“Lung cancer!” Elaine exclaimed. “He smoked, and the lung cancer spread to his heart, liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and brain. They even found it in his bones!”
“When he went to the hospital, the doctors told him there was no hope. They gave him three months to live at most. After he died, I donated his body to the medical school so that the students could practice on him. At least this way, he could do something for society.”
Elaine continued, “You don’t know this, but the professor at the medical school said that my husband’s two lungs were darker than coal because of smoking. When they opened his stomach, they could smell the smoke.”
“The smell was so strong that it almost made the professor faint. They cut out his lungs, and they were like smoked pork, dripping with oil and tar from the smoke. Can you say it wasn’t a death from smoking now?”
The driver felt sick to his stomach after hearing Elaine’s story. He was disgusted but also terrified.
Elaine saw the driver’s ugly expression and stopped talking.
She couldn’t help but mutter to herself, “This cancer is really powerful. Even when the smoker’s lungs turn into charcoal, the cancer cells can still grow stronger and stronger. Their vitality is so tenacious, it’s like a rotten wood fungus growing in a pile.”
The driver asked, “What do you mean by this? Why are you bringing up this terrible analogy? Smoking is normal. How is it so evil?”
Charlie sat in the back of the taxi feeling helpless.
He thought to himself, “My mother-in-law is really vengeful. Just because my father didn’t come to pick her up, she’s causing a scene and cursing him to death in front of the taxi driver. And then she donated his body to medical students. She’s really gone too far.”
Claire was also angry. She was sitting behind Elaine and listening to her cursing her father.
Naturally, she found it unacceptable. However, it wasn’t appropriate for her to call out Elaine’s lies in front of the taxi driver, as it might make the driver doubt his own life. So she could only cough loudly in the back as a reminder.
When Elaine heard Claire coughing, she knew what her daughter meant. But she was so angry with Jacob that she didn’t care about the presence of her daughter and son-in-law.
She continued to say to the driver, “Mister, you were right before. Smoking is actually very normal. Getting lung cancer from smoking is just natural. Feel free to smoke. After all, life in this world is not about living without pain, right?”
The driver’s expression was embarrassed as he stammered, “Ah, well, smoking is really harmful to health. I’ll try to smoke less, or as little as possible…”
Elaine smiled and asked, “Driver, how many cigarettes do you smoke a day?”
The driver awkwardly held the steering wheel with one hand and scratched his scalp with the other.
He replied uncertainly, “I… Umm… A little more… Probably around a pack a day…”
Elaine nodded and said casually, “That’s about the same as my husband before he passed. He smoked a pack and a half a day, and he lived to be in his thirties. But in the end…” She trailed off and looked at the driver. “I see you’re around forty or fifty years old, right?”
The driver smiled. “I’m fifty-two…”
Elaine gave him a thumbs up and said seriously, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. With enough determination, you can make it another ten years. That way, you’ll live double the age of my husband.
The driver’s expression had become even worse than if he were crying.
Elaine couldn’t help but feel, “What’s the point of living so long, anyway? He just left me and our child and went on his way. Sometimes, I think it would have been better if it had been me who died. I could have died early and been spared all this grief.”
The driver glanced at the pack of cigarettes on the shelf under the center console of the car and felt a mix of emotions.
Claire couldn’t take it anymore, she slapped the back of Elaine’s seat and snapped, “Mom! Why aren’t you finished yet?”
Elaine turned around and said with a sense of righteousness, “Claire, I’m holding back my thoughts and grief for your father and using his personal case to kindly remind this man to pay attention to his health. If he quits smoking after hearing these words, even if it’s just to smoke less and live a few more years, wouldn’t I have saved his life?”