When his phone rang early Tuesday morning, Greg Heffley hardly expected good news.
After all, he was a wimpy kid. And outside of his diary, which he religiously maintained, there was nothing much going on in his life. Nothing to be excited about. But equally, no reason to be afraid.
All that was about to change.
‘Yeah, who is this?’ muttered Greg, throat still sore from a night of heavy drinking. His Mum and Dad hadn’t been home for a few days, and Greg hadn’t needed a second invitation to suckle down two bottles of mid-shelf whiskey.
It was a Monday night, after all. He had needed something to do.
The voice on the other end of the line was clinical, informative. But a tremble of emotion whilst stating the words ‘test results’ betrayed the bad news to come.
‘I’m -- positive? I can’t be. I fucking can’t be, there’s no way! Check again. Check again, I’m not positive!’ yelped Greg, his happy fog of hedonism slipping away as the doctor calmly repeated his sentence.
‘Greg, you have tested positive for the cheese touch. I’m sorry. We’ve run the tests twice. You have contracted an aggressive form of the cheese touch.’
Greg thought he was a brave kid. He thought he was strong. But that strength slipped away faster than the tears rolling down his cheeks as he grappled with the reality of being afflicted with the cheese touch.
He thought back to all the anonymous, unprotected sex he’d been having. It didn’t matter when. It didn’t matter who. But somewhere amid the haze of contorted, naked bodies, someone must have had the cheese touch.
‘Do you have any idea how long I’ve had it for?’ asked Greg, the doctor growing increasingly impatient with Greg’s incessant questioning.
‘We think no more than two weeks,’ he replied.
There it was. Clear as day. It was Fregley, thought Greg. It must have been Fregley. Fregley gave him the cheese touch, cursing him to a life of ostracisation from those who didn’t have the cheese touch.
‘Is there anything I can do?’ begged Greg, hoping to hear of some miracle cure or new treatment, but knowing he’d only hear bad news. It was worth asking anyway. Prolonging the inevitable was going to have to be Greg’s new motto. He knew he should get used to it.
‘I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do. Now remember to stay the fuck away from me, I don’t want the god-damn cheese touch!’ yelled the doctor, ending the call.
This is my life now, realised Greg.
The cheese touch does not giveth, it simply taketh away.
No more to come.