by P. Parker
Inspiring story about overcoming impossible obstacles.
The Doctor’s Office
Patiently waiting for his results, Willy sat contemplating what trials he would face going forward. His mother's arms wrapped around him in the doctor's office somewhat easing the anxiety Willy was facing. The doctors enters with results printed on a clipboard and a concerned look on his face. Willy and his mother stare up at him in anticipation.
“Well,” sighed the doctor, “It’s not good but it is manageable.”
He slides an x-ray over the lighted backdrop revealing a scan of Willy’s lungs, withered and scarred. Willy focuses on the picture in terror, trying to picture that those two shriveled potatoes were sitting in his chest. The doctor's explanation is drowned out by Willy’s own internal thoughts and fears. Just then the doctor began to wrap up by claiming Willy wouldn’t be able to put any stress on his lungs.
“I guess everyone will have to start calling you whisper Willy from now on,” the doctor joked. He snickered at his joke and left the room.
“It’s ok Willy,” his mother said, “We can get through this. All you have to do is take some medication and never exert your lungs. Ok?”
It had been 3 months since Willy received his results and he was feeling much better. His management of his breaths had saved him from chronic chest pains but began to weigh on his sense of freedom. Willy hoped he could have some fun enjoying the rides at the fair but his mother warned him upon arrival that the rides would be too much for him. Frustrated, Willy separated from his mother and began exploring the fair alone.
All the excitement and joy just outside his grasp. It was torture for him. Feeling defeated Willy sat down on a bench and hoped to run out the clock on this failed extravaganza. After sitting with his sorrows, Willy heard the most beautiful sound. It was an old carny in a silly costume, whistling to himself to pass the time. The carny hit every note, high and low. Willy was entranced.
“Excuse me sir,” Willy whispered.
The man almost didn’t hear him, but after looking around put two and two together.
“Well how do you do boy,” the man greeted.
“Your whistling is amazing. How did you get so good?”
“Years of boredom. Hehe,” the carny returned. “Killing time with a few tunes.”
“I wish I could whistle,” Willy said defeated.
“Well anyone can whistle. It just takes some practice,” he carnied.
“Not for me. If I whistle i could seriously damage my lungs.”
“Nonsense. Don’t ever let someone tell you what you can’t do,” said the carny to Willy.
It had been almost a year since the fair and Willy had been whistling as softly as he could every day. As a result his condition had slowly been worsening and becoming more painful. It was worth the pain for Willy because, like most people, he was always happy when he was whistling.
Willy was out for a walk when he saw a flyer for the local whistling competition. The prize was 15,000 dollars to the winner. Willy and his mother weren’t very well off since Willy's father had passed away. That being said, the opportunity to help his struggling mom by doing something he loved was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. He grabbed the flyer and headed home.
Willy’s mother was cooking dinner as he entered the house. Willy was still holding the flyer not thinking that if his mother discovered he was whistling she would want to stop him immediately. He was too deep in thought about how nice it would be to win.\
“What do you have there?” inquired Willy’s mother still multitasking with the preparation of dinner.
“Nothing,” said Willy frantically.
“Let me see that,” she said grabbing the paper out of Willy’s hand.
“Before you say anything, let me explain,” willy said just in time to cut off his mother. “I know you think it will hurt me if I try it, but what point is there in not feeling pain if you can’t experience any joy. Whistling is all I have and I’ve been super careful not to push myself too far. This is a chance for me to repay you for all that you’ve done for me so the least you can do is let me try.”
Willy’s mother was dumb founded and inspired by her sons tragic speech. Wiping welled tears from her eyes she told Willy that she would support him all the way. They embrace and the weight of Willy’s secret was lifted.
It was time for the competition and Willys competitors were more skilled than he had anticipated. Willy sat backstage watching the contestants wow the audience with their whistling prowess. Willy’s confidence was shaky so he looked for his mother in the audience to build confidence. There she was, sitting in the front row, but instead of building Willy up the pressure of letting his mother down only made him more nervous.
Willy looked down at his sheet music that he had prepared and worried it was not up to par with his contenders. He reached into his back pocket and felt the piece of paper he always kept with him. It was his masterpiece of sheet music written on the back of the very flyer he found that past afternoon. He always dreamed of performing it but the notes required too much power and breath.
Applause fills the room as one of the other whistlers exits the stage.
“Next up we have a very talented young man. WILLY THE WHISTLER!!!!” announced the host of the event.
Willy took the stage and at the last minute, looking to his mom, he swapped the pages for his masterpiece. The room was silent and Willy takes a deep breath that felt like breathing embers of fire. Anything it takes to win it all.
He begins the most beautiful melody that awes everyone in the crowd. Lost in the moment Willy reflects on his life struggles and his pains as he shift effortlessly from note to note. The crowd is silent and the tension builds as we approach the finale to Willys piece. The rise and escalation of notes continues but Willy doesn’t falter. One last glance at his mother before the final note revealing the support and love he had always hoped he would have. Willy takes one last breath, purses his lipos together and blows out his lungs like overfilled balloons. His final note is a slide whistle sound effect and he dies there on stage.