Tell A Tale in 500 Words

All eyes on me By Richard Berry

Everyone was looking at me. I don’t like people looking at me in the best of circumstances but this was not the best circumstance.

It was my own fault; I’d called them together under false pretences. I’d told everyone that I had big news and we should all go out. I mean it wasn’t a lie as such, but I regret choosing a restaurant with pictures on the menu.

“So what’s the big news!” Brian asked. I could normally tolerate Brian but now I wanted to punch him. He never knew when to shut up.

“Yea come on! We’ve got places to be.” No, you don’t Cindy.

“Well,” I began, “I’ve called you here to this fabulous establishment because I have something important to tell you.” Keep stalling, you did a humanities degree, you can speak for enough time that everyone will just get bored and leave.

You’ve got to say it.

“I’ve been having some back pain recently, so I went to the doctor to have it checked out.”

“Sport’s injury there Ronaldo?” Alex chuckled.

Why am I even bothering to tell these idiots?

“Not quite Alex, he said I had cancer and have three months to live.”

There, it’s out.

Alex looks like a rabbit between headlights, at least one good thing came out of this.

I sat down and looked at the faces of my closest and dearest friends. They were in shock. I recognised the look, I’d seen it in the mirror last week.

“Do you have any options. Could you not do chemo?”

You gotta love Brian’s optimism.

“It’s called terminal cancer for a reason. I’m honestly fine with it. I just want to live for as long as I’ve got left and be normal.”

Brian didn’t like the sarcastic reply, nor what he thought was a bullshit answer.

But he’s wrong, I am fine with it.

The way I see it, life is finite no matter what. Doesn’t really matter if you live for 20, 50 or 70 years. Additional years doesn’t make any difference, it’s not a competition to last the longest. Sure, I might be on the younger side of normal but there weren’t any big surprises waiting for me in the future.

I wasn’t going to change my personality; I wasn’t going to enjoy my life any more or less than I do at the moment. There would be more successes but there would be more failures as well, but it’d just be cumulative.

My last answer seemed to stop anyone else’s curiosity from exhibiting in the form of any questions, so we sat awkwardly for a few minutes.

I made my excuses, said I was tired, definite illness benefit there, and made my way home.

Overall I was pretty content with the evening. They would get over it, bit sad that no one cried though, even if I would have hated to deal with that.

Next stop, tell my mum.

God knows how I’m going to do that.

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