The next morning I woke up and began getting ready for work…but something was wrong. Hazel wasn’t getting out of bed. “Honey, what’s wrong?” I asked
She winced in pain before answering, “I’m sick…Can you drive Liam to school for me?”
“Of course.” I closed her door quietly and walked down the stairs, Liam already almost done with his breakfast, “I’m taking you to school today.”
“Okay,” He shrugged, “Why the change?”
“Your mom is sick,” I saw Liam straighten in his chair with worry from my words, “Is it…is it serious?”
“I don’t think so.” But I knew what he meant. Any sickness to an AIDS victim can potentially become serious, “But I’ll keep a watch. So you ready to go?”
“Yep,” He still seemed really worried though, the look on his face making it obvious.
But I understood how he felt about it.
This simple flu…that normal people get over in a week…can be potentially fatal for my Hazel.
It was silent as first in the car. Liam squirmed in his seat as if he wanted to tell me something, but he didn’t. Finally though, “Joel can I tell you a secret?”
“But you can’t tell anyone, especially Mom, promise?”
“Ok,” Liam took a deep breath, “Mom and I have AIDS .” I tried to act as surprised as possible, “Oh my God, how did she get it?”
“Well Mom didn’t tell me….but I know I got it from her…but all day now I’m going to be worried about her. I mean, a simple cold for you guys can, to us, be-”
“Potentially Fatal.” I repeated myself.
“Exactly. I think after school we should go to the hospital, just to make sure she gets all the care she needs.”
“Ok.” This was unbelievable. This kid, being 10 years old, knows too much. In fact, he seems more like a 35 year old to me. But that probably has to do with the fact that….well…Liam might not make it to 35.
I decided to try and clear my mind of death then…for it was too depressing.