Suhani Singh, Class 10, Heritage Girls School, Udaipur

The cold breeze caressed my skin making a shiver run down my spine. I took one last look at the trees, their branches swaying from left to right as dry, yellow leaves fell to the ground, ‘how can nature be so harsh yet so gentle?’ I thought to myself as I shut the window. I got up from my bed and fixed the white gown with blue polka dots I was dress in. I took slow and steady steps towards the table on the other end of my room.

When I found myself at my destination, I reached a hand out to grab my phone, just as I did so, a notification popped up on the screen with a ‘ding’. “We are so excited to meet you!” I read out “Oh no! How could I forget?” I cursed at myself for not remembering the day my parents were supposed to visit, but honestly, I can’t help it- this patient life truly doesn’t suit me.
There was a knock on the door and before I could react the door was flung open by none other than my mother. “Oh my god! Sweetheart!” She exclaimed as she pulled me into a hug while I stood there awkwardly patting her back. “Hi to you too,” I replied with a genuine smile. A familiar face emerged at the now wide open door. “As you can see, Alex, you have visitors” she said with a sheepish grin. “Thanks nurse Barb, really couldn’t tell.” I rolled my eyes mockingly. Soon her body disappeared from sight. I turned back around to see my mother eyes all corners of my room “So? Is this hospital any better?” She asked. “Way better, seriously.” I replied as I walked over to shut the door. “Where’s dad?” I asked. Ironically Just as I brought him up

He appeared at the doorway, a wide grin plastered on his face. “Hey buddy,” he said as we high-fived. When we were done with our little moment, my mother walked over to us, “Hey Robert, didn’t you have anything to give to Alex?” She said, hinting towards my father’s handbag. “Oh right!” he looked excited as he pulled out a rectangular box and handed it over to me. I exchanged glances with my parents and slowly pulled the box open. “No way! An I-phone?!” I exclaimed as a question aroused in me, “How did you afford this though?”

There was a short pause then my mother replied “Oh how does it matter? We just wanted to give you something nice for your sixteenth birthday!” she clapped and hung her arm around my shoulder while my father simply looked away, tears brimming his eyes. “Thank you so much but… what will you do with this when I’m not there anymore?” I asked, my voice cracking as I neared the end of the sentence, “Saints! Alex, don’t say that!” A sob made its way out of my mother and she wiped her damp cheek. “Bud… we have time, even if the medications don’t work, we’d still have time together, yeah?” replied my father with teary eyes and a runny nose. My mother tried to change the topic by bringing up pie “It’s your favorite one, apple!” she said. I looked between both of them, laughed and said “I like myself better when I’m bald” followed by more laughs. Before I knew it, I was pulled into a tight bear hug.
I had realized this long back but some part of me wanted to say it right now. “You know what? I’ve got many gifts and my favorite one’s are you both.”


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