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21st April
posted by amber

Life Goes On

There is still the dog to walk and, god dammit, the toilets to clean. I’m dying of cancer and no one has stepped in to take such jobs from me. No one has asked, “How would you like to spend your last seven months?”

In Tahiti, on the beach, thank you very much.

Well, of course, I could do that. They don’t check your medical records, do they, when you call the airline to book that one-way ticket? So I leave huge debts behind? I won’t be around to care.

No, of course, I couldn’t do that to the kids, to my brother who has been so good, even to my ex-husband who has been so bad. Sometimes I feel like he thinks I got cancer just to one-up him in this absurd game of ‘who’s suffering the most.’ I mean, it was ridiculous for him to expect me to sympathize when the juicy young thing he divorced me for dumped him. And I have to admit that not having him try to cry on my shoulder any longer is a relief. Except that one time that he wanted to cry on my shoulder because it hurt him so much to face the prospect of his ex-wife dying of cancer.

I mean, how self-centered can one man be?

Don’t answer that.

I just thought it would be different, you know? I work so hard and for so little reward, and I don’t complain out loud, but in those wee hours when you can’t sleep for whatever reason (at least now when I can’t sleep, there is a reason) you entertain some strange fantasies. Mine were about either breaking my leg or going to jail. Some sort of reprieve from life for a while so that I’d have time to rest, to read, to think. I considered what sort of crime to commit, one that would give me about seven months (ironic, hey?) in a facility that wasn’t too hard core. My image was of some kind of low rent resort, windows with a view through the bars, private rooms that were spartan but not medieval.

And I never once considered who would come forward in my absence to walk the dog and clean the toilets and deal with the kids’ dramas and pay the bills. I assumed someone would.

Well, I was wrong. Even if you’re dying, life goes on.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

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