When It's Gone

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Nick Brennan, facing certain health issues, goes to the Doctor and gets the shock of his life. A twist that even a professional like Nick couldn't have come up with.

Submitted: March 26, 2018

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Submitted: March 26, 2018

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What's Wrong and How To Fix It

The rain was pouring pretty hard. The past few weeks it seemed to just come down fast and nasty. You could feel the pounding on the streets from your living room. The lightning and thunder were the alarm clock of Mother Nature. The reminder that it was her time to keep you awake while she takes care of her business. It was always an unpleasant yet a beautiful experience. It reminded me of the first times I had met a woman and wanted to take her home. The initial approach was awkward but yet as the night continued, the buildup and anticipation was of more excitement than I had known before. 

I was sitting in my living room. It was after 11:30 at night. Jenny Mintz was asleep in the bedroom. Normally, I didn't leave her side when we were in bed but I was feeling restless. The feeling that I should be doing something productive. A horrible time for that feeling but nonetheless, it was here and requiring that I take care of it at once. Not wanting to write a story I had decided to play some music in the background while staring at the weather. 

For some reason, out of all the Billy Joel albums that I had in my collection, I played 'Storm Front'. It was not my favorite album of his. I put it on the last song on the album. "And So It Goes" was my favorite song. It had a great story, haunting as hell and just incredible from an incredible performer. I had it on repeat and was on my third playing of the song. I had a bottle of Pepsi on the table and a large coffee cup full of it. Solitude was the order of the night and I was following to the best of my ability.

The past few weeks I had been in a slump. The gang told me that I wasn't myself. Something was off center. They had been forceful with this claim. Lucas Coleman wouldn't leave my house at one point, until he had convinced me that there was something wrong with me. Chris Messner of all the people in the world came over to check on me. He and I had a very nice chat but I told him like I had told Lucas that I was alright. They seemed pretty convinced that I was OK. Jenny tried to talk to me about it one night while we were having dinner.

"Are you OK?" Jenny asked.

"I do not understand why people think that there is something wrong with me. I am fine. I promise you that I am fine." I said.

"Everyone is just concerned," Jenny said.

"Honey, I am OK. I don't know what would be wrong." I said. I felt the urge to shake my head. 

"Is work going OK?" Jenny asked.

"Yeah, I don't have any new assignments or things I need to work on. I am all caught up." I said.

Jenny raised an eyebrow. We went back to eating. Jenny was the smartest woman I had ever known in my life. Well, more neck and neck with Liz Howley. There was something wrong with me. I didn't want to admit to Jenny but I hadn't been feeling all that well as of late. 

About six months ago, I was at home in my office writing some notes down on a notepad about an article idea I was going to submit to the 'Gazette'. I noticed that my left hand was shaky. I couldn't hold a pen straight to save my life. I put the pen down and tried to shake my hand awake. After thirty seconds I tried to grab the pen again to make some notes. I got the pen to stay still but noticed that the writing was extremely smaller than how I normally write with a pen. I didn't think much of it but had a trace amount of concern that something could have been wrong. Deciding to leave it alone for a while, I went about life as normally as I could.

Two months later, Jenny and I were walking the track at Ridgeview High. It was a very nice spring day in early April. School was out and we decided that a leisurely stroll on the track was in order. I had some workout clothes on and saw that Jenny had changed into some workout attire as well. She looked great in anything, especially when her hair was down.

She was at the track waiting for me. Pointing at her watch, she was smiling and laughing. Just beautiful.

"Your late. That will be an extra three laps," Jenny said.

"If I'd have known you were gonna change here, I'd have gone into the locker room with you and helped you out of your teaching clothes," I said.

"Why sir, I am a respected teacher on this campus," Jenny said. She was walking closer towards me. "What will the staff and students think of some shenanigans going on?"

"Well, we can just further their sex education." I said. I went in for a kiss and Jenny playfully smacked my chest. We kissed and headed for the track. When we got to the track, I already felt exhausted. I tried to catch my breath but I couldn't. Jenny held on to me.

"Nick, are you OK?" Jenny asked.

"I don't know," I said. "I just don't know." 

Jenny somehow got me to the car and took me to see my doctor. After a few hours with him, he sent us to specialists and specialists for a couple of weeks. They all had differing opinions as to what exactly was wrong with me. I knew that I was tired real easily and that I couldn't concentrate or write anything with a pen or pencil. I knew that Jenny was trying to be brave for me. I was scared. I had a hunch as to what it could possibly be.

A few weeks later, towards the first week of May, I got the call that would change my life.

I received a call from my specialist. I went into the office that afternoon and it was there that I heard the news.

Parkinson's Disease.

The rest of that day was a blur. The Doctor explained all about Parkinson's. What could be done, the cause and where we went from there. I'm sure that I listened to all of it but the only thing that kept repeating in my mind were those two words.

Parkinson's Disease.

I took all of the pamphlets and information that the Doctor gave me. On the drive home I went a little slower than the speed limit while listening to "My Life" by Billy Joel. I had to laugh at the weird circumstances for that song. I had just received the worst news of my life and this song of all songs is playing. Life works in weird ways, I suppose. I drove around town for about thirty minutes just looking at Ridgeview. It seemed like the only thing to do.

An hour later I made it home as the rain came pouring down. I put all of the information from the hospital in my jacket and hurried in the house. Jenny was in the kitchen making something for dinner. I stood in the entryway just watching her. She was so beautiful. I wished I'd of had her in my life sooner but knowing that she was here now meant an awful lot to me. Jenny looked up after a couple of minutes to see me standing in the entry way. 
She moved from the kitchen and headed over towards me. 

"Are you OK?" Jenny asked.

I hesitated before answering. The papers in my jacket started to fall out on to the floor. Jenny and I went down to pick them up. Jenny looked at one and her jaw dropped as she was reading this.

"This can't be," Jenny said. "This just can't be."

"It is." I said. 

I pulled out the papers and set them on the entryway table. I slowly walked back to the bedroom. Jenny hurried to the kitchen. After a couple of minutes she joined me in the bedroom. I was laying down wearing my shorts and a t shirt. Jenny laid down next to me.

"I'm not sure what to say," Jenny said.

"I'm not big into small talk either. I say we should just get naked and see what happens from there." I said.

"Not now, Nick." Jenny said. "We need to talk about this."

"What is there to talk about? I have to see a specialist in a couple of weeks and from there we will figure out how to handle this from there. There are medications that I can take and we will come up with a plan." I said.

"You are being very brave about this. I am so afraid." Jenny said.

"Jenny, I'm not dying. I'm in my mid 50's and this has a history in my family. I'm gonna be around for a while. A little slower and more forgetful of things but I will still be the same cuddly guy you fell in love with." I said.

I saw Jenny smile as a few tears fell from her face. I returned her smile.

"Nothing we can do right now. Well there is one thing," I said.

"What is that?" Jenny asked.

"What's for dinner? I'm pretty hungry." I said.

Jenny laughed and kissed me.

After dinner, we headed to bed early. The rain was still coming down pretty hard. I got up from the bed and headed to the kitchen. I poured a glass of Pepsi and took the bottle and headed to the couch. Turning on Billy Joel's "Storm Front" album, I sat there and contemplated what to do from there. There was gonna be a time where I couldn't write or tell stories like I used to. Reporting on camera was out of the question. Financially I was OK. I could take care of myself and Jenny for the rest of our lives. I just wasn't sure what to do.

However, there was one thing that I was very sure of. 

I wasn't gonna go down quietly. 


© Copyright 2018 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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