‘How can this happen? How will I afford for these? I already have so much in my hands how will I do this?’ I whispered through my sobs, keeping my voice as low as I could so that Austin doesn’t wake up.
At the hospital
I hate hospitals. I don’t like medicines too. My best friend Zoey was sitting beside me reading a magazine she found in the centre table. Can someone tell her that I hate medicines? Zoey has been my friend since I was 9, we went to same school and now we are in the same high school. Even though she lives in a different neighborhood, which is still near the one I live in we go to high school by her car every morning. Zoey and I are studying at Westwood High.
The screeching voice of receptionist jolts me out of my thoughts and motion’s me go to the room in front of me. I look at Zoey, who moves her gaze from the magazine in her hands and looks at me and then nods her head softly telling me to go ahead. I get up walk towards the room while my legs wobbled as if I am practicing walking for the first time and opened the door slowly with my very shaking hands. As the door opened the irritating smell of medicines filled my nostrils as cringed at the smell. I opened my eyes and took in the interior of the room in front of me, which had a bed at the far corner of the room which I presume is for the small checkups, with some machines besides it, at my very left was the doctor’s table where a desk name plate was sitting which had Mr. Charles written on it with capital bold letters.
Behind the table was a young and handsome man wearing a pair glasses while intensely starting at some papers while a pen was dancing in his large hands. He looked not more than twenty – five to me, I tilted my head in order to study and make out those sharp features of his. His jaw line was too sharp for my liking but he still looks handsome, his eyes were soft while staring at the papers in his hands, his hair was styled in a neat manner which looked brown in the sunlight. The clearing of a throat snaps me out of my thoughts and I look at the man staring at me and giggling. I look down at my shoes as the familiar feeling of blood rushing to my cheeks followed, and I pinched my eyes shut and took a long breath and opened my eyes and lifted my head only to meet the amused brown eyes directly staring at me while a stupid grin was set in his face.
‘If you are done with ogling your doctor you may please take a seat.’ He says while nodding towards the chairs placed in front of his desk. I kept my eyes on my shoes and moved towards the chairs and sat in one of the chairs. There was a thick silence in room for some seconds; while I teared my eyes off my shoes and looked up to him my gaze met his. With his one eyebrow arched up he looked at me as if questioning me. I quickly and quietly handed him my file to him and put my eyes back to my shoes while he looks into it.
“So Miss Sterling according to my assistants there is nothing wrong in these reports here. Is there any other issue you think is not right and is weird, happening these days lately?” he asks me softly.
I nod my head shyly.
“If you could please elaborate and tell me those issues”
I think about his word for some minutes and then suddenly my tongue automatically moves and I speak “I have been vomiting since a week and I am feeling dizzy. I have lost my appetite too. Headaches are common nowadays and my vision gets blurry time to time.” I blurt out everything without taking a break.
The doctor looks at me for couple of minutes blinking his eyes and the takes a deep breath and calls a nurse and asks her something about some room and she nods and walks away.
He stands up and gestures me silently to do the stand up and follow him. I stand up quickly and follow him through the passages quietly, trying to keep up with his brisk walk with those long legs. After climbing some level up and taking some lefts and rights we were standing in front of a door with a board reading MRI. Doctor Charles talks to a man standing in white lab coat as same as him holding a pad, inside the room who looks at me and then nods his head. Mr. Charles looks at me and gestures me to come inside. I silently walk inside the room taking in the room when a petite and middle aged nurse comes to me holding a blue clothing material and asks me to change into it while pointing at a door. I walk into the room and change into it quickly noticing it is hospital gown. The same woman then directs me to lie down on the machine. I look towards the glass window where there are some computers my eyes dance in the room and then my gaze meets Mr. Charles soft gaze, who is looking at me soft a soft smile. He nods his head and I walk towards the machine nervously and lie down.
The woman fixes some kind of machine or so on my head a then tells me some instructions and goes to the same room as the men who are staring at me. I close my eyes and started reciting the prayer, something my mother used to tell me when I was small. After the minutes of torture which seem to be everlasting, we walked out of the room and went to the elevator. In the elevator it was pin drop silence, as if we were scared to say something. Reaching our floor we walked out of elevator and walked to Mr. Charles room in an awkward silence, entering the room the doctor let out a heavy sigh and sat on his chair and pinched the bridge of his nose. He motioned me to sit in the chair and looked at me with…… pity? Sympathy? They are the emotions that I don’t like.
After the long silence and intense staring the doctor clears his throat “After I get the results from the MRI department I will call you up and tell you the next date of appointment. Till then take care of yourself and please take these medicines for a week regularly without any delay. Other than these just eat healthy and avoid working for too many hours straight. Good day Miss Sterling.” He writes something on the file I gave him earlier, I guess the names of the medicines he asked me to have daily, and then hands me the file back.
I keep my posture normal so that he doesn’t ask me anymore questions, but inside I was screaming I hate medicines….
I nod my head and mumble a small thank you and slowly get up from the chair and drag my legs through the door toward the sofas where Zoey is almost asleep. I shake my head while letting out a small laugh, it has only been few minutes and she is looks so tired and exhausted as if she is one who went through all the procedures and tests, I tapped on her shoulder and she jumps from her seat suddenly and lets out a scream turning the attention of all the patients and people sitting in the reception on us, they give us a pointed look and then return to their work. I giggle at her and look at her with a raised eyebrow while she glares at me with a look saying ‘it’s not funny….’ We leave the hospital with a curious and whining Zoey who is asking me thousands of questions about the appointment, I keep my mouth shut until we reach her car and get seated.
As soon as I close my car Zoey continues bombarding me her questions.
“What did the doctor say?” I open my mouth to speak but she cuts me off with another question.
“Is it something serious?”
“Should I be worried? Oh of course I should be worried.”
“Hey! Why are you not telling me something?”
“Are we keeping secrets now?”
She continues with her questions until I scream, “Will you let me speak?” She opens her mouth then closes it and then nods. I take a deep breath and sigh.
“The doctor has just prescribed me some medicines for a week and has asked me for another appointment after the results of MRI is received. Until then I just have to take the medicines.” She looks at me and blinks her eyes for a minute then opens her mouth to say something but closes it again and then huffs and slumps down in seat. I look at her and giggle, she so curious and has no patience.
I shake my head and put the keys in ignition and turn the car out of the parking lot toward the closest medical shop. Through the whole ride Zoey says nothing and just looks out of window, a frown on her face while she seems to be thinking about something very hard, I look at her and sigh. I stop the car at a red light and look at her and hold her hand, she looks at our hands then her gaze settles on my eyes and she huffs.
“What wrong Zoey? What are you thinking about so hard?” I spoke softly as I squeeze her hand.
Her lips form a pout and she finally speaks, “I am just worried about you”
I keep my tears from falling, how did I become so lucky and found Zoey as a friend. She worries about me as if she is my own sister. I thank the lord for giving me Zoey as a friend after all the tragedies I went through.
I let out a sniffle and the squeeze her hand in a comforting manner, “everything will be fine Zoey, you are just thinking too much”
She looks at me and frowns then nods her head. A loud horn snaps us out of our little chat and I look that the light is green already. I push the gear and step on the gas pedal and take a right towards the medical shop.
I park the car at the small parking lot and hop off the car telling Zoey to be in the car, but the stubborn girl hops off the car juts after me and follows me to the car. We enter the shop and I smile at the old lady at the counter and hand her the paper with the medicines written on it. She looks at the paper and then goes inside and returns with some boxes in her hand which I presume are my medicines. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up straight when I see the number of medicines in her hand. Zoey looks at me and then shakes her head while I frown while looking at the lady with medicines in her hand.
The lady punches in some numbers on the computer on the counter and then softly says, “That would be 250$. Debit or cash?” My eyebrows immediately went up at the price of the medicines and while I stand in shock there Zoey pays the amount for the medicines and thanks the lady and drags me out of the shop. I tug at her hand pull us to a stop; she turns around with a questioning look on her face.
“What now?” she asks in scolding voice that tells me that she is getting irritated.
“You can’t just pay for my medicines like that Zoey.” I exclaim. She shakes her head and continues to drag me towards the car.
“I am the one who dragged you to the hospital Dian and you can’t pay for the medicines if you want to pay for Aus’s school this month”, she says softly.
“But~” I start speaking but she cuts me off,
“No buts Dian, I forced you to go to hospital so I paid for the medicines. Or would you like me to pay the entire fees for Aus’s school? Hmm...? She asks me while raising her eyebrow.
I sigh at the bitter truth her words hold and let her drag me towards the car. She gets in the driver’s seat after pushing me in the passenger’s seat. She pulls the car to the start and drives to our next destination, the café.
The drive takes about 10 minutes from the medical store and to the café and I hop off her car and wave Zoey off before shouting a loud good evening while she pulls out of the café after shouting ‘you too’ I smile and look at my watch and then rush inside the café with my bag when I realize I was already late. The door opens with sound of the bell indicating our arrival and the moment I step inside the doors of the café the divine smell of caffeine enters my nostrils and a smile instantly appears on my lips. I at the walk towards the counter while looking at my left and right where I spot a cheerful group teenager at the right corner ranting about something that I can’t hear from where I am standing, there are some teenagers in the far left corner where there is less chattering then the right corner, working on their laptops probably doing their assignments.
I smile and walk directly towards the changing room behind the counter where the workers usually change their uniforms and keep their belongings throughout their shift. I open the door and greet the workers who were sitting there chatting and enjoying their break; they all smile and greet me back with some nods and small waves. I change into my uniform and place my bag in the locker and walk back to the counter. I stand at the counter and look at the people sitting and chatting, I shake my head and move to the work station as no customer was at the billing counter. At the work station I spot Lilium working on glass of Iced Americano for a customer. She sighs while pushing the strands of her brown wavy hair which were tied in ponytail which stopped just above her waist. I smile and walk towards her and pat her shoulder and she suddenly lets out a shriek and turns. What’s with everyone shouting and getting scared today?
“You scared me Dian” she murmur’s with a hand on her chest.
“You get scared every time I do it Lily” I say while shaking my head.
“No I don’t, you are the one who gets in silently like a ghost” she scoffs.
I laugh and open my mouth to say something when I hear someone at the billing counter I smile at her then walk to the counter to take the orders. After taking the order of the lady I walk towards the work station to prepare her order. I pack her order and shout out her to let her know her order is ready. The lady picks up her order and walks away while saying a small thank you.
I glance at my watch and sigh closing the computer and walking towards the locker to change out of my uniform. As I step in the room I hear Lilium ranting on her phone about money related issue. I glance at her then walk towards my locker and change into my normal jeans and shirt and swing my on my right shoulder.
I glance at Lilium again when she lets out a sigh and smile at her. She smiles back and picks up her belongings and we both walk out of the café leaving the guard to lock the doors and switch off the lights. Lilium and I walk together to our homes as we live in the same building, we are neighbors since me and Austin shifted in this apartment.
I look at Lilium; she looks deep in her thoughts after the phone call in the locker room. She is generally not this quiet, she generally keeps in ranting about her classes or her long times crush Jared Alderidge. But right now she is quiet and keeps on walking while looking at her shoes. I shook her by her shoulder which causes to jump in surprise.
“What’s bothering you Lily?” I ask my eyebrows furrowed.
She looks at me for a moment then lets out a long breath, “my father just called me, he needs money again. I just gave him some money last week and now he wants more. I don’t know why he doesn’t get it that it’s not easy for me to make this money.”
“Why don’t you report your father to the police Lily? May be then he will understand you and not trouble you anymore.” I ask her after some seconds.
She shakes her head then looks up towards the dark sky with millions of stars twinkling.
“I can’t Dian, you don’t get it. He is the only family I have after my mother died 6 years ago. I can’t, even if I want to I can’t.”
I sigh while looking at her and put a hand on shoulder for comfort. She looks at me and smiles softly. I wonder how she maintains that smile even in situations like that.
We walk towards our apartment while I keep ranting about our fucked up lives.