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The long hallway seemed like the path to the unknown. I wasn’t sure what would be behind door 513; actually, let me rephrase that. I knew who was behind door 513, but I had a specific uncertainty of what was really happening to them.
It was as if everything was happening in slow motion, like a movie. I endured all my emotions, all my pain, by each fraction of a second. And let me tell you... each fraction of a second felt like I was gradually loosing all hope, and that I was being pounded on by some invisible force. That’s pain, not having control of your emotions and surroundings.
Each individual I passed gave me a different look of sadness and pity. Even though none of these people know me, they know what I’m here for. One old woman who works here looked like she wanted to cry for me. As we passed one another she gave me a solemn smile, and continued onward.
There were small rooms lined up on each side of the hallway. That’s pretty obvious though, that’s what this place is all about. It’s just different rooms, different people, lives, and occurrences. Room 505, 506, 507, 508... I’m almost there.
Finally, I arrived to my destination: Room 513. The door is shut, and the numbers 5, 1, and 3 are tattooed onto the door. I took a deep breath, and twisted the door handle slowly.
“Wait,” calls the woman that I passed in the hallway. “You need to wear a mask, and sanitize your hands first.”
As the nurse approaches me, I can’t help but notice the scrubs she’s wearing. Her scrubs are bright green, with Elmo from Sesame Street splattered randomly across them. I can’t help but smile from this crazy outfit. It takes a lot for me to smile these days.
“My name is Mary by the way,” says the nurse. “You must be Callie, right?”
“Yeah,” I reply. “It’s nice to meet you. Do you know how she’s doing?”
A look that I couldn’t read spread across her face. “I’m not sure about this morning, I just got here. When I checked on her last night she was doing well,” Mary said reluctantly.
She’s lying, I thought. I’m use to this, everyone not telling me the truth anymore.
“This is my first time visiting her,” I state. “I’m pretty nervous.”
“You shouldn’t be nervous,” Mary said kindly. “She’s still the same person you’ve loved all of your life.”
Mary hands me a mask and the latex gloves. “Don’t worry,” she said. “God is watching over her.”
I put the mask on, and sanitized my hands. Then I grabbed the gloves and put them over my skin. I could feel my hand trembling as I reached over to turn the doorknob. Finally, I got the nerve to open the door, and I let my fear dissipate through the air.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw her. She was so tiny, so frail, that it seemed like if I even touched her, her bones would shatter to a million pieces. She was asleep and didn’t even notice me in the doorway.
It’s been years since I’ve seen my mother. I couldn’t even look at her in this state of being, so I cowered out. I ran. I turned away from my greatest fear, and sprinted down the hallway that had the glossy-colored floor tiles. Tears were streaming down my face; I cried for my mother, and I cried for me... I cried for being a horrible daughter.