Vitale - Butterflies in her stomach


By Sue Vitale

“We should be finished around the same time, and I’m going to introduce myself,” Chloe thought to herself. She spent the next half hour trying to work up enough courage to follow through with her idea.

Later, when the nurse indicated to Jason that he was ready to go, Chloe felt like crying. “How could this happen when we both started at the same time?” Chloe muttered to herself.

An eternity seemed to pass before Chloe was ready to leave. As she walked out of the door and hurried down the steps, she heard a voice behind her. “Hey, where are you rushing off to in such a hurry?” She was pleasantly surprised as she realized he must have been waiting in the hall for her.

“My name is Jason,” he said as he extended his hand.

“I’m Chloe,” she replied.

“Have you had dinner yet?” he asked.

“Well, actually, no, but I’m really not hungry” she replied. She didn’t mention that her stomach felt as though it were full of butterflies and food was the furthest thing on her mind. Chloe also realized the danger of accepting a ride from a stranger, no matter how charming he appeared.

“Look, Chloe, there’s a Dunkin Donuts right across the street. How about a latte,” Jason asked?

Nodding her head in the affirmative, she took his arm and floated across the busy street. As they began to share, they were amazed to discover how much they had in common. After several months of dating, they found that those things which they really didn’t have in common only added zest and strength to their relationship.

Chloe knew that Jason would be proposing marriage soon, both agreeing that they were destined for each other. Then, it happened; the unthinkable, the unbearable. Jason picked Chloe up for their standing Saturday evening dinner date. The moment she saw him, she knew something was desperately wrong. When she shared her concern, Jason suggested that they order dinner first and then talk. As they waited for dinner to be served, Jason tried to carry on a conversation with Chloe. Tears welled up in his eyes as he blurted out, “I can’t see you anymore; we have to break-up.”

All Chloe’s “whys?”, were answered with Jason’s silence and tears. The fact that Jason would not give her an explanation made her pain unbearable. For several weeks, Chloe mourned, as though Jason were dead, and yet she knew she would have no peace until she knew the reason for the break-up.

Finally, Chloe went to Jason’s parents for help. She had met them several times, and they appeared to be very pleased with Jason and her relationship. It was a shock when Jason’s mother told Chloe that Jason was in Cleveland Clinic. She was surprised that her son did not tell Chloe about his condition. He was suffering with a rare disease which could only be helped by a bone marrow transplant; and so far, no match could be found. Jason’s blood type was almost as rare as his disease.

Anger rose up in Chloe when she thought how little Jason trusted her love for him. Then, she had a strange thought. In all that they had discussed, they had never shared what their blood types were. Chloe had been told many times that her blood type was extremely rare. Maybe, just maybe...

Here they were, back where they started, side by side in a hospital, each with a needle in their arm, waiting for the modern miracle of a bone marrow transplant to begin.

“What are the chances your life could change while changing someone else’s life?” Chloe thought. Drip, Drip, Drip.

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