DISCLAIMER: This story was written and published in 2012 and has been kept up to show the writer’s growth. It is not intended as professional quality
This story is for my Grandfather Boppa, who died of Cancer
(NOTE, THIS STORY MAY BE SAD TO SOME OF YOU. READ AHEAD AT YOUR OWN RISK)
The waiting room was filled to the brim with new patients. It was a busy day. The case was especially true for Richard Mason. He stared at his reflection in a window. Rain gave an appearance of nighttime outside, when in actuality it was more around ten thirty.
Mason was fifty six years old. He and his wife had been married thirty one years. Their children were all grown up and one had even had two kids, both girls. One was three and the other was just a year old.
Mason had gone in for a routine checkup at the doctor’s office a few weeks ago.
He was shocked to discover he might have cancer….
So he waited. He figured it was funny what one picked up when they’re anxious for something. He noticed the phone at the reception desk ring three times before being picked up. A woman with a thick accent answered it. The sound of a drawer being opened was caught be his ears and he noticed a woman filing away patient’s papers.
He heard an all too familiar cry of a little girl going to get her shot. A sound many parent’s go through at one point.
His mind moved on to when he had to sit through that experience. He fought back tears thinking about how he wouldn’t be able to do that with his grandchildren should the tests come up positive.
A mountain of tears flowed down his cheeks when he reminded himself his grandchildren probably wouldn’t even remember him. He buried his face in his hands. Mason had never been much of a religious man, yet he found himself praying to God. He laughed at the notion that even the least religious people could look to God for comfort in a time like this.
Again he picked up a familiar sound that drove him deeper into madness. The laughter of a child as a Mother read her a children’s book in. The familiar scent of a fresh book; the crisp turning of pages…His mind again wandered off. Despite his depression, he thought it funny where his mind would go during a time like this. He picked up every detail in the waiting room.
He noticed the fluent tap of a pencil, the pitter patter of rain on the windowpane, the sip of a man drinking his morning coffee, the click of the doctor’s door opening.
The door! He prayed it was for him. He rocketed out of his chair just in case.
The doctor looked down at his clipboard then back up again. “Richard Mason.” He called out robotically.
Mason made his way over to the doctor.
The two seemed to stare at each other for an eternity, neither wanting an answer to the question.
“I’m sorry.” The doctor croaked out at last.
Mason turned his head away swiftly. “I want to cry…but these old eyes, they won’t let me. Mason found a catch in his throat. “How long do I have?”
The doctor stared down at his clipboard, seemingly shameful. “At most a year…” With that, he made his way out.
There was a long moment of silence. Mason had tuned everything out. He walked outside to his car. The rain spilled down on him and drenched him. He felt God was mocking him. As he started up his car he gave the matter a final thought.
“If I’m going to die soon,” he told himself, “I’ll be damned if I don’t make the last of my time count.”
When he was a mile away from his home, he noticed the sun coming out. He looked up into the sky to see the rain letting up. “Make it count.” He whispered.