She couldn’t believe what has happened, or the reason why she was here. An old friend found her number and got a hold of her, even though she had practically fell off map and disappeared a long time ago. But she was glad he found her and told her what she needed to know. That friend was Pepe; and…
Pepe struggled to open his eyes and gave her a weak smile.
"Took you long enough, Vivi," he told her in a almost joking tone.
"I’m glad you came when I was able to see you."
His voice low raspy but there was an attempt to sound alive.
"Well, finding a ticket was a pain in the ass." she said, giving him a small smile " but I made it."
She wasn’t sure what to say, ‘sorry I fell off the face of the earth and abandoned you?’ or ‘sorry I never called you but hey at i’m here at death bed.’ All she could say was
"How are you feeling, Pep?"
Pepe chuckled for a second then began to cough. He had it under control though.
"My vision should be leaving any day soon," he told her, "I can’t use my legs after my most recent panic attack… My arms can barely move but I can talk-" he began coughing again, "but-but enough about me. What have you been up to these fifteen years?"
Pepe’s eyes looked at her every move. His arm motioned her to grab the seat next to his bed and scoot it closer so he could hold her hand.
Vivian smiled and took the seat next to him and genitally grabbed his hand, noticing it was colder than she remembered.
she sighed ” Running away from my responsibility’s, you know, the usual.” She looked down “I’m sorry… I was having some issues… I was stressed and scared. I thought the best way of dealing with it was to run away and pretend they didn’t exists. But all I ended up doing was hurting you and everyone I loved. I felt so guilty… and I was such a coward. I couldn’t come back to face you.” she was trying hard to hold back tears. 15 years worth of guilt flooded back to her in that moment. her grip tightens on his hand “Now you’re dying and I wasted 15 years hiding from you.” she looked up to him with tears in her eyes ” I’m so sorry that I ran away everyone. I was such an idiot for leaving you. I’m sorry.” now tears were streaming down her face, unable to hold them back.
"Vivian," he said softly blinking several times as things began to become blurry.
"It’s okay. I don’t feel any anger towards you. Please don’t cry," he told her squinting and pulling her hand to his other do he could wipe her tears. His eyes were starting to fail on him.
"I did not tell I’m sick so you could feel guilty. I invited you because you’re the only person I know who is alive. My mother and step-mother died about eight years ago and I am all alone. I just wanted you to be here so I could see you-" he began coughing then gasped for air before calming back down. "Ow," he complained as if it was just a sore muscle when really it was a burning fire in his body and a massive headache.
"I just wanted to tell you that I loved you. I still love you… I don’t want you to cry…" Pepe told her with a blank state since all had now gone black. He held her hand and sighed, his eyes closed so the migraine wouldn’t become greater.
"I love you too." Vivian said as he held his hand to her face "I missed you so much." she took a deep breath and composed herself again " When I was gone… I wanted to come back to you so many times… but i didn’t." She looked over to him and saw that is eyes were shut, like he was fighting off the pain. She ran her hand through his hair, still soft like she remembers.
"But, I’m glad you found me, Pepe." she said "I’m not going anywhere now." She then leaned over and kissed him gently.
Pepe leaned into her touch.
"You’re always so gentle," he whispered quietly.
When she kissed his dry lips, he gasped at the sudden touch.
"You’re always taking my breath away," he mumbled staring at the direction she was. "I want to let you know that you’re the last image these eyes saw…." He admitted that he could not see anymore.
She pulled away from him, still holding his hand. .He was so weak and sick, so unlike what he was before. She had to ask the question that’s been nagging her “what happened Pepe?”
Pepe sighed and let his head hang.
"I was exposed to something at work a couple years back. I progressively got worse by the year. I was searching for a way out of this mess but there was nothing. Poison is slowly shutting down my senses. I haven’t been able to smell since last September, Now my vision then my brain is becoming slower."
Pepe began to breath heavily before coughing again.
"It’s not contagious, I promise."
"God." she said, growing even more upset. His life was cut short by a poison and is going out in the most painful way possible. She couldn’t even imagine how much pain he was in, yet he was still strong. That was something she always admired about him, even under the most dire circumstances, he was always so strong.
"hold on." She said, she wanted to try something. She slowly climbed into bed next to him to where she laid next to him on her side, her face next to his. She held his hand with their fingers interlocked " Is this alright, or is it uncomfortable?" she asked