“Ghosted?” I imagined the word tumbling from my mouth falling not so discreetly to lay upon one of the hearts dotting my scrubs. It was almost ridiculous talking about a broken heart while wearing scrubs which screamed love for any and all to see.
“How have you not heard of being ghosted before?” Tawny stopped updating the chart she currently worked on, her chair squeaking as she turned towards me.
As soon as I sat down after having led a patient, as though to her own slaughter, our previous conversation popped back into my mind. The ‘g’ word in the form of a question instead of melting on my tongue, like a dainty snowflake, slipped out like slush.
I could only blink at her slowly. Allowing her question to become rhetorical. I didn’t want to think about this subject anymore. I wanted it to disappear out of my life just like he had, invisibly and without leaving a trace. Where was the usual patient to draw our attention? It was eerily quiet and I couldn’t help sweeping my gaze around the rooms which surrounded our nursing station.
Not a sleigh bell rang out as I swivelled peering toward each room. Biddy Nan and her granddaughter Ever in 204 appear to be laughing behind their glass partition. I still can’t believe Ever received her early Christmas gift in the form of an actual Santa. I shook my head thinking of the conversation Nan had with me regarding her plans to hook Ever up before she passed. Even though she looked like the star shining bright on the top of a Christmas tree everyone of the staff knew Nan wouldn’t make it to the New Year.
I left their scene like I was window shopping to move to 206 where Arthur and Everett sat joined at the hip pouring over Arthur’s atlas. You would barely see their little feet beneath the book. He was planning the trip of his lifetime, and what a short life it would end up being. How someone who had experienced such hardship could be so radiant blew my mind. He and Everrett were inspiring. Both boys suffered from a common illness yet both experienced completely different journeys. A friendship Everrett would never forget.
My room perusal was stopped by Tawny’s hand on my shoulder. “Hey anyone home?”
I swivelled back to her and shrugged my shoulders. “Just checked out for a moment. What were we talking about?”
She turned back to her charts, “Brad. And how he could do something like that to you.” Her fingers typed elegantly on the keys reminding me of the Christmas carols she often accompanied with the piano in the waiting room. “How long had you been seeing him again?”
I thought back to all of our weekends and watched them float past me as if on a conveyor belt from when we met to his phantom exit. I had stopped to stare at the changing leaves in the park when he had unceremoniously run into me while on a jog. He apologized profusely and I couldn’t help but feel as though I had somehow gotten lost in his ocean blue eyes. He had offered to take me for a coffee and it ended up turning into dinner and a movie. Every weekend after that was spent together from the tree lighting in the park, ice skating and to what now felt like a cheesy carriage ride in the park just this previous weekend.
My brain brought me back to my present in order to answer Tawny, “Just under two months. Six weekends.” Six blissful weekends.
“And he just evaporated on you? Poof?” Tawny slowed her typing as she lifted off her chair, her gaze sweeping the rooms. She also picked up on how calm the ward continued to be.
Tune in on Sunday for The Ghost of Christmas Present Part 2!