She was worried and desperate. A part of her made her feel that she was not mature enough to handle such situations. After all she was only 19 years old and for that age she was still childlike in many ways. However, people who knew her closely believed she has already gone through a lot, with her mother passing away the previous year. They felt she was strong and could handle anything. Outside the operation theatre, she held her kid brother close still reassuring him.
“Everything is going to be alright”, she said confidently once again. Ron looked at his sister with earnest eyes and believed her. It was more like a reassurance for herself. She did want to believe what she was muttering but only if those pictures stopped playing in her mind. It came in sequences, the moments she spent outside the ICU last year. She was alone, waiting and waiting till something inside provocated her to dash inside the ICU. The only time the doctor came out was to ask her permission on giving artificial respiration. “Yes, please do whatever you can to save her. Don’t worry about the cost atall”, she quickly said. She did not really know how seriously ill her mother was, though she was still coming to terms with the reason for her being in the ICU. In seconds after demanding to know her mother’s condition, the doctor explained. Words were being uttered but she was still searching with a ray of hope. The last words of the doctor struck her like lightning. “I am sorry” She was shocked. She stood there motionless. The doctor’s words kept resonating in her mind. She screamed, she felt darkness around her and saw her whole world crashing down. Her head felt heavy and she blacked out.
“Didi, do you want something to drink?” Her thoughts broke and she was relieved to come back to the present situation. She suddenly remembered that her brother addressed her with respect only when he wanted to make her feel loved and cared. “Do you want me to ring up uncle again? I am sure if we tell him that we are alone outside the theatre, he will come with all our relatives. ”, Ron said.
“It is okay, everybody is busy at work, anyway they all know about daddy and they could have come”. She remembered with previous experiences, her friends were more helpful than her own relatives.
There were few others nearby, waiting outside the ICU which was next to the theatre. She knew that those were the relatives of a lady who gave birth to a premature baby. She had seen the baby earlier when they carried the baby in the incubator, to the baby specialty hospital fearing the infant’s health. It was the smallest baby she had ever laid her eyes on, maybe not more than the size of her palm. The relatives outside were informed that both the baby and the mother’s life were in danger and anything could happen. The lady’s husband looked like a ghost white and ready to die if anything would happen to his family. There was a silent whimper from him when he was not even allowed to touch his new born. Once or twice, the relatives of the lady looked with sympathy on Ron and her. At one such instant, she rose and went upto the lady’s relatives and said, “Don’t worry, both mother and baby are going to be fine”. She thought she said that but those words never came out. Instead, her eyes said it all. The relatives nodded in reply. Slowly hours crawled by. The eight hours all of them waited outside seemed to them like it took forever. Her brother would check in between asking if she wanted anything to drink. She would not even answer his question but would say a silent prayer. And the wait would go on.
Suddenly the door opened and the doctor came near her and said.
“Your dad’s operation was a success, he is doing fine. She jumped with joy. She hugged Ron and both of them cried out with joy. “Would you like to see him? , asked the doc. At that same moment, a nurse came out of the ICU and informed the relatives that both the mother’s and the new born’s condition were stable and that the baby is responding to the treatment in the other hospital.
She went inside the ICU where her dad was brought in from the operation theatre and kissed him on the forehead lightly. She could see that her unconscious dad had tears dried on his face. She thought about the pain he must have gone through and tears trickled down her face. Ron was allowed to go in when she came out. She smiled at the lady’s relatives who smiled back at her. The husband was inside with the lady and the relatives were waiting for their turn to see her.
She walked slowly and steadily towards the exit of the hospital. Tears were trickling by. It was tears of joy. She stopped and looked up with her hands outstretched. She could feel drops of water falling over her. One by one till it started to rain and wash away her tears. She stood there feeling it go away. Slowly she felt weightless.
8 years ago