Image: “2018 March Art Challenge: Tennis shoes” by sarazambranotarriño. Source
Author: Leah Didisheim
[Content Warning: Medical intervention]
I had never noticed how my feet looked on the ground. I guess, with our busy lives we never have time to notice the little things. But since I was waiting here and I wanted to grab any chance at any distraction possible to forget the person not that far away on the table navigating between two worlds, I had started to look at my feet. When this is over, I’ll definitely buy a new pair of shoes. I owe myself that. If you had told me this morning this was going to happen, I would have made the most of it. I would have kissed them and said I loved them. But no, I had to hurry to take the kids to school, and go to work. And to be fair, he had to hurry too. We barely saw each other in the mornings anymore. It’s the evening we spent more time together. And still, our lives had become so busy that it was difficult to find each other on the same timeline. In any other circumstances, I would have been happy to ditch work to have a break. I guess I had never imagined my first break in six months would have been here. Scared to death of what was going to happen. And having to deal with sending messages about what was happening to people who cared. And the kids. What was I going to say to the kids. They’re so young. He was so young. No. No, no, no. He is so young. I looked up to see if any white lab coat were coming towards me. And if someone was, what was their eyes saying? Were they going to break me? To tell me I was a wid…? I couldn’t even bring myself to say the word. I could feel my heart hitting my chest, my breath speeding up. No, I wasn’t going to cry. Not now, not here. I looked up again, a white blouse was coming towards me. I held my breath.
It was the end of the day. Today hadn’t been so bad. Some days I had to think real hard to remember why I had chosen this life. Every new death was a new heart to break. That was my job. But then, other days, you could bring joy to the eyes of people waiting. I had that power. And these days I remembered. I looked at the clock. Three hours left and I could go home to my partner and my kid. And I heard yet another siren coming closer. I sighed. It had been a good day. The day when almost nothing bad happened. One could almost describe it as a quiet day. It appeared to be yet another heart attack. Poor guy, he seemed quite young. He was put on one of the beds and moved to the operation room right away. I started to go in, and just looked back for a second. I saw a woman holding her tears, probably the wife. I sighed again and looked up. Please, let me give her good news. I wasn’t religious but sometimes, when I didn’t know what else to do, I looked up and prayed. I didn’t want to go back home with another broken heart on the heart for not succeeding to heal a heart… I took the elevator and went to the operation room. I had done thousands of surgeries of this kind and it was usually going well. And he was still young, so it had to, hopefully, go well and quick this time too. I went in there and started the surgery. Most of the time I could have done it eyes closed. After about three hours – it was not as easy as I had hoped – it was over. I looked up again and sighed. He was going to recover but his life was definitely going to have to change… I washed my hands and left. I took the elevator up again and moved towards his wife to tell her the good news. I smiled. I was not going to break another heart today.