Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.
“Good news, I hope?” Roy asked optimistically as Doctor Raymond Sanchez came in. It had been almost an hour since his call with Moore had so easily backfired.
Sanchez looked at Roy and Rachel sadly, shaking his head. The Puerto Rican-American sighed and said, “Surgery isn’t going to be an option, Roy. I’m sorry.”
The governor closed his eyes and sighed, tilting to one side. “How long do I have?”
“At least a year…” The doctor’s head dropped, and he murmured, “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s gonna be alright,” Rachel said to them both, placing a hand on her husband’s wrist. We have a year at least, even if the chemo and radiation failed. We just have to get you to eat a little more, exercise a little more…”
Roy shook his head. “I don’t want that, Rachel. I just want to do my job.” He turned to Sanchez. “Please don’t let this get out. Stick with the seasonal allergy story. If the world knew I had cancer--”
“I understand, sir,” the doctor said loyally. “And-- sir? If it ever becomes too much, retirement is always--”
“No,” the governor replied adamantly. “I won’t retire unless I die or am voted out. I want to work.”
”I understand,” Sanchez said. “If there’s anything I can do, let me know…”
"You've done enough," Rachel said quietly. "More than enough. More than we could have ever hoped for..."
"It's been my pleasure," the doctor said quietly. "I just wished it had been enough... "If you'll check out with one of the nurses, you'll be free to go."
With that, the man turned and left, leaving the couple alone. Rachel stared at Roy's pale cheek as if trying to read his mind. "What do you think, Roy?"
The older man sighed. "I'm fifty-seven. You're forty-nine. You're still young. If something happens, don't linger on me, please..."
"Don't say that," she breathed somewhat angrily, though her voice was mostly sad. "You've still got time..."
"We don't know how much, though, not really... Just-- can we talk about it later?"
The red-haired woman nodded reluctantly and slowly pulled herself to her feet before reaching down to help him up. "I love you anyway."
"I love you, too," he replied. "Now, let's skip this joint.
It was February 12, 2021. The votes had been counted. Nearly ninety percent of the state had cast their ballots. A slight change of plans had been made, and everyone had cast both sets of ballots at once to ease the process.
They had been counted and recounted quickly and easily, though there had been no reason for a recount. Well over two-thirds of the state favored secession with the Independent Republic of Texas running the show, and that’s what they’d get. The voters also chose to have a new Constitution drafted. As he had promised, Roy would maintain his position as a provisional leader until further notice. He hadn’t said so publicly, of course, but he preferred this course of action. Their constitution was a hundred and forty-five years old and needed replacing anyway.
The cool, crisp air chilled Roy’s cheeks as he stared out over the cityscape, examining the tops of each building and the streets below from where he stood atop the Capitol Building. Poe’s raven says nevermore... Mine says forevermore.”
So he spoke to the winds as he pulled his arms closer to his body, the moon rising in the distant east with the sun setting in the west. One era was ending, and another was beginning, and no one would be allowed to escape the memories of either.