I looked everywhere for whatever it was that could cure my wife. Some mythical cure that could counter react with the dark energy that made her sick in the first place. It had to exist. If the Deathfish existed, the opposite had to be real too. It just had to.
Of course, it wasn’t easy. With every day, Celeste was getting worse and I knew that we were on a deadline to find our goal. Of course, the internet was our go-to source for possible ideas of what we were looking for. Still, several months didn’t bring any ideas and I knew we didn’t have much longer to help Celeste.
It was the kids who found it. Or rather, they figured out what we were looking for.
I came into their room one day to find Gerald and Irene excitedly chatting about something on the screen.
“Anything interesting?” I halfheartedly asked.
“Dad, yes, come here!” called Irene.
“We had an interesting idea,” explained Gerald. “You know how you might be surfing the web and you always see those annoying click bait ads, the ones that talk about some miracle fruit or something?”
“Isn’t that just that, click bait?” I assumed.
“Yes dad! But what if there is a real miracle fruit of some sort, the inspiration for the ads, so to say?” Irene’s eyes were shining with the idea.
It could be worth a shot. “Where would we find it though?” I wondered.
“Well,” Gerald mused “I’m assuming it won’t be anywhere in plain sight, that’s for sure. Otherwise someone would’ve found it by now, right?”
“We can all look,” Irene was set on the idea. It was as good an idea as any.
So we looked. For weeks we looked, counting time, worried that we wouldn’t find the plant or that we would be too late, or that the plant wouldn’t be what we needed.
And then, surprisingly we found it.
I was exploring a remote hill and saw a plant that I have never seen before. What caught my attention was the fact that it glowed. Even my best grown healthiest plants didn’t glow. There were only two bushes with it nearby, and only one of them had fruit on it.
“This must be it?” I thought. At least, it was worth a try. I harvested the few plants available and took them home with me.
At home Celeste was very weak, but we all made sure she understood what this was about. We didn’t know what the plant will do, even though I tested it to make sure it wasn’t poisonous. We still didn’t know if it was a cure, but it had a chance of being just that.
It turned out that our efforts paid off. As soon as Celeste consumed the fruit, her immediate condition improved. She was feeling less dizzy, more energetic and, most of all, she looked more alive.
In the next few days, her condition steadily improved, and after her next appointment at the hospital it was clear that her sickness was letting up.
We did it. We found the cure.
The only problem was, there were only two fruits on the plant. As soon as it was clear that this plant was indeed what we were looking for, I made sure to plant the remaining fruit in the garden and make sure I took good care of it. If this was the right medicine for my wife, I had to make sure we had more of it.
I couldn’t believe it at first, but whatever that plant was– it worked! I felt more energy after consuming it than I’ve felt since the beginning of my sickness. Just one fruit was enough to chase away the worst symptoms of my disease and when I’ve gone to the doctors, it was clear that I was getting better. I was going to beat this!
A while afterwards, we actually threw a party. The family needed it. I personally wanted to have people over, since I felt too tired for company when I was sick.
It was really nice to have everyone here again. My friends, Simon’s friends, the kids’ significant others. Everyone was legitimately glad to see me feeling better and that made me happy. I’ve missed being able to interact with people like this.
Except… one thing was bothering me. But I would have to talk to Simon about that.
It was pretty unbelievable, but we did find the cure after all. But, of course we did! We would do anything for Mom. Even throw a party, which wasn’t something I was fond of, but today was a happy day and I was up for any crowd.
Of course, Micah was present. That made dealing with other people less unpleasant…
“So,” he ventured “how have you been? We haven’t seen each other for too long. But I see you’ve made good use of the time, since you’re beating me at chess!”
“Yeah, we were pretty busy. You have no idea how scared we all were. Mom was just getting sicker by the day and I thought we’d never find the cure.”
“But you did,” he smiled. “We should celebrate sometime. You know, I’m turning 18 soon and I’m sure I can find an in for a bar or something.”
“Yeah, I don’t know,” I shook my head “Getting drunk isn’t really something I find appealing.”
“No big, then. We can always head to the karaoke place again,” he winked.
“Sounds like a plan,” I agreed. “Oh boy, Gerald and Katy are really good at not breathing.”
It was true, since they were so busy making out that they wouldn’t come up for air at all!
“We can always do the same,” Micah winked again. Yeah, he was a huge flirt. Not that I minded in the least.
“Heh, let’s go ‘feed the fish’,” I suggested. That sure made my bro and his girl break it up. It was for the best really—our parents weren’t that strict, but I knew it would not be a good idea for them to find Gerald and Katy like this.
“That reminds me. I’ve never seen your room,” Micah realized.
“There isn’t much to see, really. Two bunk beds, a rocking chair and a computer desk. We like to keep it simple.”
“Think your folks would let me stay over sometime?” he asked.
“I honestly doubt it. I mean there is no way any sane parent would let their teenage daughter’s boyfriend stay in her room overnight,” I informed him.
“Too bad. Bunk beds are comfy,” he half-joked.
“Not for two people in them,” I retorted. I was actually pretty surprised Micah hasn’t wanted to take things to the next level earlier. But I wasn’t sure I was ready to move things in that direction yet.
He got the hint.
After the party ended and we were heading to bed, Gerald gave me a funny look, as if he wanted to ask something but wasn’t sure how.
Ever since Katy and I started dating, I found myself paying more attention to other people’s relationships. I wasn’t sure why. Maybe I was looking for tips on how to be more romantic myself.
At the party, Katy and I really couldn’t keep hands of one another. It just happened whenever we were together. I guess it’s true that childhood friends make the best romantic partners. Not that we’ve gone all the way yet, but we were thinking about it.
My sister and her boyfriend were flirting not far off, as always. I wasn’t sure what to make of the guy, to be honest. I mean, yeah, he wasn’t bad looking and I could see why girls liked him. And he did make Irene smile. Maybe I was just jealous of the way she looked at him.
Before we were teenagers, she and I used to be super close. We still were, but now there were two more people in the mix: Katy and Micah. I knew Katy was a great person, inside and out, because I’ve known her for a long time. As for Micah, he was new in town and I knew that a lot of girls had crushes on him. And there was the way he always flirted with people, given the chance.
“You should take it easy on them,” Katy suggested. “I mean, you look like you’re ready to challenge the guy to a duel or something.”
“I guess I just feel like I have to be protecting my sister. But seriously, the guy just charms her off her feet. Who does that?” I complained.
“Heh, you did that with me though,” Katy pulled me back into a hug.
“You think so?” I smiled “Glad to hear it.”
After the party, I was still worried about my sister’s relationship. But Irene did look so happy…
“Mom, how did you know that Dad was the one for you?” I asked her one morning.
“That’s an interesting question,” she admitted “I don’t think I felt for anyone the way I did for your father. When we met, I didn’t think he saw me as more than a friend, although I definitely liked him very much. And when it turned out that my feelings for him were reciprocated, well, there was no reason for us to not be together. As it is, I can’t imagine what my life would have been if I didn’t meet him.”
“I wonder if Irene and I found that too. I know I’m serious about Kate. I want to spend my life with her. Always did, since we were kids. Do you think that is a good sign?”
“I think you just know when you meet that one special person. Maybe they’re the ones who always make you smile no matter what mood you’re in, or go out of their way to be near you. And then, before you even know it, you’re imagining your life with them already.” Mom’s smile clearly indicated that she was thinking of Dad.
“Do you think Irene and Micah have that? I mean he makes her smile…” I ventured.
“You’re worried about your sister, hon, aren’t you? Why?” she was curious.
“I don’t know. She seems happy with him. But he’s such a huge flirt, are his intentions good?”
“Gerald, I know you want to protect your sister, but I think we should trust Irene in this department. After all, she knows this guy better than we do. Besides, he seems nice enough.” Mom was surprisingly reasonable about the whole situation. But then again, we knew her parents were pretty conservative about these things and she wanted to make sure that we didn’t feel the way she did when she was younger.
“I guess I’ll have to tone down the overprotective brother act,” I agreed. “For now.”
“Alright, protector, you should head off to school now!” Mom urged me.
Ever since Celeste got better, she made sure to spend as much time with the family as possible. That included talking for long hours with the kids and making sure everyone was feeling well and happy. While I was happy she was feeling well enough for this, I wanted to make sure she didn’t wear herself thin, since her illness wasn’t that far behind.
“How are you feeling?” I asked, joining her on the couch.
“Pretty content, to be honest. Gerald and I just had an interesting discussion about soulmates. He’s worried about his sister and Micah.”
“Ah, I wondered when the overprotective brother mode will kick in,” I laughed, pulling her close. “But how are you feeling physically?”
“Better than I had in a while, really.” Celeste’s brow furrowed “You know, I was thinking about that fruit, the one that helped me.”
“What about it?” I asked. The fruit I planted has been growing well in the garden. In case Celeste’s sickness came back, we would need it.
“I’m not the only person who gets cancer. Think just how differently everything would have gone if something like it existed when my mother was sick—she would have survived! I guess what I’m saying is, we shouldn’t keep something that can save so many people a secret from the world.” She was looking at me, expecting to hear my opinion on sharing the wonder fruit with the general public.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea. The plant I have growing is looking healthy and soon will bring fruit. I agree that we should make it available to the general populace.” If anything, I felt rather guilty that I haven’t thought of that myself.
“It could help a lot of people. And just think, you’ve been researching the healing properties of Hidden Springs for ages—this can be the thing that makes your research complete,” Celeste offered.
“I’m going to research the best way to make the plant available that would bring help to as many as possible,” I decided.
After all, if there was something that could save lives, why not share it?