The Fault in Our Stars residing in my Kindle is Laurie’s fault.
She read it and posted on Facebook how good it was. When my friend Laurie says anything, I listen because she is smart and fun. I immediately ordered the book on Amazon, and put it aside to read when I finished reading the boring book, Underworld a Novel.
The boringness of Underworld overwhelmed me on Saturday. Then thought hit me that the day was too beautiful, and life is too short to EVER be bored.
Saturday was one of those rare, partly cloudy, 85-90 degree, days in central California. Vince and I sat by the pool and visited. When we ran out of words, I opened The Fault in Our Stars; he snuck off to take a picture. The little blob by the pool slouched in the rocking chair with her legs spread apart like Grandma Morris, in her not-long-enough giant-flowered dresses exposing nylons that came up mid-thigh, is me. In my defense I am wearing a bathing suit, so my thighs should be exposed.
I’m laughing out loud at the audacity of this sixteen year old Hoosier (in the book). I am a Hoosier (from Indiana), and it was great reading about a kid that attended my high school, North Central, and drove badly on streets near my home. These three protagonist children all have cancer, but one of them is hot, hot, hot, according to the girl, Hazel.
Who names their kids Hazel? Grandma Morris had a sister, Great-Aunt Hazel, but really, does this author, John Green, know me or something? It’s so Hoosier.
In the book Hazel, age 16, has terminal cancer, and Augustus, the hot one, is cancer free after a leg amputation. They meet in a cancer support group led by an old guy (probably 21 or so) who is cancer free after losing his testicles, which he talks about at every meeting. The story bounces around from hilarious to sad, and I had just finished a particularly sad page when Melissa called. Melissa rarely calls me.
“You’ve got to call(a nameless friend of ours),” she orders. “Her brother and sister-in-law are both expected to die within a few hours, and I can’t reach mom so she can call. Could you please call her?”
My gut says, “This is not a good idea, Marsha Lee. You’re crying, two people are dying, and you’re supposed to… say what?”
I’m the emotional one. Melissa’s mom is the one who gets us out of our funk. I dial my friend’s number from memory. She is not there. I have to look up her cell phone. She answers after a few rings.
“Where are you?” I ask, not knowing what to say, tears lurking in my voice.
“I’m in Utah.”
“Who are you with?”
This is the most eloquent thing I could think of to say at this point. I’m off base because I know this “secret” about her brother and sister-in-law, but I don’t know if she is in on it. Tears well up in my throat. I can’t think, let alone talk. I wish I had listened to my gut.
“A couple of ladies from church.”
I’m at a complete loss. Does she or doesn’t she know? She doesn’t give me any clues. By this point in the conversation, the pent-up tears wailed out a little. It turned out that she knew.
“I’ll call you when I get back in ten days, and we can go to lunch,” she cut me short after I stumbled around some more.
“OK,” I replied and hung up. I never felt dumber and more useless.
Moral: When tears are in your eyes, wait to call.
Oh, and you’ve got to read The Fault in Our Stars. It’s amazing.