I watch the doctor’s wide steps as he approaches a tall man in the waiting room across from my own. The man was in his mid-twenty’s I could see. I watched his hands rise to cup his mouth after the doctor had finished talking and his hands fell lifelessly to his sides. The tall man fell back into his chair, hand still tightly cupped over his mouth. Even though I was separated from this man by boxed Plexiglas windows and a hallway, I seemed to feel his pain. Tears filled my eyes as his face turned red with anger. I finally realized that this could be me soon to. The person I was waiting on news from could easily die to. Finally, I could no longer look at the young man’s sorrow, so I turned my head away and covered my own mouth with my right hand. I had to keep whimpers from escaping through the open gaps of my lips. It’s the first time I cried since I had gotten to the hospital. I felt very guilty because, for some reason, when I heard the news of my mother and father, I didn’t rush to the hospital. I didn’t just drop everything and rush to the hospital to be by their side. I waited. And I don’t know why. I dropped my younger brother off at the neighbor’s apartment and rode to the hospital in a cab, acting like any other normal person that would be riding a cab. I didn’t even tell the cabbie to hurry. While in the hospital, time seems to come to a roaring stop. A halt. You no longer recognize colors, everything’s black and white. You don’t understand numbers and words, but that’s mainly because you don’t want to. You don’t want to know that your loved one or friend is dead or seriously hurt. Everything’s mixed together, like paint running into another color. You can only stare at the black and white wall and think of the past and future. You don’t recognize even a lick of the present. You think of the memories you had with that person or people and what the future will be like if they live or die. Either one, your life will never be the same. You will remember what your life was like before you walked into the waiting room, and after. You seem to be in your own little world afterwards, reviewing the questions you had come up with in your head earlier. The only thing that can break that barrier between you and the real world is another trip to the waiting room. Experiencing the hospital all over again.
The Waiting Room
January 31, 2008