Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: March 23, 2016

Click here for the 2015 table of contents.

The time jump caused Mateo Matic to wake up. He heard footsteps running up the stairs. His father, Randall burst into the room. “Oh, thank God you’re back.”
“Has it been another year?”
His mother, Carol appeared in the doorway. “It has. This is not going to stop on its own. We already have an appointment set up for you. I don’t want to spend what little time we may have together at the hospital, but—”
“I know it has to be done,” Mateo interrupted. “We’ll have all the time in the world if we can figure out how to stop it.”
The appointment wasn’t until eleven in the morning. So after eating fourth meal, Mateo went up to the attic to look through some of the family belongings passed down through generations. He sat up there for hours, combing through everything he could find that had anything to do with his biological family tree. Most of the journal entries were mundane, and it wasn’t like his family kept records of absolutely everything they did. He had just gotten to a journal written in the mid-19th century by his great great great great grandmother when Carol called him down for the appointment. He stalled her, needing to learn more. The journal talked about when she first met her husband. He had appeared out of nowhere one day, dressed in outdated attire. Carol called him again, and he was forced to put the journal away for another time; perhaps for an entire year.
He spent the rest of the day undergoing medical tests. They drew blood, put him in machines, and asked him a lot of questions. Of course, he couldn’t reveal to them why these tests were so desperately needed. In the end, there was no conclusion. None of the preliminary results showed anything abnormal. It would be a couple weeks before they had all the information, which meant that his parents wouldn’t be able to discuss it with him for a year.
He was sitting in the waiting room for urgent care while his parents confided in a family friend who was a nurse in that department. A teenager came in with her father. He set her down in a chair across from Mateo. “Sit here while I check you in. Maybe you won’t drink after tonight.” The girl looked completely miserable. She was holding a plastic grocery sack, clearly filled with vomit. She was dry heaving and moving her head up and down, trying to find a comfortable position that didn’t exist. She wasn’t crying, but her eyes were teared up, probably from the strain.
“First time?” Mateo asked.
She massaged her forehead. “No, but he was right. It’s probably my last. I think a guy put something—” She couldn’t finish the sentence. Vomit rolled out of her mouth and into the bag. On the other side of the room, a guy vomited into his own bucket, as if it were a response to her. Illness was trending. As the girl tried to cough up more, the bag slipped from her grip and fell to the floor, spilling its contents. She instinctively pulled her head away from it. “Oh my God!” Before she could do anything else, though, more came up suddenly, much of it landing in Mateo’s lap. She just stared at him in horror, having no idea what she could say to him. After several days, and many years, it would turn out to be their meet-cute. Click here for the next installment...

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