“Doctor, no! You can’t do that. You have to save my mom. Please!” I pleaded.
“Go away,” said the doctor. “If you can’t fix the money, then we can’t carry out the operation. I have much better fish to fry.”
“Are you a doctor or what?” I yelled.
He turned around and lowered his face until I could smell his breath.
“You,” he said, spitting out the words like water-melon seeds, “have been given half an hour to arrange the money. If you can’t, then I’ll have no choice than to remove all the drips and the oxygen mask.” And with that, he walked away, leaving behind a very heavy heart. My legs gave up the weight of my body, disbelief etched over my face. Of course there was no possible way to arrange such a lot of money in such a short time. Only a miracle could save my mom. I got up shakily, and, dragging my feet as I went, pushed open the door of my mom’s room. Tears welled out of my eyes as I saw her. Her face was ghostly white, and she looked like a skeleton. Drips and all sorts of things covered her fragile body.
The nurse smiled sympathetically at me as if she understood what I was going through. But she had no idea. No one could ever know how it felt like. As she went out of the door, I went close to my mom, dropped down to my knees and held my mom’s delicate hand. “Mom,” I managed to choke out. “You were always there for me. I never felt your absence in my entire l-life.” I brushed my tears out of my eyes. “You won’t believe how cruel the doctors are, mom. They only work for money. They want the money, mom. Only then would they operate you. I, I don’t know what to do. I did almost everything to earn money. T-to save you. I’m so sorry, mom.” My tears splashed on my mom’s face. I couldn’t hold it any longer. All the emotion that I had bottled up inside me for the past hour came rushing out like a flooded river. I buried my face in my mom’s shawl, bawling like a baby. “Please don’t leave me,” I whispered.
I finally got up and glanced at the clock. My half hour was finished. A sob escaped my lips. They were going to take my mom away. Forever. With a heavy feeling in my stomach, I walked back to the doctor to beg him one final time to save my mom. I felt defeated. This may be my only chance to see my mother again. I glanced back at her. “I love you,” I whispered, my voice coarse.
I turned away and closed my eyes as the years slowly moved in reverse, like the hands of a clock moving in the wrong direction. As if through someone else’s eyes, I saw the time before my mom was ill, 6 months ago, back when we were a happy family like any other.
I was coming back from school one day. As I entered the house, I saw my parents exchanging nervous glances. An unusual silence hung in the air.
“What happened?” I asked curiously, eyeing them. My parents looked at each other before my mom said, “Your dad’s going away to war.”
After about a month, however, a telegram came to our house. My mom opened it, with me looking over her shoulder. I read it first. I stood in shock, frozen, looking at my mom’s eyes surveying the letter. Her eyes became as big as dinner plates. I remember how she cried, clutching the telegram, over the fact that my dad had died. And all I could do was to stare at my mom, paralyzed.
As the wheel of time spun by, mom grew very ill. I had to leave school to take care of her and also because we were short of money. I wandered the streets, begging people after people, but no one seemed to want to help a poor boy whose dad had died and mom on the verge of death. I clearly remember how embarrassed I was when I knocked on the window of a car and a familiar face turned. I was Fitz, who used to be my class fellow, and he looked extremely shocked to see me begging. I just turned around and ran.
I could sometimes afford my mom’s medicine with some of the money that I earned by selling things. But as time passed, mom grew more and more ill and the medicine grew more and more expensive. Before long, my mom grew so ill that I used almost all of my money for a taxi to the hospital. But…
I snapped out of it as I approached the doctor. All around me, I saw children or adults in white hospital gowns laughing with their family. I looked at them with pure jealousy. Who said money couldn’t buy happiness?
“Doctor, please save my mom,” I began. “I...”
The doctor gave me a funny look. “You just gave us the money,” he said.
“I didn’t,” I said, feeling confused.
“But someone did,” said another doctor. “Son, your mom’s safe.”
I felt the happiest person at that time, like an Eagle that was trapped in a cage and was finally free to explore the skies. But I shook my head in disbelief. “Who gave the money?” I asked.
“That man over there,” the doctor said, pointing to a man in a hoodie sitting alone on a bench.
“Thanks.” I jogged over to the person. Whoever he was, he looked deadly familiar. “Excuse me…” I said
The man turned his head around and gave me a smile. “Nathan,” he said lovingly.
It was my dad.