Tuesday, May 6, 2008

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”