Death Comes To Visit
Posted 3 years ago by
I underwent surgery for my scoliosis when I was eleven years old.
Despite being done during a nationwide blackout, the surgery went well. I pulled through and was back in my hospital room in no time.
About a day after the surgery, a doctor came to check my vitals. He wasn't familiar to me though I didn't find this odd since doctors come and go all the time. I thought he was probably one of the interns.
What weirded me out was that he sat beside me and held my hand.
I thought he was just taking my pulse but then he looked at me and said (in my native language of course), "This can all be over."
"Huh?" I asked.
"The next few days will be painful. It will not be easy. Life will not be easy for you. This can all be over. Just say the word," he explained.
I didn't know what to say. I was eleven. I didn't understand.
He smiled, patted my hand, and stood up.
"When you do decide to go, just call on me. It can all be over."
With that, he left.
I told my mother about it when she came back. She didn't believe me. I asked the nurse who was the doctor who took my vitals earlier. She said doctors don't do rounds to take vitals. That was the nurse's job.
True enough, the next few days were the most horrible days of my life. I incurred a very high fever, I had chills, and I needed a blood transfusion. My spine hurt and I was not allowed to take high dosages of pain medications due to my young age.
At the height of the pain, while I was lying in bed trying to numb myself, the doctor came back. He sat beside me again and smiled at me.
In an instant, the pain was gone. I felt better. It was like experiencing heaven after an eternity in hell.
"You can always feel this way. Just say it," he said.
"What do I need to say?" I asked.
"I. Welcome. Death."
I stared at him for a while and thought about it. I was in so much pain before. I was afraid that if he left and I didn't say it, I would experience the excruciating agony again without any hope of relief.
I opened my mouth to say the words but was interrupted by a scream.
I looked at the doorway of my room and saw the kid from the other room frozen in fear. He pointed at the doctor and ran away. I looked again but the doctor was gone.
Over the next few days, my condition got better. In a week, I was allowed to stand up and walk around. So I took the opportunity to visit the kid from the other room.
He refused to tell me what he saw. He said I wouldn't believe him anyway. But he accused me of consorting with the devil.
"I've seen it before, you know. It keeps hanging around your room. I didn't think you would let it in," he said.
"He's a doctor. Of course I would let him in," I said defensively.
"It's a demon. Why did you let it in?" he asked angrily.
"I don't know," I said. I had no idea I let him in. Who was it?
"Get out. You might have brought it here into my room," he told me.
So I left.
That night, in the midst of the dark engulfing my room, I heard a whisper. The voice was deep and it made the hairs on my arms stand up on its ends.
"Someday we will meet again. But for now, Rommel and I have a journey to make."
I screamed and my mother turned on the lights. She assumed I was having a bad dream.
Over the course of the week, Rommel's (the kid from the other room) condition worsened. And on Friday, he was pronounced dead.
I was spooked by the events but did not tell anybody because I didn't want to be accused of causing Rommel's death.
A month later, I was discharged. On my last day in the hospital, I was left alone while my parents paid my bills. And he came back.
I didn't have the courage to tell him to get out. I was too afraid to make him mad.
"I heard you're going home," he said as he sat on the same chair he's sat on many times before.
"My words still stand. Life will not be easy for you. You will experience all kinds of pain. People will not be as kind to you as I am now. Are you sure you don't want what I am offering?" he said.
"Someday I might. But for now, no," I answered, somehow finding the courage to reply.
He smiled. "Then someday, I will come for you. Just call on me." With that, he left again.
That was fourteen years ago. But I still remember the sound of his voice and the look of his face. I don't know why, of all people, he chose to communicate with me. I don't know why he took Rommel who really did nothing. Actually, I wasn't even sure he took Rommel. I wasn't even sure who he was.
He was right, by the way. Life hasn't been easy. There are times that I think about calling on him. Because I know he's still around, waiting for me to say I welcome Death.