Eyes sealed shut. Panic seizes, throat closes; gasp! Hush, little boy, don’t cry. Strange hand offers a warm squeeze of reassurance that you still are. Frantically scratch apart the crusted eyelashes. MOTHER!
Hush little boy…
The room is white, clean, sterile but for one miniscule element. Daylight streams through the window illuminating a thousand tiny dust particles that float carelessly, irreverent of the void where mother should be. In her stead is a doctor, occupying the spot on the shiny gray stone floor where the sun would otherwise lazily lay down her rays. Nothing in the scene reflects the unease that builds in boy’s chest.
“The patient was admitted last night with lacerations to the face, neck…”
Boy assumes the doctor is talking about him as he and the young, worry-eyed but healthy nurse are the only ones in the room besides a group of students in white coats carrying clipboards and looking eagerly at the droning doctor in charge.
“…and a crushed collarbone…”
Boy doesn’t know what a collarbone is, but the area below his throat shrieks in his ears of white hot pain
“…surgically extracted fragments of bone…”
compared to all the other little pinches he feels when he moves.
The nurse helps him to sit and offers him a straw with water at the other end in a blue plastic cup.
“Where’s my mom?” boy whispers to the nurse.
She smiles sadly and pats boy’s arm and he’s not sure if she heard his question. Then everyone is gone.
Boy’s eyes begin to leak great tears that splash upon his blue gown, darkening it like so many bruises. He wipes violently at his silliness and stares at the motes of dust until they vanish, the sun obliterated by the menacing shadow of a cloud.
For part five, click here.