February 25, 2012
Boy, what a flight that was. I’d forgotten how boring flights could be. As soon as the plane touched down I hurried off, jogging through the terminal.
After I picked up my luggage, I left quicker than I thought was ever possible in an airport. When I bought my ticket for the flight, I arranged with the rental car service to just park my car and call me with which parking deck and space it would be at.
The plane landed around seven at night, so the SeaTac wasn’t too crowded. Businessmen bustled around me, but it could have been a lot worse.
I wrote down the space that my car would be parked in and found it easily on the second parking deck. I rented a plain white Nissan to use for my visit here.
If I pushed it, I should make it to La Push by ten.
I revved the engine, testing its power.
Not too impressive, but it’d do.
Backing out of the space, I called Nessie on the phone inside the car. I typed in her number on the touch pad then listened to the rings purr as I pulled onto the highway.
“Hey,” I breathed when she answered. I could almost see her smiling.
“Jake! How was your flight?” she asked excitedly.
I sped up and passed a slow-moving car. “Oh you know, a flight,” I vaguely explained. She laughed and it brought a smile to my face. Nessie has the most beautiful laugh.
“Well are you excited to be going home?” she asked.
“Yeah. It feels good. It smells great. Not as cold or stale as England,” I said, laughing. I always made jokes about how England smells — salt and stale bread mixed with rain.
I ended up talking to Ness for almost an hour, which really helped the drive there seem less treacherous. When I saw the Welcome to La Push Reservation sign, I turned right and went down the familiar road. My speedometer crept up as I got closer and closer, and finally I turned off to our mile-long driveway. It was drizzling just slightly and I knew mud was splattering all over the white rental car. I decided I’d take it through the car wash before returning it.
I hopped out of the car and saw there were still some lights on in the house. I ran up the steps and burst through the door and there sat my dad at the kitchen table.
“Dad!” I stumbled towards him, gripping his frail frame tightly. Realizing how much his bones protruded, I pulled back slowly.
“I really wish you would’ve told me you were coming,” Dad said.
I mirrored his frown. “Well I thought I would surprise you . . . and you wouldn’t tell me what’s wrong, either. Care to explain?” The air thickened once I said that. Dad looked down at his lap, and I stared at him harshly.
“Jacob, I don’t-”
“Dad. Tell me,” I pressed, my eyes shooting daggers at him. He finally raised his eyes to look at me.
“I have cancer.”
Sam came into the house and his eyes found me. I had my face in my hands, my eyes tired and sore from crying. I couldn’t bring myself to be mad at my dad for not telling me. I wanted to be — but how could I?
I held my breath, otherwise I’d start up crying again. I hate crying. So damn much. I just couldn’t seem to help it.
“Jake,” Sam called as he came to sit beside me. “How are you?”
I looked up at him, my teeth clenched, and tried to smile. It came out more like a sneer. He looked at the ground and patted me on the back.
“It’ll be okay, man. I promise.”
Turns out, Dad has pancreatic cancer. They’ve only known for a month, and he was going to keep it from me for as long as possible. Which really pissed me off, but I let it go for now. When they first found it, he was a candidate for surgery, and with chemo, he’d be fine. Two days ago, they found spots on his lungs and stomach, which eliminates any possibility for surgery. The specialist claimed that with chemo, he’d have eight months.
My dad is not the type of man to undergo chemo. He already told me he was just going to go without it. When he told me that, I called Carlisle. My heart sped up with each ring of the phone.
“Please tell me you can help,” I begged breathlessly when Carlisle picked up.
“Jacob? What’s wrong?” he asked immediately.
“What do you know about pancreatic cancer?” I rushed out.
I heard Carlisle sigh on the other line.“Oh no,” was the answer I got. More tears tumbled out and I angrily swiped them off of my face.
“How far along has it gotten?” he asked me.
“He has eight months with chemo, but he’s not going to go with the chemo,” I answered. Along with receiving the news, my voice has taken on a monotone sound. I felt so empty, hollow.
I’m losing both of my parents, I thought. How could this happen?
“Jacob, I don’t think it’ll be long . . . ” Carlisle sighed again.
I groaned as words escaped me. This just can’t be happening.
“I’ll be there soon, Jacob. Don’t worry. I’ll do everything I can. Just relax.” His voice came out smooth and I could tell he wanted to keep me as calm as possible. Hell, I wanted to calm down too. I hated feeling shaky and out of control. At least Dad went to bed. I really didn’t ever want him to see me this way. It’s already hard enough to know you’re dying, without seeing your kid freak out, break down.
After I hung up with Carlisle, I checked on Dad. Once I saw he was okay, I went to my car to get my bags then settled in on my old bed. My feet still hang off about a foot and a half, and I can hardly spread out, but I didn’t let it bother me.
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