Code Blue

An emotional story about a family trying to sort out their personal problems in the wake of a parent's tragic death.


1. Jennifer

I mentally cursed myself as I saw that while reaching across the table for a grab at the salt, I had gotten my sleeve into the pollen of the fresh bouquet of lilies. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t such a great idea to reach over a clump of lilies with a white blouse on, but I mean, it isn’t my fault that a flower stains. Actually though, that isn’t right. 


    The table for some reason seemed brighter tonight. The stars were just aligning, I guessed. Dad had just gotten home from his oncology conference in Barcelona with four free tickets on Iberia Airlines. The semester had just ended, and while it was mid-January and I was feeling the full effects of seasonal affective disorder, I had gotten all A’s and maintained my 4.4 GPA, pretty much guaranteeing myself an acceptance when I was to apply for early acceptance into Northwestern the following September. It was starting to feel like once again, everything was right in my life. 


    My dad at the end of the table was simply bubbling with laughter and seemed almost giddy. A bit too much wine, probably. But that was just his personality. I should probably clarify. His personality was to be upbeat and goofy, not to spend all of his time tipsy. Besides, a drunk would have problems retaining licensure in the field of pediatric oncology. I loved to brag. Yeah, my dad was a hotshot doctor. 


“So, Jen, what do you want to do to celebrate your perfect grades?”


I mumbled a response of dinner at my favorite restaurant while my mom smirked. Obviously, this was her again prodding at my interest in Northwestern. 


“Are you sure you don’t want money instead? You know, the tuition at Northwestern is a lot, unlike the the tuition after that huge scholarship that I got you at Middlebury. You might have to start paying for your own car insurance.”


Rather snarkily, I replied, “I didn’t get myself that scholarship at Middlebury. Your employment there did. And you keep forgetting that Northwestern is way better than Middlebury. Middlebury is for the people around here who couldn't go top twenty.”


    Before mom could launch herself back into the big debate, Noah flung himself into the conversation with his usual superior tone. Loving to remind me that he was a senior in college and I was just taking my first AP classes at high school, he loved to drop subtle reminders of his “far larger” mental capacity. And so just like that, my parents were back into the discussion of his thesis on long term affects of gel electrophoresis on genetic engineering. 


    Me and my brother have an awesome love-hate relationship. We’re the siblings that are so close, that we’re mean to each other like pairs of best friends. We constantly play games together, trying to trick people, like laughing at other people’s confusion and fear is some kind of inside joke that we can all laugh about together. With him going back to college tomorrow, I was a bit upset. The house always seemed quieter, more boring when Noah was gone, it felt unexciting. I would never admit it, never admit weakness, but I’m not a stone cold monster, I have feelings.

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