Toby Kaufman gets his life back together after doing time for drugs. All is going well for him: good wife, decent job, and great friends. But Toby begins to fall apart after being struck by tragic news, which is soon followed by a series of even more horrible events. Those living in and around Dimly, Arkansas are in for a bitter taste of hell.("Too Much" will be officially released by Publish America on July 5th of 2004, although it will be available before then).Should you decide to purchase 'Too Much', email me so I can thank you. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Clint and Jennifer seated themselves on the couch, aware that Toby and Brenda's TV was not on. Nor was the stereo. Clint couldn't recall having experienced such silence while being in his best friend's house.
Apparently having no idea what his wife, Brenda, wanted to talk about, Toby seated himself beside her on the loveseat, fists fairly clenched, lips tight, a lack of color in his face.
"Hon," Jennifer said, speaking to Brenda, "what's wrong?"
She thumbed a tear away from her eye, then put her left hand on Toby's right hand. "I went to my doctor awhile back. He ran some tests. Yesterday, I learned I have inoperable cancer. I---"
"Oh no," Toby said quickly.
"---have maybe three months to live."
Tears were spilling from Jennifer's eyes. "Oh my God." She rushed to her best friend and lowered her knees to the carpeted floor, her forearms on Brends's legs. "Oh God, Brenda. Oh God oh God oh God." She burst into tears.
Clint swallowed hard, tears blurring his vision. "Jesus, Brenda. Damn!" He sprang to his feet. "Fuck!"
Toby put his face in his trembling hands. "Why, God? WHY?"
Jennifer was embracing Brenda, weeping loudly.
Toby's hands fell away from his face. "This can't be happening. Jesus. . .Christ!" he shouted, then burst into tears.
"Be strong for me, everyone," Brenda said, blinking back tears. "Please be strong. I'm sure the Good Lord will take good care of me." She paused, face strained. "I wanted to make sure the tests were positive before breaking the news."
Jennifer lifted her wet eyes to her. "Are you sure the tests came back positive?"
Her eyes closed tightly for a brief period of time. "Yes." She put a loving hand on her weeping husband's shoulder. "I have pancreatic cancer. I knew something was wrong with me a few months ago, but I wasn't sure what the problem was." She turned to Toby. "Honey, I have never loved a man as much as I love you. Should I die tomorrow, I'll die knowing I spent quality time with the most wonderful man on this planet. My last breath will be filled with the love I have for you, Toby."
He began to weep louder, face in hands still. "No. No! NOOOOOOOOO!"
Brenda put her head on his shoulder. "Toby, please promise me in front of Clint and Jennifer that you will not let my death ruin your life. Promise me you'll find another good woman who will give you children and love you as much as I. Cherish the times we spent together and let no woman take them away from you. Keep our pictures in your possession, Toby. Never let them go."
He quickly took her into his arms, holding her the like of which Clint and Jennifer had never seen him hold her.
***The sad news about Brenda is only the first of numerous terrible events that will rob Toby of his sanity. Enter the mind of young man who wanted very much to be a great husband, who longed for the day when he would become a father. Experience the chilling metamorphosis of a man who just wanted to live a normal life.