The Waiting Room

A hospital is, in my opinion, one of those places which brings you down to ground zero, sometimes a level lower too, to sync with the bare, naked reality of life. As we go about building dreamy castles of aspirations in thin wispy clouds of our imagination, it takes but one loose brick to be pulled out for the fortress to come crumbling down.

Such were the hopes and desires of his family that this young man in his early 30s pushed to a far corner of the back of his mind as he waited anxiously for any bit of news on the progress of his wife’s health. His wife, all of 29 years, was battling for life after suffering a massive cardiac arrest that morning. Their life, including two tiny tots, had suddenly come under a deep, dark shadow in a matter of a few hours.

Seated in the large, empty – but for the two of us – ICU Waiting Room he spoke, on and off through the whole night, of his tiny world centred round the family and their ambitions. She continued to sink slowly even as the doctors tried to stabilise her blood pressure. Come morning I bid him farewell with an empty wish that all would be okay soon and a promise to see him again later that night.

When I returned to the hospital later in the evening ready to take up my night vigil, he was no longer there. The nurse on duty informed me that the young lady has passed away during the day. There was a new face on his seat, a new story to fill the harsh night…

– Narendra Nayak © 2018

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