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My Special Time

My grandmother’s hospital room was bright and cheery-in both literal and figurative ways-when I went to visit her. Everything was bleach white, like angel wings, and even seemed to shine if you looked from the right angle. The single window next to the bed was crystal clear, and from a tack above it hung a rainbow caster, throwing small triangles and diamonds of colors around the room. Her bed was placed in the middle of the room, in which she sat smiling her determined, unwavering smile. All was well. She was leaving the hospital the next day and my family and I decided to stop by to say hello the day before her exit. I pulled up a tired old stool and sat down by her side. I had barely begun striking up a conversation with her before a crabby old nurse came in with absolute irritation written all over her face. 

“You can't be in here. You know that right?” She said in the most undermining tone she could muster, pointing her finger toward me and the younger people in the room.

“Why not?”

“You're under thirteen, and children aren't allowed to visit because they irritate the patient.” My other grandma and my grandpa (who had not been asked to leave), as well as my little brothers and older cousin all broke into loud arguments with the nurse. In the end, the nurse won and made us leave. One by one we all said goodbye to my grandma and left. I walked over to her bed and sluggishly leaned over, holding her in an unnecessarily prolonged embrace. “Goodbye Grandma,” I said softly, “I'll see you tomorrow.” I stood and walked past the sneering nurse and down the bleached white halls with occasional green tiles patterned into the floor. We rode the elevator down from the top floor of the towering hospital, all agreeing that that woman should lose her job. The elevator relaxed to a stop on the first floor; its polished chrome doors sliding open smoothly, to let us out. Whatever, I thought, I'm going to take her home tomorrow anyway. 

The drive home was long and boring, so I picked my book up off the floor of the car and kept my nose buried in it the whole drive. Finally reaching our destination, home, I jogged up the chipping red painted concrete stairs and opened the door into our small living room. Walking slowly back to the bedroom my cousins were sharing with me, I set my book down on the deep emerald green dresser, slightly taller than me and proceeded to play video games with my cousins until we went to bed that night.

Early the next morning as the sun rose, hitting the deep crimson red curtains I had drawn over both of the windows on either side of the room, casting a pink shadow over my cousin’s cluttered bedroom, I woke up in a happy mood. I happily ate breakfast and awkwardly plopped down on the couch to watch TV with a smile on my face, but the smile was short lived. Not long after the show I was watching started my uncle Stevie walked through the blood red colored front door and slammed it shut. He slammed himself down on the edge of the couch instructing my cousins and I to turn off the TV. As we did so he broke the news to us flat: "Your grandma died this morning." The room dropped to a silence more quiet than silence. I stood and power walked into the bathroom, locking the deep green door behind me. I slammed my back against the tile wall and slid to the floor cradling my head in my hands. My despair cast a shadow over the entire room, thickly layering the black, green, and white tiles in a black blanket of misery. Then I realized what a terrible mistake I had made. The day before, as I left my grandmother laying in her hospital bed I had only said goodbye once. I learned something then, as I pressed the back of my head against the tile walls of the bathroom: that no matter how many times you do, you can never, ever in a million years say goodbye enough to someone you love.


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