In the Doorway

He just stood there. At the doorway. Just stood. It might be a bit complex to explain why him standing at a doorway was odd to his behavior. But, it was. He was hesitating. He never hesitated before.

I wanted him to speak. From where I sat, I smiled up at him. I waited for him to speak. His face cast in shadow, I could not see whether he smiled or not. But, if he did… if he did smile… I would not have known.

His shoulders slumped atop his tall stature. His necktie and suit coat sagged, tired of the stiffener that was put into them this morning. His hair, although he had just taken his cap off, was messy. For such short hair as his, it must have been hard to mess it up.

Whatever was on his mind, whatever thought made him hesitate, there in the doorway, made his hair look messy, even though his cap had just been taken off.

I fidgeted under the blankets. The warm blankets that the nice ladies kept in warmers to make us more comfortable. Subconsciously, I reached for my arm, and rubbed the area in which the IV stuck into. It itched. I hated that itching feeling. That feeling was something was just under the skin, and just out of reach.

So close, but never obtainable.

That was how I felt when he stood in the doorway. No, hesitated in the doorway. So close, but never obtainable.

“Dr. Lemu?” I asked. My voice quivered. I was worried. So, I tried a joke. Jokes always broke the awkward silent. I forced a laugh first. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Maybe you should get some fresh air.” That was not even a joke. “And call the ghost busters.” I added. I was never good at jokes.

His head shook, at least I thought he did. It was hard to tell when he stood in the shadows, so far away.

Out of sight and out of arms reach.

“Come on, quit scaring me, Doc.” I laughed again. Hopefully this one did not seem so forced as the last.

He lifted his head and looked at me. I had not even noticed that his head was down. With no light near his features, it was hard to tell.

“I’m sorry.” He hesitated again, like he never did. “It’s terminal.”

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