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The Waiting Room
'When you come back out we'll go to Dairy Queen and get you anything you want,' Jane, the mother, said in a wavering voice.
Jared, her son exclaimed in joy saying, 'Really!?!'
'You can order the whole menu if you want!'
'I'm going to buy waffle cones with vanilla ice cream and green dinosaur cookies and'.'
The rest of what the little boy was saying was drowned out by the racket of feet scurrying against the tile floor. Jane knew who was coming. By the time the nurse had arrived by their side, Jared was pulling on his mother's sleeve trying to get her attention.
'Mommy, mommy, are you okay?'
'I'm fine, Jared.'
The nurse began conversing with the mother rapidly about the procedures to come. She was wearing green scrubs matching her eyes precisely and had a burgundy bob cut. Her lips were a vigorous shade of mauve that went with her Crocs. 'While we bring your son into the room I will need you to sign these consent forms.'
'You mean I will be able to fill them out in the room with him, right,' her voice showing a hint of panic without it being intentional.
'No, we decided to start the surgery earlier. It might help abolish the spreading of the disease because the body is adapting to treatments and pills, and it is not fighting the osteosarcoma any longer.' Then the doctor bent down to look Jared in the eyes. 'Hello, my name is Samantha.'
'Hi, my name's Jared.'
'Well, Jared. We will be taking you into the back room to look over your body and help it so it can heal. We will need to separate you from your mom for some time so that we can finish these procedures. Will that be okay?'
'Promise that when you are back here you will be a brave, cooperative little boy.'
'Okay, but will I be able to bring my Hot Wheel cars?'
'You may bring one with you.'
'Do you think I should bring the red one or the blue one?' He reasoned putting the two cars on his hands as if weighing them.
The look on the moms' face was heartbreaking at this moment. She tried to hide it so well, but any normal could see the anguish spilling all down her face. The quivering lips, water filled eyes, sniffing her nose, and overall, just a distressed face.
'I think you should bring the blue ones because it stands for strength and it is always full of hope.'
'And I like the star on the hood.'
'Go to the bathroom while I have a quick chat with Samantha, Jared,' Jane finally cut in.
She watched her son trot off down the hall as if she would never see him again.
'How serious is his condition?'
'After treating him for a couple of years they seemed to be getting better. Then, for the past few months we saw that his body started to reject every form of treatment we could think have thought of, orally or manually. We thought it might go back to normal, but nothing happened. So we decide that this is the last straw. This last surgery could either take his life or bring us more results to carry further scientific studies.'
'This could kill him?'
'I know this is hard for you to take all on one day, but if we do not try right now there may not be another time and''
Jane had had enough of this talk; she abruptly put her hand up to stop whatever else she did not want to hear.
'I am ready to accept the procedure that my son has to endure right now, but I want you to promise me one thing.' The world was becoming blurred and her tongue was drying up quickly. She needed to hurry up and just get it out. 'I have already lost my husband about a year back from similar operations. Promise me that you will not kill my son. He is the only one I have left and I cannot go on by myself. The last of my family is dying and I have to see it happen before my eyes. If he dies I am the only left. Please keep him alive.' Her voice was weak, but the message was clear. Her cheeks were wet from a slight downfall of tears.
'Miss I will try to do all I can for your sons' life.' Her voice was sincere, but not persuading enough.
'I need to be assured of it!'
'We will do everything in our power. Trust us with the life of your son.' She said clearly looking her in the eyes.
In a barely audible whisper you could hear, 'Thank you.'
'Mommy, mommy I can't wait to get out of the doctors' office. We'll go to Dairy Queen and then go home and play games like Memory, Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders,' the son shouted running into the arms of his mother.
'I know we will.' She hugged him so hard not ever wanting to let him go. The few moments of that tight embrace were spent thinking of good times and possibly their future. Good or bad.
'Mommy, why are you crying?'
'Jared I love you so very, very much. I want you know that and to think that forever until the last minutes of your life. Never ever forget it.'
'Okay mom, but I already know that. It's nothing to cry about though. I love you so much, too.' Those last words were ripping at her heart.
The moments that the doctor walked away with her son were frightening. She remembered that he was wearing a blue gown and smiling so widely to the world fearing nothing with only a toy car in his hand. This was so hard to bear that she turned away from the two. She just wanted the doctors to come out with her son, and for them to smile happily looking into the sun, facing the world together; building a bright future together.
The moments that they were gone were so intimidating. The clocks ticks grew louder and louder deafening her ears; her hunger evaporated was being replaced by the worry of her son. Just as it seemed as if Jane would die there in the waiting room three doctors came walking down the hall. Rubber soles against the tiles piercing her ears as they progressed into the waiting room. The one in the front had his eyes on hers, but diverted them when they met hers.
She cried out in remorse. This could not be happening to her! Her last family member was gone in a matter of hours. She collapsed in a chair by the corner and started to sob uncontrollably. The doctor placed a gentle hand on her shoulder and said, 'I'm sorry for your terrible loss, Miss.' There were still loud gasps of air escaping from her mouth every few seconds.
She was truly by herself. She would remember this day forever. The waiting room was where she left all of her hopes, fears, pain, and love for the second time. She was now venturing off into this world empty handed once more again.
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