Those Left Behind

October 19, 2010
She could hear the soft shoes of the nurse treading over cool hospital hallways. She knew the nurse was coming for her, but let the nurse come over and put a hand on her back.

"Mrs. Leningham, you can come in now." Why? Why give her a last look. The pain she was bearing now was more than enough. She had already given up long before the nurse came. She was sure she could hear the droning sound of the heart monitor, an ill reminder of the death that had come over her daughter.

"Right through here." The nurse ushered her into a small, white room. No windows, not even on the door so nobody should have to see what was inside. The nurse joined the side of the doctor and the pair remained silent for the rest of the time being. She took a seat by her daughter's bed. The bed was clearly made for an adult; her small body nearly sunk into the blankets and pillows. She rubbed her hand over her daughter's head, smoothing the hair away from her face.

"Mom," she said. Her voice was not weak, but it was what was happening on the inside of her daughter that was so frightening. "Where are Grandma and Grandpa?" The question had been asked so many times, but now, on the brink of death, it had a much different meaning. "I mean, where are they really?"

"I don't know, sweetheart."

"You always say they're up in Heaven."

"I do," she admitted, her eyes growing heavy with the weight of water.

"You say they're in Heaven, but sometimes I see them. They come and talk to me. Do you ever talk to them?" her daughter asked, feeling almost a little embarrassed to admit it.

"Sometimes when I'm having a bad day, they come and talk to me," her mother said, her voice soft and comforting. The girl smiled weakly.

"I see them a lot now and days." The mother, unable to contain herself any longer, shed a single tear, but she bowed her head down. Her daughter did not need to leave knowing she made her mother cry. "Mom, I promise that when you have a bad day, I'll come and talk to you. Okay?"

"Okay. That would make me feel better." She took her daughter's hand in hers and sat on the small stool beside the hospital bed. The droning sound of the heart monitor was an indicator of her daughter's fading life. The intervals of silence grew longer and longer. That's when it was over.

"I'm so sorry," were the only words said after. Words hard like the person who spoke them. Hardened from years of watching people pass into another place, leaving those who still wanted them behind.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

TuffGurl said...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm
I said I would comment on another one of your pieces, and here I am, commenting on this one. I actually like this piece. The promise of the daughter to the mother is very touching, and it's really sad how the daughter died and how the mother has to live on. But really that promise is a promise that will rip the reader's heart out (nice, I know), but this is a good piece. I like it more than the other one (:p), but this one is really good.
Pigfarts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 12:23 pm
Thanks. This was the first thing I wrote that got put up here, so I'm glad you liked it. And it's also a bit of a departure from the other peice, so I can understand that you would like one more than the other.
TuffGurl replied...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm
What do you mean, "it's a departure from the other piece"? Sorry I guess I'm dumb or something... pfft.
Pigfarts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm


One is about love and the other one is about death. Those are two pretty different subjects.

TuffGurl replied...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm
Well, doesn't departure mean like leaving? Last time I checked it doesn't mean different.. but i'll check... oh i checked and there was this one sentence ok yeah... it can mean different. But it is different and good.
MissArtemisFowl said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 5:59 pm
This piece was shockingly touching- I enjoy how you have the little girl's innocence intertwined with the mother's loss of innocence. It gives the story a very beautiful contrast and an almost bitter irony. The emotion was obviously there and the dialouge was spot on. Overall, a fantastic piece.
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