The Treatment – Part Two

The conclusion to The Treatment. See Part One here. Let me know what you think!

A date was set for the rummage sale, and Jessica and several friends from school began to work on getting ready for it. A gigantic cardboard box was set up in the church lobby, and smaller ones were set up at the school, the post office, and even the grocery store. Donations rushed in, but Jessica still worried as she remembered the price of the treatment. They had lots of stuff, but would it be enough? And would people actually buy all of the used items?

The day of the rummage sale dawned, and Jessica and her family were at the church very early. Tables were set up, items were displayed and priced, and the people who were going to work the money boxes began setting them up and organizing the change. Soon, people began to flow in, and the flow quickly turned into a torrent. People shopped and chattered while admiring the decorations put up by some of Jessica’s class, and children ran around on the playground outside, their laughter filtering into the room. A table was set up just inside the door with cookies and drinks that disappeared almost as quickly as they were put out. The smell of chocolate permeated the building. A cool breeze burst into the room every time the door opened.

Jessica stood next to her mom, who was working one of the money boxes, and gazed around with wide eyes. She’d never expected that so many people would come to the rummage sale. The money was flying into the money boxes, and the tables were quickly emptying.

“Jessica!” Mrs. Jacobson exclaimed, twirling Jessica around and giving her a tight hug. “This is so wonderful! You did amazing! The decorations are awesome, and there’re so many people. I’m sure this is going to be a great success.”

“She did an awesome job, that’s for sure,” Mrs. Hopkins said over her shoulder as she handed the man in front of her his change. “Have a nice day!” she told him as he left, smiling, with his new football under his arm. She wiped her forehead. “I’ll be surprised if there’s anything left at lunchtime.”

Her prediction proved correct, and the tables were bare before lunch. One of the workers had ordered pizza for them to eat after they cleaned up. Everyone pitched in, and the church was soon back to its normal state.

Jessica enjoyed her pizza, and then joined her mother and Mrs. Jacobson in the church office to count the money. She watched as her mom piled the coins in stacks and Mrs. Jacobson swiftly counted the dollar bills. The two mothers added their totals together.

Mrs. Jacobson covered her mouth with her hand, tears of joy running down her cheeks, as Mrs. Hopkins swept Jessica up in a hug. “What?” Jessica asked, confused.

Mrs. Hopkins grinned at her daughter. “Honey, you raised enough money to pay for the treatments three times!”

The Treatment – Part One

I wrote this story for English class. In one afternoon. 😀 Let me know what you think!

“Please, Mommy!” Jessica Hopkins begged, her blue eyes hopeful. Her babyish face was framed by her bouncy golden curls. Any six-year-old with puppy-dog eyes would almost make your heart melt, and Jessica was one of the most adorable six-year-olds you could find. “I wanna go visit Natalie! I haven’t seen her since she went to the hospital.”

Mrs. Hopkins smiled. “Okay, we’ll go. Get your shoes on and meet me at the car, okay?”

“Yay!” Jessica cried, jumping up from her chair and spinning around. She smiled up at her mom. “Thanks, Mommy!” She hopped down the hall to her room.

Mrs. Hopkins smiled to herself and grabbed the keys off the hook by the door. She grabbed a pad of paper and wrote a note telling Mr. Hopkins where they were going, just in case he got back from the grocery store while they were gone.

Jessica bounced back to the door into the garage. “Mommy! Let’s go!” she called.

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” Mrs. Hopkins laughed. The two hurried out to the car, with Jessica practically dragging her mom. Mrs. Hopkins slipped into the front seat and glanced back at Jessica in the car seat in the back. “Do you need me to buckle you up?” she asked.

Jessica smiled brightly. “No, I got it,” she told her mom as she buckled the seat belt herself.

“Good.” Mrs. Hopkins started the car and they pulled out of the garage and started on the way.

As they neared the hospital, Mrs. Hopkins glanced in her rearview mirror at Jessica more and more often. They pulled into a parking spot at the hospital, and Mrs. Hopkins turned to face her daughter.

“Before we get out, I want to talk to you,” Mrs. Hopkins told Jessica. “You remember why Natalie is in the hospital, right?”

Jessica looked at her mom soberly. “She has cancer,” she replied.

Mrs. Hopkins nodded. “That’s right. Cancer’s a really bad disease, and a lot of the people that get it die. I want you to remember that Natalie may not look normal, and she may look really sick, I don’t know. Be careful not to say anything to hurt her feelings, okay?”

“Okay,” Jessica agreed. She looked worried. “Natalie won’t die, will she, Mommy?”

Mrs. Hopkins sighed. “I hope not, Jessica.”

The two went into the hospital, and Jessica huddled close to her mother, who talked to the nurse at the front desk before leading Jessica down a hallway. Jessica gazed around, wide-eyed and scared. People were going the opposite direction as her, wearing hospital gowns and walking slowly. They all had people walking beside them, holding machines with long, thin tubes attached to the people walking. They all looked sad. Nurses hurried past them, their crisp white uniforms and clipboards making them look intimidating to Jessica. Her mother led her to an elevator, and they went up several floors and got out. Jessica ran to a nearby window and peered out. The ground was far away, and the cars looked like the miniature toy cars her little brother played with.

“Come on, Jessica, Natalie’s this way,” Mrs. Hopkins called in an encouraging voice. Jessica hurried to catch up with her.

They quickly found Natalie’s room, with the help of a kind nurse, and Mrs. Hopkins knocked on the door. Mrs. Jacobson, Natalie’s mom, opened the door. She smiled at Jessica and Mrs. Hopkins. “Come on in,” she greeted them. “Natalie’s awake.”

Jessica followed her mom into the hospital room. Everything was clean and impersonal, except for the cards and flowers on a table by the window. Jessica proudly noticed the card that she had made was displayed in the center of the table. Natalie was sitting up in the hospital bed, her brown eyes sparkling. “Jessica!” she squealed.

“Hi, Natalie!” Jessica greeted her friend excitedly. “You look awesome!” she said with relief as she realized her friend looked just like she always did, except for the tube hooked to her wrist that linked her to a big machine that was beeping slowly. “How are you feeling?”

“Pretty good, considering,” Natalie replied. “I’ve missed you. All I’ve seen the last couple weeks are strange nurses, and my parents,” she told Jessica, nodding to her mom, who was already deep in conversation with Jessica’s mom.

“So, are you going to be able to come back to school?” Jessica asked eagerly. “I’ve missed you so much!”

Natalie sighed. “I don’t know. See, my parents aren’t going to be able to afford the treatments.”

“They’re not?” Jessica asked, horrified.

“No,” Natalie told her. “The surgery was so expensive, that we don’t have much left over. You know we’ve never had that much money.”

Jessica nodded. “I know. But maybe we could have a fundraiser or something,” she suggested.

Natalie’s eyes lit up, and she brushed her brown hair out of her eyes. “That’s a great idea!”

Jessica got more excited. “We could do a rummage sale, like they did at church last year! They made a lot of money! Maybe the church would help us with this. We could ask people to donate their old clothes and stuff like that!”

“Mom, come listen to this idea that Jessica had!” Natalie called. The two parents came over and listened as Jessica repeated her rummage sale idea, with enthusiastic support from Natalie.

“That’s a wonderful idea!” Mrs. Hopkins exclaimed. “I’ll help you organize it.”

Mrs. Jacobson smiled at Jessica with tears in her eyes. “Thank you so much. It’s so sweet of you to help Natalie. I can talk the church about having the rummage sale there.”

“You could see if some of the girls from school want to help make posters,” Natalie told Jessica.

“Good idea!” Jessica exclaimed. “I know Melissa likes art. She’d probably love to help.”

Mrs. Hopkins and Mrs. Jacobson began writing down the ideas for the rummage sale, and Jessica and Natalie continued to chatter about school and the rummage sale. Eventually, visiting hours ended, and Jessica and her mother went home.