slowly fell asleep. Thomas laid her down and gently kissed her on the forehead, then left.
”Miss Yuri, you can leave today." Dr. Brown informed her." Feeling better?" Dr. Brown was her doctor in London, specified by her mother when she stayed in London before. Dr. Brown was a good close friend to the Kowan family after knowing Yuri’s mother and her family.
"I'm fully recovered, due to your careful treatment. Thank you." Yuri said, packing up her books.
”You know, Mr. Vicar is a fine young man." Dr. Brown said suddenly.
Yuri looked up in surprise." Yes indeed he is."
"Do you really think he can replace Mr. Simon's place in your heart?" the doctor stopped cleaning and looked down at his hands." He will never be Simon, you know. My wife died, and though I've met some fine young women, they will never replace her. Are you really loving him, or just using him as a mere shadow of Simon? If you're just using him, you will hurt him more than you can imagine."
Yuri looked down, too. New that Dr. Brown had mentioned it, she wasn't sure anymore if she wanted Thomas. She didn't want to hurt him and use him merely because he looks like Simon. She can't pretend he is Simon, because he's not. That would be too unfair for him. Yuri suddenly realized she was still standing in the ward. She quickly bid the doctor goodbye and left.
Yuri reached her dormitory thirty minutes later. Emily stood there, glaring at her,” Emily, what—." Emily slapped Yuri across the face.
"You filthy little hag, how dare you get involved with Thomas?" the girl snapped, her face in a frightful glare." I told you to stay away. He's mine. You just like him because he looks like that wretched brother of your Simon!! You have to break up! You're hurting Thomas rather than loving him!" she glared at Yuri, hate in her blazing blue eyes. Yuri was staring intently at Emily, tears in her eyes. They weren't tears from the stinging pain, but from the fact that Emily was right.
”I can give him real love! How can you just come in and break us apart? We were a fine couple before you came in! You're so unfair to me, and to him!" Emily glowered at Yuri, and then stormed out of the room.
”Students, as you all know, “Mr. Spiel's voice came through the loudspeaker.” The annual music dance is to be held in one week. The gym will not be available due to decorating. Please prepare."
Thomas looked eagerly at Yuri. He had gone to the last ball with Emily, but this year he was looking forward to a real nice and romantic time with Yuri. However, she wasn't looking his way, nor was she avoiding his eyes?
After class, Thomas hastened to catch up with Yuri,” Yuri, let's go to the ball together."
He said, taking her hand." It'll be great." But she didn't reply.
”Thomas, I—I don't think I'm going to go." Yuri stammered, to Thomas's surprise." I'm a little ill this week. I think I'm going to rest for a bit." Yuri shook free of Thomas and wacked away, her head bowed.
A few minutes later Emily came up, to Thomas's dismay,” Thomas,” she said sweetly." Since Yuri's not going, are you willing to come again with me?" she batted her eyebrows furiously at him in a kite way.
Thomas stared after Yuri, who was well out of sight already. Then back at Emily, who was looking anxiously at him. He nodded.
Emily's beautiful face broke into a smile." It will be a success." She took his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, then left.
”Yuri, tell me what's wrong." Thomas begged.
”I told you, I'm ill." Yuri replied.
”You’re hiding, I can tell."
Yuri bit her lip, and then turned to him in a matter-of-fact way." Thomas, I don't want to hurt you, OK? I don't know if I really love you, or I'm just seeing Simon through you." She blurted out.
Thomas looked astounded." But I thought—"
”Yes, you thought I love you! I don't know if it's real love, Thomas! Just, please, go with Emily!" Yuri began to tremble uncontrollably. She got up and ran, ran all the way to the dormitory, well out of Thomas's sight.
”Yuri, you have to go to the ball." Emily pleaded a purr in her voice." Go with Randy, he asked you. That way you won't hurt Thomas and you will get to have fun also." Emily reached into her suitcase and pulled out a beautiful dress of red satin. She measured Yuri's body quickly." We're about the same size. Here, this is a dress of mine. It fits you perfectly. You can have it."
Yuri looked at Emily, surprised at her sudden kindness toward her." No, this is too beautiful and acquisitive—" she began, but Emily shoved the dress into Yuri's arms.
”You simply must go, Yuri. I'll wait for you at the ball." Emily said hastily, and left before Yuri could refuse.
The night of the ball was cheerful and wonderful. Finally Yuri gave in to Emily's endless nagging and dressed in the red satin dress. Emily and her crowd of friends were to meet their dates in the gym, but Randy waited for Yuri. Thomas and Emily stood chatting. Thomas had worn a long and handsome black suit and a tie, while Emily wore a red satin dress. The gym was crowded with people, half of them Emily's snobby and popular friends. Thomas's mind kept drifting to Yuri, and twice he had started for the door to go visit her but was stopped by Emily.
Just then his eyes caught on a flash of red that just entered the gym. It was Yuri and Randy, and she was wearing exactly what Emily was wearing. Shocked, Thomas dropped his cookie. Emily noticed too, and suddenly put a hand to her head. She looked a Thomas, who caught her.
”I feel so ashamed, Thomas. Yuri told me she didn't like that dress that it was ugly and a waste of money, yet she goes and buy the exact same one to the ball. I think I'll go back to my dormitory before she sees me." She sped away before Thomas could stop her. He was still staring in stunned silence at Yuri, a look of disbelief and disgust on his face. She had lied to him, and she had lied to Emily. She told him she wasn't coming, and yet she turns up with Randy. What kind of rotten heart does she have?
Two days had passed since the ball, and Thomas refused to speak a word to Yuri. He stayed with Emily, who was beyond happy. She had won replacing Yuri Kowan, finally. Yuri began to feel the horrible pain more often and sometimes she felt weak and tired. She decided to ignore it, but the pains and weakness came more often, so she went for a check-up from Dr. Brown. Yuri waited patiently outside of the examination room while Dr. concluded the results.
He came out two hours later, his face somber and the conclusion paper shook in his trembling hands.
”Yuri, the results were that you have received none other than leukemia." The doctor said.
For a moment, Yuri was sure she had misunderstood him." I—I'm sorry, Dr. Brown?"
"You have caught leukemia, a cancer that affects your blood."
Yuri looked carefully at the doctor to make sure he wasn't joking." M-Maybe you should do the results over again—"
”Yuri, I did it three times already. There is no mistake." The doctor said gravely. “I’m afraid the only way to cure leukemia is to do surgery. But the price is unreasonably high—but I suppose you can always try the medicine."
"I'll take that, then." Yuri said quietly.
The medicine bottle shook in Yuri's hand as she stumbled back to the school. Leukemia? How could it have been this serious? She never imagined it was that bad. What will she do now? Certainly she couldn't afford the operation, but what else is there to do? Maybe, just maybe, Yuri thought, the medicine will cure me. I'll just have to wait and pray she thought.
Thomas glanced uneasily around him. He had a feeling someone had been following him ever since he had left Emily. They had gone to music class together, and then she went off shopping. And he just went for a walk. A dark shadow flickered past again. Thomas spun quickly, but there was nobody in sight. Damn it, his thought escaped again. He moves really quickly. He was just about to turn when the culprit lunged out at him. Thomas yelled in surprise but ducked just in time. The shadow fell a few feet before him but got up quick as a flash. It was Randy. Randy pulled out a gun and pointed it at Thomas.
Yuri returned from the hospital, her ears pounding slightly.
" You will not live for long," Dr. Brown's words rung in her ears." If you don't do the operation, there is a chance that you will die shortly. And even the operation can only extend your life span and not fully cure it."
Yuri was immersed in her thoughts when a deadly voice reached her ears.
”I am son of the one of the men your father worked for, your filthy father's boss." It was Randy's voice! Yuri quickly ducked behind a building to listen to the conversation.
”My father came?" Thomas's surprised voice.
”Your father, Marcus Vucar, was a filthy piece of crap. He stole money from my father when he was broke. He deserved to be killed. Now my father is dead, and yet I'm the only one who remains loyal to my father." Randy held out the gun.
Yuri clapped her hand over her mouth in horror. She reached quietly into her purse and pulled out her cell phone. Glancing uneasily at them to see what Randy was doing, she dialed 911 and gave them the address. The police said they would be there shortly.
She turned back to Randy, but Thomas was talking now,” I never knew my father, and I don't have one either." He said coolly, glowering at Randy.
”For years I have followed you just to kill you. And now, to get rid of you."
Yuri gasped. She heard sirens, but Randy seemed not to notice. Yuri ran to see the police cars. Officers leapt out and they ran back to Randy and Thomas.
Half way there, Yuri heard a blast; no doubt Randy had pulled the trigger. There was a muffled yell and Yuri's heart stopped.
”Yuri," Dr. Brown informed Yuri, who was waiting outside of the emergency room anxiously." The situation is grim. Thomas was shot severely in the stomach and a whole part of his liver is ruined. The only way to help him is for someone to transfer part of their liver to him. But—"
”I’ll do it." Yuri said instantly.
Dr. Brown sighed." I was afraid you would say that. But you have to understand that you have leukemia and if you transfer your liver, or part of it to Thomas, it will shorten your life span." He said.
”Please, Dr. Brown... Please, I have to help him!" Yuri begged.
The doctor sighed." Well, alright. I see you truly love him."
"Please don't tell him I did it." Yuri said. The doctor looked astonished.
”But why would you not want him to know of your love for him?" he asked.
Yuri looked away." I have hurt him enough. I don't want him to know that I sacrificed part of me. He'll regret and feel bad for the rest of his life. Just say that you cured him, please."
The doctor sighed for the third time." Well alright. If you are so stubborn about it. Come to the operation room."
The next day Yuri's operation had been completed successfully. Thomas was still unconscious but Yuri was awake and getting ready to leave.
”Thank you, Dr. Brown. Please don't tell Thomas. Take good care of him." She said.
Just then the door opened and Thomas entered. His face was pale and tired. Yuri gasped and shut herself quickly in the closet in the doctor's office.
”Thomas, what are you doing up from bed?" she heard Dr. Brown ask.
”I’m alright, Dr. Thank you. I expect I will be able to leave in a few days?" Thomas asked. Yuri thought his voice was more hoarse and strained than usual.
Suddenly she felt pain rapidly streaming through her bones and muscles. Her whole body felt immensely weak and rubbery. Her vision was turning from black to normal and to black again repeatedly. Unable to control her, Yuri fell with a loud thud. Thomas, who was heading out the door, turned. But Yuri was saved by Dr. Brown,”Oh, damn it; it must be the books in my closet again. And I just restacked them!" he said exasperatedly.
Thomas smiled wanly and left. Yuri began to cry. She wanted Thomas to know she loved him, but she didn't want to hurt him anymore. The doctor helped her out and let Yuri cry.
”Hi, mother. How are you?" Yuri said into the phone. It was night back at the dormitory and she was calling her mother.
”I’m fine, Yuri, dear." Susan Kwan’s voice replied." And you?"
" I'm—" Yuri considered for a moment to tell her mother about her situation, but decided against it." I'm alright, mother. Can I ask you if you could ever forget father?" she asked quietly.
”No, Yuri, I will not forget your father ever." Mrs. Kowan answered." I will not, and I cannot. Because once someone is deep in your heart, you will never be able to forget him."
Yuri felt tears roll down her cheek." Thanks, Mother." She whispered." I'll talk to Thomas then." She added vaguely, before she knew what she was doing.
”Thomas who?" Susan Kowan suddenly demanded.
”Him?" cried Mrs. Kowan to Yuri's great surprise." You have to break up. You cannot be with him."
"Why? Do you know him mother?"
”N-No, well yes, Yuri. I'll fax an article to you right now, and then you'll understand."
They chatted for a while longer, and then Yuri hung up. She watched the fax machine as an article was printed out. She read it, and gasped, "December 28th, 2001
Mr. Leon Spiel came to Sacramento for some meetings he had to attend in the name of his father, Mr. Aaron Spiel. It was then that he lost his young life. Late in the night of December 14th, his car had collided with that of Simon Kwan’s, and he was sent directly to the hospital. Simon Kowan was killed instantly after the crash. Leon had received a severe bump in the head and a variety of cuts, but no big danger, and was sent back to London, England two days later, where he lived with his father and stepbrother, adopted Thomas Vacur. However, four days later, it was said he developed tumor from a bump in his head and died a week later.”
Yuri looked up, stunned. So it was Thomas's brother who had killed Simon. Leon had killed Simon. Thomas was as good the murderer of her brother.
Thomas bumped headlong into Yuri after music class the next day. She looked up at him firmly.
"Yuri, let's not break up." Thomas, said, grabbing her arm.
She looked up at him and saw a look; he wasn't quite sure what, glistering in her eyes.
“I’m sorry, Thomas. We were never meant to be together. We can never be together, either." She said. She swung free of him and walked away. As she did, a piece of white fax paper fell out of her bag. Thomas picked it up and read. As he did, his eyes widened in horror and he understood. His brother had killed Simon, the person Yuri had loved most in her life.
"Father, how did Leon die?" Thomas asked Aaron Spiel.
The man stopped in his tracks and looked at Thomas in surprise." Why do you ask?" he asked sharply.
“Tell me!" Thomas exclaimed.
”He died with cancer, don't you know?" Aaron Spiel said.
”He killed Simon Kowan, Yuri's brother, and then developed tumor from the crash, right?" Thomas cried.
His father froze." How did you find out?"
Thomas shoved the letter in his father's face. He read it and sighed.
”I knew how much you love Yuri; I didn't want you to know." Mr. Spiel said.
”How did things become this way?" Thomas yelled." Why is all of this so unfair? Now she will hate me forever. I am the brother of Simon's murderer!"
Meanwhile Yuri was back in her dormitory, her cell phone held tightly in her hand. She hesitantly dialed Simon's beach house number. Yuri waited for the four rings to pass, then Simon's voice: “Please leave a message.”
”Simon," Yuri whispered into the receiver, her voice choked with misery." I haven't called you in a long time. How are you? I am in love with the brother of your murderer. I can't control my emotions, Simon. You had always been a good resource. Please help me." Yuri paused, so her tears would not spill. She swallowed, and then went on." Help me, Simon. I don't know if I should love him or not. Mother said a person who is deep in your heart is unforgettable. That person was you, but I'm not sure if Thomas has replaced you or not— please help me decide—" Yuri's voice trailed off as she broke down completely. She felt pain burn her muscles and drain out her energy, and she squinted in her pay. The telephone receiver fell out of her hand and crashed to the ground. The power button hit the floor and the phone shut off. Yuri slumped onto the floor and clutched her chest, wincing in pain. She crawled to her bed and climbed in.
How long she slept, Yuri didn't know. But it was break, so she didn't have to worry about school. When she woke up, the sun was shining through the curtains. She still felt weak, but didn't feel any pain. Yuri got up and dressed, and was about to leave when there was a knock on her door. Yuri opened it and found Thomas standing at the doorway.
”Oh, hello." Yuri said quietly. Thomas studied her.
”Yuri, you look terrible." He said, concerned. He reached out to touch her face, but stopped." Uh—I just want to tell you that Mr. Spiel has appointed me to go study in France, and—and—" he stopped and looked down." And, well, I just wanted to tell you." He turned to walk away.
Yuri felt her heart break again. Thomas was going to leave her. What should I do? She thought desperately. He was going right now, maybe leaving me forever, just like Simon. Before Yuri could decide, she ran up and hugged Thomas around the waist. He stopped moving and stood still.
”Thomas, I love you!" Yuri whispered her tears falling and she laid her head on the back of his shoulder. She tightened her arms around him.
Thomas felt the prickling feeling at the corner of his eye again, but he didn't let the tear fall. He laid his hands on hers.
Thomas and Yuri walked along the sandy beach, their bare feet crashing with the waves.
”I’m sorry, Yuri." Thomas said after a moment of silence.
”It's ok... It's not your fault." Yuri said quietly, shifting her feet." And plus, it's already in the past. You're right, I can't live in the past and shadow forever." She felt a sudden gust of wind hit her insides and closed her eyes and waited for it to go away.
”I leave the day after tomorrow. My stuff's packed already." Thomas said awkwardly. Yuri took his hand.
”Thomas, when will you come back?" she asked.
”In a year." He replied.
Yuri thought how long and painful that period of time would be without him. Then tell him not to go, he'll listen, part of her brain was saying. She opened her mouth but the other half of her brain restrained her. No! If you want him to be happy, think for him, think for his career. This is very important to him, let him go. She suddenly felt weak and her stomach churned with pain. Yuri put her hand over her stomach and she knelt down, still holding Thomas's hand. Her weight pulled him back.
”What’s wrong, Yuri?" he asked.
”I-I slipped and I fell." Yuri said before she could stop herself. It was the latest lie she'd ever told. Thomas laughed and pulled her up.
“Good luck there, Thomas. I'll wait for you to return." Yuri said, squeezing his hand. He squeezed her hand in return to show his appreciation. Yuri felt her stomach churn again and she flinched. Thomas put his hand around her waist and she felt better. Her vision was clearing and blurring again.
”Thomas, its cold. I think I'll go rest now." Yuri said.
”I’ll walk you to your dorm." Thomas offered.
”How could you let him go?" Emily screamed, pointing a finger at Yuri.
”I let him go because it was his wish." Yuri said sincerely, sitting down on her bed.
"Yuri Kowan! How dare you say you give him true love?" Emily shouted." If I were you, I would not leave him! If I were you, I would always be at his side! If I were you—"
”Emily, you're only thinking of what you want. How could you be so selfish?" Yuri asked, taking a step toward Emily." How could you say you truly love him? Have you ever considered what he wants? You think about what you want him to do! Not what he wants for himself!" she stopped and for once glared back and stared firmly back at her. Emily sneered.
”There are many ways to love. You always think you do everything for the best. Not always your ways are the best. And just because I don't want him to leave doesn't mean I don't truly love Thomas!" Emily turned on her heels and stormed out.
”Thomas, please don't go to France!" Emily begged. She and Thomas were in an empty classroom." I'm your girlfriend, please don't leave me!" she hugged Thomas.
”Emily, I'm sorry, but I have to go." Thomas said." Even Yuri—"
”Then let's gets married and I'll go with you!" Emily went on, trying to stop Thomas from mentioning Yuri's name.
”What are you talking about, Emily?"
”Why is that girl so much better than me to you?" Emily screamed." If today Yuri said this to you instead of me, would you say yes?"
”I’m not going to answer that question."
”Because Yuri would never be so unreasonable!"
Emily burst into tears." So loving you, not wanting to lose you is being unreasonable? Fine, go to France! I don't care!" she ran out, sobbing.
”Thomas, take care." Yuri said. They had arrived at the terminal to France. “Remember, I'll wait for you."
Thomas nodded." Emily came to me yesterday and said loads of nonsense. She didn't want me to leave."
Yuri forced a laugh." Well, I don't either. But you're coming back."
They said their goodbyes and Thomas turned toward the departing gate. Yuri stood gazing after him. She didn't want him to go; she wanted to call for him to come back. Pain struck Yuri worse than ever as she watched Thomas step into the terminal gateway. Thomas, don't go, she whispered in her heart, her forced-back tears flooding out of her eyes. Thomas, please don't go, I need you. Yuri felt her vision turning white from the light and she placed a hand on her head to steady herself. Thomas, come back... Please don't leave me. Come back. But the airplane had taken off. She watched the plane's wheels lift from the ground and Thomas was gone. Yuri felt pain torturing her. She coughed and coughed. And felt something on her hand. Slowly, Yuri lifted her hand from her mouth. It was blood. She had coughed blood.
Yuri stumbled back to her dormitory to find Emily waiting for her,” You let him go?" she whispered, her voice hoarse from crying. She rounded on Yuri." Why did you let him go?" she raised a fist and punched Yuri across the face. Yuri didn't move. She stood numbly still. Emily screamed and out of the dormitory, sobbing and screaming. Yuri fell onto her bed.
For the next three weeks Yuri coughed blood often, and it was harder to hide her leukemia. She often tired and skipped half her classes. Once she even almost fainted in class. Thomas phoned every week, cheerfully saying that he was doing well. Yuri cried every time he phoned, but hid it from him. She couldn't bear to end his happiness.
Emily wandered into the hospital for her annual health exam. She had just seen Dr. Slath, her private physician, and was informed that she was still healthy as ever. She was just walking past the cancer hallway when she heard Yuri's voice.
”Dr. Brown, I have been coughing blood often. Does this mean anything?" Yuri was asking. Emily froze, and hid behind the door to listen.
”Yuri, I'm sorry. Your leukemia is getting worse. I'm afraid you will not live for another two months." Dr. Brown said.
Emily gasped silently. So that was why Yuri was looking so pale lately, she thought. Tears of regret welled up in her eyes. How horrible, Yuri had leukemia, and she was dying! But she's so young, only not even seventeen! Emily thought tearfully. Bearing all that pain and torture, she still let Thomas go. She still only thought for Thomas and not herself. She truly loved Thomas. I could never do what she did, Emily thought. I don't deserve Thomas. And now she was dying, and Thomas is not even by her side.
”I understand." Yuri said." Thank you, Dr. Brown."
She was about to leave when Dr. Brown stopped her,” Is Mr. Vacur not here?" he asked.
”He went to France," Yuri said sadly.
”But why did you let him go when you needed him most?" the doctor asked.
”It’s what he wanted." Yuri answered." I know I can't be with him forever anymore. I don't want him to know and freak. I want everything to stay normal. He's happy right now, and I don't want to ruin it. I want him to be forever happy, even after I die. To marry Emily and have children. A boy who is just as handsome as him and a girl who is just as pretty Emily—"
Emily bolted out of the hallway, unable to bear it anymore. She slid down the wall and sobbed out loud. How could she have been so horrible to Yuri? She put her head on her knees and wept unashamedly. Her eyes caught on a pay phone in front of her. She sat up and picked it up, shoving some coins into it. Thomas had to come back, he has to come back and be with Yuri. They belonged together. She held the phone close to her ears and dialed Thomas' number. It rang three times before he picked it up.
Thomas picked up the phone. “Hello?"
”Thomas, this is Emily," a hoarse, sad voice of Emily.
”You have to come back to London as soon as possible." She said.
Thomas was a little annoyed at Emily's stubbornness." Listen, Emily. I can't just leave right now. Listen, I can't come back, for the last time—"
”It’s about Yuri." Emily interrupted. She began to cry." You have to come back to her right now. She—she—"
”What’s wrong with Yuri? Emily, what’s wrong with her?" Thomas demanded, beginning to panicky.
”She’s ill with leukemia. The doctor says she can't live more than two months!" Emily's voice sobbed into the receiver. Thomas hung up.
He felt his heart stop. Yuri was sick she was dying. How could he leave her? At the airport, her look was pleading him to stay with her and yet he still left, still let her down, disappoint her, like he did so many times before. Thomas went into his black car and raced towards the airport to catch the earliest possible flight back to London.
Yuri walked down the hallway of the school. She was going to die soon and never would she be able to see Thomas ever again. He left, she had left her. She was afraid he would leave her just like Simon did, but she was going to leave him soon instead. She was going to make Thomas endure all the pain she had gone through. Yuri didn't want to die she wanted to be with Thomas forever.
Suddenly immense pain shot through her body. Her veins, bones and muscles felt as if they were on fire. She felt her vision blind her again and this time her head spun. She knew she was going to die. Die right in the middle of the hallway. Die in front of all her schoolmates. Die without a last look at Thomas. Her legs finally gave away beneath her. Her books fell with a loud thud onto the marble floor and she fell with her books. Everyone in the hallway turned to look at her. The moment she hit the floor Yuri's eyes closed and she lay still.
Thomas ran all the way out of the airport. He waved frantically for a cab and climbed in. They drove halfway when the cab broke down so Thomas ran the rest of the way. His hair flew out behind him and him felt sweat of panic trickle down his forehead. Yuri was waiting for him in the hospital she was still alive and waiting for him. He had to see her. He could see her pale face wincing in pain and she was crying and gasping suffering immensely. Thomas quickened his pace. Emily was waiting outside the hospital. Tears stained her white face and her expression was blank.
”Emily, where's Yuri?" he asked grabbing her shoulders. Emily didn't reply for a minute just sobbed silently.
”Thomas, she's in the emergency room right now. Dr. Brown said she got worse. She fainted in the hallway. He reckons she could not live over three weeks." Emily said numbly, before breaking down completely.
Thomas stumbled back, stunned. He felt his ears pounding, and before he knew it he bolted toward the emergency room.
”Yuri!" he shouted, frantically trying to burst in. Aaron Spiel and another doctor held him back. Thomas fought desperately, yelling Yuri's name, but couldn't free himself.
”Thomas, calm down!" Mr. Spiel ordered, gripping his son's shoulders and shook it hard.
”How can I calm down?" Thomas yelled." Yuri's laying in the emergency room, dying! How can you expect me to calm down?"
"You're not helping Yuri being this way! Calm down!"
Thomas looked at his father wearily,” Father, I just want Yuri back! I just want her back—" Aaron Spiel clasped a hand on Thomas's back.
Thomas is first to see Yuri, as she lies on the bed. He sits right by her, holding Yuri’s hand," Yuri Kowan, you are the meanest person in the entire universe," Thomas replied his voice quiet and soothing."We said we would be together, we promised each other we would never part. How could you be so cruel to me? How could you do this to me?" He hit her playfully and gently though there was nothing to play about. He felt a tear at his eyes, but still he didn't let it fall.
Thomas said,” How could you make me worry about you like this. In France, I think about you every day, and now you hurt me like this. Yuri Kowan, you're horrible. How could you make me go through all the pain you went through for Simon?" Thomas paused to swallowing his pain.
The ward was silent, and Yuri still remained motionless. Thomas was unable to say anything bad anymore. He put his head face-down by Yuri's cold hand." Yuri, I love you. And for our love, please wake up!" he wanted to cry, but somehow he just couldn't, maybe he just couldn't, or perhaps he just thought it wasn't the right time." I've changed everything for you already, please wake up for me."
Moments ticked by, then a soft murmur arose from Yuri, “Thomas…Thomas…"
Yuri was calling his name softly, her voice in a hoarse whisper. Thomas raised his head in disbelief. Yuri was slowly stirring. She closed her hand gently around Thomas's." Take me to the beach, Thomas." Her voice was hardly above a whisper, and her lips were colorless.
“Alright." Thomas said soothingly. He very gently picked up the fragile girl.
Thomas carried Yuri along the beach her face against his. Their foreheads touched fondly,” Why didn't you tell me?" Thomas asked, watching her black hair blow around him.
”I’m sorry, Thomas." Yuri whispered. Her voice was tired and soft, and she felt tears slid silently down her cheeks." I don't want to die, Thomas."
Thomas lay Yuri down carefully and sat down next to her on a large rock. Her skirt fluttered around her feet and the sun blinded her slightly on the windy December day.
”I don't either, Yuri." Thomas said, wiping her tears away.
”Thomas, I know I won't be able to live long," Yuri said quietly." Let our hearts connect forever. No matter what happens, I'll always be there for you. No matter what happens, our hearts will always be together, ok?"
Thomas looked at her fondly, his platinum hair whipping out behind him. He nodded and placed his hands being him on the cold rock.
”Look at the ocean, its violent today." He said.
”Yes, I love the ocean. It's sometimes calm, but other times so violent and unsure, just like our love." She turned to Thomas." Thomas, my heart will never leave you." She closed her eyes, and so did he. They both leaned forward in unison, and kissed very gently. Thomas placed his hand on Yuri's cold face and put his fingers through her layer of soft black hair like a comb. They kissed in front of the roaring ocean under the pale sunset.
”Thomas, can you sing me a lullaby?" Yuri said quietly. They were back at school in Thomas's dormitory. Yuri was laying Thomas's arms, because she didn't want to go back to the hospital. Thomas had been with her every second. Aaron Spiel had called Mrs. Kowan. Even though Yuri objected to it, Mr. Spiel insisted that her mother be with her.
“I don't know any lullabies, Yuri, but I have a poem. It's called 'Together'. Here is how it goes:
I'll hold your hand and help you stand,
when you need me.
I'll truly love you and be your eyes,
when you are blind.
I'll help you find your way and be your compass,
when you are lost.
I'll keep you warm and be your blanket,
when you are cold.
But I believe when we're together,
we can accomplish whatever.
We will hold hands,
with nothing to worry,
And nothing to hide.
We can be together,
just me and you forever."
"That is a beautiful poem, Thomas." Yuri murmured sleepily, her eyelids felt heavy. She put her head onto his shoulder and murmured." Can you do all that for me?"
Thomas kissed her on the cheek." Of course I can. I would do anything for you. Remember, our hearts are connected." He hugged her tightly.
”I’ll remember…" Yuri's voice trailed off and she fell into a deep slumber.
”Yuri!" Mrs. Kowan burst through the door and ran up to her daughter, a duffel bag clinging limply out of her hand. She studied her daughter. Yuri looked so pale, so weak and fragile. She stroked her daughter's face and hugged her tightly.
”Hi, Mother." Yuri said. Mrs. Kowan began to sob." Mother, what's wrong?"
"Oh, my dear, what happened?" Mrs. Kowan said. Yuri felt pain shoot through her body and her body felt cold.
” It’s alright, Mother." Yuri managed to choke out. Her muscles were weakening again.
”Yuri look at you. You've grown so much skinnier!" her mother put her arms around Yuri, but turned to Thomas." Thomas, dear. Thank you for taking care of my little girl." She said, tears in her eyes. Thomas nodded.
“Yuri, you should go back to the hospital. You will take the operation." Mrs. Kowan insisted. Thomas and Mrs. Kowan escorted her to the hospital, where they filled in papers for the operation.
"Mrs. Kowan, go and rest for a while. I'll take care of Yuri." Thomas offered. The lady smiled wanly.
“Alright, I'll go wait outside while you two chat." She said, patting his shoulder. Thomas sat down next to Yuri, and she grabbed his hand.
”Thomas, I'm scared. I don't want to have surgery," She said, her eyes frightened.
Thomas took her in his arms and gave her a kiss on the cheek." I'll be right next to you, Yuri. Don't worry." He said gently.
”I’m afraid of dying," Yuri confessed." Everyone thinks I'm so noble and brave. But nobody understands how scared I am inside. I don't want to die." She began to tremble slightly. Thomas hugged her tighter.
”Everything will be OK." He soothed and looked right into her eyes. He hugged her for a long time, until she spoke." Thomas, go. Go get some rest." She said.
Thomas smiled and nodded. Yuri noticed dark shadows under his blue eyes and he did not harden his platinum hair with gel today. Yuri watched him leave, and her heart began to hammer with fear. She was so scared, she was so afraid of death. She sat up and put her head against her knees, crying into the dark. She felt so lonely, so lost…
The door to the ward opened and Emily stepped in. She was crying as well, “You called Thomas, Emily. Thank you." Yuri said through her sobs. Emily nodded and hesitantly hugged Yuri." I'm so sorry!" she whispered.
Yuri hugged her back." Emily, I'm so scared. I don't want to have operation. I don't want to!"
Emily held Yuri's head gently." Yuri, be brave, not for me. Not for Thomas, but for yourself." She encouraged. Both girls wept out their long time sorrow. For how long, neither knew, but it made them both feel better.
”Thomas, Mrs. Kowan Emily, Yuri's conditions has worsened." Dr. Brown said." There is no hope, and she can't have the operation anymore. We have arranged for your last visits." He walked away to his office. Mrs. Kowan fell back onto the bench tears flooding down her cheeks.
Emily gasped and Thomas shook his head before turning on his heels and racing out of the hospital. He ran with all his might until he stumbled and couldn't run anymore. He put his hands on the fountain in front of him and stared at his reflection. They were so close to extending Yuri's life span. Now she was going to die. He could not keep his promise and be with her forever. Thomas threw back his head and shouted into the December night sky.
Mrs. Kowan and Emily sat by Yuri's bedside. The air was filled with misery, and even the weather was mourning. The wind howled and it began to rain, the tears of god.
”Yuri, please wake up," Mrs. Kowan sobbed." Mother is sorry, I owe you so much. I wasn't able to protect you, just like I couldn’t protect Simon and you father. Why am I so useless…?”
”Mrs. Kowan, I beg you to stop being this way." Emily said." Yuri doesn't need us to sob over her right now. She needs encouragement."
”You’re right, Emily." Mrs. Kowan said. She turned back to Yuri." Yuri, look at all who love you so much. Look around. Open your eyes, sit up, and look around. We all love you so much, please wake up!"
But despite all their talk, Yuri remained motionless and lifeless.
It was seven o'clock in the morning in the ward. Nobody except the patient was in the ward. The clock struck seven and the patient's fingers moved very slightly. Her eyelids twitched and fluttered open, like a butterfly spreading its wings. Yuri sat up very slowly. The last time she was conscious she coughed blood and couldn't breathe. But now her breath was back. She got up slowly and walked along the hallway, and for some reason she was glad of the eerie silence and peacefulness. The hallways were empty and Yuri went down to the beach. She bent down before the rock she had sat with Thomas on and took out a piece of chalk. Very slowly, because her hand shook from weakness, Yuri wrote the words: Yuri and Thomas Forever. Then she sat down on the rock to gaze at the churning ocean.
“Dr. Brown, where is Yuri?" Thomas demanded. The doctor turned, startled.
”She’s not in the ward?"
”No, I went to the ward, but it was empty." Thomas replied, beginning to panic. He turned to go search for Yuri, but Dr. Brown grabbed his arm.
”She truly loves you." The doctor said." You never knew how much. That time you got shot, it was she who gave you part of her liver. She did it even though she knew that if she did so, her life span will shorten. She saved you, not me. Go find her."
Thomas swung free of the doctor, shocked. So it was Yuri who had saved him. If I weren't for Yuri, he would be dead. If it weren't for him, Yuri would be able to live longer today. It was his fault. Thomas bolted out the hospital gates toward the beach, where he assumed she was. And he was right. Far away on a rock, a figure in blue was seated. He ran up to her and froze three feet away from her. She turned and gazed back at him. They stared at each other for a moment, and then Thomas, for the first time in his life, started to cry. He ran up and hugged Yuri to him. He kissed her cheek and her forehead, the tears he had been holding back his whole life spilled.
”Yuri why did you have to save me?" Thomas cried, tears streaming down his pale face." I'm so sorry!"
Yuri lay in his embrace." Don't be, Thomas. If I hadn't saved you, my happiness wouldn't have lasted." She said, silent tears pouring down her face.
He hugged her like he could never let go, as she lay on his lap. Yuri felt suddenly immense pain penetrate her body and she flinched. Her energy was all drained out and her lips were colorless and dry.
”I love you, Thomas." She whispered.
”I love you, Yuri." Thomas said. He could feel her energy drain and he knew she was dying. More tears leaked out of his eyes.
”Remember the time when we first met? You were really mean to me." Yuri said.
Thomas nodded." And the time when you kissed me on accident."
"When our eyes first met."
"When we first broke up."
"When we first kissed," Yuri's voice got softer as she spoke. Thomas held her tighter.
”Thomas, remember the poem I read to you?"
”I remember every word."
”Can you tell me it?" Yuri asked. Thomas nodded, tears flooding his eyes again. Yuri smiled faintly and began to clap as she chanted. Thomas joined in:
Love is a legend, love is a story.
Love is a feeling, an experience, and a memory.
It's something I can't see;
it’s something just for two.
Yet I feel so special,
when I'm with you.
Through storm and fire,
I feel the strong desire,
Down cliffs and rivers,
so we can be together,
up mountains and hills,
just me and you forever."
They stopped together. Yuri's arms felt heavy, and she managed a soft laugh as she struggled to keep her eyes open.
”Thomas, now let's read your poem you wrote:
I'll hold your hand and help you stand,
when you need me,
I'll truly love you and be your eyes,
when you are blind.
I'll help you find your way and be your compass,
when you are lost.
I'll keep you warm and be your blanket,
when you are cold."
Yuri's voice trailed off. And she struggled to finish the poem.
"But I believe when we're together,
we can accomplish whatever.
We will hold hands…
With… nothing… to… worry…"
Yuri stopped clapping and chanting. Her hands fell onto her lap and her head rolled to the side and against Thomas's shoulder. Thomas felt tears penetrate his eyes but he did not stop. He continued chanting and clapping and finished the poem.
“And nothing to hide.
We can be together,
just me and you forever."
Thomas looked down at Yuri, but she had died. He felt pain strike the middle of his heart and cupped her head in his hands, “Yuri, I'll be your compass and blanket! I'll be your anything! Yuri, please don't go! Yuri!! ," he held her head and shouted more tears streaming down his cheeks.
A huge wave crashed against the rock and the letters: Yuri and Thomas Forever were washed away by that wave, along with Yuri's life. Yuri Kwan died on December 14th, exactly two years after her brother's death.
Thomas stood by the ocean. It was three months after Yuri's death. He glared at the ocean, tears now falling boldly down his cheeks. He had promised Yuri they would be together forever, and he had decided that if she couldn't stay with him, he would go to her. He took a step into the cold ocean…and another…and another…
Three years later Emily Radley and her husband Thomas Vacur watched their infant son crawl in his play pen. Thomas was saved by Emily, but he had lost his memory when he tried to drown. Emily gazed at her happy family. She was filled with joy at what was given to her today, and she would never forget Yuri Kowan, the girl who gave her all she had today. Far away, they heard an orchestra playing the song of love.
Emily said out in to the ocean as the song about love played, “Yuri Kowan, you will always be Thomas' girl,