This is just a one-shot about a story I heard about from Grey's Anatomy. Enjoy!
Tomorrow wasn't going to be a good day.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of my mother's death.
Tomorrow, me, my father, and Charlie would all be miserable.
"Hey, Megan. I'm taking the day off tomorrow. Do you need me to do anything for then?" I asked as I stepped up to Megan's desk.
"Not that I know of. What's going on tomorrow that you won't be in?"
"Nothing." I lied.
"Okay. If we need anything, we know your number."
"Thanks, Meg. I'll see you later." I called as I walked down the hallway to the elevator.
"Bye, Don." She called back.
Had it really been a year?The pain was still as sharp as it was when I first knew my mother was gone. Her pain was too drawn out. In ways, I wish she had died sooner. But at the time, I was selfish and I wanted her as long as I could have her.
I went home to my apartment. I couldn't face Charlie and Dad. I wasn't sure if we'd do anything or not. Sadly, I was hoping not. Being with them would only make the pain stronger and I didn't need anymore of that.
I went into my bedroom where I laid down to try to fall asleep.
I woke on the morning of the anniversary of my wife's death.
Today was not going to be a good day.
I went down stairs to start breakfast for me and Charlie, and maybe even Don if he showed up.
I found a note on the 'fridge saying that he went to his office to work.
I knew he was trying to hide his pain. To make himself forget. But none of us had succeeded in doing that yet.
I looked up at the clock. It was 7:30 in the morning. Charlie must have gotten up early, or I had just missed him.
I decided to just make some eggs because it would more than likely just be me.
At nine o'clock, I dialed Don's cell phone number but got no answer.
I guess we'd all be spending this day alone.
I got up early this morning to stay away from Dad. I knew if I saw him, I'd want to start crying. I didn't need any more sorrow. This year had been hard enough.
I needed to get away. I needed to get wrapped into my work so much that I wouldn't have time to think about what today is. Maybe then the day will go by fast enough so that this whole experience will be over.
"Charles, what are you doing here so early?" Larry asked from the door way.
I jumped a little, not expecting anyone so early.
"Larry! I-I was just working on some papers for my classes." I stammered.
"Charles, I'm not dumb. I know what today is. You should be at home with your family."
I looked down.
"That's the last place I want to be." I said quietly, but Larry heard me anyway.
"And why might that be?" He asked.
"It's nothing Larry. Shouldn't you be working?"
"That's not important now."
I rubbed my left arm. It was suddenly bothering me.
"Charles, are you all right? You look a little pale."
"I'm fine, Larry." I said, though the pain was starting to really bother me.
"No, you are not all right. Should I call the nurse?"
I suddenly clutched my chest. My heart was beating out of control. Pain ran through my arm. I was having a heart attack.
"Charles!" I heard Larry exclaimed, but I collapsed onto the floor before I could tell him what was happening.
I woke up and started making myself some breakfast, only to lose my appetite as memories of my mother flooded my mind.
Against my will, tears came to my eyes as I thought about my mother.
I heard my phone ring, but I ignored it, because at the moment, I was losing my control.
I went in the bathroom to take a shower. I stayed inside a little longer than usual because the hot water was soothing.
I decided I'd make an appearance at Dad and Charlie's house when my phone rang again.
I reached for it as I continued to dry my hair.
"Eppes." I said, expecting to hear Megan's voice. I was surprised to hear Larry's.
"This is Larry. Um, I know this is going to be hard for you, considering what today is-"
"What's going on?" I asked, fear rising in my voice.
"Charles... he had a heart attack this morning."
"What!" I exclaimed as I fell into a chair from the shock.
"I'm here at the hospital right now. I haven't gotten to call your father yet."
"I-I'll call him now. Thanks, Larry."
"He'll be fine, Don."
I said as I hung up the phone.
I quickly dialed my father's number, though my hands shook slightly.
I still wasn't comprehending what just happened.
"Hello?" Dad's voice called over the phone.
"What is it?" He said, already knowing something was wrong by my shaky voice.
"Dad, Charlie...he's had a heart attack."
"What?" He exclaimed.
"Larry's at the hospital. I don't know what's going on. We need to get to the hospital right away."
"I don't know, Dad. Do you want me to pick you up?"
"No. That'll take too long. I'll meet you there."
We both hung up.
I rushed to my room and grabbed a shirt, throwing it on as I ran to my car.
I drove as fast as I could to the hospital. I was relieved to see my father's car already there.
I ran inside and found Dad in the lobby, pacing the floors.
"Dad!" I cried when I saw him.
He turned to me and ran up and hugged me. I clung to him, forgetting my tough-guy attitude.
"Have you heard anything?" I asked when we parted.
"No. I waited on you. I just got here. Larry should be in the waiting room by the ER. Let's go."
We rushed to the waiting area, where we found Larry.
"I'm glad you two made it." Larry said as he stood to his feet.
"What's going on? Is he okay?"
"We were just talking in his office and I saw him rubbing his left arm. Then he suddenly clutched his chest and dropped to the floor. No one has actually confirmed that it was a heart attack, but I suppose that's what it was."
"Oh my God." My father breathed as I dropped into the chair beside Larry's.
"Have you heard anything yet?"
"No. They just took him back not too long ago. No one's been out."
"Now comes the hard part." I said as I sat beside my father.
"What's that?" Larry asked.
After what seemed like hours, but was only twenty minutes, a doctor came out.
"Are any of you related to Charles Eppes?" He asked.
"We are!" Don and I answered in unison.
"Charles is doing fine right now. He's even awake."
"After a heart attack?" I asked.
"That's what I need to talk to you about. I don't believe it was a heart attack."
"Well, what else could it be?" Don asked.
"This is a relatively new syndrome we've found, but it is very real. Tell me, is there anything important about today?"
"Yes. It's...it's the anniversary of my wife's death."
"I'm sorry. Well, that confirms my suspicion."
"And what is that, doctor?" I asked, fearing the worst.
"Your son, well, he's suffering from a broken heart."
"What?" Larry, Don, and I all exclaimed at the same time.
The doctor chuckled.
"That's what I thought your reaction would be. See, this is called Broken Heart Syndrome. It's symptoms are very similar to those of a heart attack, but it caused no damage to the heart. It's brought on by extreme sense of lost or pain of loss. BHS usually occurs on an anniversary of a loved one's death or when someone finds out a loved one has passed away."
"So Charlie's okay?" I asked.
"Yes. He probably is having some troubles dealing with his mother's death, but that would be all. His heart rate has slowed back to normal and he seems to be doing okay. We have him on some fluids and he'll need to be on bed rest for a few more days, but that's it."
"May we see him?" Don asked, sounding hopeful.
"Yes." The doctor pointed the way to us and we found Charlie in bed. Larry left to let us be with him alone.
Upon closer inspection, Charlie's face was wet from tears.
"My poor boy." I said.
Hearing my voice, Charlie turned and saw me.
"Dad-" He started.
I rushed up and held him against my chest.
I heard Charlie quietly crying into my chest. I rocked him back and forth, just like I had when he was younger. I felt the tears spill down my face.
Don came closer and I separated from Charlie.
"You scared me to death, buddy." Don said, and I was surprised to see tears spilling from his eyes as well.
"I'm sorry." Charlie cried.
Don hugged Charlie tightly. The two brothers clung to each other as they both cried.
"I guess I wasn't kidding when I thought I my heart broke when Mom died." Charlie said, trying a smile.
"Yeah, buddy. I think we all did." Don said.
The three of us embraced. We'd need each other to mend our wounds, and we would be there for each other. Always.
Well, that was quick and cute. I hope you liked it.
I swear, I'm going to die before Friday comes around. That episode looks soooo good!