1. Doctor

    So, what brings you in today?

  2. Woman

    Okay, it's probably nothing. But I've noticed that I've been coughing up a lot of blood. Like I said, probably nothing but figured, "Eh, the doctor's right here. I'll swing in."

  3. Doctor

    I see. Well, are you getting plenty of rest? Taking care of yourself?

  4. Woman

    No. I'm pretty much just going about my usual day, but now I carry an old, dirty handkerchief with me and every once in a while I'll cough into it so I can look at all the blood that's coming out of me. Then, I'll stare into the distance, as if watching a life not yet lived, and silently crumple the handkerchief back into my pocket.

  5. Doctor

    And this makes you feel better?

  6. Woman


  7. Doctor

    Well, I don't think this is too serious unless you're in one of our high-risk groups. You aren't a struggling parent, prostitute with a heart of gold, or broken human just now relearning how to love, are you?

  8. Woman

    Actually, I'm all three.

  9. Doctor

    Oh. That's bad. I'd be surprised if you were still alive before two hours have passed. Maybe two and half.

  10. Woman

    But everything was going so well for the first time in a long time! And this cough thing came out of nowhere.

  11. Doctor

    Yes, this disease usually affects those who have had a sudden improvement in their quality of life, as well as innocent working class people callously trampled by the upper classes.

  12. Woman

    What do I have anyway?

  13. Doctor

    It doesn't really matter. The important thing is that you're clearly dying and we know it. This is a class of diseases known as CPDs, or convenient plot devices. This includes consumption, cancer, and a wide array of respiratory disease.

  14. Woman

    Isn't there something you can do? I don't want to die.

  15. Doctor

    I don't know. Honestly no one ever tries before they're practically dead already.

  16. Woman

    But I've been keeping this terrible cough a secret from the man who is teaching me to love again. If I die, he'll find out for sure.

  17. Doctor

    Wait... why are you keeping this a secret from him?

  18. Woman shrugs.
  19. Doctor

    Right, well, if I were you I would head straight home and tell him how much he's changed your life between slow labored breaths.

  20. Woman

    If that's what you suggest. Is it common, this disease?

  21. Doctor

    Far, far more common than it should be.