I walk…I walk with my head tilted slightly forwards towards the ground – it will never judge me… I walk with my head tilted slightly forwards towards the ground- just enough to mask the flood of tears streaming down my face. Finally the slow tip tapping of my feet reaches the hospital’s waiting room.
The deafening alarm has sounded in my mother’s life today. It tells her to leave through the “emergency exit-door” of life, but I don’t think she should. The hospital’s nurses seem to think differently though.
‘It will take her out of her misery,’ they say, so sure of themselves. Her injury is like the fog on a winter’s morning. Once you fight through it, it all clears up. Yet still, the nurses believe heroism is worse than death… I can imagine my mother convincing them that she can fight through it like the soldier I know her to be. The nurses think she is ‘just saying that’ like most of their other patients.
I feel like the blackened sky has engulfed my body, tearing me apart and revealing my weakest bits. I’m like a prisoner to my own emotions, trapped in a cell of hurt. I am hopeless.
My mother and I never talked about these things together, and ever since my father’s death, she has tried to avoid the dark topic completely.
I’m useless here in the waiting room. It has come to me routinely now –that I look up from my novel to have a go at the office desk, begging them to visit my mother – to shine some light in her own black cell. The next scene in this ever-repeating play is a firm “no” from the ladies. I shoot them an annoyed look, and head back to my worn out chair. In the next scene, I hear people shooting past like a gust of wind. As I return to my novel, frustrated, I can hear someone sit down a few seats away from me. Perhaps, they are heartbroken too…I’ll never know.
My surroundings stay a blur around me, until something intrudes this next scene, where I’m meant to hear the rhythmic, soft walking and talking of strangers. Instead, I suddenly hear a blaring noise, like a crash of heavy metal disturbing a mellow tune. I hear wheels scraping, machines beeping and wires dragging across the floor. I exhale loudly to show my annoyance at their racket. Finally I stamp my foot in frustration. As I get ready to rebuke the noisy strangers, I notice that the two young girls look slightly alike. Their blue hospital uniforms, bald-heads, and honest smiles reflect each other’s appearance like a mirror. They are only young, but are surrounded by grieving families. My wide mouth closes and my flat, open hands, that are ready to scold them, lower by my side.
Absolute guilt surrounds me, and I can hear my loud thoughts rebuking my own actions. I smile gently at the ill girls and I can see that they forgive me instantly. Their mothers and fathers have tears in their eyes, but are trying to hold a brave face, just like me.