The Diagnosis (by James Tate)

Lincoln was sixty years old when the doctor told him he ony had forty more years to live.  He didn’t tell his wife, with whom he confided everything, or any of his friends, because this new revelation made him feel all alone in a way he had never experienced before.  He and Rachel had been inseparable for as long as he could remember and he thought that if she knew the prognosis she would begin to feel alone, too.  But Rachel could see the change in him and within a couple of days she figured out what it meant.  “You’re dying,” she said, “aren’t you?”  “Yes, I’m dying,” Lincoln said, “I only have forty years.” “I feel you drifting away from me already,” she said.  “It’s the drifting that kills you,” Lincoln whispered. 

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