Saturday, June 6, 2009
Fran 5 (FICTION)
Patty, Dr. Richards' secretary, called Francisca one week later. She would be calling often from now on, but surprisingly, Francisca grew to find her voice reassuring, in a strange kind of way. Patty wanted to invite Francisca for a consultation with Dr. Richards, "to discuss potential treatments, including the one in the clinical trial phase Dr. Richards must have mentioned. How are you holding on, dear?"
"I'm coping," Francisca lied, as she hung up the phone. The fact is, she had hardly come to terms with the ugly monster now facing her. The fact is, she didn't know where to begin.
Naturally, she hadn't said a word to Brian, although somehow he seemed to have sensed something. At least, things had changed, quite drastically, since one week ago. He started coming home very late from work; later than usual. The funny part was that he didn't even try to explain this, or comment on it in any way. And the even funnier part - Francisca didn't care. She knew that whatever they had was over. After all, in a couple months' time, what of the trophy would remain? Now, it was only a question of where to go? Whom to turn to?
Three days ago, Francisca finally decided to call her mom. They hadn't spoken in about two months. It's not that their relationship was bad; it's only that is was half-existent.
"Hi, Mom, it's me," Francisca said meekly into the phone. A silence ensued, before the recognition.
"Oh, yes, Francisca, how are you, honey?"
"Mom, I've got something important to tell you. The thing is... It seems that I... The problem, the doctor..."
"Francisca, really, you're not making any sense and I haven't got time for games now. The thing is that I've got 30 women due any minute now for my summer fashion discussion, and Franz hasn't even gotten the quiche out of the oven yet. Really, I told your father, that hiring French help is not a smart idea, but your father, well, you know how stubborn he can be when..."
"Mom, I'm dying!" Francisca yelled into the phone. "I'm sick with a terminal disease. I don't have much time left, Mom." There is a silence.
"Mom? Are you still there?"
The silence continues. And then, after a couple of minutes: "Oh, Fran, you do tend to be so overdramatic, just like your grandmother, God rest her soul. Just drink lots of orange juice and chamomile tea and you'll be good as new. Really, honey, now is not a good time for me. Why don't you get some rest and give me a call in a couple of days? Kiss, kiss," and the phone line cut off.