It was strange of Mathias to suddenly invite you out to lunch today. Then again, you couldn’t complain since it was a lovely day, and the restaurant he was taking you to was particularly fancy when compared to your usual standards.
“Alright, Mathias, what’s the special occasion?” you asked as you took a seat across from your boyfriend. “It’s not our anniversary. That’s not until three months. Did you win some sort of scholarship or something?”
“How about I tell you after we eat?” Mathias suggested as he began to scan the menu for his meal.
“Hmm, okay…” you agreed and started to look through your menu as well. All the while, you couldn’t help but think that something was wrong, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it.
Lunch went as typically as any ordinary meal. The two of you chatted as you normally would, the food was delicious, and there weren’t any signs of any good or bad news—not until after you had finished dessert.
“_____________,” Mathias said as he reached across the table and wrapped his fingers around your hand, “I have something important I want to tell you.”
You looked up and studied your boyfriend’s expression. Unlike most times, his face was completely unreadable. There weren’t any hints of excitement, apprehension, or concern.
“What’s wrong, Mathias?” you quietly asked. Your heart was fluttering from the anticipation. This wasn’t like him at all. You weren’t able to read what he was thinking this time around. Whatever it was, it had to really be important.
“______________, we’ve known each other for a long time…” Mathias began.
Your heart skipped a beat. Was Mathias going to ask that? But you were still so young. You wanted to be free for just a little longer. Was he really going to do that right here and right now?
“…and I can honestly say that the time we’ve spent together has been the best time of my life.”
“Y-Yes…” you nodded feeling the blood rush to your cheeks.
Is he really going to do it? you thought. You couldn’t breathe. So this is what it felt like to be put on the spot. At least he had the courtesy to do it after you had finished eating.
“So…I’ve decided to let you be the first one to hear this.”
“Wh-What?” This wasn’t how it was supposed to go, was it?
“_________________...” Mathias pressed his lips together and let out a sigh. His head was hung low, and his eyes were lowered to your hand. This wasn’t going to be good news.
“_________________, I have cancer.”
The world stopped. Your heart sunk to the bottom of your stomach. You couldn’t breathe. Everything you had ever known suddenly just left your brain like an off switch cutting off your thought processing.
“I went to my doctor yesterday,” your boyfriend explained, but in your condition, he was better off just talking to a brick wall. “There’s been something wrong with me for a while, so I finally went to check it out. Sure enough, they said I have cancer.”
You blinked once. Finally the spell of the first wave of realization hit you and passed.
“How long?” you asked.
Mathias gently squeezed your hand and gave you a sad smile. “Give or take about three years.”
“Three years…” you breathed. “That’s it? B-But, you’re so young. We’ll be barely out of school by then. Mathias, that’s not enough time. What about all those things you told me you wanted to do?”
“That’s why I decided to tell you first,” your boyfriend said. “I wanted to be able to spend the rest of my remaining life with you.”
“Of course!” you instantly agreed and got up out of your seat. “Mathias, whatever happens, I’ll be there with you. I’ll do anything to make these years count.”
Then, Mathias sighed in relief like a huge burden had been lifted off his chest. You didn’t even flinch when he moved his hands to the back of your neck and pulled you in for a kiss.
“I’m glad you’re willing to think that way, ______________,” he smiled. “I wouldn’t have picked a better woman to fall in love with.”
“Y-yeah…” you whispered. Perhaps it would have been better if he dropped this kind of news in a private place. It was embarrassing to start tearing up now.
“______________, there’s one more thing I wanted to say to you before passing,” Mathias said in a tender voice.
You sniffed and looked straight into his eyes. “Y-Yes?”
Then, your boyfriend moved his lips to your ear and whispered into it.
It took you a while to realize what had just happened.
“Oh…” you mumbled. “Oh…”
Just then, a large grin spread across Mathias’ face.
“Pfft,” he snickered. “I’m sorry, _____________, but you should have seen the look on your face. I’m happy you’d be willing to stay with me for the rest of my life, though.” He then raised a bemused eyebrow. “Hey, don’t be like that. I had to get you back for the super glue you mixed in my shampoo from last year.”
“Mathias, you idiot! You stupid, clueless idiot!” You covered your face in embarrassment. “I really thought…I really thought…”
It was then that Mathias realized you were crying, but the damage had already been done.
“______________, I-I didn’t think it was going to affect you like this…” he stammered. You felt a pair of arms wrap around your body. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you like that.”
All of a sudden, you pushed him away and delivered a half-hearted blow to his stomach.
“Damn right you’d better be sorry!” you shouted causing the other dinners to look your way. “Mathias, you blockhead! It’s still March! April Fool’s Day isn’t until tomorrow!”