Jack doubled up as he held the door frame for support. He tried to scream but the words wouldn’t come. He clutched his heart and dropped to the floor face-down. He was breathing heavily and suddenly there was no sound.
Scott, walked over to Jack and tried to move him eager to see to see the red artwork he had painted on Jack’s chest. But Jack was huge. And he was motionless.
“Daddy, are you going to be alright?”
“Daddy, say something”
“Use your magic wand, Scott”, came Jack’s whisper. He said did this without moving his lips and speaking into the floor.
“But .. I don’t have a magic wand”. Scott’s voice was trembling as he grew more worried by the second.
“Sure you do dear .. look inside your pocket”
Scott reached into his pocket, and sure enough he found a long colorful pencil his dad had gifted him a few days ago. He raised the wand and poked Jack hoping to wake him up. Nothing happened. Jack lay motionless. Scott’s eyes were welling up.
“Daddy, it’s .. it’s not working. Daddy do something”
Jack whispered again into the floor, “But you didn’t say the magic words now did you?”.
“The..magic..words?” Scott bit the tip of his pencil and wondered what the words could be. Suddenly his eyes lit up. He knew he had it.
“Abracadabra !!!”, he screamed in glee.
The only sound in the room was of Scott’s breathing. Jack was not moving. Scott’s eyelids gave in as the tears blasted out. He got back to rocking Jack back and forth. “Wake up daddy. Wake up. I don’t know the magic words. Wake up.”
“What do I tell you before you go to sleep every night kiddo?” The hushed voice seemed to come from nowhere.
Scott needed only a second. In that second, his face went from feeling despondently sad to utter ecstasy. He gripped his pencil with both hands as tight as he could, lifted it high and then touched Jack with it.
“Daddy, I love you. Wake up Daddy”
Jack turned around to to show his son his smile. Scott yelled a shriek of delight and wedged himself into what little space there was between the cold floor and his father’s warm chest. Jack hugged his son with as much as might as he could muster, a force that could only be compared to the little four-year old who was hugging him back. A few adamant tears escaped Jack’s eyes as well.
There they lay. Father and son. In a manner that only pure love and affection can dictate.
The door-way opened. The man with the white suit looked at the duo grappling each other on the floor. He felt sorry about what he was going to say.
“Mr. Jack Preston . I have some news for you .. ”
If you could see time in absolutely small measures of time, you would have noticed that the earth stopped spinning for a span the millionth of a heartbeat.
They followed the man inside. Jack stood by Marie’s bed. He held Scott in his arms as they looked over her face. She was pale white. There was no other sound in the room. There was a heart-beat monitor in the room, which at that moment was as silent as them, as if mourning the lady in the bed as they were.
“Daddy, why is Mommy not moving?”
Jack didn’t know if he could talk. He opened his mouth, but the words would not climb out.
“Daddy, what’s wrong with Mommy?”
Scott jumped from his dad’s bed and stood next to Marie. He reached into his pocket. He lifted the pencil high in the air and touched his mother’s forehead with it.
“Mommy, I love you. Wake up Mommy”
He waited and tried again and again. “Daddy, nothing happened. It doesn’t work. Why won’t it work?”
Jack collapsed to the floor for the second time in the hour.
This time it was for real.