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A Date With The Rest of My Life

A short story

By Reija SillanpaaPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
A Date With The Rest of My Life
Photo by Jos Speetjens on Unsplash

The waiting room clock mocks me. It plays games with me, crawling when I look, but taking leaps when my attention is elsewhere.

I stare at my hands, trying to count how many years I have left from my lifeline. Is it weeks, months or years? I cannot tell. It is all muddled up and broken.

Each time a nurse walks into the waiting room, I lift my head. Get ready to follow her, but every time she calls someone else’s name.

It’s someone else’s turn to meet the executioner or the pardoner.

I pray it’s my turn soon, but like the clock, I have two gears. The other wants the whole thing over while the other is ready to shift into reverse.

It wants to reverse right out of the waiting room and back to a time when cancer had not entered my life. To a time when it was just a scary word. To a time when I enjoyed life carefree.

“You are too young to have cancer.”

I have lost count of how many times I have heard that. I wish cancer had agreed that I was too young and left me alone. But it didn’t and here I am, waiting for my sentence.

I stare at my lifeline again and trace it with my index finger. If only it would yield me a clue.

Another nurse walks into the room. I register my name. It’s my turn. At last, and way too soon.

“Good luck, you’ll be fine,” the woman who is sitting opposite me says as I get up.

My mouth is too dry to thank her or to wish her luck with her treatments. I just nod and lift the corners of my mouth a fraction. Her head is bold, so I know she is behind me in her treatments. I resist the temptation to feel my rapidly growing hair as I follow the nurse.

She is wearing practical shoes with rubber soles and each time she lifts her right foot it makes a sound, like farting. It makes me giggle despite the fear that twists and turns my insides.

She takes me into a room more familiar than I’d like it to be. I sat in the same room when I found out I had womb cancer. I sat here again after they had successfully removed the tumour and my doctor told me I needed chemotherapy.

But at least then I had my partner by my side. This time he’s not allowed in. Rules of the pandemic.

“If you just wait here, your doctor will be along shortly.” The nurse closes the door and I’m left alone.

I close my eyes and try to visualise a future, but I can’t. It’s impossible to see anything past these walls right now.The door opens and my oncologist, Dr Lalendrello, walks in. I can’t read anything from her face.

A cold bead of sweat breaks loose from the back of my neck and runs down my spine. Time slows down again. Each second is as long as a minute as I wait for her to take a seat opposite me.

“Good news.” She breaks into a smile once she has sat down. “The treatments worked. Your scan is all clear. There is no evidence of the disease.”

I can breathe again. Tears of relief run down my face and I want to hug her, but I can’t. Pandemic rules again.

Instead, I beam back at her as the words ‘no evidence of the disease’ go around my head in a loop. They are the most delicious words I have ever heard.

The executioner will have to wait.

I rush home, eager to tell my partner. He told me to call, but I want to tell him in person. I want to see the happiness on his face.

I burst through the door when I get to our flat.

“Darling, get out that bottle of Merlot we have been saving and pour me a large glass. Today we celebrate the date with the rest of my life.”

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Reija Sillanpaa

A wise person said, "Be your own audience". Therefore, I write fiction, poetry and about matters important and interesting to me. That said, I warmly welcome you into my audience.

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    Reija SillanpaaWritten by Reija Sillanpaa

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