Granddad was lying on his hospital bed. Air tubes, wires and all sorts of medical devices were attached to his body. He was diagnosed with Bradycardia; a medical condition where the heartbeat of an individual drops below average. And given his age, a 92 years old man, his heartbeat was a mere 38 beats per minute. We were all by his side. Me, mum, dad, my sister, uncles and aunts. A few minutes later, the doctor came in with his file. He flipped through a few pages and looked right at us. His verdict broke us; Granddad’s heartbeat drops every hour. It’s just a matter of time now.
I couldn’t stay there, so I left the room and sat in one of the chairs in the corridor. I brought my hands to my face in desperation. It is one of those moments where you feel completely helpless. Far in the background, I could hear my uncle talking to the doctor and asking what we could do to ease Granddad’s pain. And the only answer that came out of the doctor’s mouth was; “There’s honestly nothing we can do. Given his age, a surgery would be too risky, a mere 10% chance of success. I will prescribe some medicines to keep his heartbeat steady but that will eventually cease to work and we can only anticipate his departure.”
Tears had just started rolling down my cheeks when I felt a hand on my shoulders. I looked up, watery and puffy eyes present, expecting to see one of the relatives comforting me. But to my surprise, it was a young woman, in her mid-30’s, I’d say, wearing a green hospital gown.
“Lost someone dear?” she asked.
“Not yet. But the doctors already condemned him. It’s only a matter of time.” I replied, subtly.
“I know how it feels. But remember, if you stay strong, the other members of your family will, in turn, have the courage to face the situation.” She replied.
I began to understand her point and changed my approach to the situation.
“Hi. I’m Kulbushan” I said, extending my hand for a shake.
She shook my hand and said, “Hi Kulbushan. I am Kyra, nice to meet you.”
“Who is in the hospital?” She asked.
“My granddad. He is diagnosed with bradycardia.”
We spoke for a few more minutes before she pointed towards the end of the corridor and said,
“Look…my dad is calling me.”
I stared towards where she was pointing. But there was no one there.
“Who is there?” I asked, concerned.
“My dad!” She replied. “He is calling me. I have to go. Would you like to come with me?”
“Euh no!” I replied. “I am good.”
She stood up and started walking when I called her, “Kyra, thank you for your help. I will be strong for my family.”
But she didn’t look back. She kept walking towards the end of the corridor.
At that point, a nurse walked in.
“Who are you talking to?” she asked, puzzled.
“Ohh, just this nice lady, Kyra. She told me some useful stuff on how to approach the situation.”
“Kyra? Young lady in her mid-30’s?” she asked, perplexed.
“Yeah! That’s the one I am talking about!” I replied.
“That cannot be!” she exclaimed.
“Why not?” I asked.
“She was a patient here.” She said.
“Yeah I know…she was wearing the hospital gown!” I confirmed.
“NO. You don’t understand. She WAS a patient here. She died two hours ago!!” she explained.
“What the fuck are you talking about sister? I just had a conversation with her.” I exclaimed, shivering.
“Here”, she said, showing me a list. ‘Kyra Verrato’. Her name was there in the list of corpses in the morgue.
I ran for my car. I didn’t think about telling anyone. I just ran straight for my car. I got in, put the key in and turned on the ignition.
“Hey, Kulbushan. Where are we going?” Someone said from the back.
I didn’t even get the time to turn around and I felt someone extend an arm to grab my neck. I struggled around, trying to get free but to no avail. I peeked in the rear view mirror and there she was. KYRA. Her nails dug deep into my flesh. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t.
Eventually, she let go of my neck and I immediately reached for the door. But it was locked. There was nothing I could do. Hesitantly, I turned around. The last thing I remember was seeing a pale face, no eyes and bloody teeth coming straight for me.