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The Truth

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Sarah casually combed through her red locks, letting the ends fall onto her shoulders as she watched her reflection in the mirror and tried to imagine what it would be like to not have any hair at all. She pictured those ads she saw on TV so many times. The ones that plead with their audience to donate money to one hospital or another, featuring the faces of dying people. She sighed and set the brush down just as Lucas walked through the door. He shed his jacket and flung it onto the bed, loosening his tie and casting her a warm glance. “How was work today?” Sarah asked, wondering if he could detect the sadness in her voice. He merely shrugged and pecked her on the cheek. “Work is work. I’m more concerned about you. How did the appointment go?”
She glanced at him through the mirror. He watched her intently, and she silently begged for something to happen in that moment so she wouldn’t have to tell him the truth. “It went all right,” she said. Her eyes fell downward, catching a glimpse at the brush. There were several clumps of hair she hadn’t noticed at first. “What did the doctor say?” she heard Lucas ask. Over and over in her head, she replayed that meeting. She heard the doctor tell her the results, echoing through her mind like a broken record. “We just talked about the test results,” she replied flatly. About how they came back positive, she thought. About the cost of treatment. About the possibility that I won’t make it through this. About how little time I have left. Sarah blinked hard to keep the tears at bay before finally turning to face her husband. “And?” Lucas tilted his head slightly and leaned forward. Sarah forced a smile. “I’m okay.”
Lucas smiled faintly and nodded. “I knew you would be.” Sarah glanced down into her lap. Her hands rested in her lap, pale and cold. She imagined how they would look in a month or two, frail and withering away along with the rest of her. Lucas’ sigh brought her back to reality. He was now kneeling in front of her, taking those cold hands into his own. “I’m so glad you’re healthy,” he said, his eyes smiling. “If anything were to happen to you, I want you to know that I would do anything to make sure you got better.” Sarah could feel the back of her throat begin to burn and her eyes get sore. She bit the inside of her cheek and nodded, trying not to let her chin wobble.
“No matter how much money, or how long, or even if we had to travel. I would do anything for your health.” Lucas looked into his wife’s eyes and saw the tears begin to spill over. He knew she was lying. He knew the moment he stepped out of the office and dialed the hospital’s number. He knew the second they told him the truth. He knew all of it, but said nothing. If Sarah wasn’t ready to tell him, then he would wait. “I love you so much.” His wife scrunched up her face and pressed it against his chest as he wrapped his arms around her shivering body.
Maybe you aren’t ready to tell me yet, he thought as he squeezed Sarah tightly against him. But I will die before I let anything take you. Sarah sniffled and pulled back, kissing her husband as the last tear fell into her lap. She once again forced a smile as she watched him struggle to hold back his own tears. She wondered if he was crying because she was, or if he knew the truth. “I love you too, Lucas. So much.” The man nodded again and wiped her wet cheek. “Everything will be okay.”






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