An ignored alarm cries out in the corner as two bodies sleep soundly on the bed. Their bodies barely touch each other, because of the heat, but there is contact. She’s first to wake up which is normally the way it works for them. "Turn off the alarm," she mutters.
He rolls over and grabs the iPhone from its base. He's done this same thing a hundred times since he got the phone, a few months ago, but he still has to look at it to see what he's doing. His forefinger slides the length of the icon and the fake dog stops bark. From the hallway they can both hear the soft mew of one of the cats. It brings a smile to his face. He'd picked that alarm sound to play with the cats mind and it seemed to work every morning. One day they'd get him for it but until then he'd have his fun.
He thought about trying to go back to sleep. It was too late, at this point he was awake and there was no any going back. A soft snore rose up from behind him, she could sleep through anything he thought and smiled. His finger tapped the email icon and his email started to download into his phone. How had he lived before his iPhone? By the time he reached the bathroom it had chimed and his mail was already on the phone. A quick tap of his thumb and emails disappeared into the trash. Freecycle announcements for garbage no one wanted or for things that had already been taken were the first to go.
He was about to send another one to oblivion when he spotted the sender's name. It was his aunt. His eyes scanned the words three times before he could even look up. 'Your mom has cancer, and will be going for six weeks of chemo and radiation treatments.' That line echoed over and over in his mind. Beyond that there were no details. No mention of where the cancer was. Nothing about a prognosis.
The news did come as to big of a surprise. Doctors had said it was a possibility after her operation. "We are confident that we've gotten it all. However, there is a chance it might have moved already." Up until that he had hoped that was more than just a platitude that they told everyone. Now as he read the email he knew had been false hope. Maybe the doctors did that so that they would have to answer so many questions. This way they could pass on the problem to another department, someone who dealt with people that might be terminal.
He gave his head a shake at the thought of anything being terminal. It wasn't the way to think about things right now. Nothing was terminal anymore. Cancer could be beaten. it wasn't as scary as it might have been in the days of his Grandmother. Not that any of them had had cancer or anything. As he walked out of the bathroom and down the stairs he searched his mind for the names of any family member who had had cancer. None came to mind. Wasn't this type of thing supposed to run in families? Isn't that why doctors ask for all that patient history? Was this something he'd have to start telling them about when he saw a doctor? So many fucking questions generated by that one sentence.
Why the fuck had it been a freaking email in the first place? The opening few words had been an apology for not calling, apparently 630 in the morning was too early to tell someone a family member had cancer or something. What would be the right time to do that? Sarcasm battled with anger for which emotion would take control. Secretly fear had already won out, but he wouldn't realize that for a few days.