The nurse went to room no7 where a young man in a coma was. The nurse felt quite comfortable around him, not only because he had no relatives, but also, or maybe mostly, because she saw her dead son in him.
It was 10 years ago when her 7-year-old son drowned in the sea; they never found his body. That was the age of the boy in room number 7. His death was unbearable, a tragedy she never got over.
This young boy had been in a car accident which also cost him both of his parents, and had no other relatives. The nurse started to visit him every day and take care of him. Days became weeks and the nurse would read him stories and spoke to him like he could understand her, like he wasn’t in a coma, like he was about to fall sleep.
The hospital director agreed with her behavior. She was a widely acclaimed nurse and when she asked him to transfer her in the intensive unit to look after patients, he couldn’t say no.
Days and weeks were passing, and the nurse had started to become a mother to the patient in room number 7. She had found a purpose in life since she lost her son, bigger than being a nurse. She found how to be a mom again to a patient so reminiscent of her son.
In the beginning, deep in her soul, she knew that he was just an unknown patient, she knew that she was “replacing” her son with this boy. But as time was passing by, she started to believe that he was her son, that God somehow had sent him back to her just to correct His mistake. She would call him “Johnny” like her son. At some point she even started to sleep in a couch near him just because she didn’t want to leave him again.
The other nurses soon noticed her behavior, noticed her being 24/7 in the intensive care unit looking after the boy and informed the director of the hospital who called her to his office. There, he told her that staying 24/7 in the intensive care unit is no acceptable behaviour, and that he had decided to transfer her back to her previous duties.
The nurse begged him not to do it, begged him to let her stay near her son. When the director heard her calling the boy in a coma “her son”, he was alarmed and referred her to a psychiatrist in the hospital. Of course nurse disagreed with the director and they had a falling out. As a result, the director suggested that she take a few days off to relax, inviting her to repeat the discussion with him the following week.
That 7-day period felt to her more like a 7-month period; isolated at home, barely eating, counting the days to go back to the hospital and be with her son again. A week later, early in the morning, she was back to the hospital. She went straight to the intensive care.
When the other nurses saw her, they didn’t say anything to her. How could they? How could they have told her that her “son” had passed away on the very first day she didn’t show up?
The shock was enough to make the nurse leave her job. With it, she left the house she was renting. She left her life. You can find her living in the cemetery, taking care all the young boys’ graves. How happy she is now in her endless unhappiness!
Story by: Konstantinos Pamfiliss
Illustration: Nopi Fountoukidou