The patient came to me with a plea I couldn’t refuse, so I placed my hand on his cold spine and warmed up to him, I the fire and he, suffering a harsh winter. With the rapid beat of his heart drumming against my palm, I doctored and diagnosed him. I fed him medicine and he was fine for a temporary time. A temporary, potentially affective, time. So warm, so brief—full recovery could’ve been conceived during the month of July if it weren’t miscarried, leaving that promise as a seed forever forgotten during harvest.
The patient would come back monthly for his check-up, claiming a new illness, begging for a new medicine. I’d give it to him willingly. After all, he needed help.
After about a year, I gave out so much to him there was hardly medicine left for my other patients.
Considering, I reduced his dose to even the imbalance.
“Can you not see how I need your help?” said the most desperate wrinkle of a face, “Did I do something to deserve this?”
“No! No, of course not. There is just limited supply and high demand. You are one of many mouths to feed!”
“Do you not care for me anymore?” Was the worst one. Of course I cared for him. Admittedly, I cared for him more than all my other patients. I know this is not professional of me to disclose, nor is it fair, but it is an honest guilt that tugs at my hair like a gluttonous infant.
Blame was thrown at me like cannonballs. Suddenly, I was the cancer he tried so hard to fight. That thought alone was too heavy a burden to bare, so I reluctantly gave him the entirety of my supply.
Day in and day out, I began to hear the other patients drop like thick glass behind me, where I would never look back. I kept a steady eye on him, as he was my child in a rackety crib I was too afraid to leave alone for the fear that he’d stop breathing at any moment. I am a miserable, exhausted mother of a child that never matured.
And it’s just he and I now, forever in frozen time.