This story is more a fiction and a fantasy, it is a story full of hope, happiness, sadness,battles and true love. Our story had a happy beginning almost like a fairy tale, but sadly we did not get our happily ever after... This is my first on the blog ,hope you like it. Leave a comment below!
Photo taken by: The precious butterfly (Me)
Ethan and I first met in our Freshmen year of University in our Anatomy class, let us say it was not exactly love at first sight. In fact we practically hated one another, we were constantly at each other throats and we were both too stubborn and hot headed to get past this strange wall of anger that had been built between us. Towards the middle of Freshmen year we had finally reached talking terms, and by the end of it we were hanging out everyday at lunch and almost every other day outside of school, but Sundays were the one day we were always together because we both attended the same church. We were constantly questioned if we were dating and all that he and I could do was laugh. We were best friends and the thought of people seeing us as more than that seemed simply ridiculous.
Time went on and as Freshmen year ended and the holidays began Ethan and I began to spend more and more time together and became practically inseparable. We each had our holiday flings with other people but nothing serious, at the end of the day though there he and I were sitting on my patio with a drink in our hands and simply laughing and just talking about the people we met, the things we have done, and places we have been seen . Before we knew it internship year had finally began. We were finally getting out of that awkward stage of medical school and moving up the food chain. Able to drive and at the age where we could finally get a part time job, well at least Ethan could considering that his birthday was a day before school started and mine was not until September.
On the first day of school Ethan picked me up in his shiny silver cobalt, not his car of choice but still a car. When arriving at school every one thought that we had finally started dating, much to their dismay we told them we were not. Time seemed to have flown by it was September and my birthday was less than 3 days away, I could practically taste the slight freedom I would soon receive. On Friday the day before my birthday halls were bustling and excited, ready for the nights football game against our biggest rivals. I had intended on going with Ethan, that was until I found a note in my locker inscribed to me. Opening it, it read "Wear something nice tonight, I have a surprise for you. I will pick you up at 7. -Ethan"
I was confused, what was Ethan up to? Rushing home I got ready and began to turn my clean room into a unbelievable mess with mountains of clothing. DING DONG. Ethan had arrived right when I slipped on a yellow sundress. I ran down stairs to greet him, he actually surprised me with how good he cleaned up. We walked to his car and we headed off to the city, to my surprise he took me to a nice Italian restaurant and after we had finished we headed to the beach right when the sun was setting. We walked by the water and just talked, as the sun finally set fireworks had suddenly began. It was beautiful and absolutely perfect, I could not believe that Ethan came up with this, he was more romantic than I thought. As the light show ended we walked back towards his car when he suddenly stopped us for a moment. "Elisa..." He said looking at me. I could see in his eyes that there was something wrong. "What is it?" I asked unsure.
"There is something I need to tell you that I have wanted to say to you for a long time now... and it has been killing me. So.. here it goes." I stood there for a second and began to chuckle. "I can not believe I am doing this." .."Ethan what is it?" I felt my heart begin to skip. "Elisa... I love you. I have for a long time... I just never got the chance or rather I was way to scared to tell you. I do not want this to change us, and I am not looking for you to say it too. I just I can not keep going without telling you this, cause it will make me sick." He finished and simply looked at me. I did not know what to do or what to say. "Ethan..." I was in shock. "Like I said Elisa I am not looking for you to say it back, I just want you to know." He flashed me a smile and slowly turned around.
I stood there petrified. What was this going to do to us? Would it change everything? Of course it would, I was just too afraid to see it clearly or even think about it. I began to walk and I started to realize that this whole time somewhere inside of me I had feelings for him too, I had just repressed them. I was scared but, I guess it is true that you do fall for your best friend. I looked up and Ethan was already by his car waiting for me, all of a sudden I was running. He saw me and began to walk my way and and in an instant I was holding him. "I love you." I said with a smile stretched across my face.
I could see in his eyes that he was astonished yet as happy as could be. That amazing night I will forever remember because it was the happiest day of my life, September 3rd, 2010.
Days flew by, then weeks, months, and even years. Attending Christmas and Summer vacations with our families who were more than happy that we were finally together, night outs into the city to get dinner, double dates with our best friends, and even voted class representatives by our colleagues senior year. We were in love, blissful and beautiful love. Soon enough we were sitting together at graduation looking back on some of our best memories. The fall after we graduated we moved together for residence in USA University of California , still as strong a couple as we were in college. He was doing his residence in surgery and i was doing mine Oncology. Things were perfect, but like every perfect moment it ends. We got married right away in summer break of our second residential year in Nebraska.
In the middle of our residential year I noticed that Ethan was loosing weight and something seemed wrong, he was becoming sick more often than usual and he was tired all the time. It was unlike him and I was beginning to worry, but every time I asked him if he was okay all he said was he is fine or he has a bug. He was never a good liar, and he knew it because every time he told me he was "fine" his eyes became big and his face grew pale. In mid December we we were home watching a movie while cuddled up on the couch when out of no where he let out a blood curdling cry of agony a sound that I will never forget. I called 911 and the paramedics were there within a few minutes, as they loaded him on the gurney and took him to the ambulance I was a frantic mess. I did not know what was going on, I was scared I would loose him but I knew that I had to stay positive. I raced to my car and followed behind the ambulance until we reached the hospital. As they took him into the emergency room I stood in the waiting room impatiently waiting to hear from the doctor. Two hours later Dr. Evans a good colleague of mine came into the waiting room , I raced up to him ready for answers.
"Jack what is going on, is he okay?" I asked quickly.
"He is resting right now and you can go see him if you would like, the cancer is really taking its toll on his body."
"I am sorry did you say ...cancer?" I said in shock.
"Yes I did... I am sorry did you not know?" He was confused. "No... he never told me.." He lied to me, Ethan never told me about this, any of it. "Elisa, he has pancreatic cancer, the cancer has spread beyond the help of chemotherapy or radiation."
"Wh- what does that mean? He is going to die?"
"I am afraid so. I am terribly sorry. As a doctor now a resident in Oncology ,you know how hard it can but we will be with you all the way."
"I diagnosed him a month ago, but because the cancer is at an advanced stage I give him 5 months, 8 if he is lucky."
"5 months? That is it?"
"I truly am sorry." I stood there silent.
"Can I see him now?" I asked through tears.
I could not believe what i was hearing. During my residence, i have been where my colleague Jack was now. He was trying to comfort me, but i was shattered by the news. This concerned the man i loved, this concerned my best friend.
"Of course." We walk through the double doors past patients and working nurses and doctors. We had finally made it to the room of Ethan where he was resting.
"I will leave you two alone." He closed the door behind him.
I stood there not moving just looking at Ethan, and when he looked back I could see in his eyes that he knew. "Doc told you huh? " He chuckles. "How can you be laughing?" I say astonished. "Elisa..."
"Do not... you knew this whole time and you... you never said anything. Not one word." I felt the tears coming.
"I tried to tell you... but the face you have right now was exactly what I was scared of seeing if I told you."
"So what you were just going to wait until you were dead for me to find out?!" I could not hold my anger anymore. I have seen many people die of cancer in my residence, but not the person i loved the most, not him.
"No! Because I wanted us to be as normal as we could! I... I do not want things to change Elisa, I do not want this to change us. I do not want the rest of what ever I have left spent in a bed just waiting for me to rot and die." His voice was beginning to crack. I was speechless, I knew then why he did not say anything. He was scared just like I was, and there I stood feeling like a big bag of despair.
I walked over to him and sat on the edge of the bed taking his hand. "Ethan that is not going to happen I promise. And I am sorry, but you and me, we do not have secrets, we never have. So from this moment on, no more secrets. Deal?" He smiles. "Deal." I kiss him on the head. From that moment on there were no secrets, no more hiding, no more tears, and no more sadness. From that moment on our love was brighter and stronger than ever. We spent every waking moment together just taking advantage of the time we had left. Two months passed then three and as I began to have hope things took a turn for the worst, at four months Ethan was not able to walk much or stand, his health was decreasing rapidly and his body was steadily loosing its mass. It was hard for me to watch him endure this, but I was not going to leave him.
I remember March 29th 2018 like it was yesterday. We were sitting in the hospital like the days earlier. He was laying in bed as I was reading him a book. "You wanna know something?" He asked looking at me, his voice almost inaudible.
"Sometimes I imagine that you and me are like people in a book that fall in love and have a happily ever after. I am jealous of them though, because I will not ever get my happily ever after with you."
"Ethan..." I put down the book and sit on the bed. "Let us worry about the here and now okay? Besides we had a great fairy tale of our own though."
"You made a great princess Elisa, better than all the others." He said making a smile as big as he could. "And you were a terrific prince that swept me off my feet." I laid next to him and he kissed the top of my head. "I love you baby." He whispered.
"I love you too." And the tears began.
We fell asleep together that night and at 1:09 am on March 30th, 2018 Ethan MUGENZI passed. Some how I knew that night we spent together would be his last and in a way I guess I accepted it I certainly was not okay with it however, but I knew that he was in a much better place.
It has been over a year since Ethan passed and not a day goes by that I do not think about him or miss him. Last month i have finished my residence in Oncology and i want to help more people with cancer as i can. I want to be a good Oncologist, i could not save my husband, but i believe that God will help me save more lives from cancer. He was everything to me, my love, hope, inspiration, partner, confident, husband and prince. Many people have their ideas of love and have many different experiences. Love can come and go, but the memories never fade. Love really is like a fairy tale, the prince and princess fall in love, they face a bumpy road and an adventure along the way, and they live happily ever after. Sadly that is not the case for me because my book keeps going even though I wanted it to end with my dearest husband , Ethan. If I have learned anything from being with him, it is that love is never perfect but it is stronger than anyone could ever imagine, it just has to be put to the test. Where ever Ethan may be I will never forget him and I will always love him. I always thank him for having reminded me the reason why i had passion for Oncology, and i hope that where he is. He is very proud of me.
Let us put together our strength to fight against cancer, give hope to those who already have it and be their voices. As cancer has no pity, it takes away the people we love and leaves us with sadness and sorrow. Lord give us strength to fight cancer.
I have seen clarity of true happiness, what matters ,life and reality. Thank you so much Ethan for having opened my eyes to the true beauty of life.