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15 August 2008 @ 08:56 pm
fic - little girls and dandelion chains - house, m.d.  
Title: Little Girls and Dandelion Chains
Author: Carlee [loudxmusic] in onmybreaht
Prompt: Prompt #9 at cuddy_fest - Cuddy's favorite patient
Genre: Angst? I guess.
Rating: G
Spoilers: None
Word Count: 810
Characters/Ships: Cuddy
Disclaimer: Not mine

After a while, things about that room became familiar… Comforting. The faint whistle of the air conditioner, the steady beep of the heart monitor, the sound five o’clock traffic outside the window. And, Rebecca Abrahams. With her peach-fuzz hair from nearly six years of chemotherapy and bright blue eyes, her face is practically engraved into your memory.

It was never your authoritative responsibility to walk through the sliding glass doors of Oncology room 6A, but you did it everyday. She would tell you all the details about her afternoon walk with one of the nurses, or how she colored perfectly inside the lines. You’d always sit, smile, and nod, and when she would ask about your day, you would always make something up, just for her enjoyment. No six year old wants to hear about how you had to fire one of your nurses or how you burnt your tongue on your hospital-quality scrambled eggs. When you were with Rebecca, your day consisted of lots of life-saving, complicated surgeries. How you re-attached a man’s leg or how you scrubbed in for a monumental brain surgery. Her social worker would sit in the back of the room, smiling to herself. She knew your game, but was thankful for it, because it made Rebecca so happy.

You watched her body quickly deteriorate. You first noticed it when the rosy color drained from her cheeks, when her usually round face melted away to practically skin and bones. She never ceased to amaze you with her lively spirit, though. Even on her worst days, when Rebecca could barely rasp out a sentence, she always made a great effort to talk to you. Soon, you started bringing a raspberry slushie with you, one of her favorite treats. It was one of the best gifts you could ever give her – the cool drink would soothe her throat, and she could talk, which was always Rebecca’s hobby. Even when you would insist that the twenty-four-once blue drink was all hers, she would always want to share with you. It got to a point where she was always ready with a styrofoam cup when you got to her room, so you wouldn’t be able to deny her generosity.

When even the medicine of a raspberry slushie wouldn’t do the “talking trick,” Rebecca would insist on writing notes to you. In her messy, six-year-old-girl scrawl, she would do her best to explain in full detail all the things she did that day. When she got frustrated because she couldn’t think of the right words, you would put your hand over hers, and suggest a new activity. Together, you read books and drew pictures. She was a much better artist than you, and would smile when she saw your stick figures next to her somewhat elaborate drawings.

You always dreaded the day when it would end. It was a Tuesday when you last saw Rebecca. When you visited her, she could barely keep her eyes open. She tightly held your hand as you told her your stories, as she no longer had stories to tell; Rebecca had gotten too sick to join any activities, even a simple walk around the hospital in her wheel chair. You refrained from stories about your life as a doctor because you didn’t want to scare her with the end so close. Instead, you told her about your childhood. About the way you and your dog would play in the field down the street from your house, and how you would make dandelion chains for the two of you. Rebecca was most fond of that story, and she wanted a dandelion chain for herself.
The call came in the middle of the night. Her social worker told you that she went in her sleep. And though you were distraught, you also felt peaceful. Little Rebecca had struggled practically all her life with this disease, and though you’ve never believed in heaven or hell, you know in your heart that there is a place for her now where she won’t have to struggle, where she won’t have to go through the pain of being so sick.

The next afternoon, you drove out to east Jersey, past your childhood home, and to the field that you had frequented so much as a little girl. You parked your car along the gravely road, and walked into the grass. Dandelions still covered the ground, and you sat down, and started picking. Slowly, your flowers turned into a chain, the longest chain you ever made, even longer than the one you and your best friend made the summer before fourth grade.

You brought along the chain of flowers you made to Rebecca’s funeral. Gently, you laid them across the top of her granite tombstone, and whispered, “I hope you’re in a place where you can make your own dandelion chain.”

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Current Music: Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
dlb42694: lisa edelstein and her dogsdlb42694 on August 16th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC)
aww that was so sad the ending was cute how she made a chain for her
perfect_prideperfect_pride on August 27th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Ok you just made me cry... and I don't do crying! That was so so beautiful... one of the most amazing pieces I've read in a long time. Well done! <3.