"Is The Juice Worth The Squeeze?" BOOK 4 CHAPTER 1 Preview

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copyright 2016 Chris Smith All rights reserved.

"Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light."

Norman B. Rice

First African-American Mayor of Seattle, Washington, USA 1990-1998

(1943- )

The hallway smelled clean. But for all its cleanliness, I didn't want to be standing in it. Sterile places felt all wrong to me. Dad was standing nearby. By the looks of him, he didn't want to be here either. The tension of it leaked all over his face.

Who could blame him?

I didn't know what the fuck was supposed to happen now. I wanted to kick my ass right out of this entire scene. Or write myself out of it anyway. But I was stuck here in this nothingness void of the unknown.

"Is there a reason you didn't bring her in sooner?" the Doctor asked.

"Yeah, there are a billion reasons, which one do you want first," I thought.

I looked at Dad. I was at a loss how to respond to the question. I could see the emotions pass through his eyes. I felt the air shift and the undercurrents swirl just below the surface of this stark new reality. I knew what people would think of us. I knew they'd judge us like they always did.

Why would now be any different?

"We didn't realize how bad she was until a friend of mine, who is a Doctor came by to see her today. He hadn't seen her for a while noticed the huge change in her and suggested we bring her in," Dad replied.

I watched the Doctor's face. I could see flickers of judgment. But what I couldn't tell was if he thought we were telling the truth. I'm sure we'd be scrutinized.

Shit, I'd just been through Hell with the fucking woman, the past five months. I should tell him how many times I'd wanted to clock her lights out. I should tell him how many times I wanted to kill her myself, with my own bare hands. I don't know what else I should have done with her. You can't force someone to do something they don't want to do, like live.

I'm sure he had no idea what it took for us to be here, in this sanitary world. Somehow being here, made it more real. It was like the ultimate reality check for us. Once we entered those E.R. doors there was no turning back. We were officially declaring that there was a "Problem" to the outside world. We might as well be standing on a stage holding a megaphone calling out our problems to the world. Now we'd get Western Medicine's look at what it was.

If I had a stomach anymore, it had taken over the feeling of my whole body. I wanted to throw up. Too bad there wasn't much in it to throw up. My hands were shaking and my brain was having trouble processing all the information coming in at lightning speed. Despite the tension overload, I could still operate the normal body functions, like for example breathing.

"And it says in the notes that she's been having issues eating?"

"Yes. She doesn't seem to want to eat," Dad said.

"We've been making smoothies for her with whey powder and fruit," I said.

"Does she have any bleeding during bowel movements? Or vomiting?"

"No. We haven't seen anything."

"Is it possible she could have but no one saw it?" the Doctor asked.

"No, someone is with her all day and night. So if she was bleeding we would have noticed."

"I'd like to check for bowel obstructions," said the Doctor.

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