Used to Bad News...

Used to Bad News...


Tony and Son's Diner, Kingston, Pennsylvania...

“I’m so sorry.”

Agnes McBride thought she had heard enough bad news in her lifetime, but today was especially painful and personal because she had known the woman sitting across from her since before either of them was born, in a way. Their mothers had attended the same childbirth class, and as a joke they had placed their abdomens together and encouraged the babies to communicate. Coincidence or fate or divine appointment, no one could say, but at that moment both of them kicked in their wombs, and a friendship lasting over thirty years was born.

“Hey, it’s not your fault. We both knew it was a long shot.” The woman smiled weakly before tears began to stream down her face.

“Jeri…maybe you should get a second opinion.” Agnes said.

“Nothing is going to make me healthy enough. What’s the use?” Jeri shrugged her shoulders in defeat.

“Honey, please.” Agnes got up and sat beside her.

“No, Ag….if you do…I’ll just fall apart, and I still have to tell Ted.”

“You want me to come with you? Moral support always works.” The woman shook her head. Agnes reached down and hugged her anyway, since the tears were coming fast.

“I’ve wanted this all my life and now I can’t? I’m sorry, but I’m tired of being brave. I’m sick of being the one to smile as if it didn’t matter. It does matter, Ag, and I can’t be strong anymore.”

“Ted’s so caring. He’ll understand.” She put her arm on the woman's shoulder.

Agnes was trying to convince Jeri when it was clear that she couldn’t convince herself at that moment. Too many breakups and too many hasty and ill-conceived reunions had shown her that Ted wasn’t reliable at all. She would go home and pray that she was wrong, but God himself would have to convince her that her own brother was strong enough to handle Jeri’s disappointing news.”

To Be Continued...

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This story is 352 words long.