Rushing through me was a bank of emotions I had held in for a couple of months. I had finally decided to pick the happy book. This is a story of a promise I made to myself. You know how you stand over a catalogue for a long time thinking of which book to pick. That was me. My name is Melanie James, a sophomore in College of Pharmacy. I'm on spring break and I'm spending it at my Aunt's place with her family. There is this book I've been neglecting for a while now titled "BE HAPPY". But I decided finally to pick it .

April 1st, 2020

     Waking up in the morning to the breath of fresh air, I feel a surge of happiness threaten to burst forth. Well after picking up that book and deciding to a happy and better me, I had no choice. Today is the day I start. 

"Melanie, breakfast is ready". Aunt Agnes calls

"Coming". I saunter into the kitchen

"Well, well, look who's bright and cherry this morning"

"Oh aunty, what's wrong with being happy?"

"Hmm huh, I hope it lasts"

" Yeah, me too". 

   Truth is, I've been on a 50-50 scale, partly sad, partly happy and some days just plain sad. One day, My Uncle comes home and tells me that I'll accompany him to work and help him with whatever deems fit. I've been on hospital trips before but it had never been personal, it's always for knowledge and grades.

A week earlier

   Stepping into John Bloom's Medical Center brings back memories of hospital trips with my friends and colleagues. The hospital is a bee hive of activity. Everybody is waiting to get checked out. Trying to keep up the pace with my uncle, we're greeted by his receptionist, a good looking woman with a warm smile. The label on the door reads " Timothy Grant" , MD. As I step in, the scent of lavender and warm air greets my face. I am greatly impressed by the office design and equipment arrangement. The receptionist runs through his appointment list and the day at the hospital begins to roll. I sit tight listening to all the cases. Amidst all the cases, one stands out, the last one, a paraplegic war veteran who served in the Armed Forces back in the days is diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer. My stomach churns, my heart stutters, I begin to feel warm in my palms. His grand daughter who wheeled him in is a tall slim lady with lines of worry etched on her forehead. Asides that, she looks completely beautiful with her model like looks. She steps out with my uncle for a while. I mean a decorated war hero that he is doesn't deserve to die this way. He deserves better but then life is not always fair. He looks quite undisturbed. I guess he sees it as an announcement not a pronouncement. The silence is creepy. I feel the air pregnant with emotions and unspoken words. 

"Lieutenant Tom Davis"

"Melanie James, I'm a relative of Dr. Tim"

 He kept staring at me like he could read my soul. I kept Wondering what he'll say next. If telepathy were a gift, I say he has it.

"Don't worry I'm not into soul searching or whatever you people call it these days"

"Okay" I say

"I've lived life if not all a fair share of it". His eyes moisten and gleam with memories

"I served my country well, played with the boys, walked my daughter down the aisle - "

"You really lived life", I said

"I did but can I give you a piece of advice"

" Go ahead, make my day", I said

" Live life happy, enjoy each day rather than enduring each day"

The advice did sink in. The glow and joy on his face made my heart hitch. Just then, Uncle Tim returned to the office with his granddaughter.

"Pardon my manners, I'm Julie Davis. Thanks for keeping my grandad company"

"Oh no, don't mention, I'm Melanie James"

"Hope he wasn't a bore"

"Julie I'm wounded" , He faked hurt

"Not at all", I smiled

"Thanks Dr.Tim" Julie said

"Just doing my job" Uncle Tim replied

"We will stay in touch" Julie said

"Here is my card, you're free to call me at anytime for whatever you need"

" You're so kind, however what I need is for this old man to take his meds and stop giving me grief" Julie says as she wheels him out

"Goodbye" I say waving at them

"So I'm grieving you now right?" 

"I'm not dead yet and you're in grief... "

The friendly banter continues

"Wait" , I call out

"Thanks for the advice Lieutenant Tom, you made my day indeed"

"Please call me Tom and you're welcome"

"May the force be with you"

"Amen" Tom says placing a hand on his chest

"Goodbye Melanie", they chorus

"Don't tell me you bored the innocent girl with your stories"

"I'm hurt that you think I'm boring and...

They continue to chat happily.

"Melanie, it's time to go"

"I'm coming Uncle Tim"

  Upon arrival at the house, I wash my hands and go to the kitchen. My uncle however goes to the kitchen, greeting his wife with a kiss before checking around for food. That man loves food and so do I.

"I'm starving" , I say as I greet my aunt 

"Good evening"

"How was work"

"It was great" I heave in reply

"Don't worry, just go take a shower, I'll make dinner", Aunt Agnes says

After eating dinner, I climb into my bed exhausted and fall into a deep slumber. Waking up the next morning had me thinking that my life is a miracle. I quickly got my jotter and pen. I thought about why I should be happy and grateful and reasons not to be. I started writing. I used to think I got to get to school but the truth is I'm happy because I get to go to school. I thought I have to go shopping for groceries but in reality I get to have those groceries because I can afford to. I thought eating was a norm but I get to eat because I can. I kept writing and at the end of it I discovered that I have nothing to be unhappy about. I made my decision that from the beginning of spring , I will be happy and I will work towards being better and grateful.

April 1st, 2020

"Melanie, Melanie," Michael and Tim Jr. Call out

"Look at the most handsome boys in the whole world"

"Are you ready for today?"

"Yes, we are " they chorus as they run into the kitchen to greet their mom

"Okay, time to eat, everyone settle down"...

Life is a rollercoaster but I choose not to let it overwhelm me. I choose to be happy. I made a promise to myself and I intend to keep it. So help me God. Amen.

April 03, 2020 09:43

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Amany Sayed
19:33 Apr 05, 2020

You can really see how Melanie changes in the story.


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Shanedra Smith
19:34 Apr 06, 2020

This was too cute! I enjoyed it!


09:21 Apr 11, 2024

Thank you!


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Yoomi Ari
00:31 Apr 05, 2020

The title is like the cherry on the cake. Great story! 😀


09:22 Apr 11, 2024

Thank you!


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09:24 Apr 11, 2024

Thank you!


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11:38 Apr 09, 2020

Hi Caleb! Reedsy teamed me up with you to critique your story. I am a very straightforward person and I read my own work very critically, so please don't feel offended by anything I might say that you don't like. I hope you will take it as constructive criticism and something you can work towards. Of course, you might disagree with me on some things, and certainly you are under no obligation to follow my advice, but I hope you will find what I have to say useful to some degree. First off, let me say, I am assuming, by your surname, tha...


06:39 Apr 10, 2020

Thank you Claire. Your corrections are well received. God bless you


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