Stuff Happens

March 12, 2012
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Kirsten McKinney trembled as she walked into Pine Ridge hospital. She had always loathed this place. The smell of antiseptic, rubbing alcohol and latex gloves always hung in the air. That mingled with the sound of weeping family members and the sight of downcast, crying eyes always managed to set her on edge.
Today it was even worse, today she was a patient. As her mother walked to the reception desk to fill out the mandatory forms, Kirsten clasped her clammy hands and sat down.
Six days ago she noticed a large bump forming on her left thigh. She told her mother about it and the next day, was taken to the hospital. Upon examination, she was told that it was a malignant tumor. The next morning she was scheduled for surgery and the black cancerous mass was removed.
The visit today was to see if any of the tumor had broken away and gotten into her bloodstream. As she sat there in the cold, hard chair all she could think about was what if. What if it had spread? What if she did have cancer? How is that even possible? She was only thirteen. She had just gone on her first date last month and had yet to have her first kiss. No way could she have cancer.
As a nurses’ head peeked around a door and said, “Kirsten McKinney, we’re ready for you now.”
Kirsten jumped and her heart sank into her stomach. Maybe she didn’t need to know. Maybe if she didn’t find out then nothing would come of it.
As she stopped, she felt her mother’s warm hand slide into hers. Glancing up her eyes met her mothers’.
“It’ll be okay honey, no matter what we’ll get through this; you know I’ll be here for you.”And with that Kirsten and her mother strode into the doctors room with heads held high.
The room was a typical white sterile hospital room. Kirsten went and sat on the raised bed, cringing as her jeans scrapped on the clean white paper, the noise shattering the oppressing silence of the room. After about a five minute wait, in which she had chewed her nails to the quick, the doctor came in. He was middle aged, with graying, dark brown hair and a tired face. In his hand was a simple black clipboard with some papers attached to it. Oh god, Kirsten thought, there they are, there are the papers which will decide my life.
The doctor sat down in a stool next to the bed and said, “Look I’m just going to get straight to the point because there is no sense in dragging this out any longer than it needs to be, the test results came back and -”
Oh god Kirsten thought here it comes, here it comes…
“-they are all negative, the tumor did not spread. Kirsten McKinney, you are one lucky girl.”
Smiling he shuffled the results and stood up. “Of course you will have to come back for routine checkups and tests but I expect all good results.”

He motioned her mother out of the room, and only then did it hit Kirsten that she didn’t have cancer. She let out a lungful of air that she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. Before she realized it she was crying. And she continued to cry as she walked out of the hospital and into the parking lot. As she slid her body into the passenger side of the car she heard a choking noise. Looking over she saw that her mother had big fat tears rolling down her cheeks. Together they sat there in the hot car crying together for twenty minutes.

Distracted as Kirsten was by the emotion overflowing inside her, she forgot completely about her seat belt. As they pulled out of the hospital Kirsten’s’ mother slipped her hand into her daughters’ warm one and smiled, neglecting to look at the oncoming traffic.
The sight of her mothers smiling face was the last thing Kirsten saw before the oncoming semi truck T-boned them and Kirsten flew out the window. As she flew through the air, her last thought was, “I’m so happy that I don’t --”, then her life was ended.

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