Love and life 6

My words seemed to ignite Henry’s sadness. I wondered if I should change the subject. “That’s just how life is.” He said in a very low tone. “It’s not fair.” I said. I could feel his pain. “I honestly don’t blame you for not liking me because I look like Adel.” I said. Then Henry giggled. “Where is this one too coming from? Yea you look like Adel but you are not like her at all. ” He asked. I looked at him funny. “I’m confused.” I confessed. “I like the two of you differently.” He said looking away. I asked him to explain and he shyly changed the subject. I didn’t push it at all. What he said worked for me.

“So is there anything you can do? There has to be something right?” I asked. He nodded. “Then I will help you.” I said. It’s like my words ignited another emotion. This time it was joy. His smile filled his face in a matter of seconds. He seemed to really like the idea. Just then Senam and Dean came out and saw me. She wanted to leave. Dean smiled when he saw Henry and I. I said a quick goodbye and left with Senam. I didn’t think Henry would open up so easily about his issue but all that hardwork could not go to waste.

The next week Henry and I planned to meet after work. He sounded like he had a plan of how to get the promotion he honestly deserved. I wanted to find enough information to help him so I questioned Dean about Adel. “Why are you asking so many questions?” He asked after the third question. “I see you and Henry are cozy now. Is that why you are asking about Adel?” He added. I really didn’t get his point but I nodded. I leaned over and said, “You see its a bit weird for him that I look like Adel so I want to know about her and do things differently you know?” Strangely enough he bought it. He smiled and winked at me.

On Monday I met Henry at his office. If it was really true that he liked me this could in all technicalities have been our first date. I dressed up nicely that day, wore contact lenses and left my hair out. I could tell he noticed the difference when he saw me. “You look nice.” He said shyly. His shyness was so adorable. “I was going for a less Adelish look.” I said posing dramatically by a wall. Henry laughed. “I told you I really don’t mind. Your sense of humour is something else.” He said. I sat down across him. He handed me a couple of print-outs. “So these are…” He started but before he could finish his sentence Gilly walked into the office. He said hi to me and whispered to Henry. They spoke in a low tone for a while and Gilly left. Henry took off his glasses and looked at me. “I’m so sorry. My dad wants to have a talk with me right now. It’s probably another invitation to a family vacation. Could you give me a minute?” He asked. I nodded and he left. I looked down at the handouts he gave me. They were about a study on Orgosis. I had never heard about it before but from what I read there was no cure for it. The best was to have full organ changes at stage 1. Was he looking to for a cure to impress his father? Wasn’t that a bit far fetched? I read more about it and realised how rare but deadly it was.

“Gradual organ failure.” I read when Gilly walked into the office. He nodded and leaned on Henry’s desk. “It’s a rare and extremely messed up disease.” He replied. I looked up at him. “Are you really trying to find a cure?” I asked. Gilly told me it would be super if they could find a cure and extremely lucky but they were looking at drugs that can prolong life. I nodded. That made more sense to me.

Then it happened. Gilly got up to leave, turned to me and said, “I’m glad you are helping Henry. He’s already in stage 4 and he is cutting his family out. It’s a bit…” He didn’t finish his sentence when I cut in. I knew what he was saying, understood what he was saying but the problem was digesting it. “Stage 4?” I asked. Gilly looked down. “He didn’t tell you the stage he was in eh? He has just 3 months to live.” Gilly replied and left. His words left me with mixed feelings. I felt sad, angry, stupid and confused at the same time. The pieces started fitting together perfectly in my head. Everything made sense. I was on the wrong path from the get go. Adel, Dean, his father, the coldness everything made sense but I didn’t want to believe it!

When the office door opened and Henry walked in I just stared at him. “What is it?” He asked immediately. I looked away, realising that my expression may have given me away. I wasn’t sure what to say to him. He thought I knew about his condition when we spoke the other night and the thought of me helping him find a drug lit him up. I decided to play along. “Nothing. You took a little longer than I expected that’s all.” I lied. He nodded and apologised. I honestly wasn’t sure I could keep my composure. It prayed it was just a bad dream. “You look tired. Let me drop you off at home. We can do this tomorrow.” He said picking up his keys. I nodded and we left.

When we got to my apartment my mind was a lot more settled. Maybe it was the silly jokes he was telling on the way or the fact that he was able to smile in such a condition. “Does it hurt?” I asked. He looked at me and replied, “I’m not in that stage yet so I guess we are safe.” I nodded. Just before I stepped into my apartment he called me back. “I know this is a bit strange. If you ever feel like helping out is too much for you I totally understand.” He said. I smiled at him. The guy I had fallen for had only 3 months to live. How on earth will helping him live longer be too much for me? I wanted to tell him this but all I could say was, “Oh not at all. You can count on me.” The smile that formed on his face was priceless.

That night I found it hard to sleep. Too many things run through my mind. Henry was going to die in 3 months. Why was the first serious guy I ever liked being taken away from me? I realised how selfish that sounded. His family had to just watch it happen. When I got to work in the morning Dean saw me and instantly knew I didn’t sleep well. “Why didn’t you tell me that Henry is dying?” I asked. He looked at me in shock and confessed. “Henry made me swear not to tell anyone, especially you. He said he didn’t want the whole sympathy thing.” Dean explained. He told me everything he knew. When Henry was diagnosed, how they tried to fight the disease but it was too late. “We just wanted him to have a happy life no matter the length, that’s why we tried to get you two together. You seemed to like each other too so Adel and I just thought it would help.” He confessed. I asked Dean about Henry’s research into a sustenance drug and Dean said Mr. Broke said it was impossible for orgosis. I spent most of my free time at work reading about the disease. The things I found weren’t good at all. I understand his family. They just wanted him to spend his last days happy. Dean had a point but it was all too much for me.

 

This is episode 6 of 8, so stay tunned for the next 2 weeks every monday for the next episode

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