Frankly Told: Hello Human

They sat in the hospital waiting room. The smell of antiseptic was so pungent it was liking the back of their throats bitterly. The second hand of the clock seemed to have developed arthritis.

With every passing labcoat, they slid closer and closer to the edge of their cold aluminium benches with faded leather padding. Her heart was a ticking time bomb and anxiety was pushing every button to make the timer move quicker. Her leg bounced up and down beneath the jacket that was placed on her exposed legs to curb the old.

It had to be tonight, she thought to herself. Wondering why she was there in the first place. She didn’t know what to expect after she got the call. It was like all the alcohol left her system and she was as sober as a judge. Safe to say, her heart was slightly warmed that she was still his emergency contact. Her eyes darted with every passing figure of a man so much so her friend placed his hand on her knee.

“I know,” she sighed and got up. “I’m just worried.”

She walked over to the window. The sky had begun to show streaks of amber as the sun prepared to begin its journey across the sky and she pursed her lips thinking of how her night had been cut short. She looked back into the relatively empty waiting room. She felt bad for her two friends who were passed out drunk on the benches.

“Here,” a voice cut through the pensive state she was in.

“Thank you,” she whispered as she took the plastic cup of warm water from his hand.

She couldn’t help but imagine what her friend thought of her. Why was he being so kind after she almost took off his head trying to get him into the car to rush them over to the hospital? He looked worried more than he looked angry. He was sober and probably hated it all the more that the night was ruined.

She baby-sipped the little taste of water she had had the whole night and went back to staring out of the window. In walked in a man and his wife, visibly dragged out of bed by alarming news. Without a second thought, she placed her water down and rushed over to them.

“What happened?” were the only words that could tumble out of the older lady’s mouth after a very tight hug.

“I don’t know much of the details myself,” she said as she ushered them to the group of seats they had colonized. “I was called maybe five or ten minutes before I called you, They said he burst through the door and he was breathing heavily they took him in for a check-up and they haven't said much beyond that.”

“How did he get here?” the man asked her.

“I think he drove himself,” she responded, half in disbelief of what she had just said.

If this was like the previous episodes, it would have taken a miracle for him to drive himself into the hospital and get to the door.

“Why did they call you first and not us?” the man asked in a huff. “We are his-”

“Not right now,” the woman hushed him in a sharp whisper. “Let’s just be grateful he is still here with us and wait for what the doctors have to say.”

The trio disbanded. The man sat down for a few seconds before he was up on his feet and at the receptionist's desk, talking to the on-duty receptionist. The older woman sat close. Her arms wrapped around her, holding the shoal around her shoulders. Her eyes closed, probably in silent prayer.

Left to her thoughts again she wondered, why had they called her first and not his parents. Her heart stung a little. In her mind raced the possibility of him not making it and it brought an emptiness to her chest. She took a deep breath as tears welled up in her eyes. Perhaps it wasn’t good mojo to think like this. Maybe she needed to send good vibes to the universe and they would come back to her.

Memories flooded back in and kept her mind occupied so much so that she didn’t realize that she blacked out for a second. When she woke up she could only hear the faint murmurs of the woman and the attending doctor. They seemed to be positive words said because the older woman’s face lit up and old man placed a hand on her shoulder.

The doctor walked away for a little bit. Her grogginess caused everything to dance along the line of dream and reality. The alcohol had taken her limbs and all she could do was battle her eyelids as she tried to bear witness to the moment. She fought a good fight but lost.

Only to be woken up with a hand on her shoulder. Her eyes fluttered open to meet her friend’s face. He simply nodded and helped her to sit upright. The sun was now up and the brightness took a second to adjust to. She blinked three times and when her eyes could bear the light, there he was. On a wheelchair, with a half-crooked smile.

“Hello human,” he whispered.

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Frankhie Muthumbi

Frankhie Muthumbi

Perfectly Imperfect || Human, Alexithymiac Poet, Writer, Musician