We arrived at the Doctor’s rooms quietly anxious, but on time. The reception was empty, but for two girls having an animated conversation about someone’s sister’s, auntie’s baby. They looked up with surprise to see us standing at the reception desk, and asked what we needed. We told them we were there to see the Doctor, to which the older of the two said “oh no, doctor’s not in today, he has surgeries all day.”
We looked at each other, confused, and told them that the town office had organised for us to be there today, at this time. Ten minutes passed, a few phone calls were made and some awkward glances taken in our direction. The younger woman eventually came over and showed us into the doctor’s office, saying kindly “doctor will be with you shortly, he said he would pop over and see you between surgeries.” she smiled apologetically and hurried out of the room.
It felt odd sitting there in the doctor’s quiet, poorly lit room, just us. Like; we shouldn’t really be there. We were sitting side by side, we didn’t speak that I remember, but we knew that this was not how good news was delivered. Pale, shaken and too afraid to open our mouths for fear of what might happen, we waited. Barely breathing, it was like we were existing in a twilight zone. We knew that today was the day that our lives would change forever, and not because of anything we had or hadn’t done. Things would never be the same again. I heard a voice in my head reminding me to breathe. That’s all I could do.
Our nightmare was about to begin. Dressed in scrubs, the doctor hurried in not long after we had sat down. It felt like an eternity. He sat, pulled his chair toward us and brushed his still thick hair back over the top of his head, in what seemed like a nervous gesture. He looked at us very seriously, with much kindness, and thanked us for coming in. He explained that he didn’t want to give us this kind of news over the phone.
I heard myself exhale sharply and looked straight at my husband. He was bracing himself, I could tell because of the way he was sitting – stiff, straight back, hands clenched tightly. Then came the words we didn’t want to hear.
“I’m sorry this looks like it might be nasty” the Doctor said, with great compassion and care.
I felt hot tears fill my eyes as his body slump beside me, this man I love, like the breath had just been sucked out of him. His chin quivered ever so slightly. In a state of shock, we went on to speak with the doctor about what would happen next, like we hadn’t just heard the worst news of our lives. Yes, our nightmare had begun.
*A time for Grace : working title/first draft -every now and then the daily prompt word inspires me to look at and work on the notes for a book that I might actually finish one day, loosely (and sometimes tightly) based on actual events.
Thank you daily prompt…for the prompting 🙂