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All the Rage
T.M. Frazier


It was once said that if you love someone enough, you should let them go. If they come back to you, they were always meant to be yours.

It’s kind of bullshit.

My story is different than most. I’m different than most.

Because in my story, if you love someone enough, you should first drop the gun.



Ten years old

“I don’t wanna see any more doctors,” I announced as I burst through the door of Cody’s porch. I’d said it like it was brand new information, when the truth was that it was the same announcement I’d made every time I came home from another useless appointment with another shrinker who didn’t get me.

I plopped down on the old loveseat that had been on the back porch of Cody’s house for as long as I could remember. Spotting a loose seam on the corner of the cushion, I mindlessly started picking at the fraying seam.

“I don’t get it. I thought you asked to go to the doctor?” Cody asked.

“I did, but that was the other doctor. That appointment was yesterday and I only wanted to go because I was positive I had stage four brain cancer,” I inform him like it was a completely normal thing for a ten-year-old to say. “It’s important to get those things checked out, you know.”

For me it was normal.

“Do I need to ask you?” Cody asked, leaning in and pretending to be serious. “Is it the end? Should I call a priest? Wait, maybe in your case you need an exorcist.” He bent in half, wrapped his arms around his middle and had himself a good laugh at my expense.

“I had all the symptoms,” I argued. “I’ll show you my dad’s medical journal to prove it.”

“Okay, so you’re cancer free…”

“Brain cancer anyway,” I corrected. “But this isn’t about those doctors. This is about the other ones. The shrinkers. I don’t want to go to them anymore. I think I’ve been shrink-ed enough.”

Cody looked like he was mulling it over. A light went on in his eyes. “So if you don’t want to go see the other doctors, then don’t flip over your desk anymore when Mrs. Carmine tells you not carve into it with your pencil, or better yet, don’t try and push Jimmy Meyers in front of the school bus again,” he finished.

Like it was that simple.

“Jimmy pulled my hair,” I argued.

“Well, the good part about it is that he’s gonna think twice before doing it again, won’t he?” Cody always saw a side of things I never could. That was why I went over to his house every day.

That was why he was my best friend.

“So?” he asked. “Give me the low down. What did this new doctor say?” Cody asked, tearing open a Kit-Kat bar. My favorite.

He sat down next to me, his knee knocking into my thigh on the small tattered couch. He snapped off two of the four bars and handed me the half still in the wrapper.

“Thanks.” I said, taking a big bite. I chewed and let the chocolate settle into my system while thinking of how to best answer Cody’s question. “I overheard the doctor telling my parents I was…different?”

“Duh,” Cody said, smacking himself in the forehead with his hand. He nudged my shoulder. “This one might be the stupidest one yet because everyone already knows that.”

I shook my head and pursed my lips. “No, the way Dr. Klondike said it, made it sound weird.”

Cody wrinkled his nose and tapped his pointer finger against his chin. “What exactly did he say? Try to remember.”

I bit the side of my thumb, but the second I realized what I was doing, I pulled it away from my mouth and sat on my hands.

I tried to remember how the doctor had said the word while Cody patiently waited for me to answer. He was never in a hurry and he never rushed me for answers like my parents or the doctors did. I felt as if my parents had a limited amount of time dedicated to fixing me, and if they couldn’t do it in that paid hour, then they all gave up to regroup and start it all over the next time I did something that had them making calls and more appointments.

Cody had a level of patience I could never think to reach, but lucky me, my best friend had enough for the both of us.

Finally, it came to me. “He said I was UN-different, because I am emotionally not valuable and disconnected from most people, or”—I waved my hand in the air—“something along those lines.” I pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to remember more, but when you’ve been to as many doctors as I had, they all started to blend together. “Oh!” I exclaimed, pointing my finger in the air at the memory. “He might have also used the words ‘emotionally voided.’” I took another bite of my candy bar and leaned back on the couch, staring up at the bent fan with the broken blade that wobbled as it sadly limped around in a slow squeaky circle.

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