“We can increase his medication,” a nurse appeared, pushing the curtain surrounding the boy’s bed out of the way. Everyone looked over at her. She was taller than the nurse who showed them in, and she came bearing a clipboard. “We can provide him with a strength supplement and a steroid; even various medications, if your son wishes to pursue his education.” She looked from parent to parent, anticipating a final decision, one that could only come from a level headed adult.
Mr. Lochwood glanced to his wife, and her gaze slowly rose to meet his. The boy looked back and forth between both of them in desperation. “Please!” he persisted. “These seizures don't have any lasting effects, I can keep going if I'm careful--”
“We don't know that!” Mrs. Lochwood cut her son off, worry and fear laced through her voice. “The effects might not show until it's too late, and what could we do then?!” Her son stared in defiance at her, jaw set.
“We just want what's best for you…” Mr. Lochwood’s soft voice faded into the overpowering silence in the room. The nurse decided to break the tension.
“If you choose to let your son continue to study here, I promise on behalf of the entire pharmaceutical and medical staff on campus that we will monitor him very closely and do everything we can to help.”
The boy stared at his father in anticipation, eyebrows raised. After one final glance at his wife that seemed to last an eternity, the man turned to the nurse with a sigh. “You will change his medication to abate the seizures?”
“Yes sir.” the nurse answered with pride.
“And you will monitor him every day, and contact us immediately if his condition worsens?”
“Of course, we can do that.”
The man took one last moment to gaze at the white tiles on the floor, then looked up at his son who had been eyeing him attentively. “Okay,” he let out in a sigh. “Let him stay.” The boy’s face immediately lit up, and he hopped off the bed to wrap his father in a thankful hug.
“Thank you!” his voice was muffled by the man’s shirt, and could barely be heard. Mr. Lochwood let go of his son and placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders, pushing him away so that he could give his last request face to face.
“Promise me,” he started, “that you won’t push yourself. I want you to stop before you end up getting hurt.”
“I’ll be careful, I promise,” the young boy began to fidget around, impatient to get back to class. The relief of being able to stay filled him with more motivation and excitement than he realized he had for school.