GENRE: Literary fiction
TITLE: All He Can Become
The call came at dawn when Michael sat in his boxer shorts staring at the computer in the study. He mumbled a greeting into the receiver.
“Michael?” He barely recognized her voice.
“Nan? What’s wrong?”
“Accident.” Her voice squeaked. “No one’s dead, but Ted’s hurt.”
Michael jack-knifed out of his chair.
She wheezed. “Me too, broken leg. But Ted’s worse.”
Ted, Ted, Ted. His brother’s name whorled through Michael’s brain. “How Worse?”
“I don’t know. Concussion, maybe more.” Nan began to cry.
Michael’s body took charge. Bare feet slapped the hardwood floor. In the bedroom his heart shifted into overdrive. A rapid cadence of snare drums surged from his chest to his ears. “What hospital? What’s his doctor’s name?”
“Liberty General. I don’t know what doctor. They’ve had me in x-ray.”
He rifled through a dresser drawer, pulling out socks and a tee shirt.
“What’s the phone number? Ask someone for the number.”
In the closet he gulped air and pushed hangers sideways. Nan’s voice faded as if she had moved to a faraway room. When he blew out a mouthful of air, the throbbing in his chest diffused, became a flock of crows thrashing their wings.
Then Nan rattled off some numbers.
“I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he said.
Alexis drove him to the airport in San Francisco. “I should go with you,” she said.
“Grace could deliver any day,” he said, surprised by his coherent response. Alexis was the rational one. He was the daydreamer.