Sunday, May 25, 2008

...I Am Now

...I Am Now
Paul Diaz

What seemed like a fairy tale ended abruptly
With no happy ending, it was a dream, just a fantasy
I lived in a fairy tale that i wished there was no ending
It was just another sad story, with an end to my disliking

What once was is now just a distant memory
A tale which could be told by who else but me
Lost I was and I hid it from everyone
Too ashamed to admit that half my heart was gone

With tired and dried eyes I open them and see nothing
Scared to make a step but somehow i must start moving
Its time to end the old book and a new one I shall start
A new but tedious journey to mend my broken heart

Just like nine years ago i am again alone
I let go of all the misery and harshness my fate has shown
People kept asking how I am but i shy away somehow
This time when they ask me, heads up i answer....

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Paul Diaz

I heard it crack and i did feel much pain
I will never hear you say I love you again
I pick up the pieces of my shattered heart
It broke the moment you and i fell apart

The memories that we had i will cherrish forever
You will be in my heart even though were not together
All i want to say is that you hurt me badly
Your reason i dont want to know, I just hope that youre happy

And if by chance we do ever see each other
Just one smile please even though we are over
May he be the man that i was not able to be
May he fulfill your dreams and love you endlessly

Thank you for all the time we spent together
In my heart you will remain forever
I do feel bitter but there is still one thing that is true
Please believe me when i say I still love you

Monday, May 12, 2008

So its finally over...

"its finished a long time ago"

...that is what she said. Even though i could feel it coming for a long time now and i even have prepared for it; why does it hurt still?

I have sensed it a long time already, I have heard things, I have seen things but still my mind does not want to accept it. Now that it has been verified still my mind refuses to accept it. I have gone through the denial stage, I thought I have began to accept but now that it is real why do i still deny it.

I am back to nowhere...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Losing the will to write...

I am starting to lose the will to write...I dont know why but i feel that way. I do have lots of stories that i would like to share but lately I have not started any new ones.

I started growing my hair since November 2007, for eight years i always shave my head. Dont ask me why but i just do it. Six months ago i wanted a change so i started growing my hair. Thinking that change would occur nothing ever did happen so yesterday I shaved it all and you can see from the picture above the massive amount of hair that has vanished from my head.

And so i do look like the same old fool again that i was six months back.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Paul Diaz

She does not have to say it because the message is clear
The worst scenario that mosts lovers do fear
Still I it deny and do wish for the best
I did what i can, God will take care of the rest

Years ago i started to feel what most people call love
She was God's gift to me, a present that i can have
She came to my life and my being single was over
She was my first true love, the one i wished that would last forever

I do admit much fault since it was really a first for me
I was selfish, careless, insensitive, and i was truly sorry
I treasured her more and i treated her like a queen
Everything was set but problems came creeping in

She wanted to work far so apart we could be
Long distance it was but she still loved me
A year did went by and her love started to shatter
I somehow knew that soon our love will be over

She came back to me and my heart started to celebrate
But an ill feeling struck when she started talking about fate
I was the last to know that she would venture to another country
A land far away, a place where i would not be

She gave me a kiss and promised not to take long
So i tucked all tears in and became emotionally strong
A year has gone by and I never heard from her
Is this the end, is it all over?

I have gone through denial although it was not still clear
I keep having nightmares of that painful scenario that i fear
So much tears I have shed but i still hope for the better
I wish that one day this nightmare will be over

The message is clear i wish she could just be honest
Still i am the same idiot who is still hoping for the best
Each day that pass by I wish the tides would start changing
I am in so much pain, i am tired of waiting.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ONE BEAT: Final Chapter

Chapter 9: New Beat

Six months have passed and Sheryl has moved on with her life. She was still working at the same company and Jean was her new best friend. One Saturday morning Sheryl was stuffing her bag with clothes and Jean was helping her.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you?” Jean asked her. Sheryl smiled and said “I will be fine I am going to be back, I just need to finish this list” and she shows Jean the list.

“Are you crazy? Bungee Jumping and sky diving? Are you trying to kill yourself?” Jean said as she read the two unaccomplished tasks on the list. Sheryl laughs and takes the list. “You see we made a promise with John that we would finish this list together. We are together so I might as well finish it now” she said.

“Here take the SUV you will travel better with it” Jean offers the key to John’s car. Sheryl shook her head and said “That is your car now Jean, remember his promise. You are so sexy now so you deserve that car. I will just rent my one since I won’t be gone that long.”

“When I come back I will resign from work” Sheryl stated. Jean looked surprised and asked “Why? Where are you going to work if you resign?” Sheryl smiled at her again and zipped her bag. “At the hospital, Doctor Cartwright promised me an administrative position so I guess I will take it. I want to continue John’s work of helping people, I don’t know why but our heart tells me to do so” and Jean starts to get teary-eyed.

“Wait for me here, I will come with you. Don’t argue with me but I promised John to take care of you so wait for me here okay?” Jean said as she rushed to the hospital. Jean applied for an emergency leave so she could be with Sheryl.

The two of them went on a vacation; it was Jean’s first time to flaunt her new body. After spending several days on the beach they proceeded to the nearest venue for bungee jumping.

“Sheryl are you sure you have to do this?” Jean asked as Sheryl was being strapped in. “I have to; remember it’s a promise I made with John. So see you later Jean” she said and laughed. A few moments later Sheryl’s scream reverberated loudly as she went for free fall. She held her chest and thought about John the whole time and she was plunging downwards.

“John can you see this!? Another one done John! One more to go! I miss you John!!!”

As Jean reached the bottom she saw Sheryl unstrapped already and facing a corner. “Are you alright Sheryl?” Jean asked her. Sheryl wiped the tears in her eyes and faced her friend “I am fine I just remembered him again. I wish we could have done this together” Sheryl confessed. Jean comforted her and said “Now don’t cry remember he is with you always. He lives inside of you now so it was as if both of you jumped at the same time” she said.

Sheryl smiled and managed to laugh a bit “Hey Jean if I ask a favor would you do it?” she asked her friend. “Of course I will. Name it and I will do it” Jean boasted. Sheryl grinned and looked at her and Jean’s eyes grew bigger. “Oh no, no way, you are not going to let me jump. No way that is out of the question!” she said.

A few minutes later Jean was back on top and was strapped in and ready to jump. “Sheryl if it were not for John’s heart inside you I would really kill you!!!” she said as the attendant pushed her off. Jean’s scream was louder and Sheryl was enjoying watching from below.

Three days have passed and they found themselves in an abandoned airfield. This day was going to be Sheryl’s big jump, she was going sky diving. Jean and Sheryl attended the briefing for beginners and after an hour they were taught the proper way to jump and act on mid air.

“Sheryl I am just accompanying you to do this drills, but I am not jumping with you remember that” Jean told her. Sheryl was laughing and nodded “Don’t worry John is with me I will be fine” she said.

Jean helped Sheryl put on her jump suit and suddenly she froze and her jaw dropped. “Jean I cant see a thing come on help me” Sheryl said but Jean was not moving and she shook her head several times and then she smiled.

“Whats wrong with you Jean? Why are you spacing out all of a sudden?” Sheryl asked. “Nothing, there was dirt in my eyes I am sorry” she said.

Sheryl boarded the plane along with several people and their instructor. Jean waived at her one last time and moved towards the guest area. The plane started to move and a few seconds later it was airborne.

“Listen to me, I will repeat it one last time, your chutes will automatically open so just wait for it. If you feel scared do not panic just pull the cord is it clear?” their instructed repeated. Everyone nodded and the instructor put on his helmet. “Everyone put on your helmets now” he added.

Sheryl laughed at the person beside her because he had his helmet on since boarding the plane. She looked at the man beside him and said “You are excited I can tell” and she laughed at him. The man looked at her as she was about to wear her helmet. The man took off his helmet and Sheryl could not believe what was happening.

Her heart jumped and beat faster; she shook her head several times and wiped her eyes. She wanted to say something but words could not come out from her mouth. Tears started to materialize on her eyes and the man beside her wiped them.

“Do you think I would let you finish the list on your own?” John said. “Sorry about the bungee jump I was late by thirty minutes” he added and smiled at her. Sheryl dropped her helmet and embraced him tightly and started to cry.

“Is this a dream John?” she managed to ask him. John laughed and everyone was looking at the two of them. John kissed her on the lips and it lasted for a few seconds. “But how…I mean…you are really here with me” Sheryl said as she wiped her tears.

“We exchanged hearts” he said. “But my heart was supposed to be changed” she answered back. “Yup and they did change it” he said and smiled. “So you have my heart and I have your heart, well what was supposed to be your heart, but still it’s the same” he joked.

Sheryl smiled and still pouted. “How about the…” she was about to say but John put her helmet on her head and locked it. “Jeff took it out, all of it. I am fine now don’t worry” he said and he put on his helmet. Sheryl embraced him once again and the instructor tapped John and nodded.

John held Sheryl hands and they slowly walked towards the exit.

“When we get down we need to make a new list!” John shouted and she smiled and nodded. John jumped first and a few seconds later Sheryl followed. They drifted in mid air and a few seconds later John came beside Sheryl and he held her hand.

He moved his body as they were floating so they were face to face, both hands locked. He pulled her closer and everyone below thought it was an exhibition show. They started clapping and cheering for the two as their lips found each other.

ONE BEAT: Chapter 8

Chapter 8: One Beat

A few days passed and Sheryl opens her eyes. “Good morning Sunshine!” Jean greeted her. “Jean, my chest feels like its bruised” Sheryl said softly. “That’s because you have a new heart now” the nurse revealed. Sheryl was surprised and could not believe what Jean just said. “So John was not lying, I heard him say he found me a heart. So it’s real I do have a new heart. Where is John I want to see him?” Sheryl said with excitement.

Jean pouted and looked away from her and pretended to fill up the chart. “John is not here now but he will visit you soon. By the way he sends you flowers every day.” Jean said with a shaky voice. “Yup that’s the John that I know, he used to bring me flowers too before. So Jean do you know who owns this heart? You know I can feel its strong compared to the one I used to have” Sheryl elaborated.

Jean tried to compose herself but tears were already falling down her cheeks. She did not want Sheryl to see her crying so moved towards the door and took a deep breath. “That heart…belongs to someone great…so you better take care of it. Do you understand?” Jean said with a strict voice and Sheryl touched her chest. “Yes I will” she answered and Jean nodded and stepped out of the room.

Another week passed and Sheryl was on her feet already. She went out her room and walked around the hall looking for Estella and Jean. She noticed the hall was silent and there was a sense of gloominess in the air. Once she was near the nurses’ station she saw her boss Tommy Thorn. “Sheryl! Wow! You are doing great, so how is the heart doing?” her boss asked. “Good morning sir, I am doing well. It’s a strong heart I really can feel the difference” she replied.

“That’s good to hear” Tommy said. “Are you here to visit your mother?” Sheryl asked. Tommy nodded and smiled “I’ve been coming here daily for two weeks now, my mom got out of the coma already but she still has to be confined they told me” he revealed. Sheryl was surprised and delighted to hear the good news. “Would you like to come and meet my mother?” Tommy asked her. Sheryl smiled and nodded so they proceeded to Mrs. Thorn’s room.

Tommy opened the door and he was surprised to see his mother standing and walking around. “Mom! They said you can’t walk around the room yet!” Tommy angrily said. The old woman turned around and saw his son with a young woman. “Oh so you come to introduce your girlfriend” Mrs. Thorn said. Tommy and Sheryl went inside the room and closed the door. “She is not my girlfriend mom, she is Sheryl, she works for the company and she just had a heart transplant” Tommy stated.

Mrs. Thorn took a good look at Sheryl and asked her to come closer. “Sheryl, I heard that name before” the old lady said. “I came to visit you once with John when you were in a coma” Sheryl softly said. “Yes now I remember, come sit beside me. John told me about you” said the old lady. Sheryl was surprised and looked at Tommy.

“John came here every day telling me stories about many things. He kept telling me jokes and I felt like laughing really” Mrs. Thorn revealed. Tommy and Sheryl were more confused with what the old lady was saying. “You see I was in a coma but I could hear him talking to me. Every day he would tell me about this old man who he races with along the corridor, he even wanted me to meet him. I think he was pairing me up with that man. Then he told me about Jean the nurse who he made a deal with, if she loses a hundred pounds he would give her a car. John is a really good man you know” Mrs. Thorn said and paused.

“One day all his stories were about this blink kid he takes care of. He brought that kid here once but he didn’t say a word to me. Then all the jokes stopped one day and he started telling me that he saw a lady patient, he said it was love at first sight. He brought the lady flowers everyday and he felt sad for her because no one came to visit her. Yes I know he said her name was Sheryl, and that is you am I right?” Mrs. Thorn revealed and Sheryl was speechless.

“Oh, even when you regained consciousness he would come here and tell me stories about you. Before you two went on a vacation he came here to say he will not be coming for a while. Sad thing is that after a long time he came back and said he you were in need of a new heart. The next thing I know I heard him say he found you a new heart. I don’t know if I should tell you this but I heard him crying I don’t know why, he should have been happy. Suddenly after a while he told me he might not be able to come visit me anymore, he said goodbye to me and I felt so sad and I cried inside” said the old lady as tears started to gather on her eyes.

Sheryl was teary-eyed and Tommy just took a deep breath and stood by the window. “Did he say where he was going?” Sheryl asked and the old lady shook her head. “John was a kind man I can tell that even if I never really met him. I remember once he told me that as long as he sees patients getting well and with smiles on their faces each day he feels cured too” Mrs. Thorn added. Sheryl looked at the old lady and asked “What do you mean cured? Was he sick?”

“I think I remember him telling me he was. I think he said he was not a medical worker but a sick patient like me on the first day he introduced himself. Of course I wanted to ask him but I was in a coma” recalled the old lady. Sheryl stood up and rushed out of the room and headed towards the nurses’ station.

Sheryl saw Estella and immediately confronted her. “Tell me was John sick?!!!” she shouted. Estella was shocked and speechless; Jean came to her rescue and held back Sheryl. “Jean tell me was John sick?!!!” she asked again. Estella and Jean nodded at each other and escorted Sheryl towards Doctor Cartwright’s office. “Where are we going?!!! Why can’t you answer my question?!!!” Sheryl angrily said but the two were silent.

As soon as they entered the doctor’s office Jean closed the door. “What are we doing here? I don’t need to see my doctor; I am fine I just need answers!” Sheryl continued. “Sheryl please sit down” doctor Cartwright told her. Sheryl sat down and Estella sat beside her. Sheryl noticed the uneasiness on their faces so she began to worry. “I want the truth now, where is John?!!!” she yelled.

“I guess its time for you to learn the truth. John has been suffering from cancer for a long time. He did not want to get treatment at first but when he met you he came to me but it was a bit too late” the doctor revealed and Sheryl was speechless. Jean and Sheryl were already in tears but comforting Sheryl and watching her closely.

“He left you a letter and he instructed me to give it to you once you have recovered. I think this will clarify things for you” doctor Cartwright told her and handed over the letter.

Sheryl tore the envelope and quickly read the letter.


By the time you are reading this I guess your operation went well. I hope you got the flowers that I told them to give you daily. It’s hard for me to explain everything so I just made a poem so I do hope you can understand.


The moment I saw you my heart skipped and beat faster

Alone in this world I shall never be any longer

He may have left you because of your weak heart

A dire condition as stated in your medical chart

We are just the same, I too am suffering

I’m not curable and so my time is ticking

To prove my love I would do one amazing fete

When it’s done we would have one beat.

No second thoughts and one final decision

My heart is yours, be healthy and live on

I may be gone but I made you complete

Together we are one heart and one beat

Well I guess that says it all. Take care of yourself and I love you very much. Sorry I was ashamed to tell you that before but I hope it’s not too late.

Be well and live life to the fullest. Take care of our heart.


Sheryl’s jaw dropped and she slowly looked at her doctor. She placed her hand on her chest and the doctor nodded. Tears started flowing down her cheeks and she sat back on the chair. The room was silent for a moment and Sheryl stood up and walked towards the door. She turned towards the doctor and her lips were trembling, “He gave me his heart…he made me live…one beat…” she said and then she fainted.

“Is she alright?” Doctor Cartwright asked Estella who was first to rush to the aid of Sheryl. “Yes doctor she just fainted. Her heart is beating fine” the nurse replied. “Good, Estella, Jean please keep her company for a while then. I know John’s heart can take it but her will might not” the doctor ordered. “Yes doctor” Jean replied as they both carry Sheryl out of the office.

A few days later Doctor Cartwright, Estella and Doctor Mathews were walking cautiously to restricted section of the hospital. They enter a room and turn on the lights; a constant beeping sound was heard in the room. “Estella is that you?” John asked in a weak voice. John was in bed, several wires and tubes were attached to his body. “Hello John, how are you today?” Jeff asked him. “Jeff did you take it all out?” John asked his doctor. “Yes I was able to take out everything but you still need to undergo chemotherapy after you get a new heart” the doctor said.

“How is she? Does she know already?” John asked. “Yes she knows” Estella answered. “So how did she take it?” he added. “She fainted at first and remained silent for days. Your heart did well I should say. She is fine now, she will be discharged later and as you requested Jean will be transferring to your apartment to watch over her” Estella said.

“That’s good to hear. So she is going home now, that’s good to hear. Thank you guys, and you know she really has a weak heart” John whispered and closed his eyes. A few seconds later the constant beeping sound became a monotonous unending tone, John went flat line.

“Jesus Christ! Estella quickly charge it to 300!” Doctor Cartwright screamed. “I know I know!” Estella panicked. “Jeff go get everyone you can, prepare the operating room and ask Jean to call….damnit! We need the heart as soon as possible!!!” the doctor added.

“John don’t you die on me!!! John!!!

ONE BEAT: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Extreme Sacrifice

The following morning they hiked back towards the cabin this time for four hours they never let go of each other’s hand. They packed all their things and said goodbye to the wonderful place they stayed for almost a month. Even on the long drive back to the city as John was driving Sheryl did not want to let go of his right hand.

As they reached the city proper John woke up Sheryl. “Can you wait here for a moment, I will just go and check if I have some papers to sign” John told her. Sheryl opened her eyes and saw that they were in front of the hospital. “I want to come in with you” she said. They both went inside the hospital; everyone was smiling at them for they were holding hands. They reached the nurses’ station and everyone there was clapping and cheering for them.

“I knew it you two got married and went on a honeymoon right?” Estella asked them. Sheryl laughed and shook her head. “Hey Estella is there some paper work for me?” John immediately asked. “None whatsoever but he is looking for you, he is at his office” Estella said and looked John in the eye. He at once knew who she was talking about so he turned to Sheryl. “Can you wait here for a moment?” he told her. Sheryl smiled and nodded and John started to walk away.

As John was heading towards his doctor’s office he heard Estella scream out loud. Once he turned his head he saw Sheryl on the floor. “John! She collapsed!!! John!!!” Estella kept screaming and John ran towards Sheryl. All the nurses were rushing towards her, all the patients on the hall started to open their doors and peep outside.

Everything was happening so fast and John’s vision began to blur. “John! John! What’s happening to you both?!!” were the last words John heard and he fell unconscious.

John woke up and opened his eyes and saw Jean sitting beside his bed. “How is she?” John managed to whisper and Jean stood up and looked at him. “She is taken care of, so just rest” she told him. John tried to move but there were restraints on his arms and legs. “Jean why am I restrained to the bed?!” he yelled. “It’s for your own good John so please leave her to us for now, Doctor Cartwright is with her. Doctor Mathews will be here in a short while” she said as she injected some fluids on his dextrose. A few seconds later John fell into deep sleep once more.

A few hours later John once again opened his eyes and there were a lot of people in his room. “How is she?” he asked once more. “She is stable for now” Doctor Cartwright told him. “What do you mean for now?!!!” John yelled and tried to break free of his restraints. “Now John relax, everything is fine” Estella told him. He looked at all the faces in his room and he recognized Jean, Estella, Jeff Mathews and Harry Cartwright. “Why are you all here? Who is taking care of her?” he asked them.

“The other nurses John so please don’t worry” Jean said. “Damnit!!! You four are the people close to me why are you all here? I need some of you to stay with her!!!” he shouted. “John we need to talk” Harry said and the room went quiet.

“Sheryl’s heart has become weaker, now I’m not saying that she is going to die but to be honest with you I would suggest a heart transplant immediately” Doctor Cartwright revealed. “So what the hell are you waiting for then? Go find her a heart! I will pay for it no matter what cost just find her a heart!!!” John angrily said.

“Now it does not work that way and you know that. She is already on the list, we submitted her name this morning” Harry stated. “What number?” John asked. “You don’t have to worry about the number as long as she is on the list John” the doctor said. “What number?!!!” John angrily asked. “Number fifteen” the doctor revealed.

John started to cry and tried to break free. “Remove this things right away that’s an order!” he told them. “John listen to me, she has much more time compared to you” Jeff told him. John calmed down and looked at his doctor. “We have to operate on you as soon as possible” Doctor Jeff Mathews told him. Estella and Jean started crying and John closed his eyes.

“Okay when can I have my operation? How soon will I recover?” John asked. “We can have your tests today and if the results are okay then you will have your clearance by tomorrow. So most probably in three days” his doctor said. “Find do all the tests now and after let me see her” John told the doctor and he agreed.

After several tests were conducted on John he was then allowed to visit Sheryl. The Intensive Care Unit was filled with people, nurses, doctors and even patients who are close to John. Everyone was looking through the glass as Sheryl was waiving at them from the inside. John went inside the room and held her hands. Estella dispersed the crowd outside and nodded at John.

“Sheryl I am sorry, if I didn’t force you to take that trip then you might not have ended that way” John said as tears fell from his eyes. “Shut up you cry baby, come closer I missed you” she said. John could not utter a single word from that point and kept crying. “I will get a new heart soon so hang on to the list and when I get better we will take another trip and finish the list together” she whispered and more tears started flowing down John’s face.

After an hour Estella entered the room and checked on Sheryl’s condition. “John you cannot stay here, you have to go back. You can come back tomorrow morning” she told John. He could not do anything since he knew that was the rule so he bade her goodnight and went back to his room.

The following morning John attended to Sheryl. He fed her breakfast and gave her a sponge bath. They both enjoyed each other’s company as if there was no problem whatsoever. After lunch Jean signaled John to step out of the room and he saw the nurse holding a folder. He knew it was his results so he quickly went to meet her.

“Here are your results; you are cleared for the operation. Shall we schedule it tomorrow?” Jean asked. John looked at the results and looked at Jean. “Can you get me the results of Sheryl’s exams?” he asked her. Jean nodded but looked at him curiously. “Yes but why do you want to see them?” she asked. “Please Jean I just want to see them” he said. “Okay come and follow me then” Jean told him and they went to the nurses’ station.

Thirty minutes later John entered Doctor Cartwright’s office and closed the door behind him. He placed the two folders in front of his desk and the doctor was confused. “So this are your records and her records, what do you want me to do with them?” Harry asked.

“Perfect match, blood sampling, tissue sampling and the rest are okay” John said. Harry’s eyes grew bigger and shook his head. “No way! That is out of the question! You cannot do that and I will not allow you to do that. I swore to you father and mother that I would take care of you so the answer is no!” he yelled at John.

“I stuck my neck out for you several times Harry; all I ask is to exchange our hearts. I will be the one doing the waiting” John revealed. “No! That is not possible! You can fire me if you want; I am not going to do that!” Harry replied. “Please Harry! I beg you please exchange our hearts. She has a greater chance of living with my heart. You know my condition even if my operation goes well; I still have a fifty percent chance of surviving after that. When Sheryl gets my heart and if her body does not reject it then she will live long. So please Harry do this for me” John begged him.

“You are really my stupid godson! Exchange hearts so what if you reject her heart? Or what if you both turn out well but you still end up with a weak heart. And do you think you can recover from your operation with a weak heart? Stupid! Stupid! You are my stupid godson!”

Harry bowed his head and understood the situation but he decided to look away. “I need to talk to Jeff” Harry said and John immediately called for him. An hour of heated argument ensued inside Doctor Cartwright’s office and a lot of people were gathering outside to listen. A moment later the door opened Jeff Mathews rushed out and walked away quickly. John followed but walked slowly and headed towards Sheryl’s room.

John woke up Sheryl and said “I found you a heart Sheryl. You are going to be fine now” he said but Sheryl only managed to open her eyes a bit but she smiled at him. John kissed her on the forehead and went back to his room.

ONE BEAT: Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Borrowed Time

“Okay first you have to wear your seatbelt” John told Sheryl and she locked her seatbelt at once. “I am so excited, what is next what should I step on?” she asked. John laughed and said “Relax first, this is an automatic transmission vehicle so you can let you left leg rest and the right one shall do all the work. The first pedal is your brakes and the last pedal is your accelerator. Now make sure the shifter is in Park or Neutral before you can turn on the ignition. Try it now” he told her and she quickly turned the key and the engine started. “Now shift it to D or Drive, then let go of the handbrake” John said and Sheryl did as instructed. “Now just pump a little on the accelerator, just enough to make the car move” he told her and the car started to move. Sheryl was so excited, both hands were on the steering wheel and the car began to move.

John taught Sheryl how to drive on an abandoned area, the road was rocky and full of curves but no vehicles were passing through which made it suitable for practice driving. Everyday John would let Sheryl drive for two hours and in the end of the week she was already driving on the highway.

“John why do I have to study this?” Sheryl asked about the driving manual. “Well if you want to pass the exam and get a license then you have to study that. The driving exam I know you can easily pass so come on start studying that so we can get your driver’s license” he told her. “Can this wait, I am in no hurry anyway to get my license. Can we go try the boat now?” she asked. John looked at her and smiled.

After lunch they both tried the boat on the lake and neither one of them knew how to drive it. No matter how wayward the boat would go they enjoyed playing with the boat on the water. John stopped the boat in the middle of the lake and stood up. Sheryl looked curiously at him as he unveiled a picnic basket hidden under a blanket. “Lunch in the middle of the lake” he said and Sheryl was surprised. “You really are full of surprises John, you never fail to amaze me” she told him.

As they started to eat the sandwiches that John prepared Sheryl noticed the sadness in John’s eyes. “Hey John, I’ve been wanting to ask you this, I noticed that you seem to be rushing things lately. I thought we had all time in the world” she said. John took a sip of his soda and cleared his mouth. “Sorry I did not notice I was doing that, maybe I just wanted to do many things” he said. “We have all time to the things we like so I hope you take it easy and enjoy the moment like what I am doing” she said. John smiled and nodded.

“Hey Sheryl what if you have a time limit on your life, I mean what if you know you are about to die and there is no cure for it. What would you do?” John asked her. Sheryl paused and looked at him for a long time then started to speak. “Well I would try to do all the things I like until the very end I guess. Why are you asking me such a thing, I am not dying you know” she answered. John laughed and said “It was just a hypothetical situation and I was not pertaining to you. You are right if my life would end soon I would do all the things that I like. Live my life to the fullest no matter what happens.”

“Hey is there something I should know about?” Sheryl asked John. John bit his sandwich and shook his head. “You would not lie to me right?” she added. John nodded his head and chew on his food. “If there is something bothering you tell me I might be able to help you” Sheryl told him. John smiled and said “Nope I am fine. So after eating would you want to give this boat another try?” he asked her. Sheryl excitedly nodded and started to laugh. “First a car, now a boat, I hope the next one would be a plane” she said and they both laughed.

Two weeks have passed and Sheryl received her driver’s license. John let her drive everyday whenever they went to the town proper to get supplies. Today they were back in town to get some more supplies for their camping trip on the nearby mountain.

After a last check on the things they need they locked the cabin and started to follow the trail towards the mountain. “Sheryl if you feel tired just tell me so we can rest. It doesn’t matter if we get there in how many days okay?” John told her. Sheryl laughed and walked faster “come on then walk faster, you are so slow John” she teased him. “That’s because I am carrying all the bags you know. Walk slower and enjoy the scenery and let me catch up a bit” John replied.

After four hours of hiking they reach the camp site, it was the only flat ground on that mountain so they decided to pitch their tent at once. There was a small spring where they could get fresh water and lots of fallen tree branches that they could use for making fire.

“Hey John why are you pitching two tents?” she asked. John looked at her as he was about to start with the second tent. “One for you and one for me” he replied. Sheryl moved closer to her and stopped him “Let’s just share one tent, look its big enough for the both of us” she said. John scratched his head and blushed. “I think it’s better if we have one tent each” he softly said. “Okay if that’s what you want then” Sheryl said and walked around the area while she waited for him to finish.

“Sheryl stay here while I go gather some fire wood okay?” John yelled and Sheryl walked towards the tent. After thirty minutes John came back with a sack of firewood and Sheryl was innocently sitting inside the tent. John noticed there was only one tent standing the other one was nowhere to be found. “Okay where did you hide the other tent?” John asked her. Sheryl looked at him and innocently shrugged her shoulders. John started to laugh and he looked around the area. “Sheryl come on now where did you hide the other tent?” he asked again. Sheryl stood up and said “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and they both started to laugh.

“You better start the fire it’s getting dark and I’m feeling hungry” she told him. John was still laughing and glancing around for clues to where she might have hid the other tent. John started the fire and Sheryl sat in front of him. “John you seem so tense, is there a problem?” she asked him. John shook his head and smiled. “I really don’t know where the tent went, I just sat inside the other tent and maybe the other one followed you” she joked. “Don’t worry I will be able to find it” he said.

After they ate dinner they sat around the fire just gazing at the stars in the sky. Sheryl leaned back and looked at John “So tomorrow we are going back to the city already. I was starting to like it here you know” she said to him. “Well we have to go back to the city. We can always come back here anytime” he told her. “It’s cold lets go inside the tent” Sheryl offered but John pretended not to hear her. Sheryl went inside the tent but John remained seated in front of the fire.

“You won’t find it I promise you so come on inside” Sheryl said. John stood up and took a look around one last time but he did not find the other tent. Sheryl came back out and held his hand, “Why are you so hesitant sharing the tent with me?” she asked him. She pulled his hand until they reached the tent entrance. “It’s okay I can sleep out here, I don’t feel cold” John said.

Sheryl went inside the tent and brought out the two sleeping bags “Okay then I too will sleep here beside you” she said. John laughed and shook his head. He took a deep breath and finally gave in. “Okay we will share the tent but I have to tell you I snore” he told her. Sherry raised her eyebrow and said “No you don’t. I watched you sleep several times.” John looked shocked and laughed again. “When did you watch me sleeping?” he asked. “Almost every day since we came here, I get up in the middle of the night and when I can’t sleep I go to your room and watch you” she stated.

John was speechless and dumbfounded; Sheryl went inside the tent and waited for him to enter. After a few minutes John entered the tent and got inside his sleeping bag, Sheryl faced him and just stared at his face. John felt uneasy with her looking at him so he tried to crack a joke. Sheryl was not listening to him instead she moved closer and just stared at him.

“Do you want to know one reason why Anthony broke up with me?” Sheryl whispered. John looked at her and said “I think I know the answer so you don’t have to tell me.” Sheryl smiled at him and unzipped his sleeping bag. John panicked but Sheryl squeezed herself inside his sleeping bag. “I think this bag was meant for one person only” John commented but Sheryl embraced him tightly.

“Your heart is pounding” she told him. John fixed his position and faced her; he was forced to hug her back in order to make them fit inside the sleeping bag. “What are you thinking of?” she once again asked him. “Thinking about kissing you, but I am not sure if your heart can take it” he whispered. She smiled at him and said “Why don’t you try and I will tell you.” John momentarily stared at her and moved his lips closer to hers. As soon as their lips touched he didn’t hold back anymore, he kissed her passionately as she held him tighter.

A few seconds later their lips parted ways and she smiled at him. “John you really like me don’t you?” she asked. John moved his head back and looked at her “How can you tell?” he asked. John followed Sheryl’s eyes as she was smiling and about to look down. Only then did he realize that another part of his body reacted to the kiss. He quickly distanced himself from her but the bag was keeping them close together. “I’m sorry, I am really sorry” he told her but Sheryl was laughing the whole time.

Sheryl moved her body closer to John’s body and slowly she started to undress inside the sleeping bag. “Sheryl what are you doing?” John asked.

“I know it will be okay as long as I am with you”

ONE BEAT: Chapter 5

Chapter 5: The List

As they got to Sheryl’s apartment John asked for the list and he took a look at it. “Ride on a boat, learn how to drive, take a long drive, blah blah blah. Sheryl this list is pretty boring so I am going to add some activities on the list” John suggested. Sheryl nodded as she sat closer to John to see what he was writing. Sheryl read the first few activities he had written down and her eyes grew bigger in freight. “Roller coaster ride, bungee jump and sky jump! Are you trying to kill me John?” she exclaimed.

John smiled at her and answered “How to you know that these activities will kill you? Have you tried them?” he countered. Sheryl shook her head and sat back. “I can’t do those activities, the doctor said I can’t ride a plane, I can’t tire myself that much and I can’t get too excited and many more things I can’t do” she stated. John laughed and continued writing on the list. “What’s the worst thing that can happen if you try these activities?” he asked her. Sheryl looked at him curiously then said “Of course I might die” she said.

John sat close to her “What if you don’t die doing these activities, what would you feel then?” he asked her again. Sheryl became nervous and thought about it, she took a look at the list then pouted. “I’d really like to try those stuff and many more but I am just afraid to do so” she revealed. “Look if you are really that scared then I won’t force you.” John told her. Sheryl bowed her head and sighed “I really am scared John” she said.

John stood up and folded the list and placed it in his pocket. “Okay then since you can’t fly or do long travels so I guess we are stuck in this city. Come on lets go to the amusement park and see what activities we can do there for now” he told her.

The two of them went to the amusement park at the outer edge of the city. They played various petty games for several hours but never won a prize. Sheryl looked at the giant Ferris wheel and pouted. “Don’t tell me you have not tried that” John said. Sheryl shook her head and John laughed. “Come on lets go” he told her and she became nervous. “There’s nothing to worry about I will be beside you, I will even hold your hand if you want” he told her and walked towards the line. John turned around and saw Sheryl walking slowly, he reached out his hand and she looked at it. She looked at him and held his hand “Okay let’s do this” she uttered and held his hand tighter.

They got on their seat and Sheryl held tightly on John’s arm. When the Ferris wheel started to move she was shaking and John was laughing. Once they reached the highest point John said “Now this is the fun part” and they were now moving downwards. Sheryl started to laugh and John began to wonder. “What’s wrong?” he asked her. Sheryl looked at him still laughing “When it goes down in tickles a bit” and he laughed with her. The wheel turned several times and Sheryl kept laughing the whole time. Once the wheel stopped they boarded off and took some snacks.

“So what do you want to do now?” John asked her and Sheryl smiled at him and pointed towards the roller coaster. “You want to ride the coaster?!” John asked in surprise. Sheryl nodded and held his hand and dragged him towards the cue. “Sheryl are you sure you want to do this?” John asked her. Once again she nodded and said “As long as I am with you then everything is going to be okay.”

As soon as they were seated they fastened their seat belts and the attendant locked the safety bars. Sheryl was so excited but John was worried a bit. “Sheryl you can still back out if you want” he told her. Sheryl looked at him and held his hand and the coaster began to move. The coaster travelled slowly upwards and Sheryl was really excited, as the ride reached the peak they both took a deep breath.

They both locked hands as the coaster started its decent, Sheryl screamed and John laughed loudly. John looked at Sheryl the whole time but she was enjoying every moment of the ride. As the ride stopped Sheryl was holding her chest and John was nervous. “Sheryl are you alright?” he asked her. Sheryl looked at him and smiled and nodded. “Why are you holding your chest then?” he inquired. Sheryl laughed as she removed her seat belt “I just checked if my heart was in place, don’t worry its still there” she said and John laughed at her.

As they left the roller coaster area John told Sheryl it was getting late and they had to go home. “Okay but can we have one more ride?” Sheryl pleaded. John nodded and Sheryl dragger him again towards the Ferris Wheel. “Sheryl but we already rode this one” John said but she continued to purchase the tickets. Once they have gotten to their sits the attendant closed the door to their carriage. “We already rode this why do you want to ride this again?” he asked her. Sheryl did not answer; she held his hand and leaned on her shoulder as the Ferris wheel started to turn.

The following morning John knocked on Sheryl’s apartment door at five in the morning. As soon as she opened the door John rushed in and told her to pack her bags. “Pack my things? Why would I do that? Where are we going?” she asked him as she covered herself with a robe. “Be ready in thirty minutes okay. I will go and pack my things too. Don’t forget thirty minutes” he told her and he went back to his apartment room.

Sheryl did as she was told and in thirty minutes John was there to pick her up. They went down to the lobby and John opened the back door of the SUV parked in front of the apartment building. “Is this your car? I didn’t know you had a car” she told him. John smiled at her and placed the entire luggage at the back. John opened the passenger’s door and Sheryl got in, “John where are we going?” she asked before he closed the door. John just smiled and gently closed the door. As John was about to start the car Sheryl asked him the same question and he looked at her. “Recline the seat and get some sleep I will wake you up when we get there” he told her.

Sheryl slept the entire four hour travel and awoke to the glare of the sun on her face. She opened her eyes and looked for John but she was alone in the car. She went out of the vehicle and her jaw dropped as she looked at her new surroundings. There were so many tall trees all around her, a lake with sparkling water, and a beautiful log cabin was nearby. Sheryl ran towards the lake but she heard John calling for her. “Sheryl help me unpack your things in the cabin, we have all time to go swimming!” he yelled. She quickly ran towards the cabin and entered it.

The smell of pine was all around the cabin, the inside was simple but cozy. “John whose place is this?” she asked him. “Mine, but I don’t come here that often” he replied as he was carrying the last of the baggage. “With all your money if I were you I would choose to live here. By the way why are we here?” she said. John sat down on the couch in front of the fireplace and looked at her. “I have a friend who could lend us his speed boat, there is a hiking trail nearby, I can teach you how to drive if you want, and maybe just take some time off from the city” he stated.

Sheryl’s eyes grew bigger and she sat beside him. “All the things I ever wanted to do, but do we have the time for it all? I forgot to ask how many days is my vacation” she said and pouted. “Don’t think about that, leave Tommy to me. Just enjoy the vacation, well lets unpack first then go to town and get some supplies” John told her and they quickly unpacked their things.

They headed to the town and get some food and some supplies. John went to his friend to borrow the boat, his friend agreed to deliver the boat the following day. They ate lunch at the local diner and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around enjoying the peaceful urban area.

John and Sheryl had dinner in front of the fireplace. They had no more time to cook so they just brought home some food. There was neither television nor a telephone; it was as if they distanced themselves from civilization. “You take the bigger room it has a softer bed. Make a plan so we know what to do daily since we have all the time in the world” he told her. Sheryl moved closer to John and kissed him on the cheek.

John touched his cheek and looked at her. “Why did you do that?” he asked. Sheryl smiled and stood up. “Just a simple thanks for everything. I am sleep now so I will go ahead” she answered and went inside her room. John went out of the cabin and brought out his mobile phone and started to dial.

“It’s me, is my results out?” John said. “Yes I just got them” said the voice on the other line. “So tell me the good news doc” John said. “Chemotherapy is too late we have to operate on you and take it all out, then you can have chemotherapy after” said the doctor. John remained silent for a few seconds and sighed. “Okay I will have it when I get back” he told the doctor. “John you can’t waste anymore time, if you waste more time it might totally spread and you won’t like it I tell you” threatened the doctor.

“Not now please. I promise you when I come back” John said and turned off his mobile phone. John looked at the sky as tears started to fall down his face. He knew what the consequences were but decided to take the risk.

“Please God, spare me some more time”

ONE BEAT: Chapter 4

Chapter 4: New Neighbor

A week passed and it was a weekend, Sheryl opened her eyes and looked at her bedside clock and it read five o’clock. She had no work for the day so she decided to sleep some more. As she was entering the dream state loud knocks on her door woke her up. She immediately went to her apartment door and opened it.

“Hi do you have coffee? I forgot to buy some when I went to the grocery” said a John who still looked sleep. Sheryl was surprised to see him and immediately hugged him. “Hey I was just asking for coffee not some loving you know” he said to her. “I can’t believe it you’re here in my apartment, come inside” she offered.

“No I just came for coffee” John reiterated. Sheryl laughed and looked at his outfit. “John why are you dressed that way?” she asked as she saw him wearing a pair of shorts and a robe. “I just woke up, I wanted coffee and I had none so I came over to ask you for some” he answered. Sheryl looked at him curiously. “Got out of bed? Where do you live?” she asked him. “Don’t you know we are neighbors? I live across your apartment” John revealed and she immediately opened her door to check. Sheryl saw the apartment across her with its door opened and she walked inside. Sheryl saw unpacked boxes on the floor and clothes scattered around the living room. “Oh my God! You moved here?” she asked John who was standing beside her.

“Yesterday, I didn’t have time to fix since it was so tiring to go up the long flight of stairs” he said. “There’s an elevator at the back you could have used it” she told him. John scratched his head and walked back towards her apartment. “So are you going to make me some coffee?” he asked her and Sheryl closed his apartment door and went inside hers.

They sat in front of the dining table and enjoyed their coffee that Sheryl made. “You know what goes well with coffee in the morning is a tasty breakfast” John quipped. Sheryl laughed and took a sip at her coffee. “Sorry I don’t eat breakfast, but if you are hungry I can cook you something” she offered. John shook his head and smiled at her “No its okay, I was wondering if you could help me fix my apartment. Just like this place except for the girly colors of course or else they might say I’m lady-like” he said.

“I did this all by myself, I mean Anthony and I did but I was the one doing all the work while he just watched me” she uttered. “Oh really? So I can watch you too as you turn my apartment into a beautiful place then?” he asked. Sheryl laughed again and coffee almost came out of her nose. “That’s what I miss about you, you always make me laugh” she told him. John made a funny gesture with his lips and looked away. “I moved across because I missed you too” he whispered softly. Sheryl blushed and asked him “What did you say, I did not quite hear it” she said. John acted innocent and shrugged his shoulders.

“You moved across because of what?” she asked again. John laughed and looked at her “I know you heard it, why do you want me to repeat it?” he asked and raised his eyebrows. “You missed me so you moved here that’s what I heard you say” she answered. John shook his head and smiled “I moved here because you told me you missed me” he told her and laughed.

Sheryl laughed with him and stood up and pinched him on his arm. “I did not say that, take it back!” she yelled while laughing. “Ouch! Okay I take it back! But you told me you missed me” John added. Sheryl pinched him some more and said “I said I missed you because you always make me laugh.” John smiled and raised his arms so Sheryl stopped pinching him. “So you do miss me” he again started and he dashed towards the door and went out. John ran to his apartment and closed his door.

Sheryl knocked on John’s apartment door but she only heard him shouting. “You missed me! You missed me! You can’t take it back!” she heard him saying. Sheryl was smiling and gave up, she went back to her apartment and as she was about to close her door John opened his door. “I missed you too! Thanks for the coffee!” John said and smiled at her. Sheryl’s heart started to beat rapidly and her face became warm. She closed her door and leaned against it she placed her hand on her chest and kept smiling.

Sheryl helped John beautify his apartment the whole afternoon. They were not able to finish it that day so they continued it the following day. Once everything was done John like the new look of his apartment. “Wow you are really amazing Sheryl, now let me treat you to dinner” John said. Sheryl laughed and told him “Is this another date?” John smiled at her and made a funny face “It could be if you want it to” he said. “What’s the difference then, what if it’s just a normal dinner treat?” she asked him.

John looked at the window and said “If it’s a dinner treat then we just eat and chat” he answered. “And if it’s a dinner date?” Sheryl added. “If it’s a dinner date then we likewise eat and chat” he said. Sheryl laughed again seeing there was no difference between the two. “It’s just the same thing, there is no difference whatever I chose” she stated and kept laughing.

John’s face became serious and he looked at her. “If it’s a dinner date I would have the chance to tell you what I really feel” John suddenly said.

Sheryl stopped laughing and looked at John who looked away from her. “Dinner date” she suddenly stated. John looked at her and raised his eyebrows. “Let’s have a dinner date then. There might be some things that I want to tell you too” she said and smiled at him.

The two of them went to a fancy restaurant where Sheryl was shocked to know they had a reservation. As soon as they were seated she quickly asked “You had this planned didn’t you?” and John just smiled at her. “What if I chose the option then where would be now?” she further asked him. John hid his face on the menu and said “I didn’t think that far, I knew you would choose a dinner date.” Sheryl laughed and starts reading the menu. “You really are full of surprises, you never fail to amaze me” she softly said.

Once their dinner was served John started eating so Sheryl did the same. “With your heart condition I bet you have not done many things right?” John asked her. Sheryl paused and looked at him “Yeah but it’s okay I have to live with it” she replied. John wiped his mouth and said “why don’t you make a list of the things you have not done then take a vacation and let’s go do them.” Sheryl could not believe what he was saying so she just stared blankly on his face.

“Listen, I know you are scared to try many things because of your heart but there is no harm in trying. If there is a sign that you cannot handle it then we stop and move to the next activity on the list” John explained. Sheryl was a little bit excited but she remembered she just got back to work. “I can’t, I have work and I can’t just have another vacation after my two week sick leave” she said.

“Do you remember the lady I speak with daily who does not respond?” John asked her. “Mrs. Thorn right? The one in a coma” she said. John nodded and smiled at her. “So what does she have to do with it?” she asked. John simply smiled at her again and continued eating. “Thorn as in the wife of my boss?” she suddenly exclaimed. John shook his head and cleared his mouth. “Mother of your boss to be exact” he said.

Sheryl became more excited and stooped over “You know my boss?” she asked him. John nodded and said “Tomorrow I’m going with you to work and I will talk to him. So you better prepare your list tonight okay?” he said and Sheryl giggled and was so excited. She doesn’t know why but she was ready to risk her life with the man in front of her.

The following morning John did as he promised and he accompanied Sheryl to her work place. As soon as they entered the office area the first person they saw was Anthony. Sheryl tried to ignore but John noticed it quickly. “So that’s your ex-boyfriend right?” he whispered to her ear. Sheryl bowed her head and Anthony approached them. “Hello Sheryl, who is this man with you? Is he your new babysitter?” he asked. John stepped forward and sized himself against the ex-boyfriend. Anthony was taller than him and had a bigger body.

“Won’t you introduce me to your babysitter?” Anthony said. John bowed his head and tried to read the identification card on Anthony’s chest. “Anthony Miller, Account executive. There seems to be one word missing here” John told him. Anthony took a look at hid ID and looked at John. “And what would be missing in my ID?” he asked. John bowed his head once again and leaned his forehead on Anthony’s chest. “There should be another word attached to your name here. The word ‘A-Hole’ should fit you perfectly” John stated. Anthony was instantly irritated and he shouted “What!!! You son of…” he was about to say when John forcefully raised his head it hit Anthony straight on the chin. The powerful impact made the taller man dizzy and he fell to the ground.

John rubbed his forehead and smiled “It was an accident I swear” he said as everyone looking on gave him a thumb up sign. Sheryl managed to smile but dragged John towards her cubicle. “You should have not done that” she told him. John sat on her chair and tapped his forehead “He deserves it, don’t you feel relieved that I did that to him?” he asked her. Sheryl smiled and softly said “A bit” and they both laughed. “Okay where is Tommy’s office?” John asked as he stood up fixed his clothes. Sheryl pointed towards the boss’ “Right there on the center. Are you sure he will allow me to have another vacation?” she asked.

John did not respond but headed towards Tommy Thorn’s office. Sheryl just sat down and attended to her paperwork as she waited. After thirty minutes the boss’ door opened and mister Thorn’s voice can be heard throughout the office as he was laughing. Sheryl looked over and saw John and Tommy Thorn heading towards her.

“Sheryl you can stop now and go take your vacation. I’m sure John will take good care of you like he does to my mother” the boss said. Sheryl was dumbfounded “Sir but I still have a lot of paperwork” she stated. Tommy looked around and he saw Anthony and he called him over. “Tony take all of Sheryl’s paper work and you do them. She will be going on a vacation so whatever duties she has you take over” Mister Thorn said. Anthony scratched his head and looked at John. “So everything is set then I will excuse myself I have a meeting to attend to” Tommy stated and he went back to his office.

Anthony was furious and he stared John in the eye. “Who the heck do you think you are?” Tony expressed his anger on John. Sheryl packed her things and didn’t mind the two as they were gauging each other. “I’m just her neighbor” John exclaimed and grinned at Tony. “And you Sheryl you just got back from sick leave then you are leaving again. Isn’t that favoritism already?” he told her. John stepped closer to Tony and their faces were near each other. “You are really one inconsiderate moron!” John said loudly and he suddenly hit his forehead on Tony’s nose.

Tony fell down on the floor once again this time blood was flowing from his nose. Everyone in the office was clapping as they looked at their colleague who was sprawled on the floor. “It seems nobody like you here A-hole. Now you can have your own sick leave, I do hope your nose is broken” John said as he and Sheryl started to head towards the exit.

Sheryl was happy and she was smiling as they were walking. John noticed this and asked her “You have been smiling since we left your office. Anything you want to share with me?” Sheryl looked at him and said “You said you were my neighbor and you did that to Tony” and John simply nodded. “I just said the truth, my body just reacted to his arrogance” John explained.

Sheryl laughed and giggled and walked slower. “Is there something wrong with what I said?” John asked her. Sheryl playfully shook her head and looked at him smiling.

“I was just wondering what you could have done to him if you were more than my neighbor”

ONE BEAT: Chapter 3

Chapter 3: To Watch Over Her

The following day John fulfilled his promise and came to Sheryl’s room with new clothes for her. Peter underwent his scheduled transplant so John was with Sheryl the whole day. Several days have passed and she was walking once again but still he never left her side.

One sunny day John and Sheryl were walking along the yard when suddenly he heard Peter’s voice shouting. “John! John! Shout back so I know where you are!” said the little kid. John and Sheryl turned to see Peter with his parents and Jean. “Hey Buddy! Long time no see! Come over here!” John shouted and Peter nodded. The little kid still had the bandages on his eyes and he was walking towards John slowly guided by a cane.

Peter reached John and hugged him at once. “Jean why is his bandages still on?” John asked the nurse. “He wanted you to be the one to remove them” Jean said. John looked at Peter’s parents and they both smiled and nodded. “Come here buddy, I will take them off. You could have let the doctor or Nurse Jean remove them you know” he told the kid and started removing the bandages. As John was about to remove gauze in both eyes Peter started shaking. “I wanted you to be the first person I see” the little child revealed. John’s hands trembled and tears began to fill his eyes.

“Okay Peter open your eyes slowly. You won’t be able to see clearly at first so don’t worry let your eyes adjust” he told him. Peter slowly opened his eyes and kept blinking several times. After a few seconds, “John why are you crying?” and everyone around him were moved to tears. John laughed and hugged his friend tightly as Peter began looking around him.

John let go of Peter as the boy’s parents hugged him. “John who is she?” Peter asked as he pointed towards Sheryl. “That’s Sheryl, and this is Nurse Jean over here” John said. “Sheryl, that’s the girl you always talk about, the one you…” Peter said but John quickly rushed towards him and covered his mouth.

“Yes the one who I am watching over too like the rest of the patients” John continued and removed his hand on the kid’s mouth. Jean raised an eyebrow and looked at John, Sheryl was blushing and Peter’s parents were laughing. “She is pretty, I hope you two get married” Peter said suddenly and John held his hand and said “Now let’s go see your doctor and have him check on your eyes before you start revealing all my secrets” John said and he looked at Jean and Sheryl. “Go ahead I will keep your sweetheart company” Jean said and winked at him.

That afternoon Peter was discharged of the hospital and John hid inside Sheryl’s room. “Why won’t you see Peter off?” asked Sheryl. John sat on the floor flipping a coin and looked at her “I am not good with emotional stuff. Its better this way and I know Peter will understand” he said. Sheryl looked at the ceiling and smiled. “You are a wonderful person John, you took care of him, you paid for everything, and you even acted blind so you can understand him” she said.

“The reason why I acted blind was to be ready just in case they had no eyes ready for him; I was willing to give him mine if it was possible. So you can say I was preparing for my own blindness” John revealed and he laughed. Sheryl looked at him and was surprised to hear what he said. “You were willing to give him your own eyes?” she asked. John nodded “He is just a kid; I want him to enjoy life. Me I don’t mind being blind, it’s difficult but yeah I was ready” he told her. Sheryl could not say anything else but she was starting to admire him.

“By the way how come no one has come to visit you? Where are your parents? Where are your relatives or your boyfriend?” he asked her. Sheryl once again looked at the ceiling and closed her eyes. “My parents are dead, my boyfriend broke up with me last Christmas Eve that’s why I ended up here” Sheryl told him.

“So what happens now when you get discharged from here?” John asked her. Sheryl smirked and said “Go back to my apartment and find a new job perhaps” she answered and smiled. “A New job? Why are you not happy with your current job?” he asked. “I am but he will be there too, so it would just make me sad seeing him every day” she revealed. John stood up and rearranged the flowers on the bedside table and didn’t say a word.

“Tell me, if I do get discharged would you hide from me too?” Sheryl asked him. John smiled at her and nodded “I told you I’m not good with emotional stuff” he said. Sheryl managed to fake a smile and sat up in bed. “So I won’t be seeing you tomorrow then. I am going home tomorrow, they said I can go” she said softly.

“Tomorrow…yes I will be busy tomorrow…I guess I won’t be seeing you anymore” John stated and held her hands. “So since we are not going to see each other anymore lets have our last date, I will treat you to dinner” he told her. “But it’s too early for dinner” Sheryl reacted. “I know so first we go to the yard and walk around for the last time” he told her and he patted the seat of the wheelchair.

“I can walk you know” she told him. John looked at her and said “I know, this is not for you” and he sat down on the wheelchair. “This time you push me around. Consider it your exercise” he said and smiled at her. Sheryl laughed and gamely pushed the wheelchair and they went out of the room.

John and Sheryl went around the yard until the sun set. They ate dinner at the cafeteria and enjoyed chatting until it was already late at night. He brought her to her room and bade her farewell. John walked the silent hall holding his mobile phone and he was in deep thought.

The following morning Sheryl was discharged and John was nowhere to be found. John was on the roof with a doctor as they watched Sheryl take a cab. “Hey Jeff do you think it’s too late for me to take chemo?” he asked the person beside him. The man puffed on his cigarette and looked at John. “What made you decide to do it now?” Jeff asked him. John sighed and said “So I can watch over her.”

ONE BEAT: Chapter 2

Chapter 2: First Date

The following day a huge female nurse attended to Sheryl for her sponge bath. “Excuse me do you know when I can go home?” asked Sheryl after the nurse changed her clothes. “When you are strong enough young lady” the nurse said as she sat Sheryl down on the wheelchair.

“Ouch!!!” screamed the nurse as John accidentally hit her leg with the cane. “Peter did you hear that, we hit a post and the post screamed” John jokingly said and Peter burst in laughter. Sheryl was trying not to laugh as she saw the angry face of the nurse. “John will you watch where you’re going” the nurse said. John lifted his blind fold and smiled at her “Oh it’s you Jean, sorry about that. Did you lose weight?”

Jean blushed and smiled “I have been doing what you told me, one hour walk daily. I lost 30 pounds so far, 50 pounds more and you better keep your promise” she said. John nodded and smiled “I never break promises, 50 more pounds and you get a brand new car. But remember if you gain a single pound I take the care back” he said. “How about I lose 100 and you just buy me a house instead?” Jean asked. John laughed “If you lose 100 more then I will be tempted to court you already” he added and they both laughed.

“Estella said that Miss Brandis over here requested for you” Jean said and Sheryl immediately blushed. “I didn’t say that!” Sheryl quickly interrupted. John looked at her and scratched his head then looked at Jean “Oh okay maybe it was just a misunderstanding, the drugs can do things to your head sometimes” John said. “So Peter and I will head to the yard now, unless you want to come along Miss Brandis” John offered. Sheryl bowed her head and became shy “I entrust her to you then John, and take note of her heart condition” Jean said. “Relax Jean I won’t break her heart ever I promise” and the two ladies immediately look at John.

Once the three got to the yard Peter walked alone and Sheryl looked at John “Is he going to be alright walking alone like that?” she asked him. John pushed the wheelchair towards at the center of the yard and said “We trained together for a week so he knows his way around. Don’t worry tomorrow he is getting his transplant so let’s just say this is his farewell walk in darkness”

“Estella told me about that, it’s really kind of you doing those things for him. What do you get out of all the things you do for the patients?” she asked him. John scratched his head and thought for a while. “I gain friends that’s just about it” he said and smiled.

“Thank you for the flowers” Sheryl suddenly said and John looked at her. “Estella said you often came to visit me, Is that true?” she inquired further. John took a deep breath and looked at Peter. “Well the day that they brought you to the recovery room you had no companion so I sat down watching you sleep. But no one came to visit you so I came daily, sometimes I talk to you but you do not respond” he jokingly said. Sheryl laughed and shook her head. “How am I going to respond when I am asleep?” she said.

“I guess you’re right, no wonder Mrs. Thorn doesn’t respond to me, I have been talking to her every day you know” he added. Sheryl looked at John and asked “she is asleep every day?” John smiled and said “She is in a coma” and Sheryl could not stop laughing.

After an hour telling stories together and watching Peter play they saw a couple approach the little kid. “Those are Peter’s parents, they always come here every lunch to eat together” John said. “Aren’t you going to tell them that you are paying for everything?” Sheryl asked. John looked at her and raised his eyebrows. “So Estella has been telling you a lot I see. That’s okay; I won’t tell them until it’s over. The money that they saved up they sure could use for his education, he stopped so he has to catch up as soon as he can see again” he revealed.

“Do you want to eat lunch with me at the cafeteria?” John asked her. Sheryl tilted her head sideways and tried to stand up but she was too weak to pull her body to her feet. “Yes you definitely have to eat with me. Don’t worry it’s my treat and I will make sure you eat a lot” he said. She smiled and shook her head “I can’t eat a lot I have to watch my heart” she said.

“Okay then but do you really like the food they serve in your room?” he asked her. Sheryl did not respond and simply looked at him. “See! Come on lets go, this is going to be our first date together” he said and she started laughing. “What’s so funny?” he asked her as he was pushing the wheelchair towards the cafeteria. “You said first date, are you courting me?” she gamely asked. “Didn’t you see the flowers I sent you every day? I confessed while you were asleep and one time I thought you nodded” he joked. Sheryl kept on laughing and said “You are really funny.” John stopped and looked at her, “So you think I’m not serious?” and she paused and looked at his serious expression. “Are you serious?” she asked.

John went in front and kneeled and bowed his head. He held her hand and he raised his head slowly. There was a moment of silence between then and Sheryl just stared at him. “Sheryl” he said and he looked away. “What is it John?” she asked. “You’re now wearing any underwear” he whispered and he slowly removed his jacket and gave it to her. Sheryl was so embarrassed and quickly covered her front with the jacket.

They found an empty table inside the cafeteria and John went to get their food. As he returned Sheryl had her head bowed down in shame. “Come on let’s eat” he said but she didn’t look at him nor the food on the table. “Hey come on there’s nothing to be embarrassed about okay? I didn’t see it, I looked away at once” he said. Sheryl raised her head slowly and smiled. “I’m sorry I don’t have clothes and I forgot I wasn’t wearing any underwear” she said softly. John laughed and egged her to eat. “Tell me your size and I will ask Estella to get you some clothes” he told her and she started to smile and eat. “Remind to ask her to get you a razor too” he added and Sheryl looked at him curiously. “Razor?” she asked him.

John smiled and nodded then looked at her. “You saw it?” she asked him and John started to laugh. “I’m just kidding you relax now and eat” he said. Sheryl was quite confused but she trusted him and continued to eat. As they finished eating John brought her back to her room. “I have to go; I have to be with Peter now. Tomorrow I promise you the clothes and razor” and he grinned at her. “There you go again I know you kidding me” she said. John went towards the door and shook his head and went out. Sheryl immediately lifted her gown and took a look for herself. The door opened once again and Sheryl immediately covered herself up. John peeked inside and said “You took a look didn’t you? I was just kidding you! See you tomorrow!” and he closed the door.

Sheryl laughed at herself and looked forward to tomorrow.

ONE BEAT: Chapter 1

Jonathan Paul Diaz

The streets were empty and Christmas carols could be heard echoing throughout the city. It was Christmas Eve and it was snowing outside. Inside one apartment one couple was not enjoying the festive occasion, love was lost.
“Why do you mean this will be our last Christmas together?” Sheryl asked as tears started to accumulate on her eyes.
“I’m sorry to ruin your Christmas. I was supposed to break up with you tomorrow” Anthony told her.
“What’s happening Anthony? What do you mean you are breaking up with me?” she asked him as tears started to fall on her cheeks. Anthony took a deep breath and moved away from her.
“I’m sorry Sheryl but I can’t take it anymore. With your heart condition we barely cant do anything fun. Everything we do is boring me already” he revealed and looked away.
“I thought you loved me. Why can’t you understand my situation? Can’t you wait till I get better?” she told him.
“I love you but I did not sign up to be your care giver, you always get sick and when you do I have to leave my work. We can’t even have…” he said but did not finish his sentence.
“Say it, go ahead say it, and can’t have what? Is that what you want? Here come on forget my condition, let’s take the risk. Will that make you stay?” she said and started to undress.
Anthony stood up and turned around, she held onto his arms but he forcefully let go of them and walked towards the door. “I’m sorry I can’t take it anymore” he said and he went out and closed the door behind him.
A few seconds later he came back in “I forgot my car keys” he said and he saw Sheryl sprawled on the floor holding her chest. “Sheryl! Sheryl! Oh my God!” he shouted in shock and he quickly dialed 911 on his mobile phone.
Chapter 1: Nasty Man
Sheryl opened her eyes and everything was blurry. “Oh so you are finally awake” said a man’s voice. She turned her head where the voice was coming from and she saw a blurry image of a man in white. “Where am I?” she asked him.
“You’re in heaven my child” said the man and Sheryl was so shocked to hear that and she quickly rubbed her eyes. Everything was starting to get clearer and she could see the man standing beside her bed. The man starts laughing and says “I’m just kidding you, you are in a hospital. You have been here for a week.”
Sheryl began to calm down as her vision was back to normal. Beside her was a good looking man in a white coat writing something on a chart. “Are you a doctor? What happened to me?” she asked as she tried to get up. “You suffered a heart attack but don’t worry you will be fine now” the man told her. Sheryl’s eyes were beginning to close once again “A heart attack…doc I feel sleepy…that was a nasty joke…” she said and fell asleep.
Sheryl woke up again as she felt a cold hand on her arm, as she opened her eyes it was a middle aged woman taking her pulse. “Are you a nurse here?” she softly asked. The middle aged woman smiled at her “It’s nice to see you awake already, my name is Estella and yes I am a nurse here” she said.
“The doctor here a while ago, he was a nasty man, he said I was in heaven” she revealed. Estella laughed a bit and continued to fill up the chart. “What was the name of this nasty doctor?” the nurse asked her. “I didn’t ask him but the name on the nameplate said he was Cartwright” Sheryl told her. Estella laughed harder as she fixed the flowers on the bedside table.
“That was not doctor Cartwright, that nasty man you are talking about is John. Don’t mind him he always does that to patients” Estella told her as she did some finishing touches on the flowers.
“Have you seen my boyfriend? I mean the ones who left those flowers. Was he here all the time?” Sheryl asked. Estella looked at her and smiled, “Sorry but you did not have any visitors except one, and he was the one who brought you these flowers everyday” she revealed.
“So he did come to visit me, Anthony that’s his name, he is my boyfriend” Sheryl ecstatically told her. Estella shook her head. “It was John, ever since they brought you here in the recovery room he came here often. Don’t worry it’s a habit of his, but it’s the first time he ever brought flowers for someone” she said and giggled.
Sheryl became sad knowing that it was not Anthony who gave the flowers. He too did not come to visit her and so reality bit her, he really meant what he said on Christmas Eve. Tears started falling down her cheeks and Estella looked away and pretended not to notice. She wiped her eyes but the tears would not stop. “I will come back later to give you your sponge bath and I will take you out for a little sunshine” Estella said and she walked out of the room.
An hour elapsed and Sheryl finished her sponge bath and was sitting on a wheelchair. Estella was pushing her out of the room as two men on wheelchairs dashed by. Two men were racing down the hall, an elderly man and John. “You’re not going to win this race old man, Is this all you’ve got? Come on gramps!” shouted John as other patients were cheering the old man on. Two patients on the end of the hall were holding a string as their finish line, John slowed down and the old man crossed the line first. Cheers and claps were heard all around and the old man turns to John and gives him a high five.
Sheryl looked at Estella and asked “That John is he a mental patient here?” and the nurse laughed loudly. “Oh no, he owns this hospital. Everyone loves him; he keeps on playing with patients everyday especially the old ones and the kids” Estella revealed.
Sheryl managed a smile and looked at John as he was escorting the old man back to his room. John passed Sheryl and Estella and he smiled at them. “Come on now you have to get some sunshine therapy” the nurse said and they went out to the yard.
After an hour in the sun the two once again see John, this time he was wearing a blind fold and holding a cane. John was with a little boy who was holding his hand as they were walking around the yard. “Estella what is he doing this time?” Sheryl asked the nurse. “Ah, that little kid is Peter, he is blind. John always does that, he acts blind too so he could better understand Peter” Estella said.
“So he isn’t a bad person after all, still it was a bad joke” Sheryl softly said. “John sleeps with Peter in his room. Peter’s parents have to work two shifts to cover his medical expenses so John volunteered to take care of him. And let me tell you a secret, John is not letting them pay a single cent, he even has scheduled Peter for eye transplants” Estella further revealed.
John tripped and fell over as the little boy kept laughing. Sheryl turns to Estella and said “Is he married?” and she smiled. The two ladies laughed and giggled and Estella brought Sheryl back to her room. “I will bring your lunch later and tomorrow I won’t be here, it’s my day off. Don’t worry someone will take my place” Estella told her. Sheryl smiled and asked “How about Nurse John?” and Estella laughed. “I thought you would say that, he isn’t a nurse but I will try to ask him” she laughed and they both once again giggled.