Flash Frenzy, week 4

Prompt: http://theangryhourglass.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/flash-frenzy-round-4/

Even in the courtyard, the smell of saline drips and hand sterilizer was omnipresent, but at least the rush of processed air was replaced by a gentle breeze. I’d been coming here entirely too often, but somehow had never found my way out into the garden. Every time I’d walked by, someone was sitting on one of the wooden benches, looking through the flowers or bushes or sculptures, seeing whatever in their troubles brought them outside, and hoping there was a doctor with a miracle in the hallways somewhere. But today the garden was empty, and it was my turn to see what messages awaited me.

I settled down onto one of the benches, feeling the slight give of the wooden slats, and closed my eyes. It had been too long since I’d been able to sleep well enough to get any rest, and even that short trip into the darkness made my head spin. My blood was more caffeine than hemoglobin at this point, or at least it felt that way, but I didn’t know how to stop moving.

I wiped the tears that always seemed to form at the corners of my eyes when I closed them for any length of time and tried to regain my focus. It was almost time for rounds, and I needed to hear what the doctors were going to say today, as if it was going to be any different than yesterday. As my eyes were clearing, I looked again at the little cherub across from me. Her copper had gone green, the patina helping her blend into the bushes around her, but it hadn’t hidden her smile. It wasn’t a broad grin – that would have been inappropriate in a place like this – but it was something. I smiled back, hoping to share in whatever reservoir of happiness she tapped into.

The door creaked, and another hopeless wanderer was heading into the courtyard looking for salvation. I didn’t meet his gaze, nor would have seen me if I had. I left my spot, heading back up to the ninth floor and hoped he’d see the cherub’s smile in his own time. 

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