The Light, Book 2
*-* David's POV *-*
After being awoken by the alarm clock at 3:15 in the morning, I grabbed my crutches and made a run for the bathroom where I peed up a storm. After flushing and washing my hands I went back to the bedroom that Peter and I shared then had a lot of fun waking him up. He enjoyed it too.
Harry arrived. Between him, Peter, Angel and Andy they helped me into the shower and washing me down after using the can.
My stump had begun to swell quite a bit but I put Leg on anyway and then grabbed my crutches to take along as a backup plan. Peter packed clothes in the suitcase to last us for several days then lugged it to the door of the garage while I looked over what Jeremy was cooking for breakfast. He was making up a batch of bacon, eggs, hash browns and a huge glass of orange juice. Despite feeling tired I ate everything that was put on my place. It looked and smelled oh so good.
Andy and William appeared. They sat the table, gathering silverware and napkins and placing them in their respective places on the table in front for their respective owners. They were happy as two larks could be… I couldn't quite understand that since neither are particularly morning people.
Poor Allen and Angel… they looked as if they'd been up all night (they probably had been!) but they were freshly showered and dressed.
Dad, Jeremy and Jason then appeared. Dad looked okay but Jeremy and Jason … well they too looked like they'd been up all night. Nevertheless they were wearing smiles though a bit forced.
As soon as the scrumptious breakfast was consumed, Jason and Jeremy disappeared in the direction of the patio. They returned a few minutes later then Jason and William took off for their home, with Jeremy driving them in his new pickup truck. Jeremy was proud of the vehicle he'd received for his birthday present… he took meticulous care of it, drove it decently (although we had fun jumping the dunes every once in a while). The commutes between Jason's and our house had been frequent. I teased him one day about 'bootie runs'… he didn't much appreciate my attempt at humor… but we ended up giggling at the same time. I love my bro Jeremy.
Low and behold, not 10 minutes after Jeremy left Maria, Jesus and AZ arrived. Jesus was totally disappointed that he missed Jeremy but was relieved to know that he'd back within 30 minutes or so. Jesus took me aside then in broken English (he was getting much, much better with English as time went on) told me how much he was going to miss us and that he hoped I'd get well really, really fast. We had decided to not tell him exactly what the problem only that we were going to a faraway place and would be back soon.
He then inquired if I'd seen Antoine and Matt yet. I hadn't so we took off for their room. They were still dead to the world asleep. I snickered assuming that they'd had a very long night. Anyway, Jesus jumped into the middle of their bed which woke them up startled. I told them breakfast was about ready. They assured me they'd be out after taking a shower and getting dressed.
After we were airborne the pilot turned off the stay seated lights although he gave the suggestion that we remain seated. We hit some turbulence created by a storm nearby so there was no trouble or objection to staying in our seats.
Although we tried to play games to keep the momentum of it all going, one by one and two by two everybody was soon nestled into the beds on the fully equipped aircraft. I stayed up and got into a game of Canasta with mom. Our moods were lighthearted and positive. We talked about a bunch of different things, none of which were that important to put here in this story.
Mom began pooping out after we'd talked for an hour or so. She took off to her and dad's bedroom. I soon followed to the room that Peter, Jeremy and I'd be sharing and promptly fell asleep fully dressed.
When I awoke Peter was cocooned into my side. He was already awake. He was looking at me then smiled when I popped my eyes open, reveling in our closeness. Jeremy had been up for some time. He was reading a book then when he saw that I was awake he came and laid down with Peter and I to provide moral support since we were quite tense about the future and what it might bring.
Several hours later the plane began its descent into Tokyo for a refueling stop. We had a 3 hour layover while the plane was thoroughly checked so with plenty of security all around, though not on top of us by any means, a limo arrived. It took us to a Japanese restaurant where we enjoyed a wonderful meal then it returned us to the plane where we once again got buckled in and ready for the second leg of the two leg trip to Singapore. We were assured of smooth sailing all the way there.
After taking off dad went to his office and began making phone calls, none of which we were privy to. Antoine called his Sensei to make final arrangements. He said that both he and Dr. Wong would be attending to my needs, and that all was set to go.
When we arrived, it was sunup. The pilot turned on video so that we could see the sunup from the luxury of our seats. It was awesome.
Just before landing I made a pit stop. I was quite tired even though I'd napped several times along the way but I was also excited to visit a new place. Dad made sure we each had our passports even though we'd be escorted everywhere we'd be going.
Upon arrival, we were whisked to the local University Hospital where I was immediately checked in. I was given a very lightweight, flowing white, soft as silk robe to wear during my stay.
None of the family was permitted to enter the room with me. Instead they were sent to an adjacent room where they would also be outfitted with comfortable apparel and then we'd meet up later though the staff didn't say how much later that would be.
After parting with hugs and kisses, words and gestures of love and support I was shown to a spacious yet comfortable room where I was instructed to completely undress from my normal, civilian clothes and don the robe I'd been given. I was in severe pain from the long flight time and having to remain seated most of the time.
A very young guy, not much older than I told me to relax that he was there to help me in any way possible. He was thin, wiry, convincing that he was there only to be of service, and if any questions arose then he'd make every effort to answer them. While I found him attractive he was all professional, and I was all 'patient'.
Slowly, delicately, efficiently, and with the utmost dignity and privacy he removed my clothing and helped me into the Kimono like garment then led me into another room. He helped me to sit in an over-stuffed, exquisitely comfortable chair. He instructed me to relax and gave me many methods to do so. After several adjustments to the chair we found a position where I was most comfortable.
A short, petite and very pleasant woman entered a few minutes later. Peter followed her then an oriental man followed him. All were dressed in similar white Kimono like things. All were relaxed.
Peter immediately walked to the chair where I was sitting and then got down on his knees and kissed me tenderly. We verbally shared our love and affections.
Dr. Wong introduced herself as did Antoine's Sensei. I liked them immediately.
En masse, each with their specific roles, they lifted me up and then carried me to a pool of water. While it kinda sorta looked like a Jacuzzi it wasn't one. It was bigger and deeper than a Jacuzzi. They then sat me down at its edge then Peter, all the while assuring me that all was well then disrobed me entirely down to my skin. He then undressed completely, sat down next to me then he was instructed by Sensei to take me into the water, sit on a shelf, and then take me into his arms.
Sensei and then Dr. Wong entered the pool, came to us and then Dr. Wong then took my hands in hers. She had hair like strands in her hands. She then started pushing those thin strands into strategic places between my joints. I felt no pain or discomfort. She then went to my arm pits and did the same.
Sensei went to my feet, placed similar strands between my toe and ankle joints. He then went to my knees and groin areas, squeezed the muscles in various ways then using larger needles he repeated the process. I was surprised to not feel any pain or discomfort other than some slight pressure.
Peter, all the while, gently massaged my chest, back and belly, and kissed me every now and again.
The last thing I remembered was Dr. Wong holding my neck firmly while Peter held me close to him and kissed my lips. All the while she was telling me to relax completely and that Peter would be with me the entire time.
*-* Peter's POV *-*
After I'd put on the Kimono a young guy gave me to wear he took me to Dr. Wong and Antoine's Sensei who were waiting in a deep, dark, and invitingly comfortable office like place. They explained what to expect and that I'd be playing a vital role in David's 'treatment'. They asked me many questions about the relationship David and I had, enjoyed, nurtured, fertilized, relished, and consummated in our daily lives.
They allayed my fears that David was hopeless, that his death was imminent, that his life would change completely and forever, that we would never again enjoy our company, that our relationship would cease to exist, or worse yet change into a chasm that we would no longer recognize.
I explained to them the experience David and I had had at the hotel room in Honolulu with Dr. Choi in attendance. Sensei smiled warmly but didn't say anything.
Finally, Dr. Wong asked me to what lengths I was willing to go in order to be a part of David's healing if a healing was possible.
"I'll do anything for my David. He's my life. He's my rock. If you can give me his tumors – I'd take them in a heartbeat, so help me God." I said that with all the fervor in my mind, body and soul, bar none.
Dr. Wong said, "Come then Peter. We have no time to waste. Do not be afraid. David will experience no pain or discomfort. We will alleviate his current discomfort for he has much, most of which is being held inside of his human body. Do not concern yourself with what you see me doing to your David. I assure you that he will feel no pain and that he'll be completely safe, and he'll not be harmed in any way. Use your bond to strength him, to give him hope, and most of all let him continuously and completely share the love you and he have."
"Dr. Wong, will David be okay? Will he be cured?"
Dr. Wong gently asked, "Do you believe so?"
"No. His cancer is severe. Dr. Miller said so. His oncologist said so." I cried after listening to their words play and replay in my mind, over and over and over again.
Sensei asked, "Then, Peter, why are you and your family here? You've traveled far."
"Antoine and Matt … I've seen what you did for them…"
"So then you have hope, no?"
I looked up from my lap… first to Sensei then to Dr. Wong.
A rush of excitement overspread my body. Every pore came alive with the realization that we, me and my family, did in fact travel half way around the world to at least try alternative medicine to help David. Though skeptical, David agreed to the trip and that during our last physical coupling he'd said, "Peter, I have to do this. The last thing in the whole wide entire universe I want to do to you is to bring pain. The last thing I ever want anybody to think of me, whether the treatment works or doesn't work, is to know that I'd done everything possible to stay here. I'm not a quitter. Quitting is for those without hope. Quitting is for those who cannot love despite the hardships life has to offer."
After a pause he continued, "When I first got cancer, all I could think of was how my mom suffered in her last weeks and days. She told us she'd be okay, and yet she wasn't okay. Now I see how she is okay. She gave birth to me. I'm a part of her, and I'm a part of dad too. There's no way to separate us – in life or when our body leaves Earth for its next adventure. I'm okay. But I don't want to leave. Not yet."
I jolted back into reality. I said to Dr. Wong, "When do we start? What do I have to do?"
Dr. Wong replied, "Just be yourself, Peter. David loves you with all his heart and soul. Let your energies flow – they are natural and right."
"Shouldn't Antoine and Matt be here with me so that they can show me how?"
"No, Peter. That's not necessary. Not right now. You'll do just fine… just 'be'." Dr. Wong explained carefully.
With that, Dr. Wong stood then headed for the door to the unknown.
Antoine's Sensei said, "Do not be afraid, young Peter. We will not harm David. We give no promises and will not lie to you as many western doctors do. Your David has a great challenge to overcome. We will do everything possible to meet that challenge and help him through it. We're sure you will meet your challenge. If we had but one doubt then we would not proceed. Come."
With that, he led me into a large spacious marble walled, floored, softly illuminated room. The room immediately brought me peace… as if a nice warm blanket had been wrapped around my body on a cold December night.
In the middle of the room was a marble fixture sitting on the floor. It was large and heavy… surely immovable in every way, shape and form. As we walked deeper into the room, a fairly large pool appeared. It was inviting. I felt an intense energy emanating from it.
My attentions were then directed back toward the marble structure. It was made up like a bed – covers were flowing in all directions… white covers.
At first I saw human flesh from the mid thighs down. There was only one visible. All during a million billion years I'd recognize the origin of that flesh, and who it belonged to. My heart soared to new heights. I took steps toward my David. He looked up and then he smiled, reached his arms up toward me, and then closed his eyes.
Needing no further invitation, I went to David, knelt down and joined our arms together then I kissed him hungrily, not caring who was around or why.
When our passion ebbed, Dr. Wong and Sensei walked over, knelt down, reached in drawers then retrieved small boxes that contained hair-like structures. They then proceeded to touch those hairs on David in many places. The little hair like strands stuck to David. I wondered what they were. Dr. Wong sensing my questions said, "These are acupuncture needles. They are smaller than human hairs. David, are you feeling any pain whatsoever?"
David shook his head no. I nodded. Sensei and Dr. Wong proceeded to continue what they'd been doing. Finished, Dr. Wong handed Sensei yet another box. It contained much larger needles. They then began inserting them in strategic places. I had to look away when Dr. Wong lifted David's testicles… I could only imagine what that must have felt like but I looked to David… his face appeared peaceful and very relaxed. Our eyes met. I tried to maintain for his benefit even though I was quaking inside.
I relaxed knowing he was in no pain, and that he was peaceful, calm, assured, and hopeful. The love emanating from his soul to mine was palpable. I hoped mine was injecting him.
Soon they were finished.
Together we all got David to a standing position then they led us to the pool where we took steps down into the water. The water was energized with voltage not harmful to humans yet strong all at the same time. The energy caused me to immediately bone up. David looked at me. He had this sudden sheepish look across his face but then smiled widely. I smiled too then he looked down at my appendage. He shrugged his shoulders as did I.
When we reached an alter like slab of marble in the middle of the pool Dr. Wong motioned for David to lay upon it. The slab was only a few inches underwater so David would have no problem with keeping his head afloat. I was instructed to stand next him and put my arms and hands around his upper chest so that he'd feel safe and protected.
Dr. Wong then adjusted the needles in his neck. David's eyes closed and soon he was breathing slow shallow breaths as he does when deeply asleep. I also noted that David's erection, which had been prominently displayed upon lying down, was still rampant. Sensei motioned for me to envelope David in a loving way. He and Dr. Wong turned around away from us. I took his rod in my hand, squeezed several times then watched his sperms eject into the water surrounding it. I also, without cataclysmic eruptions, exited my sperms from my body – without even touching it.
A deep, deep relaxation overtook my entire body. I kissed David on his sleeping lips, arranged myself so that my arms were once again draping his chest… that was the last memory I had.
My first recollection, my first awareness was bright lights escaping from its origins through and through my eyelids and into the vitreous and then striking my retinas causing me to blink because of its intensity and perseverance. Yet the intense light did not hurt me. Instead I felt totally peaceful.
I ventured and opened my eyes.
David's back was spooned intimately and completely into my front side. My arm was around and underneath this shoulders. My right leg was draped over the right side of his body.
The first thing I noticed was that the hair on his head was fully illuminated by tendrils of the light. The sight was beautiful and one that I'll not forget.
My first concern, however, was the source of the light. I looked up and over David's hair and saw that we were in a room on a bed made of feathers and the light was coming from the ceiling to floor windows. The ball of fire… I immediately recognized it as the sun. It had the same size, shape, and other configurations of the sun as we know it.
The next immediate awareness was that David and I were attached together in the most intense and intimate way that is possible for two human beings to be connected. At the same time, my body was not filled with need, rather it was feeling as it does after consummation of physical, mental and spiritual copulation with he who gives life and meaning to my soul.
Immediately concerned with David's welfare, I honed in on his breathing and level of consciousness. He was breathing normally, his chest swaying in deeply and exhaling as he always does …after… could it be?
David moved his right leg casually then sighed deeply.
Fully aware as to time, place, and being I raised myself up on my left arm and used my right arm against David's chest to peer into his face. At the same time he turned his face toward me. We touched our lips together in the most intimate way possible. Relaxed, peaceful and reassured I laid my head back down and then nuzzled into that space between his neck and shoulder.
My next motion, almost of its own volition was when I ran my hand down his soft and silky chest with ample muscle definition into that area containing that which differentiates him from female. Immediately, I entered into a zone that was wet, and I mean massively wet. It was as if someone had poured a carafe of liquid onto the bed and the pillows in front of him, propping up his right leg.
The fluid was warm and pleasant. I recognized its substance immediately.
David's awareness, by then, was acute. He said, "I love you." Then he rolled onto his back, and during the process I felt that which differentiates me from female plop on the bed still fully elongated. The sensation was pleasurable yet acute. It felt just as sensitive as it gets after vigorous exercise, ejection and ejaculation.
David again rolled his beautiful and peacefully appearing face toward me and we gently but decisively touched our lips together and let them linger.
When we parted, David's face registered complete surprise, "What are we… how did we… what happened?"
I racked my brain then replied simply, "I don't know babe. The last thing I remember was when I was holding you in my arms while Dr. Wong was making some adjustments to… I don't recall babe."
I reached down and nestled my pubes with the tips of my fingers. They were damp and somewhat sticky but not overly so. I then brought those same fingers up to my nose. I sniffed and found that the tell tale signs and aromas common after making love to David were completely absent.
David laid his arm down then immediately brought it back up. It was glistening wet. He rubbed his fingers back and forth then said knowingly, "That's my stuff, definitely." He then brought his fingers to his mouth licking them thoroughly, and then exclaimed, "It kind of tastes like your stuff too. Baby, we must have gone into orbit… usually, I remember…" He finished saying thoroughly amused.
"Yeah definitely for sure; okay babe, one thing is for certain… I gotta pee!"
"Me too. Hand me my crutches, please."
I got out of bed on wobbly knees. My legs felt totally 'heavy' as if they'd ran a marathon race or something. I couldn't find David's crutches anywhere in the room so I headed in the only other doorway that I could see… his crutches were propped up against the wall next to the toilet. The bathroom had full length mirrors on all sides. Although I could see the toilet sitting on the floor, at the same time it appeared to be across the room. Weird.
In any event, I retrieved David's crutches then took to him. He was sitting on the side of the bed with his leg hanging over the edge. He looked at me, smiled then his eyes opened wide in fascination.
"What?" I said.
He motioned for me to walk to him. When I arrived he began tracing the lower part of my rib cage. It tickled. I looked down. David had this awestruck look in his eyes like he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
I looked at David dumbfounded. He slowly reached over and kissed my stomach all along my lower rib cage. I followed his wet kisses trail along my smooth skin with my index finger.
The large ugly scars were gone from my skin. The skin was soft and silky as it had been before I gave Matt my kidney. Enough of that I thought. So what. That was an external reminder of what was a gift of life to my twin brother Matt. But what about David? That's why we were there in the first place.
I took David's hand in mine then said, "Don't. We're not here for me. We're here for you."
David would have no part of it. He pulled me in close using his hands to clasp my naked butt cheeks to make his point. He was intense with his desires to see, feel and experience that area where my scar had been. I quickly pushed him away causing him to lose his balance and fall backward onto the bed while his crutch went forward and hit me in the nuts. Damn it to hell that hurt. A burning searing pain traveled up through my balls and into my stomach.
I screamed, "David, we're not here for me. Why did they do this shit to me?" I wailed.
The hurt in David's eyes was more than I could take. I broke down in sobs then ran to the bathroom, sat on the toilet angry and confused.
My balls, meanwhile, were throbbing. What had I just said?
I looked down into my thatch. The blow had definitely erased the erection I'd had. I reached down and pushed aside the 10 or 15 wispy hairs on the side of my testicle then reached in and rolled my right ball around. Its sensation was definitely different. I squeezed hard like I did the prosthesis. A deep, deep thunder of discomfort traveled into my penis and groin areas. I lifted up my ball sack and peered at the blob that distends my scrotum on any normal given day. I squeezed again, and then again, and then one final time.
Overcome with wonderment and yes some reserved anger though most of it dissipated with thinking how much of a baby I acted toward David, the guy of my life, the guy who gave me life. The urge to pee became urgent so I pushed my dick into the bowl and peed. While I was peeing David entered the bathroom and became disoriented because of all the fuckin mirrors all around the room. He turned away and headed out of the bathroom but stopped when I said, "David, I'm sorry babe."
David turned back toward me then said, "Peter, I don't really care about me. I love you. Anytime something good happens to you then I'm happy for you. I just wanted to share the moment with you, okay?"
David then turned and walked out of the bathroom while I finished peeing. Quickly, I got up after shaking then washed my hands. I went back into the room we shared. David was fumbling through the drawers looking for clothes. I said, "David go pee. I want you to see something when you get back."
"Okay, you look for our clothes. I'll be right back." David said then headed into the bathroom. Soon the sound of water draining into the bowl was overheard.
I got up then went rummaging around in the closets and drawers. No clothes were to be found anywhere.
The sink began running water then turned off. A moment later David entered. The look on his face said, "What?"
I got up and walked over to him since he wasn't moving any further. I hate hurting the one I love the most. When I arrived, I kissed him tenderly and said, "I'm sorry babe. I'm nervous and afraid. But… if they can do this to Matt and me then they've surely done miracles for you… I can't think otherwise."
"I love you too Peter. You're my life line. Without you I'm nothing. Your little miracles, some big, some small... and your smile are all I need. It's hard to explain… even if I'm not cured then your sweet smile gives me lots of happiness and courage to continue onward. Dr. Wong said a positive attitude is the biggest thing I can carry with me."
I smiled then took David's hand in mine and led him to the bed. I lay down then urged that he do the same. He crawled into bed. He covered us up because a chill had settled into the room. When he was comfortable I then led his face into my crotch. Immediately, David engulfed my soft and wilted cock with his mouth. Soon, within seconds, it responded nicely until it was fully erect. But I had other plans.
I lifted my legs and rested my feet flat on the bed. That's his queue that I want my testicles and perineum, and if he wants to my asshole, played with. True to form David engulfed first my left nut in his mouth and expertly rolled it around, played with it, and then licked its circumference slipping his tongue into the valley that brings us both much pleasure, and then he headed on down onto my puckered lips but before he could really get into it I urged him to pay ministration to my other side first.
He did so. When he licked my right nut he looked at me with a puzzled expression on his face. He then began inspecting me carefully with his tongue, lips and fingers, leaving no stone unturned. He smiled yet he was puzzled. He said, "It's different." He then went to my left side to compare then returned to my right side. He then sat up and curiously ruffled my pubic patch with his index finger.
Giggling, I asked, "Have I reached 150 yet?"
He giggled. (Referring to numerical counted quantity is our play term we use to judge our pubertal progress). We've set a goal for 500 to be full-fledged adults. "Nah, 138, don't get in a hurry okay? I love you just as you are. Peter, your right nut feels different… let me try again."
"I've got another idea. Here let me wiggle around."
David raised his stump up. I crawled down so that I was under my most favorite area on David's body, other than for his lips and his eyes, and oh yeah his cheeks (both pair, mind you).
David was obsessed with finding the differences. Quite frankly I loved and appreciated his meticulous examination. But it wasn't to happen.
I whispered to David, "It's real. Remember when the crutch fell?"
"Oh. Oh. OH!" David said excitedly as he dashed up the bed to envelope me into a complete hug session, complete with a total tongue lashing.
Our turgid spears were trapped between our bodies, hopelessly entangled, rampantly fighting for supremacy and domination… after only a few short moments we were left with were two very wet sticky bellies.
Once we became aware of our surroundings, and back to earth we got up, went into the bathroom, found the open air shower then washed each other tenderly… you know like we loved to do to each other (duh!). There was even a shower chair for David to sit on. They thought of everything down to last minute detail. I was impressed.
Just as we were rinsing off the young guy returned our robes to us then led us to a suite within the suite for unification with mom, dad and our brothers. Drs. Miller and Borkwin were invited. An exquisite dinner was served. David and I had swordfish as the main course. We ate voraciously since we hadn't eaten all day.
After we finished eating, the tables were stripped and wiped down. The 'rents had coffee and were conversing amongst their selves. The rest of us were talking between ourselves.
I couldn't help but to notice that mom was looking over at us very seriously but she'd smile when our eyes met. Her attention would then shift back to their conversation when she was called back or had something said to her.
Andy was the only other one of us guys that noticed. He'd look at me then to mom then back again. He bumped Matt's arm to get his attention then brought him into 'our' observations. Matt used his head to motion a trip to the bathroom.
The three of us headed to the restrooms.
Andy said, "Mom's not feeling good. I think she's worried. She's been distracted all day."
Matt replied, "Let's get her a massage. The young guy, I don't know what his name is but he's really nice, he offered any of us a massage."
I said, "Yeah. I'll talk to dad."
With that said we used the facilities. Just before we moved to leave I said, "Hey guys, look at this."
Matt carefully examined where my scar had been then smiled knowingly. Andy smiled. I showed then allowed them to touch my testicles.
As we were doing 'show and tell' dad entered. He stopped mid-stride. Matt showed him my tummy. After quickly looking at it, Andy took hold of my penis and pushed it aside, he said, "Dad, it's real, look!"
Dad looked at me. I shrugged my shoulders. He replied, "Maybe later, okay. Are you boys finished up here?"
I replied, "Yeah. Dad we were just leaving. Can I talk with you for a minute?"
"Boys, I'll be out in a little bit." Dad said to Andy and Matt.
To me he said, "Give me a second." He then went to the open air toilet, peed then went to the sink. While he was washing his hands I said, "Dad, David made me take notice of my body. I got mad at him because he took my attentions away from him. Daddy, is David going to be okay? I have to know."
Dad thought hard for a minute as he dried his hands. "Peter, let's not let what might happen in the future affect what we're doing today, right now. The medical staff is telling us to not act any differently than we usually do. To be honest son, I don't know any more than you do. Dr. Wong will be talking to us a little later on. She suggested, and your mom and I agreed that everybody should be here to hear what she has to say. Promise me something?"
"What's that dad? You know I'll promise to anything and everything if it'll help David, or anybody in our family."
Dad pulled me into his arms and then said in my face, "Don't give up hope. We've got to stay positive."
"I'll try. I'll really try."
"I know you will."
"Dad, mom seems, uhm, what… distracted. Do you know what that is all about?"
"She's tired, really tired. She's worried. You guys have been through so much. She's trying to figure out how to make your burdens lighter."
"Have you told her to just be herself?" I asked seriously.
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