Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:
“There’s no mistake?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Hill, but there is no mistake.”
Gerald Hill took a deep breath and leaned back into bed. He had adjusted the head of the bed to an almost vertical position so he didn’t have to lean back that far. He had been in the hospital for four days, four long, excruciatingly boring days where they had taken numerous blood tests, done biopsies all over the place, he’s an MRI and a CAT scan and now, the day before his birthday, he had been given the story. Probably not the full story, but enough for him to know the truth.
The doctor shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot before answering. “We’re not sure, Mr. Hill. Normally with sort of condition we could give you a good estimate based on continued growth, an analysis of the symptoms and even blood chemistry, but in your case … in your case, Mr. Hill, we’re just not sure. You may have six weeks, six months or six years. until we have a better understanding of the growth pattern of the tumor we just don’t know.” The doctor finished by looking at his feet, obviously flustered at not being able to answer the one question he knew he was going to be asked.
“Well, that sucks.”
“Is there someone that we can call for you, Mr. Hill. Someone who can assist with your recovery?”
It was now Gerald’s turn to look uncomfortable. “I’m thirty-three years old and, to be honest doc, I’ve never had a serious relationship. I was an only child and when my parents died when I was seventeen I realized that all of my relatives only cared for my parent’s money, not anyone else. So, no, I have no wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, I have no relatives and no real friends.”
“Well,” said the doctor, “if I could quote a patient of mine, ‘that sucks’.”
The laughter that exploded out of his chest felt good. Really good. The stress of the past week flew out of his mind and he felt, lighter, more carefree, more able to absorb the blows the world was tossing his way. As the laughter died down he looked at the doctor, a glimmer of an idea percolating in his over active mind.
“You know, doc, I think I know what I want to do with the rest of my life.”
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