Cellular by Ellen Schwartz

By Ellen Schwartz

Brendan has it all-captain of the basketball workforce, solid neighbors, a gorgeous female friend and a loving family—until he's clinically determined with leukemia. Terrified and confident that nobody is aware what he's going via, Brendan faces chemotherapy on my own, till he meets Lark. She is additionally in therapy, even though her is way worse, and but she continues to be confident and hopeful. Brendan is torn among feeling sorry for himself and the affection for all times that Lark brings to even the best factor. via Lark, he discovers the energy to move on, to struggle for survival and to like.

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I just shake my head. I don’t want to open my mouth. Nurse Sangha rushes in, takes one look at me, reaches into a cupboard and hands me a plastic bucket. I grab it and heave. Even though I haven’t eaten all day, slimy yellow gunk comes up. I spew, breathe hard, sweat, spew again. “Oh, Brendan. ” My mom tries to wipe my forehead. I whip my head to push her hand away. When I’m finished, Nurse Sangha takes the bucket away. She returns with a wet washcloth and wipes my face. Gingerly I go into the bathroom and brush my teeth, then get back into bed.

I’ve lost about ten pounds, I have no color and I’m bald. “Bull,” I say. ” Grandma scolds. She exchanges a look with Grandpa. Such language. Blasphemy. “No, I mean it,” Maureen says. “You look pretty healthy. ” I say loudly. “Just how do you know that? ” Maureen looks like she’s been slapped. “That was uncalled for, Brendan,” my mom says, taking Maureen’s hand. ” “And she was just trying to be positive,” my dad puts in. “That’s what you’ve got to do, Bren. ” “Okay, sure,” I snap. ” I start feeling cold and jam the tuque back on my head.

For a moment I wonder if she’s not quite all there. Maybe the chemo did something to her brain. She glides over to the window, pushes aside the curtain. It’s dark out. I can see her pale reflection in the glass. There are drops of water on the outside. She sighs. “I love the rain. ” She turns. ” I explode. She gapes at me. ” “Are you for real? ” She comes back toward the bed. ” She smiles. ” That pushes me further over the edge. “You have cancer. I have cancer. We might die. ” She sits down and takes my hand.

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