Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ONE BEAT: Chapter 1

Jonathan Paul Diaz

The streets were empty and Christmas carols could be heard echoing throughout the city. It was Christmas Eve and it was snowing outside. Inside one apartment one couple was not enjoying the festive occasion, love was lost.
“Why do you mean this will be our last Christmas together?” Sheryl asked as tears started to accumulate on her eyes.
“I’m sorry to ruin your Christmas. I was supposed to break up with you tomorrow” Anthony told her.
“What’s happening Anthony? What do you mean you are breaking up with me?” she asked him as tears started to fall on her cheeks. Anthony took a deep breath and moved away from her.
“I’m sorry Sheryl but I can’t take it anymore. With your heart condition we barely cant do anything fun. Everything we do is boring me already” he revealed and looked away.
“I thought you loved me. Why can’t you understand my situation? Can’t you wait till I get better?” she told him.
“I love you but I did not sign up to be your care giver, you always get sick and when you do I have to leave my work. We can’t even have…” he said but did not finish his sentence.
“Say it, go ahead say it, and can’t have what? Is that what you want? Here come on forget my condition, let’s take the risk. Will that make you stay?” she said and started to undress.
Anthony stood up and turned around, she held onto his arms but he forcefully let go of them and walked towards the door. “I’m sorry I can’t take it anymore” he said and he went out and closed the door behind him.
A few seconds later he came back in “I forgot my car keys” he said and he saw Sheryl sprawled on the floor holding her chest. “Sheryl! Sheryl! Oh my God!” he shouted in shock and he quickly dialed 911 on his mobile phone.
Chapter 1: Nasty Man
Sheryl opened her eyes and everything was blurry. “Oh so you are finally awake” said a man’s voice. She turned her head where the voice was coming from and she saw a blurry image of a man in white. “Where am I?” she asked him.
“You’re in heaven my child” said the man and Sheryl was so shocked to hear that and she quickly rubbed her eyes. Everything was starting to get clearer and she could see the man standing beside her bed. The man starts laughing and says “I’m just kidding you, you are in a hospital. You have been here for a week.”
Sheryl began to calm down as her vision was back to normal. Beside her was a good looking man in a white coat writing something on a chart. “Are you a doctor? What happened to me?” she asked as she tried to get up. “You suffered a heart attack but don’t worry you will be fine now” the man told her. Sheryl’s eyes were beginning to close once again “A heart attack…doc I feel sleepy…that was a nasty joke…” she said and fell asleep.
Sheryl woke up again as she felt a cold hand on her arm, as she opened her eyes it was a middle aged woman taking her pulse. “Are you a nurse here?” she softly asked. The middle aged woman smiled at her “It’s nice to see you awake already, my name is Estella and yes I am a nurse here” she said.
“The doctor here a while ago, he was a nasty man, he said I was in heaven” she revealed. Estella laughed a bit and continued to fill up the chart. “What was the name of this nasty doctor?” the nurse asked her. “I didn’t ask him but the name on the nameplate said he was Cartwright” Sheryl told her. Estella laughed harder as she fixed the flowers on the bedside table.
“That was not doctor Cartwright, that nasty man you are talking about is John. Don’t mind him he always does that to patients” Estella told her as she did some finishing touches on the flowers.
“Have you seen my boyfriend? I mean the ones who left those flowers. Was he here all the time?” Sheryl asked. Estella looked at her and smiled, “Sorry but you did not have any visitors except one, and he was the one who brought you these flowers everyday” she revealed.
“So he did come to visit me, Anthony that’s his name, he is my boyfriend” Sheryl ecstatically told her. Estella shook her head. “It was John, ever since they brought you here in the recovery room he came here often. Don’t worry it’s a habit of his, but it’s the first time he ever brought flowers for someone” she said and giggled.
Sheryl became sad knowing that it was not Anthony who gave the flowers. He too did not come to visit her and so reality bit her, he really meant what he said on Christmas Eve. Tears started falling down her cheeks and Estella looked away and pretended not to notice. She wiped her eyes but the tears would not stop. “I will come back later to give you your sponge bath and I will take you out for a little sunshine” Estella said and she walked out of the room.
An hour elapsed and Sheryl finished her sponge bath and was sitting on a wheelchair. Estella was pushing her out of the room as two men on wheelchairs dashed by. Two men were racing down the hall, an elderly man and John. “You’re not going to win this race old man, Is this all you’ve got? Come on gramps!” shouted John as other patients were cheering the old man on. Two patients on the end of the hall were holding a string as their finish line, John slowed down and the old man crossed the line first. Cheers and claps were heard all around and the old man turns to John and gives him a high five.
Sheryl looked at Estella and asked “That John is he a mental patient here?” and the nurse laughed loudly. “Oh no, he owns this hospital. Everyone loves him; he keeps on playing with patients everyday especially the old ones and the kids” Estella revealed.
Sheryl managed a smile and looked at John as he was escorting the old man back to his room. John passed Sheryl and Estella and he smiled at them. “Come on now you have to get some sunshine therapy” the nurse said and they went out to the yard.
After an hour in the sun the two once again see John, this time he was wearing a blind fold and holding a cane. John was with a little boy who was holding his hand as they were walking around the yard. “Estella what is he doing this time?” Sheryl asked the nurse. “Ah, that little kid is Peter, he is blind. John always does that, he acts blind too so he could better understand Peter” Estella said.
“So he isn’t a bad person after all, still it was a bad joke” Sheryl softly said. “John sleeps with Peter in his room. Peter’s parents have to work two shifts to cover his medical expenses so John volunteered to take care of him. And let me tell you a secret, John is not letting them pay a single cent, he even has scheduled Peter for eye transplants” Estella further revealed.
John tripped and fell over as the little boy kept laughing. Sheryl turns to Estella and said “Is he married?” and she smiled. The two ladies laughed and giggled and Estella brought Sheryl back to her room. “I will bring your lunch later and tomorrow I won’t be here, it’s my day off. Don’t worry someone will take my place” Estella told her. Sheryl smiled and asked “How about Nurse John?” and Estella laughed. “I thought you would say that, he isn’t a nurse but I will try to ask him” she laughed and they both once again giggled.