Saving Ludo - chapter 10
“Hei, someone take him out, please!” someone shouted. It was the ultra-fierce Nurse Edith voice. But Theo didn’t pay attention, tears had burst on his face, pouring down. He can’t see anymore. His weeping howl sounded far more louder than all the doctor and nurse orders, he couldn’t hear anything else.
Theo felt someone pulling his body, taking him outside and letting him sit on the corridor, embracing his shoulder, holding his hand, whispering words to calm him down and swaying his body like a baby.
He cried out loudly in the arms of that person, whoever he was. He kept crying and crying like a baby, until finally he fell asleep.
Theo woke up in an unknown room. But from the sickening antiseptic smell and the blinding white color, he knew he laid in the hospital. Might be in one of the empty room.
Theo jumped aghast, squealing softly. He found Nurse Edith sitting next to him, knocking at the crossword puzzle book on her lap. The fifty year old nurse seemed tired. Her coiled up hair looked messy under her nurse’s hat.
She closed the book and looked at Theo closely, her face was very serious. “Listen Theo, I will not say something sweet to you… “
Nurse Edith let her words left unfinished. The fierce-faced boy gulped. His face was pale, so pale that anyone who saw him will think that he had a severe illness. He gripped the blanket on his lap, his hands trembled a little. “Is Ludo… “
“His life is not very long anymore”, nurse Edith said firmly. “He just had a hard time. His life was at stake before, but we managed to spare him. But it just for this time only. There was not much time left for Ludo”
Theo held back his cry and he kept staring at Nurse Edith, ready for another bad news. The persistence showed from his face, it hurt Nurse Edith’s heart. The woman laid her fingers on Theo’s knee, patting in sympathy.
“He‘s been trying hard for the past few months, but this disease is indeed malignant. And these past few weeks, he has been very bad. But he remained strong through all this. Do you know why he the weak and the chicken-hearted could face all the painful treatment, even more painful than the disease itself?”
Nurse Edith moved her face closer, “He’s strong because of you. He will keep restraining the pain for you, as long as possible, until you’re strong enough to let him go”
Theo’s tears started pouring down again. He began to sob harder, his body shook up and down, looked like a person having convulsions. Theo cried out in bed, he let out all the tears he had been holding for eight months, and he didn’t care to anything or anyone at all.
“I can’t let him go, Nurse,” sobbed Theo miserably. “I won’t be able to let him go.”
“I know, my dear, I know… “
Theo shook his head, “You don’t know. I’m not ready. I’m not sure that I will be ready. I don’t want to lose him, he is my best friend. He’s my best friend since I was little, since I was born, and he… he was always there with me.”
“Theo, I know this is very hard, but… “
“YOU DON’T KNOW! I CAN’T LET HIM GO!” Theo roared.
Nurse Edith shrieked in surprise. Theo threw the blanket, staring to Nurse Edith indignantly and began to punch his fist at the mattress. He then screamed loudly.
“ME AND HIM WILL ALWAYS BE TOGETHER! WE WILL ALWAYS BE TOGETHER! TILL WE ALL GROW UP! EVEN TILL WE DIE! THIS ISN’T FAIR, NURSE! WE WON’T GET INTO HIGH SCHOOL TOGETHER, TEASE A GIRL TOGETHER AND DO SILLY THINGS AT SCHOOL TOGETHER!”
“I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO SEE HIS CHILDREN, AND HE WON’T SEE MY CHILDREN! WHY DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, THIS IS NOT FAIR!! YOU’RE CRAZY! YOU’RE ALL CRAZY!
In his heart, Theo thought that he would be scolded, shouted at, slapped, or anything he deserved because of his selfishness. He knew he was being silly. He knew he has crossed the line.
But no. Nurse Edith didn’t say anything. She was crying too, noiselessly, by his side.
Theo startled, holding his breath. “Nurse, I am sorry, Nurse!’ Theo exclaimed, while putting his hand around Nurse Edith’s neck. “I am sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you.”
Nurse Edith whispered in the middle of her sobs.
“I know this is difficult, but the pain he endured was no longer possible to restrain his body.
“Listen, Theo… If there is something you want to tell him, tell him now. If there is something you want to do with him, then do it now. I will persuade the doctor. I will do everything I can to give you both a chance to make a memory… Something you can have to remember him in the future, and something he can take with him after he leaves you.”
Nurse Edith was letting go of Theo’s hug, sobbing several times more, “Let him go. If you really do love him, let him go”