She looked at the clock while having a sip of the hot coffee she bought from the machine in the office. It was disgusting, but it would at least give her enough strength to get through the hours that she had left. Just two more and then Friday would be over. She could only think of what she was going to have for dinner, followed by getting into bed to watch a random show on Netflix—something that would make her forget about the day.
As she turned back to her work, a phone on a desk in the newsroom started to vibrate. It was hers.
Mom. She immediately ended the call. “You know that I am at work. What is the matter?” she texted quickly hoping that her boss hadn’t seen her.
When she read the response, she wished she never had to see those two awful sentences. “Your uncle is picking you up in 10 minutes. Dad is dying.” She tried to hold back the tears, but it was too late—they were already running down her face. She stood up and went to talk to her boss. Her voice was cracking, and in a single look, the boss understood.
As soon as she got out of the office, she realized she’d forgotten her phone charger and her notebook, but that did not matter anymore. She waited impatiently for her uncle’s car to appear.
As soon as she got in the car, the look on her uncle’s face made her feel like a lost child. Neither of them said a word during the journey to the hospital. She could not move.
The long walk through the hallways of the hospital made her feel sick. Those pale blue walls were closing in with each step as the corridor seemed to get longer.
She entered the room slowly, afraid of what she was going to find there. Her fists were closed. She was stepping into her biggest fear. He was lying in the bed. The white bed, with the white sheets, the white pillows, the white blanket, the logo of the hospital on every single thing of the small room. It made her feel dizzy.
She approached him and grabbed his hand. She started shaking and crying loudly. He was not gone yet, but the drugs were starting to kick in. “What is going on, baby?” he asked in a whisper. Those five words felt like five knives sticking in her chest.
She could no longer see anything because of the tears, but she grabbed his hand as hard as she could in an attempt to make him understand that she was there until the very end. “I won't let go. I promise.”
Two hours went by while her family entered the room one by one to say their goodbyes. She could no longer stand on her feet, so she sat down on the uncomfortable chair in front of the bed as she carefully watched his breathing slowly stop.
She tried to relax for a minute, and as the tension of the day disappeared she started to get sleepy. She felt guilty for wanting to sleep at that time, but she could no longer bear it. The pain, the tiredness, her mind trying to work out what was really going on. She felt overwhelmed while she closed her eyes for a minute. And it was then when she suddenly felt her mother touching her arm. It was over. She checked her phone: 3:12 AM on the 10th of June, a day that would mark her forever.