Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance
The first year of college is supposed to be about parties, parties, and getting the hell out of Texas. Instead, Milcah Daniels is spending her eighteenth year in and out of Houston's hospitals. Her hair is falling out, they’ve cut off her boobs, and if she makes it to nineteen, she’ll consider it a personal miracle.
Breast cancer really has a way of messing with a girl’s social calendar.
When Milcah’s temporarily discharged from the hospital, she’s determined to get a tattoo for every medical procedure she’s had. Her quest leads her to Skin Stories, a new tattoo parlor a block from her apartment. And to it’s infuriatingly sexy artist, Callum Scott.
Callum is everything Milcah wants, and everything she shouldn’t have now. A new relationship when the official prognosis is one to five years is a terrible idea. But Callum doesn’t know about the breast cancer, and Milcah’s not running to tell him.
But when the doctor says things are actually looking positive, her entire life turns upside down. How is she supposed to start living again when she’s finally learned to accept her death?
I rolled over at some point during my sleep. I wake up, sprawled on my stomach, IV twisted around me.
It feels weird, lying flat on my stomach like that.
Nothing shifts on my chest as I slowly turn myself back over. Nothing’s there to shift. But it feels like there is.
I heard that with amputations, you still feel the body part after they remove it. Apparently, I have phantom boobs.
I laugh a little at the thought. Phantom boobs makes it sound like my boobs have turned into ghosts, and have decided to haunt me. The bandages itch and I realize that if there is anyone they would be haunting, it would be me.
Nobody else seems to care much about the fact that they’re gone.
I will not look down, I will not look down, I will not…
There’s nothing there.
Bandages, covering what used to be the finest pair of tits in the county, according to Sam.
Just bandages and tubes and drainage things and a whole slew of unpleasant medical crap I never wanted to see attached to my body. But no boobs. Nothing.
I can see right to my stomach, not just through my cleavage.
There’s nothing there.
The tears start to fall, and I know that I’m never going to feel whole again.
“How are you feeling today?”
If one more person asks me that question, I will flash them my scarred and oozing chest, which is still draining. That should be enough to traumatize pretty much anyone.
Except all the people who keep asking me are medical personnel, and have seen worse.
I scowl. “How do you think I feel, Dr. B? You chopped off my boobs.”
“And how are they feeling?”
“I don’t know—they’re not attached to my chest anymore.”
He laughs, although I’m not so sure what’s funny. “Well, everything is draining properly,” he says. “You’re probably going to be able to go home in another two days.”
Two days? I’m never gonna leave here at the rate this is going. I don’t even know why I bothered to get an apartment when I’m hardly in it.
“Well, I don’t think I’ll be seeing you again before you’re discharged,” says Dr. B as he gets up from the chair. “But I will be seeing you in two weeks for a checkup. The nurses will go over post-surgical care with you.” He stops to look at me. “I know you like to pull the ‘I don’t need anyone to help me’ thing, but if something’s wrong, you need to call. That clear?”
I salute. “Crystal.”
He laughs. “You’ll be back in a bikini one day soon,” he says.
My eyebrows nearly fall off my face. “Dr. B!”
He waves and leaves the room.
Huh. Guess he’s not such a prude after all.
A small grin spreads across my face. I’d like to believe that at least part of that is my fault.