Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ONE BEAT: Chapter 3

Chapter 3: To Watch Over Her

The following day John fulfilled his promise and came to Sheryl’s room with new clothes for her. Peter underwent his scheduled transplant so John was with Sheryl the whole day. Several days have passed and she was walking once again but still he never left her side.

One sunny day John and Sheryl were walking along the yard when suddenly he heard Peter’s voice shouting. “John! John! Shout back so I know where you are!” said the little kid. John and Sheryl turned to see Peter with his parents and Jean. “Hey Buddy! Long time no see! Come over here!” John shouted and Peter nodded. The little kid still had the bandages on his eyes and he was walking towards John slowly guided by a cane.

Peter reached John and hugged him at once. “Jean why is his bandages still on?” John asked the nurse. “He wanted you to be the one to remove them” Jean said. John looked at Peter’s parents and they both smiled and nodded. “Come here buddy, I will take them off. You could have let the doctor or Nurse Jean remove them you know” he told the kid and started removing the bandages. As John was about to remove gauze in both eyes Peter started shaking. “I wanted you to be the first person I see” the little child revealed. John’s hands trembled and tears began to fill his eyes.

“Okay Peter open your eyes slowly. You won’t be able to see clearly at first so don’t worry let your eyes adjust” he told him. Peter slowly opened his eyes and kept blinking several times. After a few seconds, “John why are you crying?” and everyone around him were moved to tears. John laughed and hugged his friend tightly as Peter began looking around him.

John let go of Peter as the boy’s parents hugged him. “John who is she?” Peter asked as he pointed towards Sheryl. “That’s Sheryl, and this is Nurse Jean over here” John said. “Sheryl, that’s the girl you always talk about, the one you…” Peter said but John quickly rushed towards him and covered his mouth.

“Yes the one who I am watching over too like the rest of the patients” John continued and removed his hand on the kid’s mouth. Jean raised an eyebrow and looked at John, Sheryl was blushing and Peter’s parents were laughing. “She is pretty, I hope you two get married” Peter said suddenly and John held his hand and said “Now let’s go see your doctor and have him check on your eyes before you start revealing all my secrets” John said and he looked at Jean and Sheryl. “Go ahead I will keep your sweetheart company” Jean said and winked at him.

That afternoon Peter was discharged of the hospital and John hid inside Sheryl’s room. “Why won’t you see Peter off?” asked Sheryl. John sat on the floor flipping a coin and looked at her “I am not good with emotional stuff. Its better this way and I know Peter will understand” he said. Sheryl looked at the ceiling and smiled. “You are a wonderful person John, you took care of him, you paid for everything, and you even acted blind so you can understand him” she said.

“The reason why I acted blind was to be ready just in case they had no eyes ready for him; I was willing to give him mine if it was possible. So you can say I was preparing for my own blindness” John revealed and he laughed. Sheryl looked at him and was surprised to hear what he said. “You were willing to give him your own eyes?” she asked. John nodded “He is just a kid; I want him to enjoy life. Me I don’t mind being blind, it’s difficult but yeah I was ready” he told her. Sheryl could not say anything else but she was starting to admire him.

“By the way how come no one has come to visit you? Where are your parents? Where are your relatives or your boyfriend?” he asked her. Sheryl once again looked at the ceiling and closed her eyes. “My parents are dead, my boyfriend broke up with me last Christmas Eve that’s why I ended up here” Sheryl told him.

“So what happens now when you get discharged from here?” John asked her. Sheryl smirked and said “Go back to my apartment and find a new job perhaps” she answered and smiled. “A New job? Why are you not happy with your current job?” he asked. “I am but he will be there too, so it would just make me sad seeing him every day” she revealed. John stood up and rearranged the flowers on the bedside table and didn’t say a word.

“Tell me, if I do get discharged would you hide from me too?” Sheryl asked him. John smiled at her and nodded “I told you I’m not good with emotional stuff” he said. Sheryl managed to fake a smile and sat up in bed. “So I won’t be seeing you tomorrow then. I am going home tomorrow, they said I can go” she said softly.

“Tomorrow…yes I will be busy tomorrow…I guess I won’t be seeing you anymore” John stated and held her hands. “So since we are not going to see each other anymore lets have our last date, I will treat you to dinner” he told her. “But it’s too early for dinner” Sheryl reacted. “I know so first we go to the yard and walk around for the last time” he told her and he patted the seat of the wheelchair.

“I can walk you know” she told him. John looked at her and said “I know, this is not for you” and he sat down on the wheelchair. “This time you push me around. Consider it your exercise” he said and smiled at her. Sheryl laughed and gamely pushed the wheelchair and they went out of the room.

John and Sheryl went around the yard until the sun set. They ate dinner at the cafeteria and enjoyed chatting until it was already late at night. He brought her to her room and bade her farewell. John walked the silent hall holding his mobile phone and he was in deep thought.

The following morning Sheryl was discharged and John was nowhere to be found. John was on the roof with a doctor as they watched Sheryl take a cab. “Hey Jeff do you think it’s too late for me to take chemo?” he asked the person beside him. The man puffed on his cigarette and looked at John. “What made you decide to do it now?” Jeff asked him. John sighed and said “So I can watch over her.”