December 22, 2009
“You’ll be fine dear, I bet nothing’s wrong!” my mother said in her usual, almost robotic, reassuring voice. She placed her arms over my shoulder and gave me an awkward hug as we walked up the hospitals steps. It was a charming place. The hospital was placed on a hill, high above a river; Overlooking the top of trees that danced in the early spring breeze. As we came to the top of the stairs, I noticed a garden spotted with yellow and white daisies placed in the middle of the open aired entrance. It was quite beautiful. Sweet smells of sweet red, yellow, white and purple drew a smile to my face. It gave me a sense of security and belonging. I needed that feeling. My nervous were going haywire. If only I hadn’t left my iPod. My music was one of the only things that made me feel good anymore. But of course, I just had to leave it on my desk back at home. I know I’ll regret it later today. I searched my mind for the lyrics to my favorite song and began to hum it silently.

As we walked into the building, I took into account the marvelous architecture that was going around me. This hospital must have cost billions! The building was mostly this off tone white with shining sliver here and there. It reminded me of the outside of the Disney Concert Hall that I visited when I was 12. The air around me was cool and smelled just like a hospital should. My mother led me over to an elevator. Yet she didn’t push the arrow button. Instead she hesitantly looked around me and her, then after a finial breath, she laid her eyes on me and forced a smile. I really had no idea what was wrong with her. She seemed so sad, possibly disturbed.

“Callie, I’ve got to go pick up a prescription down at the pharmacy. Your appointment is on the 3rd floor with Dr. uh, well, I can’t really pronounce her name, but here,” she unzipped her purse and dug around in her wallet till she found the appointment card. She handed it to me and patted my shoulder, “I’ll be up in a few,” she smiled then headed off toward a hallway leading off toward who knows where. I stood there confused, not really understanding were to go. I watched my mom going toward the hallway then turn right. I sighed and then pressed the sliver arrow button. As soon as I pushed it, it started to glow orange. I looked down at the card and noticed scribbling on the back in my mom’s handwriting, ‘bring Callie’s medical papers for the front desk’. She didn’t give them to me.

I decided to go get them from her. I headed toward the hallway she turned into and noticed a sliver sign hanging in the middle of the entrance way. It had two arrows pointing in opposite directions. To the left was the cafeteria and to the right was the chapel. The chapel? I felt light headed as those words repeated themselves in my head. Why would my mom go and pray? Does she really believe that something is wrong with me? But curiosity struck me. Dare I go and sneak on my mom in prayer? I hesitantly looked back at the elevator, which just opened and waited to be boarded, then down toward the chapel. Dare I?

Suddenly I feared that elevator. Suddenly I feared that small garden we pass by earlier. Suddenly I feared that I might actually die. But there was no knowing until I went to the 3rd floor to see the doctor. Maybe this was all a dream. Maybe I might have fallen asleep listening to another sad song….

“Excuse me miss,” a man dressed in scrubs pulling an unattached IV machine had spoken. He barely brushed past me causing me to snap back into reality.

“Oh, sorry,” I took a step closer to the wall, and collected myself. I felt, then again, in my hand the card my mom had handed me. I took a look down the hallway, at the gleaming arrow pointing to the Chapel. My mom has had full confidence in me and my health. She knows that I’m doing pretty good, why would she start doubting now? I tucked the card in my back pocket and headed back to the elevator, and pushed the little 3 button as the sliver doors closed me in.


“Callie Rufiner?” A nurse called from the door. I felt my stomach drop a hundred feet as I met eyes with the nurse. She smiled and motioned to come on in. I stood and slowly walked to the door and past her.

“Take a step up here,” she said motioning toward the scale. I stepped up and I waited for the black arrow to stop at a number. When it stopped, I hesitantly looked at the nurse, I hated getting weighed. She just smiled and wrote down something on her clip board.

“Stay there, let me see how tall you are,” she said as she pulled down the black metal bar. She eyed the thing for a moment, “ah you grew about 2 centimeters!” I flashed a smile and stepped off the scale, “um, let’s go back to room 4,” she said with an odd cheerfulness in her voice. I forced a smile and followed the nurse back. She told me the doctor would be back here in a few and to wait patiently for her to come back. I smiled and sat in one of the chairs on the back wall. After she closed the door, I sighed and looked around the room. It was a bit depressing. The walls are a pasty white and the ceilings are made of those tile by tile ceilings. You’d think for the money they built this hospital with, it’d be more carefully designed in the rooms. A few minutes went by and then the door opened. A middle aged woman with dark hair pulled into a pony tail and olive skin walked in. She quickly made her way over to her chair, then spun around and looked at me.

“How are you today, Miss. Rufiner?” she said as she adjusted her thick rimmed glasses.

“I’m great, I guess.”

“Hmm, that’s good…” a small tap-tap came from the door. It was my mom. She came in, her head hung low, and sat quietly next to me, “Oh hello Mrs. Rufiner. We were just getting started.” She shook hands with my mom then went back to her writing pad. From that moment, I zoned out. Not on purpose, but something in the air felt odd. My mom usually is this burst of excitement. Whenever she walks into the room, you automatically know she’s going to be quite the person to talk to. She loves to make a good first impression. As I watched my mom and the doctor exchange notes and go over how I’ve been the past few weeks, it hit me. Something is wrong. My mom, who is also this great wall of no sad emotion, is swelled to the eyes with tears. Her body was coiled and she held a tissue tightly in one hand. I felt my heart beat faster and faster against my chest, trying to break free from being caged in. I needed to leave the room, to breathe fresh air. I eyed the door, but the doctor and the metal bed were blocking my way. I’m trapped. I felt my throat tightening, my chest rising and falling fasting. My hands began to sweat and shake. Then, the room felt gone and it was.

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