Author : Cody Lorenz
Mike was nervous, you could tell by the stains at the armpits of his shirt, and the way he kept shifting, causing that awful gown to rustle. He coughed, if only to make the little man with his chart speak up.
â€œIt is hard to put this,â€ he started, in a regretful, timid tone, â€œbut youâ€™ve got EIT.â€
Mike had never heard this particular acronym before. But it was all in the docâ€™s words – fatal, terminal, the end of his long, strange trip of 233 years. It was too bad his shocked, gaping mouth couldnâ€™t move, letalone come up with a word or sound.
â€œI can tell you that it will not be painful, and-â€
He was cut off by his patient: â€œJustâ€¦shut up. Tell me ifâ€¦what does it doâ€¦why…why me, why did it happen?â€
â€œIt is a new disease, but swiftly becoming a common one,â€ the little man took his glasses off, wiping them with a black cloth, â€œTell me, Mister Evadne, how many times have you used a Rebooth, or one of their home products?â€
â€œEvery day, why wouldnâ€™t I?â€
â€œAnd that is the problem,â€ replacing his glasses, the doctor sat on a rather unpleasant looking stool, â€œYou just canâ€™t reorganize your bodyâ€™s basic materials! Replacing cells willy-nilly! Youâ€™re ripping yourself apart for vanityâ€™s sake!â€
The little manâ€™s outburst was quiet, still nervous-sounding, but it had force. Mike was taken aback. But rather than focus on a perceived insult, he chose the smarter option.
â€œIâ€¦I donâ€™tâ€¦is it curable? Vaccine? Pills orâ€¦or something?â€ The panic was all too clear in his voice, now high, reedy, and discomforting.
The doctor pushed with a foot, gliding to his computer.
â€œIâ€™m afraid not,â€ and, after a pause, â€œI am deeply sorry.â€
Thatâ€™s when every word the little man said lost all meaning to his patient.
The fog had lifted after nearly an hour. Mike had changed in that dream-like state, and had sat in the clinicâ€™s waiting room amongst the young and old. He didnâ€™t realize that his wife was in the car outside – seventh wife in his life, and heâ€™d outlived two of them.
He just didnâ€™t want to get old, didnâ€™t want to fall apart.
The irony was lost on him.