Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:
The conference room was quiet, the only sound being me turning the pages of the report that lay on the table in front of me. The others in the room, my ex-wife, my doctor, my publicist, they were at the other end of the large oak conference table, letting me read the report in silence. No one moved. No one cleared their throat. No one did anything.
Finally I got to the end and flipped the last page. I turned them all over, straightening out the pages by tapping on the top and sides to form a nice, neat, orderly pile. I then placed the pages back in the folder, closed up the folder and stood up.
“Well,” I said, clearing my throat, “it appears to be a well documented and complete diagnosis. Based on the report and the defined progression of the … affliction … I would say that we are looking at between two and three weeks?” I looked at the doctor with my steady blue eyes, but he couldn’t meet them. He just nodded as he lowered his gaze to the top of the table. A small grin showed up at the corner of my mouth. So that’s the way it’s going to be.
“Lisa, could you put out a press release saying that for the next few weeks I will be … researching? … yes, researching for a new series. If things go well people can expect a taste of the new work in the fall. Don’t give them any clues, just tell them to expect something different. I guess that’s it. If you’ll excuse me, I have a plane to catch and a vacation to go on. I might as well take advantage of things while I can.”
“Jeremy, why don’t you stay here, stay with me, we can …”
“Joyce, thank you for the offer, but we both know that it wouldn’t work out. We don’t love each other, never really have either, come to think of it, so me moving in with you makes no sense. No, with only a couple of weeks left I think I need to live a little, go crazy before, well, before I can’t. Thank you everyone and I may or may not see you later.”
I left the office and met the limousine waiting for me outside the medical center. If I only had a few weeks to do something meaningful I didn’t want the old me dragging things down.
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