Against Medical Advice

Against Medical Advice by James Patterson

Book: Against Medical Advice by James Patterson Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Patterson
peace than any medicine I’ve ever taken.
    “Breakfast is ready,” my mother calls at nine o’clock. It’s another shortened high school day for me, since I’m not able to go to all eight periods.
    Downstairs, I walk through the kitchen without stopping. “Got to have a cigarette first,” I tell my mother, heading for the outdoor deck.
    “Can’t you wait? At least put something on!” she shouts after me. My mom hates that I smoke, but she also knows she has to pick her fights with me.
    Outside, the temperature is cold enough for me to see my breath. I sit in a metal chair, puffing away, not caring that all I have on is a short-sleeve T-shirt. My craving for nicotine has become so strong that I can’t get through an hour without a smoke. I’m also obsessing over my need for cigarettes, which makes my craving worse than that of most smokers, because it’s not just about the nicotine.
    My father has a business meeting in the area today, so he’s able to drive me to school. On the way, I need music to calm me down, but a new compulsion makes me turn the volume to the highest level
before
turning on the radio. The sudden explosion of sound makes my father almost drive off the road.
    “Jesus, Cory!”
    “Sorry. Sorry.”
    The second time I hit the volume control turns out to be the last . . . for this trip, anyway.
    There’s a hole in the dashboard where the cigarette lighter used to be. My father is one step ahead of me here. The last time we drove together, I got the lighter red-hot and then just barely touched it to my nose until I almost burned myself. I had to get into the backseat to stop doing it.
    “Hope you have a better day,” he tells me as I get out of the car.
    “I will. I feel pretty good. Thanks for the ride.”
    Before I get to the front door at school, I do my leg shuffle, followed by a brand-new tic that seems to have developed just for the occasion. Every few seconds, I punch the air three times in a row, then bring my fist to my chest for a beat, then punch again. I do this one or two more times before getting to the door. What a way to start.
    The days go on pretty much like this, and little by little I’m getting through my classes. Each day has good and bad moments. My teachers mostly like me and call on me whenever they can, and my life has as much structure as I can expect.
    And then, something amazing happens, and things actually start to get better. It’s the last thing anyone expects, may-be the most unlikely event in the history of the world, at least from my point of view.
    I join the high school football team.

Man in Motion

Chapter 38
    IT’S A COLD, windy October Saturday at our high school football stadium. Our opponents are physically larger and from a much tougher town, but against all odds we’re winning by a point and the game is almost over.
    Now they’re on our two-yard line, close to a score.
    There are only a few seconds left on the clock, and everyone in the stands is holding their breath. The next play will decide the game.
    By some miracle, not only am I playing football but I’m the second-fastest member of our team. The coach is using me on both offense and defense almost every play of the game.
    But as good as I am, my tics are still part of the deal, and in the few seconds before the ball is snapped, my body is one of the only things moving on the field.
    My main position is called noseguard. That means I’m on the defensive line opposite the other team’s center. My job is to burst off the line the second the ball is snapped and try to tackle whoever gets the ball before the play can get going.
    On the field, I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. Nature has given me the strength and speed to get into the offensive backfield before my opponents know what hit them. And the weight I’ve gained on Risperdal is a good thing for football. I’m faster than anyone can believe for a guy as heavy as I am, and I don’t let anything or anyone get in

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