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April 11, 2010
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Hospitals are no place to nurture dreams and wishes. They are blank, faceless places with the temperament of a passive-aggressive dog and the manners of the kindest mother you knew who lived down the street. At least, that’s how I see them. Before, I mean, when I was younger, I thought hospitals were great places. People went in sickly or injured, but, by some sort of magic that the doctors possessed, they came out healthy. Unfortunately, as I have found out, some people don’t come out. The man who lies in front of me is, as heart-breaking as it is for me, a prime example. He came in with a cough, no major catastrophe, and found out that, all in one day, that his life was slowly coming to an end.


No matter what I do, where I jog in the morning, what music I listen to, that monotone ‘beep’ that the machines gives everybody every once and a while will always be stuck in my mind. As I sit, looking at the man I thought I was going to be marrying today, that obnoxious ‘beep’ goes on. Although I am grateful to it, it tells me that he’s still alive. I hear the sheets rustle and I immediately turn my attention.

His skin, bleached white from staying inside, still hangs to his bones like it did before. His sunken eyes still manage to hold the gleam of boyishness in them; they look directly at me. I sit up in my chair, and his hand and my hand meet each other. He coughs, violently, but, as always, disregards it. “Tell me about our home.” He says to me. I look at him oddly. We don’t own our own house yet; up until now we had both been living in an apartment situated in the middle of a mildly nice looking neighborhood. Something inside me clicks, though, and words seem to magically form


“There’s a white picket fence that you built around our yard. The yard’s not big, but it’s big enough to play with Rusty: our, well, your, dog,” We both smiled; I had never been much of a dog person. “The house isn’t huge, it looks like something from the fifties, but we’ve added other touches to it. You painted the house a light caramel to match the black shingles; we both joke that we live in a coffee house. The window frames are white. We decided to keep them uncolored because we didn’t want the house too dark. That heap of a car from high school sits in the driveway, but it doesn’t sputter anymore.


“We have a daughter and a son. The daughter’s the older one, like we talked about. She has your hair and eyes, but my complexion and face shape. Our son looks more like your grandpa; you know the one that died four…years… ago? And…” I can’t say anymore about this life I’m talking about. Our hopes and dreams…they won’t come true and a silent scream splits my brain. I can feel warm tears drip down my face, but I try to keep quiet. He squeezes my hand, and I look up to him. He’s grinning at me.”


“We had a good life, didn’t we?” I nod, the corners of my lips pushing upwards despite the agony in my heart and in my mind. He nods back, gives me the one look that tells me everything, and then he closes his eyes. The machine gave one last beep.





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