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Cracked Pieces

The rain was pounding hard on the window as Alex stumbled sleepily into the empty kitchen. The cold wooden floor shook Alex out of his slumber as he stepped towards the fridge to retrieve the carton of fresh orange juice. The scar on his arm tingled slightly as he reached towards the counter, realizing all the cups were in the sink. Grudgingly he limped over to the sink, cursing himself for not washing the dishes the night before. The soothing hum of the water made him forget the stinging sensation is his leg. It made him forget the last couple of weeks. The hell that was turning more hellish by the minute. It made him forget the accident, the coma, the pain, the pending surgery. Alex glanced up at the picture above the sink. Him and Kate, happily smiling against the crimson sunset. Kate’s beautiful smile, before it got contaminated by sleepless nights near his hospital bed.

The sudden shrill of the telephone pulled Alex from his thoughts. He staggered across the kitchen towards the counter on which sat the black device. When he was halfway done with his journey, the receiver clicked, indicating that Kate had gotten to the telephone upstairs before he had reached the kitchen one. Alex swore under his breath as he recognized the number on the caller ID. Dr.Gravenclaw. This is it, Alex thought as he dragged himself back to the sink to continue scrubbing the mountain of old pans. His hands twitched nervously as he dabbed some soap into the shriveled sponge.

Kate’s light footsteps down the old creaky stairs startled Alex. He froze, his hand resting on the greasy plate as he waited for her to start talking. To tell the verdict.

“Hey, babe,” Kate spoke slowly, careful not to disturb the fragile silence. Alex didn’t answer. He kept his back to her, gripping the side of the sink.

“I, um, just talked to Dr.G. He, uh, got the results back from the lab. And he, uh, said that...” Kate’s voice trailed off as she sucked her breath in.

“Just say it, Kate!” Alex muttered under his breath, concentrating on getting the remains of the burnt paella off the black plate.

Kate crept up beside him, one hand resting on his arm. “They’re going to have to operate,” she whispered, looking worriedly into Alex’s blue eyes.

Alex closed his eyes for a minute, concentrating his mind on the light hum of the faucet. He didn’t realize until it was too late that he had dropped the black dish and it came crashing down onto the floor, breaking into little bits.

Kate sunk to the floor, her eyes glistening with tears. Alex bent down to help her retrieve the shattered plate.

“It’s going to be ok, Kate,” he told her, his voice shaking slightly, “We’ll make it through.”

Kate nodded, handing him the last piece. “Yeah we are.”



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