It was 2:30 in the morning.
It was so quiet and dark outside that the sound of the phone ringing as I wait for somebody to pick up on the other line almost seemed like a rude wake-up call. And it was actually, for who would still be awake at this time in the morning?
“Hello? Can you come over and help me get to the hospital? I can’t breathe well. I fear I’ll have a heart attack,” I said, voice quivering, heavy with tears.
Until that moment, I never knew how comforting a voice over the phone could sound like.
“Alright, I’ll just get dressed and I’ll be on my way. Don’t panic,” she said.
Those words were clipped, hurriedly uttered. Yet I felt they saved me. I felt better instantly. Help was on the way. Waiting and uncertainty became tolerable.
“Are you okay? I’ll be there in about 20 minutes.”
“Okay. See you then. Take care.”
I hugged her the moment I opened the door and apologized for the trouble I caused. I said I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t breathe well, I was feeling some discomfort on the chest and stomach. I said I was scared and I was alone and what would happen if I suddenly had a heart failure, no one would know, then I’ll die and no one would know and they’ll find my cold body two days after my death.
She said to bring things like extra clothes just in case I needed to be confined.
We took a cab to get to a hospital nearby. We went directly to the Emergency Room. A resident doctor interviewed me then took my blood pressure.
“Yes, I sometimes drink. No, I don’t smoke except for that one time, one stick only,” I added defensively.
She asked me about my family history. I told her the diseases I could remember my family had.
The doctor in charge listened to my breathing and to my heart.
“Your BP is normal and I didn’t find anything abnormal with your breathing and heartbeat. I’ll give you a sedative,” she said and turned to attend to other patients.
A nursed called my name and gave me half a tablet and a cup of water. I drank it after asking what it was and getting an uninformative “It’s Xanor” answer.
My friend paid the bill as I sat on the benches, waiting and slowly feeling the drug working its way to make me sleepy.
“Let’s eat first before heading back. I’m hungry.”
“Me too.” So we did.
We hailed another cab to take us home. It was already 5:30 am. The sun was causing some beautiful pinkish strips of light appearing side by side to the early morning, soft blue of the sky. The day was starting bright and sunny.
“I’ve never seen the sky like that before. It’s pretty,” I mumbled sleepily. My eyes were very heavy. I was fighting to keep them open.
“Thank you for taking me to the hospital,” I said.
“Don’t worry about it. Eat and rest well,” she replied.
I hugged her again then got off the cab. I slowly walked back to my apartment. When I got inside, I brushed my teeth, drank a glass of water, and got in bed.
Friends are free gifts from the universe.
Thank you, universe.
I closed my eyes and slept.
© 2012 L.A. Nuñez
*A/N: A memoir of an eventful/uneventful weekend. And no matter how many times I say it, I feel it’s not enough. But here goes, thank you Jen.