It had been three weeks since I'd first met Ryan. He seemed a good lad; he had a genuine interest in solving cancer through natural remedies and always insisted at our regular meetings that I call him whenever I needed someone to talk to. I told him thanks but since day 1 I had managed to only see him when I had to. Last week I had to miss our sports/spiritual enlightenment session but he understood. I had to take my second eldest son, William to a football match.
My family's reaction to me having cancer was both what I didn't want and what I knew would happen. When I had described the situation to the 4 of them they seemed to completely ignore what I had said about Ryan and all cuddled around me crying, as if those were my last moments on Earth. It didn't help my own wavering feelings about my cancer and I think I ended up crying along with them. It was only afterwards that my wife decided to hear that I was receiving treatment and so she didn't have to end up making appointments with doctors herself. I didn't tell her about how Ryan did it or that he used abnormal methods because if I did she would have waved his solution off as silly and would have made an appointment with a normal doctor- who take things so much more seriously and sceptically than Ryan did, which is why I could tolerate him. He had also explained to me that I could not mention a single detail about the treatment to anyone, which I found odd. Why would you want to keep the world from knowing about the cure for cancer?
But then I had seen the video he'd made. It terrified me to the bone and even now I can't stop thinking about those figures and images. Now I trusted him totally and took him a lot more seriously than before, when I thought he was some stupid, know-it-all-nerd from Cambridge or something.
I had heard that he had decided to turn his job into an official charity and was holding his first fundraising event. It was a bizarre talent competition turned betting event that had drawn attention from the whole city. I was standing in the marquee now with him and three other people, supposedly his other patients.
"Okay, the 20 acts should be arriving in a mini-bus in about 5 minutes. Jake you know how it's all meant to follow right?"
"Umm, no." I saw Ryan face palming his forehead at this man's apparent stupidity.
"Ok. 10 of the acts are either retired performers or upcoming stars, all who are amazing by the way. The other ten are extremely bad at what they've volunteered to do. Now before they all perform they have to give a 1 minute account of their performing career so far and how good they think are at it. Of course the bad 10 are going to lie and say that they are great. Now after each speech the spectators have to give a mark predicting what that person will get out of 10. After each performance we will ask them to vote and take an average. Say the Act 12 overall gets 6 out of 10. The people who predicted that score won't have to give any money but if they are wrong then they have to give the amount that they predicted. If someone gave Act 12 7 out of 10. They have to give 7 pounds. Simple enough?" I nodded.
"But how are we going to do that so fast? There's only 5 of us." I asked.
"Not quite, in a minute my sister, 3 of Angus' colleagues, Anna's mother and Rennie's family are coming to help as well. And here's my sis. Hi Gemma!" He hugged a tall, elegant, blonde woman with a dashing smile. Soon enough the other helpers arrived and I could see people were starting to file in to the marquee. There were only 250 seats layed out, but Ryan had another 150 spare in case he got more people than he expected.
"Ok Angus and Mrs. Grace here are the prediction score seats, you got put them out on the seats. Greg, Gemma and I will do the after-scoring sheets. Rennie, you’ve clued up your family about preparing the acts right?” She nodded.
“Ok then. Let’s go go GO!”
After we had rushed around to perform our duties and finished before the presentation was about to start, I sat down in my guest seat at the side of the stage and listened in to Ryan’s presentation- which compared to what he actually did was total dribble. But the audience believed every word he said and were really keen to start. A good audience; that always helped.
2 and a half hours later
“Now I would just like to say one more time how grateful I am for you all coming here and I want to remind you that this money raised will go towards a splendid cause. With just 309 people here we managed to raise one thousand, nine hundred and eighty-three pounds! I think we can all give ourselves a clap there.” I heard the audience clap and cheer and whoop at the achievement they had made and I felt pleased to be a part of it. You know what; I think I might be beginning to like this man after all.