Martin Dunn paced beside his truck, watching two young mothers stroll with their babies along the Rockton Community Park sidewalk.
Someday, he thought. Someday soon, he and Lacey would start planning their family. He wanted a son to carry on his name, and a daughter as sweet and lovely as her mother. Above all else, he wanted his wife back by his side, in their home, singing and laughing like she used to right after they were married.
A car drove past, but it didn’t turn into the parking lot. Martin knew he was early, but how much longer would he have to wait? His stomach clenched at the prospect of the upcoming meeting. Nerves and excitement tangled with anxiety. After today, everything would be different. Right or wrong, the ball had been set in motion and he couldn’t stop it, even if he wanted.
Six months ago, Martin’s world spun out of control when they received the diagnosis of Lacey’s inoperable brain tumor. Six months of tests, of hope, of disappointments that had sucked dry their life’s savings until finally the doctors admitted there was nothing more they could do.
Lacey had only weeks left to live, if that.
Then Martin read on the internet about experimental drugs in Oklahoma and Utah, specifically formulated to reduce the tumor size. The local doctors insisted it was too late. The cancer had progressed too far. But Martin refused to give up. With the house already mortgaged to the hilt, he’d pleaded with the bank on four different occasions to lend more money with no success. The manager was sympathetic, but could do nothing.
That was when Mr. Smith approached him.
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