By Victoria Fogarty
Due: Monday 25th August
Rushing through the automatic sliding door to the hospital, I could feel my heart in my stomach. Abruptly, I stopped. The hospital corridors had an extremely dreary and uncomfortable vibe. Walking down the long and winding hall, I noticed that there were a large number of rooms on the left and the right. Around me doctors and nurses bustled by in their starch white uniforms, stethoscopes draped around their necks. Despite the doctors chaotically conversing in the halls, there was a dead silence. Apprehensively, I made my way to the daunting front desk where a doctor stood patiently waiting. The sympathetic look on his face already explained everything before he did. As each word of the horrifying news poured out of his mouth, my bottom lip began to quiver as my body sunk into a depressed and despondent state.
A suffocating medicated smell pervaded the air and consumed me, restricting my heaving lungs as he solemnly guided me down one of the abandoned hallways to a stuffy room. Four patients occupied the four beds; one coughed violently and uncontrollably, another one slept peacefully, the other silently consumed in a book, while the last one hid behind a closed curtain. The room, hazed and silent apart from the beeping noise from the machinery and the ill man’s cough, was unbearably suffocating. Anxiously, I made my way to the back of the room to the bed hidden behind the curtain where a familiar face was revealed: my Grandad. His earnest gaze met mine and instantly his weakened, unsteady body sprung up in the bed and a heartfelt smile appeared across his humble, yet timid face. Paralysed with emotion, I resented the fact and legitimacy, which the wise man who has taught me to be strong was now falling apart in front of my eyes. After sitting down in the empty chair next to his bed, my tensed body felt a little more relaxed. He leisurely reached over and intertwined his fingers in mine, stroking my hand in a reassuring manner with his. His hands felt as they always do, rough, aged and strong. Except this time, the warmth had been drained out of them and was now ice cold. Overwhelmed, I looked away. It was unbearable seeing him in such a way: hooked up to wires and machines, breathing through a mask placed on his noise and with a drip in his arm, helpless, distressed and diseased. The world around me became a blur after viewing him in such a provoking way and suddenly the tears began to well up in my eyes. Lost for words, we sat in solemn silence for a while, enjoying being in one another’s company.
“There, there darling,” he mumbled in a comforting manner, trying his best to make the situation somewhat bearable for the both of us; his wearisome eyes implored me to me brave and secure for the both of us.
My mind flooded with memories from all the remarkable times we had spent together. From him teaching me how to kick a football at the age of eight, to when he saw me graduate…