This was written in response to Thain in Vain’s weekly flash fiction challenge where this week the prompt was: While driving to work one morning, you decide to drive past the office and keep on driving. As I have already mentioned, it is breast cancer awareness month and while I didn’t set out to write a flash fiction story with this theme, I’m not sad or sorry about the result. As a fellow blogger said today and I am shamelessly adding to, “Let’s kick cancer’s ass!”
The Perfect Choice
I sit outside his building wondering how the hell I got here. One minute I was driving to work and the next, I passed it by and drove here. I know what I want to do and excitement and fear have started a war in my stomach that threatens to come up my throat. My palms are sweating and my body starts to shake. I’m not sure how he’s going to react, but I hope he understands.
I need him to understand.
I finally muster up enough courage to make the phone call and before I know it, he’s standing at my door, tears glistening in his eyes.
Still afraid, still unsure, I open the door and slowly step out. His arms surround me and we cry together, so many unspoken words falling silently between us.
Cancer has spread through my body at an alarming rate and I’ve been told it will be less than six months. I could prolong it with chemo by maybe a year, but that isn’t even guaranteed.
That decision was easy. Six months it is.
But I can’t stop thinking about the next six months, if it will even be that long.
The pain isn’t so bad right now. I could work for a few more days or weeks, or months. It’s what we talked about, what we decided to do. Just live and enjoy each moment as if the end wasn’t lurking around the next sunrise or sunset.
But today is different.
I don’t know why it’s different; why I passed by work and made my way here, but I did; and now that I’ve started down this path, I know it’s what I want to do; know I don’t want to go back.
He sits in the driver’s seat and I sit next to him, our hands entwined as he drives away from the rising sun.
It doesn’t take long before the decision settles in and we talk and laugh, remembering and cherishing. We listen to our favorite songs, singing along loudly and out of key. It’s a long drive but it doesn’t feel like it. I want it to last forever, but I know it won’t.
The sun chases us down and passes us by, setting in front of us in a bright orange blaze. Long stretches of dusty, desert roads are replaced by towns then cities. Palm trees stand at attention along the highway, waving hello in the cool breeze that blows through the open windows.
My first glimpse of the ocean is breathtaking and I walk along the shoreline feeling the sand squeeze between my toes; taste the salt in the air. As I hold my lover’s hand, I watch the gray-blue water touch the horizon, roiling and churning as it hits the shoreline and I am hypnotized; mesmerized. All the little doubts I carried with me on the long drive float away.
Cancer has taken everything from me, but it can’t have this.
This is my choice and for me, it’s perfect.