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GETTING AWAY WITH DEATH

The sun was up early in that September day.  Henry had just waked up from his morning shift on a hospital from which he was a cardiovascular surgeon.  The room looked like a mess.  Clothes hug from doors to floors, from bags to rags, the sunlight colored the room yellow.  It was a typical room for a young man, probably in his mid-twenties, who looked much older with his unshaved semi-squared face.  He looked tired.  He always looked like it anyway.  He stood up on his bed and started stretching his big shoulders and with it his chest widened.  He has this fine built for a man that is usually tired.

It would be another day for him.  Another day for sick and dying people.  But every time he went to work he would stay in the lobby of the hospital and would start staring at people who rush to the hospital. 

Once he stared to a man who looked like somewhere in his sixties and was crippled.  The man asked him why he looked so ambiguously at him, he just said “because you’re crippled and you looked so pathetic”.  The man was frenzied and left the hospital.  Patients couldn’t understand him or maybe they wouldn’t want to.  Henry hated sick people.  Maybe that motivated him to be a medical doctor.  He wanted people to be strong and if they don’t he would just stare at them as they plead for help.  He would, however, help them if they would stop being helpless.   

“Paging Dr. Cruz.....Paging Dr. Cruz”.  The nurse called over the hospital pager.  “Emergency.  Please proceed to the ER”.  It repeated several times before Henry stood up.  It sounded terrifying for someone not acquainted with this kind of job.  But for someone like Henry, it’s nothing to hurry up for.  He walked through the brightly-lit corridor.  He past by the bench full of patients, past the room with crying people, pushed aside a cart with meanly looking foods and into the emergency room where there laid an old man.  The old man was bleeding very fast.  His face looked like he just found the monster he was afraid of in his childhood. 

“Good Dr. Henry you’re here.  The patient is in severe bleeding.  Shot in the anterior end of his chest.  Got here about five minutes.  Here’s the X-ray.  Shall we begin the operation?”.  The nurse-in-charge diagnosed the old man as other nurses hurry up to dress Henry for the operation.  In his bright and happy face, Henry just stood there.  He watched the tears dropped on the old man’s face.

“What’s your name?”, Henry asked the old man who obviously can’t even manage to verbalize any word.

“You could look on the registration later doctor.  Can we just begin the operation, I don’t believe this man would stay long!”, one nurse named Lena comprehended the fact that the patient needs an immediate medical attention.  But the notion that Henry isn’t taking the situation any serious just makes her want to quit her job.

“You look pretty when you’re tensed.  But anyway I’ll do my job if you bloody wanted me to”.  Henry just burst out into his British accent.  

“I know I’ve did so many wrong to my wife.  I know I deserve this fate but give me another chance for I’m sorry!”.  Out of nowhere the old man has just surprisingly uttered those words looking at the ceiling.  Henry can’t figure if the man is pleading to him or to God.  After those words, the anesthetic came into action. 

“And yes, you really deserve to die”. Henry said whispering to himself

“What doctor?”, a nurse heard him.

“Nothing, I say we better begin the operation”

            And so they did.   It took about five hours of operation when Henry walked out of the door.  Outside, he was greeted with several family members.  “How’s Johnny doctor?”,  a  woman approached him and asked about his husband.

            “I’m afraid he wasn’t that strong enough”

            “What do you mean doctor?”

            “We all have to accept that there are people who wasn’t just right for this world.”

            “Tell me the truth doctor!”,  now the woman is furious and Henry just loved it.

            “He’s dead.  I’m sorry”.  Upon hearing the word ‘dead’ the woman collapsed in Henry’s feet crying.  She was so pitiful that Henry called one nurse to assist Johnny’s wife to a room adjacent to the ER.  A nurse then came out of the room and assisted the woman to be comforted.  ‘I have to go, if there’s anything I can do for your solace, let me have my words with it”.   Henry exited the scene and proceeded to the lobby where he would spent probably all his vacant time.  

            While sitting he thought of the man.  And yes he wasn’t strong enough.  The old man was weak enough not to confide his sins to his wife.  He wasn’t just right for this world.  He just can’t be trusted with his life.  He knew it wasn’t right, but he was sure it wasn’t false too.   He was about to begin lighting his cigarette when suddenly he felt a great pain piercing the upper chamber of his heart.  It was so intense that the whole of his body felt the agony and the discomfort he thought only Jesus would felt.  He crunched slowly at the floor until his forehead laid flat on the marble finished floor.  A passing nurse saw Henry and immediately called for emergency. 

            After a few minutes, Henry found himself in front of a big blinding light. “You have been in a heart failure.”  Another doctor suddenly over shadowed the bright light. 

            “Yes I know.  I’m in a heart failure not in an amnesia”, Henry just blotted out although almost all of his body is still sick and his hands are numb.

            ‘Why don’t you just lie there and let me monitor your heart beat”

            “I’m a doctor, am I not!  I know what to do so if you may excuse me I still have many patients waiting for me.”  Henry stood up from the soft, white hospital bed.  His head still hurts but still he managed to walk straight to the corridor and down to the lobby.

            He sat down to the same seat he fell his head of for just a couple of hours ago.  Henry could see the black of the night outside as  he overheard two nurses talking.

            “He’s probably insane”

            “Of course he is.  What do you call a person who spent much of his time in the lobby staring than in the ER operating!

            “Well, none other than a weirdo”.  They both burst into laughter.

            “He wouldn’t even probably escape his sickness with that kind of attitude”, the nurse commented.

            “We better get the beds ready for him.  He might as well fall into the ground if we just wait a little longer.”

            “If only I could wish you’re right”.  Henry crossed their line of conversation.  “If only I could wish you’re right”.  

“One of his lucid intervals”, the two whispered to each other and went on with their job.     As for Henry, he was never been seen after that night in the hospital.  Many say that they still see Henry fishing or if not they would encounter Henry in the park still doing his hobby of staring at people.  The two nurses later on died at the age somewhere at their fifties.  They both had heart attacks.  Henry lived not more than eighty-five.  And so they thought he’d only live a minute during that night.  And that they thought even in their deaths.