the most distinctive trait of a hospital is its smell. there’s a powerful clinical odour that demands noticing anytime someone enters the hospital, almost as if it was declaring that the area was different from the rest of the land. the stench of sanitation as it was, was what killed the boy.
Frank had plenty of visitors in his ward. His mother was his rock, always sitting besides him as much as she could. It was the moments she went off to rest that he saw the rest of those who cared for him. From his father, to his elder sister, to finally his friends ; everyone was there for Frank, hoping and praying that he would recover.
Frank was 15. And he was about to die. He had an ailment, and he was told that it was incurable – that much he had understood.
Frank noticed his companions in the ward change day after day.
“They’ve gone to a better place,” the nurse would always say when she came back.
He knew what that meant. He’d be going there soon.
Time passed slowly , and Frank was just waiting to pass on sooner.
“I don’t want to make you all sad anymore,” he would tell his mom.
“Shut up and sleep,” the mom would curtly reply.
Yet the day time passed the slowest was the day Lacy walked in. She didn’t even really walk in. It was a lot more of a saunter. But Frank noticed every step.
She sat on the chair next to his bed, and smiled at him.
“Hey, you” she said, the smile still on her face.
“H…H…Hello… Lacy” Frank replied.
Frank’s heart skipped a few beats everytime he say Lacy. She was a simple girl next door, with a heart of gold.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, nervously.
“I didn’t see you around school the past few weeks so I asked Mrs Rita about you. She told me what happened. Are you okay?” she said in reply.
“It’s difficult, but I’m getting there. It’s nice to see you Lacy, it really is” he said.
“It sucks that you’re here though. You’re only 15” Lacy noted.
“I know. But I make the best of it.” Frank went.
“Oh how? ” Lacy asked in genuine surprise.
Frank stared back. That was meant to be an empty statement – something you say casually in response.
“Hmm… I’m not really sure actually… ” he commented.
Lacy reached out for his hand and grabbed it.
“Do you remember the last time we were together?” she asked him.
He did. Lacy was a year older than him, but she had caught his eye from the moment he saw her. He had approached her awkwardly and had just started chatting. But that was all that was needed. They clicked immediately after that.
“I promised to take you out” Frank said, his smile disappearing.
“You did. And I waited for you” she said quickly back.
“I wish I could Lacy. I really do.” he said.
“I like you Frank. I really do.” she firmed her grip on his hand.
Frank’s face glowed. Here was Lacy, one of the most popular girls in the school declaring her affection for a sickly boy. She must really like him.
“I like you too Lacy.” he said, and kissed her hand.
“I’m gonna be here as much as I can. What are some of the things that you’ve always wanted to do , let’s plan to do them!” Lacy said excitedly.
“There’s not many actually. Everytime I wanted to do something, I’ve always ended up being told it’s too dangerous.
Lacy let go of his hand.
“And so you didn’t even try? There’s so much out there. Now you’re in a hospital and you can never try them!”
Frank stared back silently. She was right. Painfully right. He edged slowly away from her.
Lacy reached for his hand again.
“Hey… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. There’s still stuff you can do. Tell me, what’s one thing you’ve never done yet”
Frank blushed. He was in the perfect moment and he didn’t want to spoil it. But she was right. Carpe Diem. Seize the Day.
“I’ve always wanted to have my first kiss.” he said, boldly.
Lacy smiled, and firmed her grip on his hand.
” We can do that ” she teased. “Do you know how to kiss?”
Frank shook his head. He was really a blurhead when it came to these things . Regret was not something he wanted to die with.
“It’s okay . I’ll teach you” Lacy reached in.
“You tilt your head, and move in halfway. I’ll move in too, and you place your lips on my…”
It was a magical moment. Their lips were locked, pulsating furiously as they fed off each others energy.
They broke the kiss and stared at each other for a while, before breaking into laughter.
“How was that?” Frank asked. “Do I pass?”
“We have some work to do, but that’s definitely not going to be your last kiss.” she said cheekily.
Frank looked down . It may very well be.
“Lacy, I have to tell you something.” he said. This time, he reached out for her hand.
“They’re moving me to the operating theatre tomorrow. I may become slightly less able after my operation. I’m glad you came today. I’m glad I got this shot to be with you.” he said, slightly tearing.
Lacy’s eyes welled up.
“That’s not fair. I just found out. We just started…”
Frank held her hand stronger.
“I know. But you gave me my last kiss. And that’s enough. I wish I had a lot more to do, but this one chance I took was worth it.”
Lacy stared back at him affectionately.
“That wasn’t your last kiss” she said. “Move in”