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'Treatment' - Reuben Tyrie (Year 11)

Busy as usual, the waiting room houses the sick: an elderly woman with a hacking cough, an adventurous boy with a broken arm, an exhausted father with an ill child. The man just sits alone. Dated magazines from a bygone era, held by a thousand hands, are spread across the coffee table in front of him. The last rays of sunshine peek through blinds, touching his face but never really touching him. The light hurts his frail eyes. Does he move? No, the man just sits alone.

Letting out a wheezy sigh, the man painstakingly lifts his cup to his mouth, the water washing the metallic taste away. His face, his body, his existence screams spent. From the bloodshot eyes to the sunken cheeks, from the hunched posture to the grey skin; all expose the wound within. The robe he wears, while no more than an ounce, weighs him down like a suit of armour. Armour is supposed to shield, but the man knows the only thing that shields him is the treatment.

The man had always wondered how his wife had felt; now he experiences it through her eyes. Oh the plans they had, the moments they shared; he misses it all, even the arguments. At least then they were together. She was snatched away from him, in a blink of an eye; leaving him to wallow in his own pain and misery. Should he keep fighting? Should he keep getting treatment? Should he let go? With the chance of seeing his wife again, maybe he should give in to the sickness.

“Benjamin, is there a Benjamin?” The nurse calls out suddenly, snapping Benjamin back into reality. With immense strain, he heaves himself out of his seat. Dragging one foot after the other, Benjamin shuffles off for another round of treatment.

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