Cancer – Writing Post Number Six-0

This was a dialogue piece.  We were to create a scene where one person isn’t hearing or ignoring what the other person is trying to say because they don’t want to hear it. 

He finally made it home emotionally exhausted.  How was he going to do this?  He thought.  And not just do ‘this’, but handle the future.  Oh Jesus, give me strength.  As he walked into the living room, he saw the backs of their heads, their faces reflecting in the television screen in front of them.

“I’m back.”

“Cool, Dad.  What’s for dinner?  We’re starving!”

“Guys, I’m back!  Can you please look at me?”  No movement, just silence.  Attempting to hide the frustration in his voice he calmly said with precise annunciation, “Lucille and Alex, pause that silly game and look at me right now.”

Lucille paused the game, turned her head to look at her father and said matter-of-factly, “We are in serious combat right now with the forces of Nomencrad.  If we don’t defeat them this time, we’ll have to start over which means having wasted two hours of game play.  OK?  OK.”  She un-paused the game and turned back.

Losing patience, he yelled: “Turn that stupid thing off!  Are you two that ignorant?  You know exactly where I’ve been all day – at the hospital with your mother.  I’m tired and we need to talk about something.”

“Dad, we know!  You called us from the hospital and told us that, a) the operation was successful and, b) that mom would be coming home on Thursday.”  Lucille sniffed and rubbed her nose.  ” I then called every single one of our aunties and friends to let them know like you told me to do.  There’s really nothing more to talk about!”  He only had the back of his kids’ heads to stare at.  She then continued but with a desperate, quivering, “Please Dad, just let us finish this combat we -”

“Lucille, please don’t make me say it this way.”  Silence.  “Please, Lucille,” he begged, “Alex?”  He sighed and with barely any emotion, as it had been completely drained, said: “Your mother didn’t wake up from the operation and never will.  I’m here to get you kids so that we can go to the hospital to say our final goodbyes.  The doctors successfully removed the cancer from her lungs but they didn’t notice the two walnut-sized tumours in her brain.”

Lucille looked at her brother and whispered, “Alex, it’s your turn.”


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