"Mallory, I'm sorry but there is nothing I can do. It's just too dangerous to operate. The tumor is growing quickly, I'm sure the other Doctors have told you, but you only have a few more months at the most. I suggest you plan for the inevitable and get your affairs in order," The doctor said as he looked at her, his old wrinkled face filled with sympathy. It made her sad to realize she would never have a wrinkled face.
Mallory refused to cry in any doctor's office. She did her best holding back the tears. This was it for her; she was going to die, she would never have children or a husband. She always thought she had plenty of time.
She sat there and twirled her black curly hair, trying to hold back the tears. She looked up at the doctor with her emerald green eyes, hoping she wouldn't break down and cry. The last thing she wanted to do was to cry in front of the Doctor.
She looked around the doctor's office, only half listening to what he was saying. It didn't matter now. The office was plain and boring with white walls and brown furniture. His desk had papers messily spread all over it. This was not a comforting environment. In that moment she wished she had let her mother come along.
"Are you sure?" Mallory asked, trying to keep it together.
"I'm really sorry Mallory, but it's gone beyond anything I have even seen in my thirty years in the field. There are a couple new medications that will help to keep you functional longer. It will help with the headaches, seizures, and slurred speech."
Mallory took the prescription and left the office feeling truly frustrated, she couldn't believe she was going to die at 32 years old. The walk back to her car was the longest of her life. Her phone began ringing as she reached the rental car in the parking lot.
"Hello?" Mallory answered.
"Mallory, this is Mom, how did your appointment go?"
"Just like the other ten. Sorry but I'm still going to die."
"I'm so sorry sweetheart, I wish you would have let me come with you. I don't like you doing all this traveling alone."
Mallory began sobbing uncontrollably over the phone. "They can't help me, I'm really dying," She cried.
"Oh sweetheart, I'm here for you, you know that right?"
"I know mom, Orlando Cancer Center was the last stop, and I'm coming home to die." Mallory could hear her mother sniffling on the other end of the line; she hated hearing her mother cry. She wished she hadn't said that.
"I'll see you when you get home baby girl. Have a safe trip home"
"I love you Mom." Mallory hung up the phone, and got into the stuffy rental. She put the a/c on full blast and started driving to the airport; the sooner she got home the better.
"I know you're in there old man, open up." Javon said as he banged on the door of his friend Enri's waterfront townhome in Detroit. He was quite irritated; he knew his friend was in there avoiding him. For a month he hadn't been seen at Bloodlust, the vampire club he owned and ran. Javon and all of Enri's friends were worried he would just waste away. "I'll knock all night long if I have to, you old coot."
Javon watched as Enri peeked through the curtain. Javon just stood there refusing to leave. He adjusted his Tigers baseball cap and knocked again. The door opened a crack. Enri gave Javon the middle finger and left the door open. "Why can't you just leave me alone in my despair?" Enri said as he sat down on his couch. Javon noticed the couch was no longer the floral pattern Mary picked out but something more masculine. It was dark brown leather.
"I like the new couch, when did you get it?"
"I got it right after Mary left, I just couldn't look at the stuff she picked out."
"Well, I like it, the other stuff was crap."
"Don't you have a wife to pester?" Enri asked as he laid on the couch with his back turned to Javon.
"She threw me out for the night, said I was hovering, whatever that means."
Enri belted out a big laugh and turned around. "It means you were being a big pain in the ass."
"Come on, let's go out and get you laid." Javon looked around and saw several empty bottles of blood. "I see you've been sampling the new bottled blood."
"I haven't felt much like feeding live so I've been using the bottled stuff, not too bad" Enri said, sitting up to take off his tie.
"I know just the place for some easy tail," Javon said with a smile.
"Oh, please, I'm beyond the need for easy sexual gratification."
"It's almost Fourth of July, the city is crawling with firework celebrations and drunken hot human females. Let's go watch fireworks and find someone to comfort your broken heart."
"If it will get you off my back I will, but I wouldn't count on anything happening besides some firework watching."
"Fine, you do have a pair of shorts, don't you?" Javon looked at Enri in his black Armani suit, which was wrinkled and disheveled. Enri was tall at 6'2, but not as tall as Javon who was six and a half feet. He had a goatee and pale olive skin tone, and had bags under his eyes. He looked like he hadn't changed his clothes in days.
"I'm afraid I'm not quite up to modern fashion standards, all I have are suits."
"That can be fixed, we'll go shopping."
"Oh no, shopping is a pastime only enjoyed by women." Enri informed.
"That may be true but you still need some shorts, let's go." Javon grabbed Enri by the shoulder and dragged him out the door.
Mallory had finally arrived home after her flight. She gave her pet cat Pumpkin a rub on the head and went to her room to collapse on her bed. Pumpkin followed her and sat next to her pillow like always. Just as she was beginning to drift off there was a knock at the door. You have got to be kidding; can't a woman die in peace? She opened the door to find her best friend Shana standing there with a bottle of wine and a smile. Shana was always a bit on the heavier side but still had men banging down her door. Mallory knew it was her exuberant personality.
"Shana, it's really not a good night." Mallory said as she answered the door.
"Don't be silly, it's always a good night for a celebration." Shana walked in and plopped down on the couch with the bottle of wine.
"What am I celebrating, my impending death perhaps?"
"We are celebrating life, your life no matter how long or short it is," Shana said as her eyes started tearing up. "I love you, you stubborn bitch, now get your skinny ass dressed. We are going to drink wine, get drunk and watch fireworks."
Mallory had been friends with Shana since the sixth grade and this was the first time she had ever seen her cry. She'd been having to watch a lot of her friends and family cry lately and it was really beginning to wear her down. She just wanted to live the rest of her life as normally as possible.
"How can I say no to that?" Mallory left Shana in the living room while she scoured her closet for something cute to wear to the fireworks. It was hot outside and she knew it would be a warm at night too. She pulled out some Capri's and a tank top with sequins. She was checking herself out in the mirror when Shana entered the room.
"Cute, except it's a bit on the baggy side. Do you have anything smaller?"
"I'm afraid I lost a little weight and haven't had time to go shopping." Shana walked behind Mallory and tried tucking and pulling to make it fit better. She made a face in the mirror.
"This just won't work," Shana said as she began searching the closet for something better. "I found it!" she said as she pulled out a red sundress.
"Oh my, I never even wore that, I forgot all about it. I bought it as motivation when I was trying that crazy no carb diet."
"Looks like it's just the perfect size," Shana said and watched Mallory's eyes light up as she tried on the dress.
"Look Shana, it fits." Mallory started twirling around in front of the mirror.
"It's perfect," Shana said as she gave her best friend a hug. "Maybe you'll meet a nice guy to help pass the night?"
Mallory began blushing. "I don't think that's such a good idea."
"We'll just keep an open mind to the possibility."
Enri and Javon wandered around the department store shopping for something Enri could wear to the fireworks. Enri never kept up with the times when it came to fashion. He always preferred to wear a suit, no matter what the occasion.
Javon pulled two pairs of cargo shorts and a couple of t-shirts off a rack. Enri made a face when Javon handed then over for him to try on.
"You surely are kidding, my old friend," Enri snarled with glaring eyes.
"Not even a little, put these on and join this century." Enri took the clothes and stalked into the fitting room. There was a sales girl who looked more than a little interested. She gave him a number and he went into the room.
Javon sat down outside patiently waiting. A few moments later Enri come out of the fitting room wearing a pair of shorts and t-shirt. The t-shirt fit just enough to show off his muscular build. The sales girl's eyes locked on him the moment he came out. She looked him up and down like she was getting ready to have him for a meal.
"See something you like?" Javon asked the sales girl as his eyebrows went up and down. She blushed and rushed away.
"Was that necessary?" Enri asked, as Javon stood up, scrutinizing Enri's new look.
"I was hoping she would say yes, I didn't think she would take off."
"I don't think I can wear this," he said and started walking back to the fitting room until Javon stopped him.
"No you don't, we don't have time for this; we'll miss the fireworks." Enri scowled at Javon before walking to the register to pay for the clothes he was wearing. On the way to the register Javon grabbed a few more pairs of shorts and t-shirts.
"I don't need all these."
"Yes, you do." Javon threw down his credit card and paid.
"You know I am perfectly capable of paying for my own clothing."
"I didn't see you reaching for your wallet old man." Javon looked over to see Enri giving him the middle finger.
"Are you offering me a snack?"
Javon smiled showing his fangs as they grabbed their shopping bags and left the store.