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The hospital reeks of medicine and old people. I hate this smell the most. My brother has been in the emergency room for ages now. It’s 2 in the morning now. We’ve been here since 9 p.m. and our eyes are all swollen. The light in the corridor flickers on and off as in horror movies and shadows lurk the halls as if some demon is going to pop out and devour all of us. There’s a bunch of murmurs all around us as if they already know who is going to die and who isn’t. We all sit and stare at the floor encircling all of us. There’s dead silence and all you can hear is the gentle whirr of the air conditioning.
The doctors finally approach us. With the stares of relief, we are reassured that our brother will be safe and that we should go home for the night. With our hearts low and unsure, we slowly trudge out of the emergency room and head towards the car. The ride home felt like it took ages. Mom is in the passenger seat, dad’s driving, and the three of us are sitting in the back. I stare out the window into the empty wasteland. Every other shadow out there is a shadow for a tree.
‘It’s two in the morning…’ I think to myself, ‘I should go to sleep.’
We finally arrive home. Our house looks sad, as if it is mourning with us. We are left thoughtless after what happened last night. Nobody says a word, and just nods off to his/her room. In the room next to us, I hear mom and dad talking.
“I’m going back to the hospital,” says mom. She’s pretty restless herself. I just sigh and let it all go. Then, I slowly nod of to sleep.
Today, we are going to go visit my brother in the hospital. He’s a premature baby and is three months old. We have to ride up and down the annoying elevators which make me dizzy. I finally see him—through a glass window, that is. After three months of separation, I finally get to see him. He has delicate little fingers and toes. He has a short and stubby nose like mine and the rest of ours. His little eyes are closed, and he appears to not be breathing. There are a bunch of tubes stuck into his mouth, nose, and his limbs. He looks as if he’s being electrocuted with air tubes. But, he is about no bigger than the size of my palm.
I stand at a corner of the intersection of the hallway.
“He has a hole in his heart. This weakens his body and makes his other body parts unable to function properly,” the doctor says to my mom and dad.
I stare at my little brother through the glass window again. His teeny little eyes are closed and he seems exhausted. I have nothing left to say. He might not survive, or he might. I watch his pulse on the pulse radar to see how he is doing. The radar itself is beeping insanely, just about as much as my family is falling apart insanely too. I stare back down at him. ‘Boy, would it be great to just have my family back the way it was,’ I think to myself. I turn away, stuff my hands in my pockets, and walk towards my parents.
They’re sitting on the cruddy old chairs the hospital has. Just sitting there staring at the ground in disbelief. Ten minutes later, I hear doctors and nurses rushing into the room where my little brother was.
“What’s his heart rate? Blood level?” the doctor said panicking. The nurse did not reply. Her eyes were the size of the moon and mouth pried open as if a dentist told her to open wide so he can pull out her aching tooth.
“What’s his heart rate? Blood level?” the doctor repeated, hollering this time.
“Zero. He’s gone,” she murmured. Mom, Dad, and I stare at them behind all the doctors and nurses. I look at his teeny little body. He lay in the little bed motionless. Mom and dad didn’t look at me or at each other. They stared at the doctor in disbelief.
“Mom, give me the keys,” I managed to mutter out. “I’m going to sleep in the car. Come out when you two are ready.”
She handed me the keys and I walked off. I walk alone through the flickering lights and the ugly colored wallpaper. I swing open the doors and hear a loud ‘thud’ coming after it. I resist myself from turning back to look at the hideous hospital. ‘I hate this place.’ I tell myself. I unlocked the doors of the car, plodded in, and laid down in the backseat. Staring out the rear window, I notice a little sparrow soaring across the deep blue sky.
“It is summer; and now he’s flying out there happily. He doesn’t have to stand all the tubes and all the medication put into him. He’s finally put out of his misery,” I state to myself, as I start dozing off into a quiet sleep.