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“FIX ME DOCTOR, FIX ME!!!!!!!” The doctor looked at me without flinching. “I don’t fix, I cure. Now sit down on that chair and explain to me what happened.”
I sat down on his infuriatingly uncomfortable steel chair. “A week ago I had this severe harsh pain in the back of my head. It lasted for a couple of minutes, and then it just went away as if nothing has ever happened. From that day on I didn’t feel that excruciating pain anymore, so I thought that it was only a shock from the stress of work.
As you know I work as a pizza delivery guy because my parents from Montana won’t send me money to build my own bakery even though they own the CCC, the Chicken and Cows Cooperation®. They own enough money so I could build myself an international bakery in every single state. And now, about ten minutes ago, when I was on a delivery, the pain struck me again! But this time, it was much more severe and lasted much longer! PLEASE DOCTOR FIX ME!!!!!!”
He gazed at me with his blue eyes as cold as the steel chair under me. “Well this problem has never occurred to me before Mr. Andrew Cole; you are the first. I will schedule an MRI, a week from now, so we can observe what is erroneous with your medulla obbligato.” I probably did not understand a word he said, but the phrase “a week from now” got stuck in my head. Do I have to suffer for one more week? “No doctor I want it now, please!” I beseeched on my knees. “Fine.” he said and told me to follow him to a room marked with big clear letters “MRI”.
He walked into the small room at the right corner of the room and spoke through the microphone, “Lie down and face the roof on the white bunk. It will start to move in a couple of seconds so don’t panic, ok.” I could barely hear him from the harsh beating of my heart, but I obeyed and hoped for the best. Inside the machine I couldn’t help but think about what’s going to happen to me. Will this illness turn out to be a deadly disease? Will it need an expensive and risky surgery? But maybe, it could be a small headache, right?
Finally, after what seemed like eternity, the machine stopped humming and the white bunk returned to its original place. The doctor spoke yet again through the mike and told me to come out of the room and to wait for him in his steel chair back in his office. After a couple of minutes, the doctor came to me and sat on his big fluffy chair. “My secretary will bring the paper from the upstairs lab…” Before he could finish his sentence the secretary bumps into the chair and all the papers in her hands fly in to the air and fall to the floor. “Oh my god I am so sorry, I will pick them up don’t worry.” She screeched.
“When will you stop bumping into that chair, a couple more of your ninja hits, and it will break into a million pieces. You better watch out because there are millions of girls out there who want to work for me. If they were waiting in line, they would be standing from here to Japan.” The doctor yelled at her with no mercy, but you could still see his cold blue eyes. “Just give it to me, ok, and why don’t you take the rest of the day of too. NOW GO.” At that moment the secretary ran out weeping after putting the stack of paper on the desk.
“There we go,” he said as he picked the first paper from the stack.”WOW, what is that?” I stared at him with my eyes as big as ever. “I am afraid you have Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.” What was he even saying!? “I beg your pardon?”
“I said you have Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, it is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, causing inflammation in the lungs. If not treated it could affect the brain.”
“So doctor, can this be cured or not?” I asked anxiously, the moment of truth was now: was I going to live to see another day or not.
“I am extremely sorry to tell you that we discovered this disease in you too late. I am afraid that you only have a few hours to live I’d say four hours; till eight o’clock.”
I sat with astonishment. My face didn’t move, my brain didn’t function, and for one second, I think that I forgot to breathe. Is this it? Is this the end of my life? “So dddoctor, are you ppposotive about your diagnoses?” I pleaded for God that this is wrong; I wish that all of this never happened. I couldn’t speak right.
“I am absolutely positive, I never did any mistakes, and I am not about to start now.” The doctor said that so coldly, as if he was telling his patient to get a Strepsil for his sore throat.
“Now if you please, the door is that way, I have other patients to see today.” He just told me that I have few hours to live, and now he is kicking me out with no emotions whatsoever in his voice. Oh, how much I longed to run towards him and punch him down. I walked out of there, no, not even walked but wandered. I wandered taking small steps outside, head to the ground. This is really it. I hopped into my Toyota with no effort, no energy. I started the engine and headed home, and that was when I remembered my pizzas, so I took one slice out of the boxes and started to eat. They have always said don’t drink and drive, but never don’t eat and drive, I was following the law on my last day on this planet.
I reached home, but Mary was not there. I sat down on the carpet and thought, what have I accomplished in my life? What dreams did I fulfill? I searched my brain deeply, and it turned out that I have done nothing all my life. I have always wanted to bungee jumping, but I never did that. I have always wanted to scuba dive, but I never did that. I have always wanted to sky dive, but I never did that. I have always wanted to build my own bakery, but I never did that. And I have always wanted to marry Mary but I never did that either. Wow, thinking of my life makes me realize how I have wasted it. But the main question is: Am I going to sit here all day? Or will I do all the things that I have dreamt off? Such a simple question that could change my whole life, or maybe just the last few hours.
I dialed Mary’s number, I couldn’t think of what to tell her. The phone started to ring, but no answer. Just my luck, she’s in a meeting, what was I going to do now? Her machine answered. I had to say something, I can’t just wait for her to finish her meeting; my biological clock is ticking. “Hi, Mary, the funniest thing just happened. I went to the doctor; you know the one that you told me to go to, yeah such a nice person. So listen, he told me I had a pnuemonalodped something I can’t remember the name, even if I had it I don’t think I would have known how to spell it. Anyways he told me that this is a rare disease, and I have only till eight o’clock to live. I don’t really know what to do, but I think I will go to some hotel to live what is rest of my life! Ok bye; please call me when you are done.” I think that went well, I hope she doesn’t pass out after hearing this message.
I had to talk to my parents too, but the last time I talked to them we were fighting. It was the day after my graduation from university, and they were so proud of me because I was the only one in their family to ever finish university. I had finished law school, as my parents wished, but it was not my wish. I never wanted anything to do with being a lawyer, I wanted to be a baker and open a little bakery in New York. But once I told them that they got extremely mad with me, and they started to yell at me. They refuse to fund my bakery and at that moment I thought that I was capable of choosing my own destiny, and this is how I ended up as a pizza delivery man. I never talked to them ever since but I think I should now. I have to explain my situation to them because after all, they were the ones that brought me to life and cherished me and nurtured me throughout my child hood; I owe it all to them. I got the phone and started to speak:
“Hi, dad is this you?”
“Hello, son is it really you? Have you come back to your senses and want to be a lawyer?”
“No dad, of course not, but this is not why I wanted to talk to you. Can we just leave this topic to later, what I am about to discuss with you is dangerous.”
“Oh my, what is it son, your voice sounds so serious.”
“Yes dad, it is serious. I recently went to the doctor to put an end to my headaches. He told me that I have a deadly disease and I have till eight to live.”
“WHAT! IS THIS A SCAM OR SOMETHING? You can’t be serious?”
“No dad I am not joking I am dying and I just wanted to say goodbye to you. I don’t want to die without saying farewell to my parents. And I just wanted to tell you that I am not mad at you anymore, I respect your decision and I sure hope that you are not mad at me.”
“Can’t I do anything to help you, I mean, I have great doctors for you to see and I can make them meet you in no time. And no son, I am not mad at you, but I can’t say that what you want to do is right.”
“Thank you dad so much, you don’t know how much that means to me. But it is ok, if this is God’s will that I am dying today then let it be so. Can you put mom on the phone for me?”
“Oh I’m afraid she is grocery shopping, but I will let her call you when she comes. But why don’t you come home to us and spend the last night here.”
“I wish I could do that, but I have spent my whole life doing what people wanted me to do. On my last day I want to do what I want to do at least. You understand right?”
“Of course I do son. It was nice talking to you in such a long time.”
“The pleasure was all mine. Good bye now dad.”
“Good bye, son.”
I hung up with tears filling up my eyes. I miss hugging my parents, I miss telling them that I love them, and I miss kissing them on their cheeks. But I had to go now. I couldn’t waste any more time of my life. I called an amazing five stars hotel that I have always wanted to visit and I reserved a room for one night even though I knew that I wasn’t going to sleep there. I was going to use the money that I have saved up to build the bakery.
I reached the hotel in no time, and directly went to the customer service and reserved a bungee jump at five o’clock; half an hour from now. A scuba dive at six and a parachute jump at seven. If this was my last day I was going to spend it the right way- my way. I should be calling Mary; she would be out of the meeting any minute now. I searched my pockets but I couldn’t find the phone. I searched my hand bag, but I still couldn’t find it. A look of astonishment and panic filled my face. Oh dear lord, I forgot my phone in my house. I couldn’t go back to my house; I would waste too much time. But I could not leave Mary without talking to her. What was I supposed to do? Seconds didn’t pass until the Mr. Josh I believe his name was, from the customer’s service called my name and told me that the bungee is ready now and I should follow Daniel. I did tell Mary that I was going to a hotel, so she would know that I am here, right? I hope.
I followed Daniel to his golf cart which was driving people to the bridge. The bridge was high; I believe that it must be at least twelve stories high. How great. Daniel strapped me tightly until I could barely breathe and gave me the long speech of safety and the instructions. And then he told me to jump whenever I want, but he didn’t finish his sentence until I jumped of the railing. I couldn’t believe the feeling, it was as if eating ice cream for the first time, or drinking water after being trapped in a desert for two days.
When the rope wouldn’t bounce any more I let go of it and landed in the water. From there a boat was waiting for me with my special scuba diving clothes. I put them on and waited for the boats engine to stop so I could jump into the water with my instructor. Minutes didn’t pass until the driver/instructor put a halt to the boat and signaled me to jump in. I put my goggles in place and jumped in the freezing ice-cold water. I stared at the ocean’s core, and gazed at the colorful fish swimming from side to side followed by its offspring. We kept on going until I couldn’t put up with the pain in my ears. From the boat, we drove off to the air plane where my ride was waiting. This should have been my daily activity.
You would think that it is too much for a person to handle for one day. But I was actually enjoying it and besides, this is my last day so I might as well do everything I dreamt of. In the plane I took off my scuba diving clothes and put on my parachute. I also got strapped on to a professional to ensure safety, which was ok by me of course; safety first. When the pilot stopped the plane in mid air the professional Dave took me to the end of the plane and told me to jump on three. One, two, three, and there we went flying down. The hotel seemed so small from here and the cars that were passing by were smaller than the toy cars that I used to play with. I was wondering what life would have been if all day I doing activities that I enjoyed. There was a crazy red car driving to the hotel as fast as the speed of light nudging cars one by one. As we came closer down to the ground, Dave pulled out the parachute and at that moment we were floating on air, literally. But I couldn’t take my eyes of the red Honda as it turned out to be.
Funny, Mary has a car just like that, and it also had that exact bump on the right front door. Oh my God it is Mary. I started to scream her name as we reached the ground; it was seven thirty by now only half an hour left. The moment the parachute was taken off me I ran to the hotel yelling her name each meter I got closer. I saw her walking rapidly up the stairs, and I think she heard me because she turned her head and looked at me and smiled.
“YOU ARE NOT DYING!” she yelled joyfully. “WHAT?! I am not? I don’t understand.” I whispered as she came closer. “I called the doctor once I heard the message and asked him if it was true. He told me that he was trying to call you on the number that you left him so that he could tell you that he received the wrong paper from his secretary. You don’t have Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis. Yeah I memorized it on my way here.” Words couldn’t have described how incredible I felt so I just ignored all the words and kept on hugging Mary.
At the corner I saw my parents climbing the stairs and I had to rub my eyes twice to make sure that I was seeing right. “Mom, Dad what brings you here?” I ran holding Mary’s hand to them and hugged all three of them, for the first time, at the same instant.
“I know son that we were harsh on you a little,” he started, “but it was all because we wanted the best for you. Maybe the best for us isn’t really the best for you, instead what you want to do is what matters the most. I hope you understood. I just learned that, when I realized that I was about to lose the most important person in my life. So from this instant I declare you the head of the “Cole’s Bakery” that is now under construction in New York.”
Everything was just happening too fast, I couldn’t absorb it in. After pinching myself three times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I had to use this opportunity to make another person smile today, so, I took out a small box from my back pocket and bent on my knee and asked, “Ms. Mary Donavan, will you marry me?” Mary looked at me with tearful eyes and cried, “YES!”