Oct 8, 2018

The Drilling Noise of a Heartache

This is her first time setting foot there. The place is big and crowded with people. Not to mention the weather was scorching hot and sweaty. It was bad enough that it took her quite some time to reach there. The traffic was simply horrible made worse by the construction with loud drilling noise that has been going for months, obstructively holding up both lanes with its makeshift alternative routes. But it's the only road leading to the hospital she's rushing to come to so she had no choice.

She felt very uncomfortable coming to the hospital. She was never being warded before and her distant relatives who were admitted for one reason or another were never close enough for her to come and visit in the past. She loathes hospital and anything unholy that resides in it. The groans and cries of the sick, the smell of medicine and the pus, the sight of blood and the broken bones, or the very air itself that seems to be stagnant in the corridors and linger among the patients there - she couldn't stand it.

Until her father fall ill and was rushed there.

It was sudden but late. Sudden that it happened out of the blue and late in the sense of her being notified about it. She was furious, but the anger abated as fast as the cold fear that started to creep in. She wasn't at home with him when it happened. She didn't have a clue. Her mother was there with him, in the kitchen where they usually are for tea break. One moment he's there, talking while sipping his favourite black tea and next moment he fall to the floor, unresponsive. Her mother dropped to his side, frantically calling him unsuccessfully before dialing the emergency numbers.

 She only knew about her father late in the afternoon after her class. She had a mini quiz that day and she remembered feeling good about it since she had studied for the course consistently. Her phone rang while she was on the way back to her room. It was her mom, and when she answered she knew instantly from her mother's tone of voice something horribly wrong had happened. She wanted to go straight there to the hospital but her mother forbade it. "It is late and it's already dark", she said. She asked her to come the next morning. She said not to worry a thing, that she was already at the hospital with him. Then the call ended.

It took her a few hours of driving to reach the hospital. Her mother told her that her father was transferred to the ICU. She may know not much about hospitals, but she knew enough that ICU is where the very sick people are being treated. Her mother told her a bit more about her father's condition but she found it near impossible to comprehend fully without looking at the issue with her own two eyes. Her grip on the steering wheel clutched tighter as she pressed the pedal harder.

When she arrived, she saw her mother is sitting on a long bench outside ICU beside her friend. They were talking, unaware of her approach. She saw her mother was still able to smile and talking energetically with her friend. She came to them and shook hand with the lady before asking about her father's condition. Still smiling, she said that they should be able to enter to see him very soon. There is a limit to the number of visitors that can come visit at a time so they were waiting for turns. So they waited and she just listened to them talking.

Then when their turn came she went inside with her mother at her side. There, in the corner was her father with a lot machines beside the bed with wires and thin tubes connected to here and there. There was a long and big tube connecting one of the machines that entered her father's mouth as well. Every rise in her father's chest made the machine beep with a soft sound. Her father's eyes were closed. He looked weak. She tried calling him but the nurse told her that he wouldn't be able to respond as he was heavily sedated. She stifled a sob.

The young doctor nearby came to them and started explaining about her father's condition. He told them that there's a huge bleeding in the brain causing him to lose his consciousness. With him being intubated there is a risk of him choking on the content of his stomach and causing infection back up to the lungs. His blood pressure has to be supported with multiple medication as it was too low. The chance of recovery is very abysmal, very slim, that they have to be ready to expect the worse. She couldn't comprehend anything beyond that point. Her mind was elsewhere. Her sight went blank. She was dimly aware of her mom's grip in her hand. She walked off in a dazed and sat back on the bench outside.

Outside, there were two guys sitting on the bench as well. They both work as doctors and had went in earlier to visit him. One of them is the son of the visiting friend. They were talking to her mother's friend. Then her mother sat down as well and they talked to her, explaining in a simpler way of what's going on with her father. There was nothing new that she did not already know, so she just sat there silently. The noise of the construction drill just outside the hospital seemed to drill into her broken heart, boring it bit by bit with each passing time. 

She couldn't see how her mother is handling the news this well. She was still be able to greet those who come and visit, ushering them to go inside the ICU with a smile. She was finding it very difficult to even open her mouth, let alone having to deal with all this. When they parted ways with her mother's friend, she said to her that she has to be strong for her mother. That if her mother breaks down as well then nothing will go well. Her eyes were already wet at the time. How pitiful of her mother, how she wishes that her mother is given the time to properly be sorrowful. That being strong all the time isn't always the good thing. That behind every smile and every warming words, there is a sadness that needs to be heeded.

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