Will You Still Love Me, When I’m No Longer Young and Beautiful?


A/N: An old story that I wrote years ago. I’ve updated it finally! Warnings: death, cancer and depression.


“Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?

Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul?

I know you will, I know you will,

I know that you will,

Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?”


There are times where he can still hear her voice, times where he can still see her, smiling, talking or laughing. There are times where he can still see her singing or dancing around the living room, or clutching onto her camera, or playing her guitar. She had a certain vintage style to her dress sense – something she got from her mother. There was one particular dress she loved, it was from her mother.

A cream dress with little flowers of red, greens and oranges, it came with a brown belt around the middle. She used to wear brown tights and vintage shoes, capped fronts, classically brogue. Her style changed daily, one minute it was black jeans with rips and black combat boots with a jumper, the next it was shorts and tights. That’s what he loved about her – her unpredictability, her uniqueness and her ability to be happy with whatever she wore, or how she looked or sounded. He can still hear her saying:

“I love you. I love you so much.”

And, he still loves her. He still loves her.

It happened so fast. Sometimes he can’t even believe it even happened. Sometimes it’s like it was a nightmare and he thinks he’ll wake up in the morning and she’ll be there. But he never does. Never.

And there’s nothing he can do to change that.

“Peter…Peter…Peter, are you okay?”

Quickly, he turned his face to look at the woman across from him. Where was he?How did…? Oh right… Blinking several times, he looked around realising that he was in the same room he’d been all morning. The psychiatrist’s office. The lights were bright and he could hear the wind from the bitter cold world outside.

“Are you okay?” she repeated, leaning forwards, her notepad still grasped firmly in her hands. The clock was ticking. There was a fire place in the corner with bright dancing flames, a rug on the floor, books and books upon shelves and the woman across from him.

“I’m fine, I just…,” he trailed off, shaking his head, putting a hand to his temples. “I just zoned off.”  

“Where were you?” she asked, scribbling down notes on her notepad. He looked up from the newspapers on the small desk to his left.

“With her, always with her,” he said softly, a faint smile tracing his lips. She nodded, smiling fleetingly, jotting down something else.

“Where were you this time?”

“Oh, this time…”

A girl with reddish auburn hair that faded gradually into a coppery colour sat reading on a bench in the school grounds completely oblivious to the world. Her hair fell around her shoulders in cascading curls and a sweeping fringe swept across her forehead. Her name was Freya Bennett and she happened to love reading more than anything. Well, more than most things, she also loved writing, playing music, drawing and taking photographs. So, of course it completely enraged her when someone grabbed her book from her hands, especially at the part she was at.

“Hey!” she shouted indignantly, removing her headphones, standing up, glaring at the sixteen year old boy in front of her. He smiled while holding the book behind his back, out of her reach.

“Peter!” she sighed exasperatedly, putting her hand out, “give me back my book!”

“No,” he smirked, his grey eyes lit up mischievously. Freya really wanted to rip the beanie off his head and mess up his already tousled black hair. That would wipe the smirk off his face.

“Peter!” Freya huffed, looking at her best friend angrily. Peter was not fazed. He took out one hand, his cut off gloves seemingly taunting her as he put up a finger, telling her to wait. Freya rolled her eyes, tilting her head as if to say: ‘hurry up!’

“So, I know that you’ve been dying to go that concert,” the boy said, putting her book down on the bench next to him. Freya tried to step towards it, but Peter blocked her path.

“Uh-uh,” he smirked, holding his finger up again. Freya really wanted to punch him, especially when he put on that mock thinking face.

Sighing, she crossed her arms over her chest, raising an eyebrow up at her tall friend, “and?”

“Well, it got me thinking, seen as the concert falls right on your sixteenth birthday, plus I had the money, I thought I’d just…,” he trailed off, producing two tickets to the You Me At Six concert from his jacket pocket, “get them.”

“Peter? Peter, can you hear me?”

Peter’s eyes flicked back to the woman in front of him. He blinked again, trying to remember where he was.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“I asked you where you were this time.”

“Oh, right…well, it was back at school,” Peter said, the woman scribbled that down, “and it was when we were sixteen. Freya really loved this band called You Me At Six, they’re really good and she wanted to see them but didn’t have the money. I remember…I saved up for weeks to get the money…and the concert, yes, it was on her birthday…so I managed to get them in time and we went…”

“And?”

“It was amazing. She really liked it and yeah, it was just…,” he trailed off, staring out the window, “I can still hear her sometimes. Singing, she loved to sing.”

She wrote that down and probably that he was insane. She prompted him to continue.

Sighing, he clasped his hands in his lap, “sometimes…I can hear her laughing…or saying something, sometimes it’s ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’…but her voice, it’s still there…”

“What else can you hear?”

“Sometimes, for a split second, I can see her – dancing around the living room, or clutching camera. Her old vintage camera that her granddad gave her, God, she loved that thing…”

It was Christmas and everyone was around Freya’s. There was always a big get together of friends and family, it was a tradition. There was a burning fire at the fireplace, a thick rug and a tall, crisp green Christmas tree with presents around. Snow was falling outside, coating the place in a thick blanket of fluffy white snowflakes, warmth though was the only thing they felt inside that living room. Family and friends were gathered around the presents, grandparents in the armchairs and parents filming as the children opened presents.

“Here you go Freya,” her grandfather on her dad’s side said, “I knew you’d like this.”

The now sixteen year old took the box from her grandfather’s hands smiling, “thanks Grandpa.”

Quickly, she opened it and immediately a smile lit up onto her face, squealing with joy she hugged her grandfather, “thank you! Thank you! It’s lovely!”

Everyone laughed as she opened it and began almost immediately setting it up and taking pictures of everyone. Peter, her best friend and next door neighbour (which is how they knew each other and had grown up together and why they were round at Christmas) smiled as she snapped a picture of him.

“Here, I got you this,” Peter said, handing Freya a small box.

“Oh Peter, you shouldn’t have!” Freya smiled up at her friend, putting her camera down and taking the gift.

“But I got you something too, so we’re even.”

Peter laughed and prompted her to open the gift. Laughing, she opened the gift wrapper and smiled, seeing a small box. Opening the box, she saw that it was a necklace bearing a pendent of a crystallised owl.

“Oh, it’s so pretty!” Freya smiled, hugging her friend, “I love it thank you!”

“You’re welcome,” Peter replied, hugging the girl back.

“Here, I,” Freya pulled out a square present from under the tree, “…got you this.”

Peter chuckled opening the gift, it was a vinyl record of The Beatles.

“What else can you tell me about Freya?” the woman asked once Peter regained focus.

“I loved…love her,” Peter said simply, “and I couldn’t save her.”

The woman across from him sighed unhappily and worriedly, putting down her notes, “that wasn’t your fault Peter; you couldn’t have stopped what –

“I know.”

“This is your entire fault!” Freya shouted angrily at the eighteen year old in front of her. “I can’t believe you did that. I really liked him and now… –

“Freya, the guy’s a dick!”Peter shouted back, “every time he does something to mess up and you’re left, he’s so horrible –

“Don’t!” the infuriated girl screamed, “you had no right to do that! No right at all! You’re not the boss of me and neither is he, no one is, and I can do what I want!”

“Well, fine, go off with him, see where you end up!” Peter spat back, stepping forwards, so that he was inches from her, “just know… he’s never going to change.”

“What do you know?!”

“I know…that, I…I know that –

Then he kissed her and that was the end of that.

“So, that’s how you two got together?”

“Yeah.”

“And then, you stayed together for –

“Five years. I’m twenty three now and we were eighteen then. Sure, we had fights, but yeah…for five years. She got ill when we were twenty two and it was on going for a…well a year and then, this…um, winter…she…umm…”

Freya couldn’t believe it. Her world shattered. Her eyes stared blankly at the doctor in front of her. Her trembling hands were in the hands of her boyfriend’s but she felt so alone, like he wasn’t there, no one was, all she could see was emptiness, feel emptiness, nothing. She felt sick. Sick to her stomach, her brain couldn’t even respond, she couldn’t speak, and so she just sat there blinking.

“I’m sorry Freya,” the doctor said sadly, “I’m so sorry…”

“Cancer?” Freya said, as if it was a new word she was testing out and it didn’t make sense to her, “cancer? I have cancer?”

She looked towards Peter. Tears began to fall down her cheeks as he pulled her into his arms. Wrapping his arms around her, he held her tightly, kissing her head as bitter, angry tears fell from his own eyes. A pit in his stomach formed, feeling sick and utterly lost. How could this be? How could she have cancer? How can this be it?

“It’s going to be okay,” he whispered as Freya fell apart in his arms, despite feeling helpless and distraught, a cold, unnatural feeling washed over him, he still whispered, “it’s going to be okay…I promise.”


Freya got worse from a few months into the treatment. It had spread too far. It was no longer controllable – it had taken her. She ended up in the hospital, frail and broken. Her skin paled considerably and her eyes were tired and worn. Her hair no longer had a shine to it and no longer seemed vibrant. It was as if she’d shrunk, skinny as anything, her grip on Peter’s hand was no longer warm or comforting. He was with her all the time. He’d taken time out of work at the photography studio, not really sure when he would go back, if ever. Freya’s parents and younger brother were a complete mess. Nothing had prepared them for this. No parent should ever have to see their child ill. They had stepped out for a moment to give Freya a minute with Peter.

“Peter,” Freya whispered, turning her head to face him, Peter leaned closer, one of his hands holding hers and the other brushing hair from her face.

“Yes?” he replied softly, his grey eyes worriedly looking into her once bright green ones.

“I wanted to see Greece again,” she whispered, her voice husky and broken, the grip on Peter’s hand tightening.

“You will, you will, I promise, I’ll get you out of here,” Peter said softly, kissing her forehead, “we will get out of here.”

“I wanted to see France again, go the Eiffel Tower…see the Grand Canyon… –

“Honey, you will, I promise,” Peter said, trying to hold back the tears that were threatening to fall. Freya shook her head, raising a limp hand to wipe away the tears, smiling softly.

“You always were the stubborn one weren’t you?” she laughed a little, though it seemed painful. Peter sniffed and wiped away falling tears as they came.

“You’re going to get better,” Peter replied determinedly, “you’ve been in here for a year, the medication –

“It’s not working,” Freya cut him off, taking a deep breath, “you have to accept that.”

“No!” Peter snapped, making Freya jump. He took a deep breath and apologised, kissing the back of her pale hand. He couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. He felt sick, awful, and bitter, he couldn’t lose her. Not now, not yet. It was too soon.

“I will not accept that. It’ll get better, the doctors they said –

“That it was a possibility. But it’s not anymore; I am going to die –

“No, no you’re not!” Peter refused to accept that, “you’re not! You will get better like we always planned, like the doctors said.”

“Honey,” Freya touched Peter’s cheek with her feeble hand, a soft smile gracing her lips and for a moment Peter could see that once bright spark in her eyes.

“It’s okay, it’s okay, it’ll be okay, you’ll move on – you’ll be happy, you’ll be able to see all those places and you’ll amazing like you always have been.”

“No, no not without you!” Peter was close to breaking down all over again.

“Peter, Peter, my time’s up. You’ve always been a stubborn one. But you’ve got to move on, promise me, you’ll live your life,” Freya said kissing the back of his hand, “even if I’m not with you, I want you to…live.”

“But –

“I love you Peter, you know I do,” Freya smiled. Tears rolled down Peter’s cheeks, putting his forehead against hers, taking a deep breath.

“Freya, please,” Peter begged, his voice broken and low, “please, don’t, don’t –

“Peter listen to me,” Freya cut him off, her breath hitching as she struggled with the burning pain in her chest. “I-I…want you to be happy…”

“I am, with you, happy with you,” Peter croaked, almost begging, putting his face in her neck.

“Peter, do you remember that song?” Freya asked after a brief silence, “the one by Lana Del Rey?”

“Of course, you played it day and night,” Peter chuckled despite the shaky look on his face and the tears in his eyes as he drew back, “why?”

“Well, could I sing it, one last time, for you?” she asked, touching his cheek, wiping away the tears on his cheeks. Peter nodded silently, dipping his head as he felt his chest clenching with dread and pain at the thought of losing her.

“Will…you still love me…when I’m no longer young…and beautiful? Will you still love me when I got…nothing but my…aching soul? I know you will…I know you will, I know that you will, will you still love me…when I’m no longer beautiful?”Freya sang softly and beautifully, as tears starting to fall from her eyes, while Peter gripped her hand tightly, and the other hand cupping her head, bringing her closer to him as he broke down. Peter drew back after taking a few deep breaths, looking at Freya determinedly, fighting the urge to lose it all.

“Freya, don’t you dare for a second think that I don’t love you. Nothing could ever change that. Nothing. I love you. I always will love you. Always – that’s a promise,” Peter said firmly, Freya smiled at that, a content sigh leaving her lips. A broken smile met Peter’s lips as he placed a kiss on her lips. Their last ever kiss.


“Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?

Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul?

I know you will, I know you will,

I know that you will,

Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?”


A/N: Young & Beautiful, belongs to Lana Del Rey. 

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