Welcome to the second part of my shortstory If you’re going to San francisco. If you didn’t read part 1, it’s the post below. Enjoy!
Back in the present, I pick up the handgun. It still surprises me how heavy it is. It’s so tiny. It easily fits in the palm of my hand. It wasn’t hard to get hold of. Everything I’d read about America and how easy it was to get a gun had been true. Okay, so I hadn’t gone into a gun shop and said “Hi, can I have a handgun please? A small one, for dummies who don’t know how to shoot.” I had contacted Annika, close movie star friend who I’d made during my first few months of staying here. She’d naturally been curious and worried when I asked her where I could get hold of a handgun. I’d said that I needed it for some research for my second novel. Unlike Annika, my acting skills were terrible. And she’d looked closely before asking “Are you sure?” I giggled nervously. “My heroine is a secret agent and needs to be able to handle a gun, so I thought, well….” Annika had come back a few hours later with a gun. “I’ll need this back in two weeks max,” she said. “We use this onset of the new series I’m in.” Without knowing it, my friend had set my death date.
One of my dad’s favourite songs is Scott McKenzie’s if you’re going to San Francisco. I love the song too. When I was little, my dad would put me on his lap, and we’d sing along to the scratchy record and dream about San Francisco and the summer time over there, especially in the wet British winter when summer seemed like a distant dream in a fairy tale.
Although not everybody walked around with flowers in their hair, San Francisco certainly didn’t disappoint. The people I met were gentle and smiling, though at times that somewhat forced cheeriness Europeans perceive Americans to have, got to me. Still, I felt at home straight away. My career was also going well. Curtis was a very good agent, and soon two of the biggest publishing houses were bidding for my novel. In the end, it was sold for a six figure sum. More than I could ever have dreamed of I was busy doing interviews, going on book tours and with writing. I was so happy that writing was hard. However, I managed to start my second novel.
Things with me and Curtis were also going well. The chemistry between us was amazing. We would talk long into the early hours about everything and nothing. And the love making left me dazed and off track in a way I’d never before experienced. After six months of being together and working together, he proposed, on the Golden Gate Bridge at night.
Everything was going splendid until two days ago when two very bad things happened. The first thing was a phone call from my doctor. I had been feeling a little under the weather, so I’d gone for some blood tests. My doctor sounded serious when he asked me to come in to his office to discuss the results of what he found. He had an open spot, so I drove down there immediately. When I was comfortably seated, he delivered the news. That it looked like I had leukemia. My white blood cell count was very low and he said that treatment should start immediately. I remember fainting and waking up, the doctor and a nurse leaning over me. “How bad?” I asked after the nurse had made me drink some drops of water. “We can’t say how aggressive it is yet,” the doctor replied. We will be taking more tests. But just in case it’s bad, we want to get you on chemo as soon as possible.”
I left the surgery in a state of shock, promising that I’d call the doctor as soon as I’d spoken to Curtis about my illness. This would inevitably both delay our wedding plans and my second novel.
I drove straight to Curtis’ office without calling first. His door was closed, meaning he was either in a phone conference or a meeting. I usually respected his privacy, but this was an emergency, so I knocked before opening the door. I guess you could say Curtis was having a meeting. Only it wasn’t a meeting where two or more people were sitting around his desk with coffee cups and note books in front of them. This meeting involved Curtis and someone else, a woman, but I couldn’t see who, pressed up against his filing cabinet kissing passionately. They broke apart as soon as they noticed that their privacy had been disturbed. Now, I could see that the woman was Ellen Jones, Curtis’ latest writer. I liked both her and her writing style. Curtis and I had been over to her and her husband Will’s house one time for dinner. And it had been a good evening. I stared at them both disbelievingly, not able to utter a single word. “It’s not,” Curtis started to say. “Enjoy the rest of your meeting,” I finally managed to say through clenched teeth, turned on my heel and ran out.
I take yet another swig of Whiskey. Curtis had been trying to call me for the past two days, but I haven’t answered neither his calls, nor his desperate voice mails and text messages. After arriving home from his office, I’d packed a few things and moved to a hotel to figure out what to do next. I had just become more and more depressed and my self-loathing was growing. I saw death as the only way out. My aunt had gone through chemo therapy and it had left her a complete wreck. Dying, she’d said, was something she prayed for every time she received the treatment. And her prayers had been answered during the third round of treatment. I just couldn’t see myself go through this. And alone? Without Curtis? Cheating lying bastard Curtis!I managed to meet Annika for breakfast this morning not mentioning what had happened, although I’m sure she knew something was up. Two hours ago I got the handgun. Now, I was ready to do it. In the second of complete peace that came over me, I lifted the handgun to my temple and took a sharp intake of breath as I unsecured it. Then, I pressed the trigger.