The Results This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 13, 2010
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I don't like hospitals. They're cold and white and clean and filled with people who are or were in some sort of pain. They're full of anger and resentment and fear. I normally avoid them at all costs.

Except the day I walked through those electronic sliding doors with nothing on my shoulders; I wasn't there for myself, only to support. My uncle silently walked beside me, our footsteps reverberating through the tiled hall. That afternoon had been filled with other plans, but those had been quickly dropped; he needed me, and I would do anything for him.

“Will you go with me to get the results tomorrow?” he had asked. “I was there when you got your tonsils out. You owe me.” We laughed, but even though he tried to make a joke, we both knew it wasn't. I always admired his sense of humor in tough situations, but I knew that on that day, his witty remarks wouldn't get him through it and I needed to be with him. It wasn't in his voice when he asked me; it was in his eyes.

So there we sat in the waiting room with salmon-colored walls and flowery wallpaper and month-old magazines. I was nervous just sitting there, though it wasn't even my appointment. But when I saw him fidgeting in the chair next to me, I knew my fears weren't half of his and it was time for me to help calm him. I grabbed his hand. He squeezed back and flashed a quick smile.

A nurse with soft features and a graceful step walked into the room calling his name cheerfully, a sentiment filled with false hope. She led us down a hallway to room number three. She skipped ahead of us as we dragged our feet, making it take as long as possible to get there. With a quick “The doctor will be in shortly,” she left us in that cramped room, the only sound the crinkling of paper as my uncle sat on the table. We didn't speak to each other; there were no words.

When the door opened, my body tensed and the room filled with apprehension. The doctor walked in, smiling away, asking my uncle questions in the same cheerful voice as the nurse. We weren't here to make small talk. We wanted this to be over with. I couldn't take my eyes off the clipboard in the doctor's hands: it contained the future for my uncle, my best friend.

It was over in three minutes. My uncle quietly thanked the doctor for his time. As the doctor left, he tried to give me a half smile but couldn't even force that. With tears swimming in my eyes, I watched my knight in shining armor bury his face in his hands. I rose from my chair and put my arms around him, letting the 42-year-old man cry on my 15-year-old shoulder. Ten minutes later we silently wiped our eyes, still not a word passing between us. With fake smiles plastered on our faces we left the room.

“Have a nice day,” the nurse said as we walked by. I half expected her to do a high kick and the splits. I suddenly couldn't stand anything about her, from her pale brown eyes to her puke green smock to her ugly white comfy shoes.

As we proceeded out the electronic doors into a world without artificial lighting, I realized that I was just like every other person who entered a hospital: filled with resentment, brimming with anger, and scared to death.

Everything was now backwards; left was right, up was down, hot was cold, chocolate was vanilla. My world had been turned upside down.

My superman had cancer.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Abygail C. said...
Jan. 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm
This is perfectly written. I can't believe someone my age would have to go through something like this. I never hear about stories like this from my friends or family members. Its sad to hear about someone going through something like this but it was a great way to share a story and let out some stress or held in feelings. 
MrsStall said...
Mar. 2, 2011 at 9:00 pm
This is so well written...I am proud of you beyond belief! Who would think a year and a half ago you were a girl staring at a blank piece of paper and wondering what you had to say... Believe me... you are saying it now!!!
htrae22 said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm
that was amazing i am so sorry that your uncle died
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