Angie’s temperature rose to a blistering one hundred and five degrees. Nurses applied ice packs but they were ineffective against the raging battle taking place inside her body. She lay, comatose, a breathing tube rising and falling with each breath. Mark lifted her hospital gown. Her boney legs looked thick when compared to the ribs that outlined her sunken abdomen. She was a petite woman, but her hospital stay had taken its toll. Angie was down to eighty-eight pounds. She had lost nineteen since being admitted.
For Mark, it had been twenty-three agonizing days since he last spoke to his wife. Angie had told him she was feverish and had body chills, but Mark wasn’t falling for all the hype. “It’s just a cold,” he told her, “I’ll stop at the store and get you some of that green, cold formula. That’s supposed to reduce your fever and help you sleep. I’m telling you, Angie, the flu is a hoax. The government wants us to believe that flu shots will stop this non-existent virus. They are in cahoots with big pharma. They just want our money.”
“But I’m really sick, babe. Maybe this one time, I should go to the urgent care facility.”
“Don’t be silly,” he told her. “They’re going to charge fifty-bucks and tell us you have a cold. I don’t mind spending three bucks on something you believe will make you feel better, but I’m not going to give them fifty dollars. You just need to stay in bed and get some rest. You’ll be back at work tomorrow. It’s all in your head, babe. They tell us the flu kills twenty-five-thousand people every year and that talk gets into people’s heads, and they start to believe it. You’re not really sick, but it’s okay if you want to stay home today. I’ll call your boss for you on my way into work.”
“Work? Aren’t you going to stay with me?” she pleaded. “Babe, I’m really sick.”
Mark kissed her forehead. “You are the love of my life,” he said as he grabbed his sweater, and walked out the door.
Mark worked at a Do it Yourself store and could have easily taken the day off. The store had plenty of coverage, and he had five sick days to his credit. It was selfish on his part, but he didn’t feel like spending a day off watching his wife sleep. From his car, he called the principal’s office and informed her that Angie was under the weather and wouldn’t be able to teach her sixth-grade class today.
The day dragged. The winter chill kept most of the do-it-yourselfers comfortably tucked away in their homes, and business was slow. Mark put in a few hours of work and then told his boss that Angie wasn’t feeling well, and he asked if he could go home early. As he pulled out of the parking lot, he thought he would stop at a local pub for a pint or two. Angie didn’t expect him home until after five o’clock, and besides, she was probably getting some much-needed sleep. Better not to disturb her.
It was noon, and the pub was busier than he expected. It was an English pub, but it was in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles. He hadn’t had any lunch and was quite hungry. Mark idled up to the bar and ordered a pale ale and some fish and chips.
He was watching CNN on the television when a pretty brunette came up and sat at the stool next to him. “That looks good,” she said, “What are you drinking?”
“It’s called Blonde ale. Would you like to taste it?”
“I’d better not,” the woman said, “I feel like I might be coming down with something.”
“You’re not coming down with anything,” Mark said, “The government puts chemicals in the jet fuel, and it’s the chemtrails that are making you feel bad. You aren’t really sick. They create these symptoms so you can buy their drugs.”
“That’s interesting,” the woman said, “Do you believe in getting a flu shot?”
“Absolutely not,” Mark said. “I don’t believe in immunizations of any kind. A lot of the parents at my wife’s school tell her about the dangers of immunizing. They don’t immunize their kids, and those children are just fine. My wife and I are done feeding the beast. Big Pharma can get their money from someone else.”
Mark spent the rest of the afternoon educating the woman about the fake moon landing, the coverup at Roswell, and the conspiracy surrounding nine eleven. Two pints turned into five before Mark realized the hour. He told the woman to check out his blog and excused himself. He drove home intoxicated from the exhilarating conversation and the alcohol. He swerved into a lane and almost sideswiped another car. He had enough sense to pull over and sleep it off. An hour later, he staggered up the stairs and opened the door to their apartment.
“Angie, I’m home,” he shouted, “Listen, I forgot to get the medication, but I’m going to make us each a cup of hot tea. It’ll be good for you.” Mark started the kettle and sat at the kitchen table. His thoughts returned to the woman at the pub and the interest she had shown. The whistling steam woke him from his daydream. It took him a moment to get his bearings, but he managed to walk the two cups into the bedroom without spilling a drop. “Wake up, sleepyhead. This tea is going to soothe your throat. I put a lot of honey in it.”
Angie’s breathing was shallow, and beads of sweat had condensed on her forehead. Mark shook her. “Come on. Wake up. You need to stay hydrated.” Angie remained unresponsive. He placed the back of his hand on her forehead and realized that she was burning up. “Wake up, damn it!” He shook her more vigorously this time. Still no response.
Reluctantly, Mark grabbed his cellphone and called 911. The paramedics took Angie’s vitals. Her temperature was a hundred and four. “Transporting immediately,” the medic spoke into his radio. “Has your wife had a flu shot?”
Mark shook his head.
“Has your wife taken any medication today?”
“I don’t think so, but I’m not sure.”
“Has she had anything to drink today?”
Again, Mark shook his head, “I don’t know. I was at work all day.”
Mark paced the hospital room. Twenty-three days on a breathing tube and no solid food had decimated Angie’s body. The doctor walked in and looked at Mark. “What would you like to do, sir? As we discussed earlier, your wife has no brain function, and there is no chance of recovery.”
Mark looked down at a wadded up piece of paper he was holding in his hand. He turned his attention to the doctor. “I don’t believe a thing you’re telling me. You’re just trying to guilt me into keeping her here so you can collect thousands of dollars a day. Well, doc, I’m not falling for it. I write a blog that exposes western medicine and how you have us fooled into taking drugs and spending money. You have my permission to take her off life-support. She’ll be just fine.”
“Sir, once we remove the apparatus it won't be long before your wife's heart fails.”
“You really expect me to believe that, don’t you? How many people have you hoodwinked over the years? Just give me the paperwork so we can both get out of here.”
“Wait here with her,” the doctor said, “I’ll be right back.”
Mark signed the paperwork and waited as a nurse disconnected the breathing tube and the intravenous feeding line. Fifteen minutes later, Angie passed. “She’s not breathing,” Mark yelled, “Someone, please help me. She isn’t breathing.”
The doctor came running in. “Mr. Felder, I told you this would happen. You did the right thing. She’s at peace now. Stay with her and say your goodbyes.” Mark sank into a chair and watched as the doctor walked away.
Mark unfolded the wad of paper in his hand and straightened it on his thigh. It was his list of New Year’s Resolutions. He read them in silence
Write a blog exposing government coverups.
Convince Angie not to get immunized.
He sobbed as he looked at his wife’s lifeless body. It was the first time he had ever kept his New Year’s resolutions.