We arrived at the hospital. The glass doors slides open, a strong scent of bleach burns my nose. Ugh. Everything about hospital screams sickness. The walls are cream, some of the paint is already peeling off. There are benches by one side of the hallway where patients sit, waiting to be called. Each one of them looks sick. My stomach twists, dreading what I will face. The last time I have been to the hospital was when dad got into an accident. I was 5 years old back then. Too young to understand anything but old enough to remember what I saw. No child can ever forget something so tragic. Dad was covered in blood. He kept gasping for air. He could hardly breathe and was too weak to even speak. He was carried on a stretcher to the operation room as the nurses and doctors battle to save him.
We turn around the corner and I think to myself, did mum got into an accident? My sister’s face is as pale as snow that I decided it is best not to ask her. We stop in front of a double door that leads to the ward. My sister paused to look at me. She did not say a word but I recognise that expression. It was the same one she gave me when we were about to enter the ward where dad was in. A look that says, “Ready? We have to be strong.”
I nod once and gave her a weak smile. We enter the ward and I am surprised with what I see. I blink twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. The ward is colourful and it smells of lavender. On our left side, there is the waiting area. The floor was made of plywood instead of the usual gray tiles that again, screams death. Or at least, to me, that is what the tiles remind me off. That everything is ending. I am so confused that the sight of the ward momentarily paused the scary images I had earlier.
The nurse ushers us to be seated while she calls the doctor. I look down at the carpet below and tried to follow its intricate pattern with the tip of my shoes. It usually works to calm me down when I am anxious. Just when I was following the pattern of a tulip, I hear the quiet sound of foot steps approaching us. Like one who has enough practise to walk silently around sleeping patients without disturbing them. I look up and see a man walking toward us.
He smiles faintly. I guess this is him. The doctor who called me.