Herbert the Trillionaire – Chapter 2.03

“They’ve told me a bit about who I am,” Herbert replied, gesturing at the committee all around who looked rather aghast. “How much money would it take to find a cure?” he asked.

“I… I don’t know,” the doctor replied.

“Here, there’s a checkbook in my pants over there,” Herbert said, gesturing impatiently at the contents of a chair, where a suit that cost more than most people make in a month had been dumped unceremoniously.

A startled committee member, a brunette woman with a navy blue skirt and matching jacket, found herself the center of attention. She was nearest the chair, and anxiously met the gazes of her committee members, some of whom seemed to be suggesting she ignore the request and others who were urging her to hurry with their eyes. She nervously picked up the pair of pants and, with two fingers gripping them by a belt loop, passed them to Herbert.

Herbert searched the pockets and pulled the checkbook out. Handing it to the doctor, he smiled.

“You know more about all this to me. Just make it out for something and I’ll sign it,” he said.

“You can’t… you can’t be serious,” the doctor replied, mouth open, adam’s apple moving like a piston.

“Why not?” Herbert asked. “She’s important to you, and she needs help. If research will help, and research takes money, well, maybe I can do something about that.” With a casual wave of his hand, Herbert gestured for the doctor to get on with it and hopped off the table. The committee averted its eyes.

“I think I feel quite well, actually,” Herbert asserted with a grin at the aversive committee, and began to get dressed.

Herbert the Trillionaire – Chapter 2.02

The doctor blinked rapidly, perplexed, and Herbert leaned forward to poke him in the shoulder, grinning.

“Not missing it, got it? I’m not missing it!” Herbert laughed, leaning back on the small table and bracing his hands on his thighs. The committee chuckled uncomfortably.

“When did this happen?” the doctor asked the spokesman, clicking open an ink pen he had drawn from his coat pocket.

“We were in the middle of a meeting when he sort of blanked out,” the spokesman replied, smoothing the front of his suit jacket. He swallowed nervously. “He knows his name, but he doesn’t seem to know who he is or what he does.”

“Who’s that?” Herbert asked.

“Hmm?” the doctor replied. Herbert was pointing at a picture hanging on the wall. The committee shuffled again, clearing out of the way and turning to look at the picture themselves. In it, the doctor was kneeling beside a wheelchair. A young girl was smiling, her right hand clasped by the doctor and her left resting in her lap. She was thin, unbelievably thin, and the enormous electric chair made her look smaller still.

“My daughter,” the doctor said through a sad smile. “She was born with multiple sclerosis and has to stay in a wheelchair.”

“Can anything be done?” Herbert asked quietly. The committee seemed to be holding their collective breaths, the room was so quiet.

Clearing his throat, the doctor turned back to Herbert. “I don’t know. There’s a lot of research going on for it, but there are always more ideas than there are researchers or money, so a lot of potential cures haven’t been explored yet.” Sighing, he laid the chart down on the table and picked up the flashlight tool for shining in a patient’s eyes.

“But we’re here to talk about your memory. Please focus on this light as I move it back and forth,” the doctor said.

“Can I help?” Herbert asked.

“What?” the doctor replied, clicking the light back off.

Herbert the Trillionaire – Chapter 2.01

The committee was crowded in the examination room with the fancy examination room lights and gadgets folded up near the ceiling and the walls to make room. There was a brief gap in their circle where the door would open, and a bit of space between the nearest members and the examination table. Herbert sat placidly, smiling at those around him while his hands rested in the lap of the paper gown he was wearing.

The door opened as the doctor flipped a page on his clipboard. He glanced up, then looked around in surprise.

“What are you all doing here?” he asked. “You should be in the waiting room! And why is the patient in a gown? This is supposed to be a routine checkup!”

The committee looked at the ground abashedly and the spokesman, as he was beginning to think of himself, raised his hand slightly.

The doctor glared at him for several seconds before realizing the man wasn’t going to speak without being called on. “Yes, well?!” he asked emphatically.

“We thought it was best, sir,” he replied lamely. “And we wanted to find out what’s wrong.”

The doctor frowned at the young man, then back at his clipboard. Looking up at Herbert, he took another step into the room and shut the door behind him. The committee shuffled a bit and closed the gap, giving each a few more inches of room.

“Herbert, is it? Can you tell me what seems to be the problem today?”

“No problems,” Herbert replied cheerfully, nodding at the doctor with a smile.

“Says here,” the doctor said, flipping a page on his clipboard again. “Says here you have lost your memory.”

“Oh no, sir,” said Herbert. “Or, if I have, I don’t seem to be missing it.”