I don’t know what I’m doing back at this window; this is the third time I’ve stood in this spot in the last hour alone.
I know I should do something, anything other than just linger here… but I don’t know how to break away.
There’s something keeping me here right now, and in a world where nothing seems to make sense anymore, I need this feeling, if only to get through the next few minutes.
I glance back at the girl in the bed.
If I had to guess, I’d say she was about nineteen years old – far too young to look the way she does.
She’s pale and gaunt and if I hadn’t had to witness first-hand my sister’s life in this world coming to an end, I would have sworn that nobody had ever looked as close to death as the girl behind this small glass window.
She’s motionless. So, so still and I worry for a moment that she’s dead too.
The only thing reassuring me she’s still alive, even though it’s really no business of mine, is the continuous beep from the monitor next to her, making it clear that her heart is, in fact, still beating – that it’s doing the very thing that my sister’s isn’t.
A loud sob rips through my body at the thought.
Doctors and nurses move around the hall but none of them bother me; most of them avoid eye contact entirely.
They know why I’m still aimlessly wandering the halls of the intensive care unit.
My sister may have been brain dead for a couple of days, but now she’s officially gone. The machines aren’t breathing for her anymore – there’s nothing left keeping her alive.
I don’t know what to do, I’ve never felt this alone or unsure in my entire life.
I know I need to leave; I need to be anywhere that’s not inside these hospital walls, but I can’t seem to make that happen.
I know I can’t stay here forever, but I’m terrified that walking out the door will make everything even more real than it already is.
I’m not sure who I’m trying to fool with my logic – this couldn’t possibly be any more real, and deep down I know that it’s not going to make a difference if I stay or go.
I take one more look at the girl and promise myself that this will be the last time I’ll ever see her.
I allow my eyes to linger on her motionless form, and as I finally find the will to turn around, her arm moves, and my breath catches in my throat.
I watch her as though she’s some type of miracle, and maybe she is, as she slowly wakes and eventually glances over at the sleeping figure in the chair next to her.
I see the side of her face curve and I know she’s smiling.
Her head rolls slightly in my direction and the wave of pain that crosses her features is so sudden and intense that I rush forward a step.
She catches my movement out of the corner of her eye, and I stop dead in my tracks.
The nurse from the corner is rushing towards her, but she doesn’t look away from me.
All I really see are her eyes – surrounded by dark circles, they are the most beautiful crystal blue eyes I’ve ever seen. Even filled with pain, and dulled with obvious sickness, I’ve never seen anything like them.
She stares at me – a total stranger, and I stare back at her, with one lone tear rolling down my cheek.