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The Patient Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Awais Aftab, Pakistan May 23, 2004
Human Rights   Short Stories
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The voice of the newscaster was echoing through the room: “The whole country was moved by the sudden and tragic death of the renowned scholar and reformer, John Ruskin. He brought this country out from the state of anarchy and…”
“Hypocrites,” William Sharp muttered in a slightly angry tone.
“Why don’t they tell how much he was criticized? The whole country was against his reforms. They made him suffer so much; they openly insulted him and now, when he is dead, they are appreciating his works; when it’s too late.” Michael Gray spoke in a more controlled voice but anger, or more specifically frustration, could be easily detected. The two doctors and two best friends sat solemnly in silence, digesting this news. Suddenly the intercom ringed. Michael picked it up, “Yes?”
“Doctor, there’s a new patient in room number 47.”
“Okay, I’m coming.”

Within moments the two doctors had reached the room 47. Michael halted for a moment as he saw the patient. A young girl, in her mid-twenties, was lying on the hospital bed. Her auburn hair were dishevelled and her eyes, he could have stared in her eyes all his life; they were somewhere between black and brown, and they were extremely deep; and they were so penetrating. She was staring at him and he felt as if she could see right through him.

William Sharp moved forward. Her gaze was fixed; she was showing no response to their arrival. William checked her pulse rate. Then he picked up her reports. Michael slowly came up from behind.
“She’s in some kind of a mental trauma,” William said, “and she won’t be coming out, at least for a while.”
“But she’s so…so,” Michael searched for the correct word, “beautiful.”

William looked up at him but didn’t reply; he knew he was talking to himself. Michael looked at her again. She seemed to be completely oblivious to their presence; her eyes were fixed and her lips were sealed but he knew that she could see as well as hear.
“Excuse me,” a strong voice caused them to turn simultaneously.
A police-inspector was standing there. The police had brought the patient to the hospital. She had been found in the custody of a mafia gang. As she was in a trauma, her identity was unknown.


The two doctors were sitting in their office.
“She would look extremely beautiful if she smiled,” Michael said dreamily.
“If she smiled; she’s in a mental trauma, remember,” William snapped. “She can’t smile.”
“I can make her smile!” Michael’s voice was over-flowing with determination.
“I’ll bet you hundred dollars that you can’t make her smile in one month.” This time William was smiling in a queer way. The two were used to making bets on trivial matters, though this one wasn’t that ‘trivial’.
“Deal!” Michael slapped his friend’s hand.
“One month,” William reminded him.
“Fine,” Michael replied.


The next day when William entered room 47, he shook his head in disbelief; it was filled with a variety of lovely flowers and the atmosphere was full of their sweet scent. But the patient showed no change in her mental state; William hadn’t expected any.


The phone rang.
“Dr. Michael here.”
“We want her, doctor!”
“Who are you talking about?”
“Number 47, who else? Give her to us and we won’t harm you. But if you don’t, then be ready to face the consequences. I’ll call again.” Someone slammed the receiver on the other side.
Michael immediately telephoned the inspector. He promised to increase the security at the hospital.


Michael was getting fond of her day by day. He had even given her a name: Eva, the life. He talked to her for hours, telling her things he had not brought to his lips before. Although she couldn’t reply, he knows that she could listen to him. He brought her fresh flowers everyday and expected that maybe, just maybe, she would smile. He didn’t care about the bet, he cared about her. He had broken the rule number one of his life; he had fallen in love with his patient.


A month passed and the last day came; she had not smiled. The two friends were at the market. Michael bought roses and a card for her. William smiled sarcastically but didn’t say anything. When they reached their car, William said, “Oh, I forgot to buy something. Wait here for a moment.” And he ran to the store.

Michael took out the card and started to write something on it. Suddenly a car screeched to a halt a few feet away from him. A man came out and shouted, “Face the consequences, doctor!” and then he took out a gun and shot at him. Michael looked at his mid-chest from where blood was slowly oozing out.

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Awais Aftab

Writing has been a passion, a love ever since I learned to write. For me, writing is a means of expression of 'secret tears and secret pleasures'. True writing comes from the heart and often it is the one to find you, not you the one to find it. Writing gives me power, the strength to carry on, the will to live and to live in a better way. It helps me find deeper meaning in the world around me and to understand myself much better. I can't survive without writing. For me, my writings are the whispers of life, in which the glory and sorrow of life echoes. For me, these are the glittering tears, whose every flash encompasses a thousand aspects of life. I believe that, 'I write; therefore I am.' However, true ease in writing comes from art, and I still have to learn a lot about that.
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