Doors and Windows

Doors and Windows

L.A. Clark


The ding of the elevator is an electric shock stirring my mother’s tired, aching body awake. She slowly gets off the elevator with me following close at her heels in great hesitation. My heart sinks to the pit of my stomach as the familiar overwhelmingly metallic stench consumes my body until I can taste it. We gradually proceed down the sterile hallway like a condemned prisoner taking the final walk to death. She’s been through so much lately- unable to recognize her own naked body, hairless and missing a breast. Deep down we both know that this is her best option but I can’t help the urge to snatch up what is left of her skeleton-like frame and run far away from this place of pain disguised as a haven for the sick. Approaching the room, I notice my mom’s body stiffen. She turns to me to say goodbye. I am forbidden to come in and hold her hand; for the next hour I will wait out here for her until the hellish treatment ends so I can take her home to continue to suffer in privacy. Her eyes tell me that everything is going to be alright and that she can handle it. But I can’t. I try to hide the pain and fear in my eyes but despite my efforts I can tell that they are pleading for her to change her mind, but I know that isn’t even an option. My eye have always been like windows for her to see my true self and surely now they betray me again. I become blinded by tears as I see the backside of her wig, hardly even recognizing this unfamiliar shell of a once vibrant woman. I realize that my childhood hero is more human than I ever noticed. I never thought that I could lose her. I struggle not to cry but I still crumble under the sorrow. The loud clicking lock of the door jars me to attention as it snaps shut behind her.

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