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It's Time (standard:romance, 1587 words)
Author: renaissance1Added: Sep 16 2010Views/Reads: 1282/642Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Indecision and crises.

“What time is it? “ Ken rolls over on the narrow bed, and reaches for
me.  “ Eight”, I yell back from the bathroom. “Why are you up already?  
Come back to bed. “ “I am late.  I have to get to the Children's 
Hospital” “ I can never figure you out.  You are about to finish your 
thesis.  Why are you volunteering   now?  After all, Harvard has 
offered you a job.”  This was Ken's reaction to my volunteer position 
in the Children's Hospital in Boston. 

“That's why”, I snap back.  A  non-sequitor. He must have been up late,
last night.  He has to finish his dissertation.  His dad is after  him 
. According to his southern gentleman- dad,” it was bad enough to 
switch from Physics to Linguistics after two years of grad school, but 
now, my only son is dawdling.”  Thankfully   this time, he did not add, 
“and this foreign-student, girlfriend”, he always adds;  His normal 
mantra, uttered in its different forms, each time he visited. I do help 
Ken with his thesis work, I thought. I help with those damn obscure 
translations.  Why didn't anyone tell him that every word in Sanskrit 
has at least six meanings?  But right now,  I think I know exactly how 
his dad feels! “All that  money to send my son to an ivy-league school 
.  An he goes off to get an esoteric  useless, degree.” I am annoyed 
too, right now.  Why do I have to do everything according to his 
family's wishes?  I have a mind. His family  lording  it over me is 
painful.  Okay, I am sulking .  I love him. I look out the tiny cracked 
window of the student apartments.  A cold blast.  These places are not 
meant for new England Winters. Outside the window of Ken's cramped 
Everett Street walk up, it is cloudy,  gloomy  and I can even  “see” 
the cold.  A  late April snow fall is expected later in the day. It 
seems to have started already.  It will be wonderful to get out of 
Cambridge, one way or the other, once and for all. “Come on, call in 
and say the weather is lousy and so you cannot come today.  After all, 
you have an old car, it won't start.  Come back to bed.” ”No Ken, I 
have to go.  Remember, I told you that kid is very sick.  He has a few 
months to live.  He is going home next week once the chemo is done.” My 
pride gets the better of me.  “ I have to go.  Snowing outside already, 
so  it must be warmer. The wind will be gone soon.” “You have become 
obsessed with that   volunteer stuff.  The kid's parents are rich .Come 
on Anna.  I need you to finish the translation of that lone   Sanskrit 
verse”. The one he is having trouble with. “Every word in that language 
has six meanings.  You can provide your own variety of romantic 
repertoire. Do it yourself”.  Anger.   At  what? At who? Then,  I  say 
with a little more control, “ I'll  do it tomorrow, for sure..  It can 
wait a day, can't   it.? I will switch my volunteer hours  for tomorrow 
.  I can stay and help you.  He sits up on the  bed ,” thank you 
ma'am.”  Now, he is really angry. And for me, the volunteer work 
becomes more important than ever I dress and hurry out the door. *** 

My old Rambler parked on the street, starts right up.  But there is a
ticket on it.  Oh well,  I don't have to pay it.  I'll be out of here 
in a couple of weeks.  Out of Massachusetts. I chuckle to myself. 
Racing  down on Huntington above speed limit.  I realize that  I am 
late.  Janie , the volunteer coordinator, is waiting, her shift was 
over almost an hour ago. “Johnnie was asking for you.  He has taken a 
liking to you”.   She says, “ Strange don't you think?” She adds with 
an air of condescension.  She never really liked me.  I bet you, she 
thinks,  after all what is this foreign student, about to return to her 
lavish home in Bangkok,  doing here? Johnny may be dying.'  No matter. 
I go  back into the children's cancer Ward.  Johnnie is reading, as 
always.  My cheerful “Hi, Johnnie, how are you, it is going to snow 
later.  Wonderful,  no? “ I cheer lead. “No,I don't want any more snow. 
I want spring to come, come soon”.  He says, not even looking up from 
his book.  “After tomorrow, it will be spring.  Did your mom come to 
visit?” “ Yeah, she did, and brought me the same lousy Tin-tin book she 
gave me for my last birthday.  She doesn't even remember. Some day, I 
will write a Tin-tin. book”  He is grumbling.  But then, he cheers up.  
“What did you bring, today, Anna?” I am embarrassed.  I brought 
nothing. “Oh, I just thought we should get a paper and pencil.  You 
dictate a story and I will write it down”. Big  smile.  “Okay, let's do 
it. “  He is tired.  He starts “Once upon a time, there was a little 
boy.  His name was Johnnie.” “Same old story?”  I should have caught 
myself before those words came out.  Too late.   “No, this is the 
beginning of my  own Tin-tin adventure  story” .Johnnie “dictates “  to 
me  for a few minutes.  He falls asleep.  I tell the volunteer 
coordinator that I must go, before the snow is heavy. My car does not 
have any snow tires.  She says “ yeah, get home.  You should rally get 

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