The hospital reeked of sickness and death. Along its cold concrete corridors echoed the groans of the ill, the pained, the dying, and the prayers of hopeful souls. Medical staff, patients and their relatives with worried faces shuffle about. The groans of the dying and the scent of death were intoxicating.
“Calling Doctor Diaz, you are needed at the nurses’ station,” a nearby P.A. speaker requested.
Tina smiled at a frail-looking old woman in a wheelchair in the hallway. The old woman glanced at the bunch of red roses she was carrying in response.
“Won’t be long now,” Tina thought while discretely sniffing the air.
The male hospital staff, most likely a homosexual, who pushed the old lady’s wheelchair glanced at her prim university uniform. The bitch must be jealous of her finely ironed checkered skirt and spotless white long-sleeved blouse, she thought.
Her sick friend’s room was up ahead. She slowly opened the door and peeked inside.
“Hello, gorgeous!” she said while entering then shutting the door behind her. “How are you?”
Her friend, Trisha was in the bed, her body propped up with a pillow against the headboard, an android tablet in hand. Another friend, a fellow student at the university was seated beside on the bedside.
“Feeling better,” Trisha replied.
“Great! By the way, I thought these could make your day even better,” Tina put the bunch of roses to the vase near Trisha. “What’s up, Jackie?”
“Spending some quality time with Miss Dengue here,” Jackie elbowed Trisha and they all giggled.
Trisha caught Dengue somewhere but was fortunate to be hospitalized early and avoided serious complications.
“The doctor said I was lucky my Dengue was not that severe,” Trisha related. “I’m the third Dengue patient admitted to this hospital this week.”
“Really? What about the others?” Tina said.
“Well, my doctor said he’s treating one of the other two patients. That one he says, a little boy, is not in good shape.”
“Is the patient in the I.C.U.?”
“Oh he’s in the next room.”
High fever wracked the eight-year-old boy. His entire body shivered despite of his soaring temperature. It felt like being dried out in the desert then suddenly plunged into a tub full of ice again and again. His head felt like it was going to explode. He could barely open his eyes. He laid uncomfortably on his bed, dozing off to a delirious sleep then suddenly waking up terrified. In his dreams someone else, aside from his nanny was inside the room – a dreadful presence that gave him the creeps. His eyes scanned the room. But only his nanny was there, busy on her mobile phone. Suddenly he was afraid to sleep. His feeble body, unfortunately, had to give in. His eyes were heavy. As his eyelids shut finally and the world of dreams and nightmares sucked him in he thought he saw a shadowy figure loom over him.
Trisha looked gloomy when Tina entered the room.
“If you keep on looking like that I’d say you need to spend a week more in this hospital,” Tina giggled.
“Hey,” Trisha said still looking sad.
“Why the face, gorgeous?” Tina pinched Trisha’s cheek.
“Cut it out will you?” Trisha brushed off her hand. “Remember that other patient I told you?”
“The boy? What about him?”
“He died last night.”