Embry Mason is your average nineteen year old girl. She has loving parents and the most amazing best friend any girl could ask for. However, one day she is diagnosed with cancer and makes a decisio...
“Em honey? Are you alright?”
“Mit Fash!” I managed to choke out instead of the intended ‘shit Catch’ as another round of the vile fluid made its way up my throat. He shot me a sad look and gathered my hair higher, rubbing my back soothingly.
“Jesus Em, just let me take you to the doctors.” Finally feeling the nausea subside, I flushed the toilet and stood slowly. I grabbed my toothbrush and shoved it into my mouth as soon as it was coated in the minty white toothpaste.
“Embry, this isn’t the stomach flu. How long has this been going on now?” I looked into his deep mahogany brown eyes that were bleeding with sympathy. The man looking down at me, Catcher, had been my best friend since second grade. I had moved into the house next to his in the suburbs of Albuquerque, New Mexico from Vancouver, Canada for my dad’s job. His mother and he had brought over a welcome basket our first day in the large house and we hit it off immediately. All through school we were attached at the hip, doing anything and everything possible together. Now, eleven years later, we were just as inseparable as ever.
“Catch, I’m fine. I’m just under the weather is all.” He rolled his eyes and pulled me into his strong arms gently.
My heart began to run at mach speed from the contact but that was nothing new; I had been in love with Catcher since I was 15. I’m 19 now and he still has no clue. I’m not quite sure how though; certainly he feels what my heart does when he hugs me, right? Maybe he does feel it but chooses to ignore it.
I choose to keep my feelings a secret not for the cliché ‘I don’t want to lose him’, even though that’s true as well, but because I’ve seen all the girls he’s ever been with. I am nothing like them; they are bleach blondes or bright redheads with large natural chests and gorgeous faces. Now, my self isn’t all that damn low. I am attractive enough, standing at five-foot-nine with long, pencil straight black hair and a fairly pale complexion. The main difference though, was the difference in personality. Even though he was drop dead gorgeous with enough charisma to choke a cow and could easily have any girl he wanted, cough cough, for some odd reason, he tends to choose the sluts, bitches, and dumbasses. Don’t ask me why, I honestly have no idea. What I do know for sure though, is that he never glanced twice at the girls that I considered myself to act like; girls that were mostly down to earth, wore modest clothing, and didn’t associate with the ‘popular crowd’. Now, I’m certainly no prude, but at least I managed to keep myself from banging every guy on the football team. Most of Catcher’s girls hadn’t held the same mentality.
Begrudgingly, I drew back from his warm embrace. He stared down at me, thinking hard, before scowling.
“What’s that look for?” I asked as I grabbed a Gatorade from the mini fridge in the corner of my room. Hopefully I wouldn’t just puke this back up like last time.
“Embry, are you pregnant?” He asked seriously. I choked.
“Wh-what? P-pregnant? What the hell Catcher?!” I sputtered. Pregnant? Hell no. I was far too careful to get myself knocked up.
“C’mon Em, what are your symptoms? Excessive vomiting, fever, night sweats, and unnatural weight loss.”
“Thank you, Doctor Kensington for that stunning revelation.” I muttered sarcastically.
His gorgeous eyes darkened and he took a few slow steps towards me. “Embry, who the hell is he?” God he was so damn protective.
“Jesus, Catch! I’m not pregnant!” I huffed.
“Why won’t you just let me take you to the doctors’? Let’s just make sure you aren’t… you know…”
“No, I know for a fact that I’m not ‘you know’,” I said with air quotes “and I don’t need a damn doctor to tell me so.”
We both turned at the sound of my front door closing. I rolled my eyes again but Catcher grinned.
“Don’t you dare.” I warned him, glaring murderously. He bolted for the door, knowing that in my current state, running was out of the question. I could still scream though right? Hopefully.
“DO NOT LISTEN TO A DAMN WORD HE SAYS MOM!” I screamed at the top of my lungs then paused, partly for her reaction, but mostly to gauge whether I needed to make another trip to the bathroom or not. Feeling safe, I made my way towards the stairs.
The look on my mother’s face when I reached the bottom said it all. Dammit Catcher.
I sighed. “Mom, I’m just fine. It’s just a little-“
“How long have you known?” She asked through gritted teeth.
“No need to be pissed off Mom, I’m only a little under the weather.” Sheesh. Why was everyone acting so dramatic?
Her eyes blazed. “You call being pregnant ‘a little under the weather’?!” She cried.
My head snapped over to look at Catcher who was leaning against the doorway to my right with the biggest smug grin on his face.
“Dammit Catcher! Why the hell would you tell her that?” He didn’t get a chance to reply though.
“So it’s true?! Why wouldn’t you tell me?” My Mom asked with pain in her eyes. Oh God, she actually thought I was going to be a teen mom. Fantastic. Thanks a lot Catch.
“No! No, Mom. It’s not like that at all. I-“ She cut me off with the most bizarre question that threw both Catcher and I off.
“Is Catcher the father?” I gasped and flushed while Catcher burst out laughing.
“What? Am I missing something?”
“Yes, Mom! There’s a lot you are missing! Catcher is being a total fuckface.”
“Language Embry!” She scolded.
“Sorry Mom. I’m not pregnant and Catch would definitely not be the father.”
His jaw dropped and he looked slightly offended. I shot him a quick smirk but kept my attention focused on the confused woman in front of me.
She looked to be deep in thought and I decided to keep quiet while she was thinking about God knows what. Finally she shook her head and glanced between Catch and I.
“No, I’m taking you to the doctors’ right now. I want to be certain. I know you aren’t a virgin so there is a possibility.” What? How the hell did she find out?
As if reading my mind she said, “Oh honey, you should know that the walls at Alex Connolly’s house are paper thin and his parents heard everything.”
Oh. My. God. Kill me now. I looked at Catcher for some help but he just looked annoyed.
“Fine! Fine, let’s go. I’ll prove that I am not pregnant.” I said, reaching for my flip flops.
“Thank you, dear.” My Mom said sweetly.
This has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever agreed to do, and that was saying a lot. I was a daring child and never backed down from a bet which ended up in plenty of broken bones. But this, this was ridiculous.
I was currently peeing in the cup that the bitchy nurse had thrust in my face. This was all Catchers fault. Had he kept his fat mouth shut, I would be laying in bed recovering. But no, he just couldn’t help himself.
Flushing and buttoning up my neon green skinny jeans, I stuck the closed cup into the passage between the bathroom and the lab.
After washing up, I made my way back towards my mother. She was standing with Catcher and a doctor. He looked to be in his mid thirties with a lean frame and combed blonde hair.
“Embry, dear, this is Doctor Herald.”
I smiled and shook his outstretched hand. “Miss Mason, would you and your family please follow me back to your room?” People always thought Catch was my brother, maybe it was because our hair color was similar. Unfortunately, Catcher always went along with it because, as he has said before, I am like a sister to him.
I jumped up onto the examination bed while the doctor closed the door.
“Before we begin, I will need your permission to speak freely to everyone in this room Miss Mason.”
I nodded. “It’s Embry and yeah, they need to hear this.”
He smiled. “Alright, your mother tells me you believe you may be pregnant. Is this true?”
I glared at the two individuals sitting in the chairs to my left. “No, doctor. They think I’m pregnant. I know for a fact I am not.”
“When was the last time you engaged in sexual intercourse?” I cringed. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have them in here.
“About a month ago.” He nodded and continued making notes in the folder he had. “Your symptoms are indeed that of a pregnant woman, but there are other possibilities as well.”
“In the off chance that you are not pregnant, I want to take a blood sample now.” He said while preparing a needle.
“Of course!” I replied smugly. I wasn’t freaking pregnant.
“Thank you Miss Ma- Embry.” He said after taking the blood sample. “I will be back just as soon as the results come back.”
He left the room without another word, allowing my worried mother to begin her interrogation.
“Were you two safe? Embry, you’re on birth control. Catcher, did you use a condom?”
“Mrs. Mason, I am not the father of Embry’s baby. We have never slept together.” And never will I thought bitterly.
“I’m not fucking pregnant Catcher!” I spat.
“Embry! Watch your mouth!”
“Sorry, Mom.” I laid back on the bed as the room fell silent.
Forty minutes later I was about ready to kill someone. We still hadn’t heard from the doctor and my patience level was critical.
“How long does it take to run the test?” Catch asked me with tired eyes.
“How am I supposed to know? I’ve never been pregnant before!” I hissed. He put his hands up in submission but said no more; he knew when to bite his tongue.
Just then, the door opened, Dr. Herald emerging from the hallway. After he muttered an apology for the wait, I couldn’t help the immature child inside of me.
“That’s fine! Now will you please tell them that I’m not pregnant?” I asked excitedly.
He grimaced. “That’s true; Embry is most definitely not pregnant.” My mom sighed while Catcher rolled his eyes.
“However, while she isn’t pregnant, there is a reason for her symptoms.”
“See, Em? I told you something was wrong!” Catcher said.
“Please excuse them, Doctor. Is my daughter going to be okay?” My mom seemed worried but no one could have ever expected the words that left his mouth in response.
“I’m afraid this is a serious issue and treatment will be somewhat difficult. Your daughter has Stage two Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She has cancer.”
The silence that followed was deafening. I had cancer. I was 19 years old with cancer.