One of the most memorable days of my life, in a sad and morose way, was the day I saw Mrs Watson crying like a baby in the corridor. It was a bright July morning. The sun was up, the birds were chirping, and it was a peaceful morning.
That was the day that Martin came to the hospital. Lying on the stretcher, the blood upon his shirt marked the violence that had taken place. He was followed by his mother, who was sobbing hysterically.
He was brought to the Emergency room, and I was put in charge for his case. It took some time to announce the diagnosis. It was not a happy one. Martin would live. But he was in deep coma.
Life is curious. HW Longfellow had said - " Life is but an empty dream." That life is real, and has a meaning. As I stood there, trying to figure out how to console Martin's mother, I couldn't help but think about that line.
Life is an empty dream for most of us. You either live long enough to wake up, or die sleeping. It's your choice. Months passed. Martin showed no signs that he was getting better.
It had been a truck. He had tried to save a little girl. Fatal blow to the head, and the severe jerk had done severe damage to the vertebral column. The driver had been under tremendous pressure from his boss, and was apparently a bit drunk.
He got out on parole. His boss was rich and influential. Martin's class teacher had delivered a speech.His mom told me. The incident had been there in the newspaper as well, beneath the ads of various well defined establishments, and behind the fashion sense of the latest upcoming actress.
After the accident, I had followed Martin's case, legally as well as in the medical sense. His mother was divorced. His father died of a heart attack a month ago. His mother lives alone in the house now. Is it still a home?
The driver committed suicide soon. He left a note. Said he couldn't bear it. Was too much for him. His daughter now lives with her dying grandfather. She wanted to become a doctor. Now, she doesn't attend school anymore. She does not have money to pay the fees.
After the regular work, I come to Martin's room to chat with him. You see, he was a very intelligent boy. Though he couldn't speak, he could move his eyes, and you could understand that he understood by the way that they sparkled.
I used to talk with him on a variety of topics. He loved to talk about butterflies, space, history, cars, bikes, trucks...... Sometimes, his mother used to join us. I used to leave them alone.
But I always used to keep an eye on them, because an emergency could come anytime. His mom used to read his favorite books to him.He always loved those stories. They brought meaning to his life.They brought reason.
He always used to listen to his mom carefully. He tried to express his gratitude, his love for her, but couldn't. I could see it in his eyes. Sometimes, he used to cry in the night, silently, the nurses told me. I felt sad.
But now his condition had deteriorated. He couldn't cry now. Was he happy? His mom used to get up to drink water, or go to the bathroom. Sometimes too often. But I knew that she only wanted to hide her tears. She didn't want to let him know that she was sad, weak, and perhaps above all, had lost hope.
Her wrinkled face revealed the truth, the hardships that she had gone through, the trauma that she had faced, the battles that she had fought, only to lose her only son to an accident. It was a Friday. I remember it pretty well. The day that Martin left the world, for good(?).
I tried everything that was possible. But I couldn't save him. His mother cried like a baby on that day. I have seen several deaths. I have seen several families break.
But that was the first time in my life that I cried. I cried. The nurses were astonished. I gave Martin's mom a big hug. I tried to console her. The nurses took her away.
And I swear that on that day, I saw a semblance of a smile across Martin's face. Perhaps it was my imagination, perhaps not. He was a kid who had died a hero. He had left the world for good.