It was like walking straight into a very painful memory or blinding dream. My feet were moving and yet I didn’t feel the white tiles beneath me, the only thing I could feel was the pounding of my heart in my chest, aching and sobbing terribly. The only thing I could hear were my prayers, playing over and over again in my mind. I left Sasha in the waiting room and, as I was walking down the corridor following the nurse that would take me to my parents, wished she was with me, holding my hands and never letting me go. I was tempted to turn to her and smile or beckon her to follow me, but something had stopped me. Was it that I was going to be force to choose between her or my parents at the end of the day? If so, my actions gave me in easily, it was clear, at least for me, whom my reason had chosen, ignoring the pleas and demands of my heart.
We reached a door in the far end, and I bitterly wondered why in the world they would create such an agonizing journey to the relatives of patients in the hospitals by walking so far just to witness the fate of their loved ones. She smiled at me kindly and stepped aside, silently inviting me to open the door and meet my relief or fatality. I opened the door and stepped inside to a dim world with Death’s wing slowly rising from the face of Earth with its claws empty.
I had never seen both my parents in such delicate and alarming state. Their beds were in the same room, each with different apparatus beside them and charts with various medications and specifics for the nurses to handle. I suppressed a sob when I saw them prostrated on the bed, breathing slowly but steadily. Relief washed over me when I realized both of them were alive. I walked over to my mother, who had suffered the most impact. One side of her head, and most of the right side of her body was bandaged. I made an attempt to touch her but I refrained myself. After all, I still had their dried blood on my fingers.
“I am so so sorry, Mother,” I whispered hoarsely, fighting back all those tears. They seemed never-ending. I turned to my dear father and regarded him with affection. “I’m sorry Father, sorry I never was the girl you and mom wanted me to be…” I sniffed, blinking fast.
My father made a husky, guttural sound, and his eyelids slowly opened to admit light into his soul. “Cerice, is that you?”
Baffled with delight, I knelt beside him and took his hand in mine, “yes, it’s me. How are you feeling papa?”
“I am good now…how is your mother?”
“She is well for now, but unconscious. Please rest, I promise I will look after the two of you and I won’t worry any of you anymore…with anything…” Sasha sprang into my mind in the most inconvenient moment.
“Don’t leave us,” he whispered, “please, just don’t.”
Tears trickled down my cheek, “I won’t,” I promised, “rest father. I will be back tomorrow.”
My father nodded, “one thing before you leave us for the night,” he said slowly, closing his eyes as he said so. “We trust Sasha that she will take care of you…” His mouth became a thin line again and his face softened. I let my mouth hung for a moment before realizing what he had meant with his words.
I stroke my father’s head and kissed him in the temple, promising him yet again that I would be back tomorrow. I went to stand beside my mother with immense gratitude and kissed her lightly in the cheek. Emotion was bubbling inside me and I couldn’t wait to vent it out of my body, and I knew the right way to do it.
I exited the room quietly and ran down the corridor. I could feel it now, the beating of my footsteps on the floor. Everything felt so alive now, so beautiful. I pushed opened the door and found Sasha leaping from her seat, surprised to see me.
“Cerice, are your parents…”
I didn’t let her finish before lunging myself at her, locking my arms around her neck and exclaiming in happiness, “I love you Sasha!” I let a soft laugh, “they are okay and have finally accepted me…us…”
Sasha was confused but her delight was unmistakable, her arms went around my waist, holding me tight to her. We remained that way until the light of dawn bathed both our wearied bodies and minds.