Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)
- TITLE: The Flu That Wouldn't Go Away
By nicole wian
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She managed to make it into the kitchen to pour herself some Seven-up which she’d been living off for the last couple weeks. That and saltines. She carried her glass to the living room and sat down on the couch, pulling off her sweater. She put the cold glass to her forehead and sighed.
She wanted to cry. She was so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. “God, please heal me,” she whispered into the air. She wondered if this is what it felt like to have cancer; wretched all the time and she silently said a prayer for Rose at her church who did have cancer and then begged God not to ever let her get it.
She had barely been able to function lately. She’d feel okay for a little while and then it would hit again, that wave of attack. She closed her eyes to stop the spinning that had begun and heard the door open. It was her husband, home from work. “Anna!” he said, striding toward her, sitting next to her. “You’re still not feeling good?” She shook her head, not opening her eyes. She felt him take her hand and then he said, “I think you should take a pregnancy test.”
“What?” Her eyes flew open and she sat up, erect, looking at him in disbelief. They’d tried for two years to have children and when they’d finally sought testing, had been told it was an impossibility for them. They’d long ago given up that dream. Why was he suggesting that? She didn’t know whether to feel angry or confused. “What?” She repeated. “Why would you say that?”
His voice was quiet and almost fearful when he looked in her questioning eyes and responded, “I just have a feeling. It’s weird, but…”and then he looked away and mumbled, “I have a pregnancy test in the car that I bought a couple days ago.”
“You’ve lost your mind,” she said and shook her head, walking upstairs to lie down. She thought about how badly they’d wanted a baby, how hard it was to accept that it wasn’t going to happen and she desperately hoped her husband wasn’t returning to that place they’d had to fight so hard to come out of.
The next few days were strained between them, and Zach didn’t mention the test again. But later that week, she found the test in a drawer in the bathroom. She stared at it a minute, terrified that part of her mind was trying to convince her to take it. After ages had passed, her insanity won out, and she took the test, knowing it was a huge mistake, telling herself not to dare feel those old feelings of disappointment when it came up negative. She put it on the counter and instead of watching it as she used to, she walked out of the bathroom, shutting the door as if the test might grow legs, follow her out to taunt her. She told herself not to go back and check. She would look next time she was in there, which turned out to be quickly since she once again got sick to her stomach .
She ran in and threw up, and only when she rose her head, did the test catch her eye. She braced herself on the counter and looked at the test. There were two pink lines. Two. She closed her eyes and opened them again. They were still there. She didn’t even know what to do or how to feel. She was in utter shock. Finally, she called her husband and for the longest time all she could do was stutter, make attempts at sentences. Then with coaxing, she managed to relay what happened. There was silence on the other line and then an ecstatic, “I’m coming home!”
A trip to the doctor that very day confirmed the miraculous. They were going to be parents. She hadn’t had the flu.
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