Luminous (part 3)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

She held the child in her arms, rocking to and fro, and tears rolling down her cheeks like rivers of hot blood. Her head rises… she is blinded by her tears, but she remembers. Her mind races back, back to the moment when she was there. Holding the ticket; staring at the number… her number: black ink against a pale white rectangle piece of paper…waiting, hearing them call all the other numbers before hers.
“Number 52!” Came a woman’s noncommittal voice.
“I’m right here, here! Here…” Rhyana nervously jumps up from her seat, stepping on and over people apologetically. She makes her way toward the nurse in the window.
“Hello, can I help you?” Says the nurse; her blond hair is tied up in a ball slightly above her ears.
“I’m number 52,” says Rhyana, as she hands the nurse her pale white ticket.
“Okay, I’ll need you to fill out these consent and disclaimer forms please.” The nurse hands her a clipboard and a pen. “You can have a seat over there.” She nods her head to the left.
“Thank you…” Rhyana says, as she takes the clipboard and pen. “Oh,” she adds before she leaves. “Does it hurt?”
The nurse tilts her head slightly while squinting her eyes. “Does what hurt?” She asks, genuinely perplexed.
“Getting to be so smart?” Says Rhyana in a matter of fact tone.
The nurse shakes her head. “Only if you’re really dumb.” She says under her breath…but Rhyana had already walked away.
Anxiously, Rhyana fills out the forms. She is slow, and after a few complaints from the others waiting to be seen, the nurse calls her number again.
“Number 52?” She says; there is impatience in her voice.
Rhyana is lost in the maze of papers.
“52!” Yells the nurse, as she leans over the counter to give Rhyana eye contact.
“Oh!” says Rhyana, startled by the nurse. “What?”
“Come here,” the nurse commands in a harsh whisper.
Rhyana slides the pen onto the clipboard guard and timidly walks over to the nurse.
“Give that to me,” The nurse reaches for the clipboard.
Rhyana hands her the clipboard.
The nurse examines the papers. Sighs audibly. “Just sign here: here, here and here and I will fill out the rest for you.”
Rhyana signed.
“Thank you,” says the nurse. “The doctor will see you now.”
Rhyana couldn’t help but smile. She was about to see the doctor. All her life seemed pale in comparison to what would happen in the next few moments.

Another nurse, this one with a ponytail opened the door to the inner office. Her red hair bounced with a life of its own. Rhyana giggled. “Your hair looks like a cats tail!” She said.
“Thanks,” said the nurse sardonically, as she opened a door into a room and directed her to sit. “The doctor will be in shortly.”
Rhyana sat. Waiting. Staring at the pictures on the walls, reading some of the medical cartoons.
There came a knock at the door. “Can I come in?” Came a woman’s voice.
“Yeah, it’s cool,” said Rhyana.
The doctor opened the door, came inside and sat down.
“How are you feeling today?” asked the doctor.
“Okay, I guess…”
“Well, Rhyana… can I call you Rhyana?”
“Um, sure… my friends call me Rhy…”
“Ree? That’s very cute. Well Ree… as you know, in order to begin the procedure you requested, certain criteria need to be met. Your health and safety is as much a priority to us as is your state of being. That is why we had you come in for a pre-screening.”
“I know…”
“Well, Rhy… your white blood cell level is quite high, signifying Leukocytosis, and you have an iron deficiency…”
Rhyana began to cry.
“We can help you with your iron deficiency with vitamin supplements, but there is no way you will be able to get on the program you requested for the next two years. I’m sorry Rhy.”
Rhyana began to shake her head. “I don’t understand… why do I have to wait two years! Why can’t I do it NOW!!!”
“Rhy… calm down. You mean, you don’t know?” The doctor leaned forward, putting her hand on Rhyana’s knee.
Rhyana shook her head. “Know? Know what?”

* * *


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