Challenge #01777-D316: Worth Living WellsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  last year


Sometimes, someone with a life-threatening condition decides, "What the heck! I'm going to have Fun!" -- Anon Guest

The prognosis sucked. The good news, according to the doctors, was that with expensive drugs and even more expensive therapy, Jeremy could stretch his painful last days by maybe three months.

Six months in increasing pain versus nine in absolute agony. What a fun choice.

"You know what?" said Jeremy. "Fuck it. I'm not going to spend my last days in medical agony. I'm going to live what's left."

They spent the rest of that day trying to convince him that nine months was better than six. But, in the end, he walked out of there. He had nobody, really. All the friends of his youth had drifted away. All his family were gone. And he sure as hell wasn't going to make a baby to suffer his genetic condition. So he arranged to sell everything, and put all the money into one card. Settled all his debts. Whittled all his belongings down to one suitcase, and hit the road.

Jeremy talked to strangers. Asked them what they loved most in life. Sometimes asked them to share. Most of the time, he went on his own. He was heading west, because that's what you did when you lived in New York, and took a meandering path wherever to experience the joy of the world.

He ran out of money before he hit Kansas. But that was okay. People had heard about him, by then. They started buying him the experiences. Taking him in for the night and showing him all the cool stuff. The best food they had. The quality entertainment. The slightly illegal things that no officer of the law would even think about arresting him for.

He even got to go skydiving and flight-suiting.

Jeremy arrived in Los Angeles in extreme pain. Struggling to breathe or to walk. The motorised scooter was a freebie from an entire town that raised the money for him. And Los Angeles set him up in the best hotel room and all the comforts they could provide.

He ordered Lobster Thermidor, with some expensive wine, and died on the roof of the hotel watching the sun rise over the pacific.

By all accounts, his last words were, "So worth it."

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / focalpoint]

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Jeremy finally enjoyed his life