Review – The Last Patient
The Last Patient was written for the Stardust, Always anthology. All of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. Please give generously, even if you never buy the book.
This short story is based on real events from my life.
When I was in my first two years of college, I had a therapist. He was a fun guy; I liked him. Then I left Boston for the summer between sophomore and junior year. When I returned, I noticed he was more stooped and paler. He seemed to be tired and weak. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he had lung cancer. Keep in mind, this was late 1981 and that was essentially a death sentence.
I saw Dr. Brodie a few more weeks, with our last session happening before Halloween of that year. He told me that he didn’t want to see his other patients, who were all a lot older. At age nineteen, he felt I was lively and that helped him. He told me that I was his last patient.
This story was lifted directly from my memories: hook, line, and sinker. A few of the quotes are precisely as I remember them. It wasn’t writing. This was me taking dictation from my own memories.
The only characters are the unnamed narrator and Dr. Richard Brodie.
Thirty-five years ago, a sacred trust was unexpectedly given to me, to be a friend and confidant to the man who was supposed to be mine. I did what I could, but I was not ready for it.
The story has a K rating.
I would have liked to have shown him works like Untrustworthy. I think he would have been happy for me.
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