Time dripped like wax from a candle as I sat in the waiting. The chair became a distant thought as an old man slowly ambled in front of me. He moved sluggishly like he was in a daze. I was in the oncology department so his movement wasn’t out of place. After my treatments I typically moved like a zombie.
There was something about his steps that was different, he was anxious, nervous perhaps. My doctor nearly bumped into the old man and a nurse asked him to stand out of the way. He started to speak, he said that he wanted to ask the doctor one more question. His voice was low, it had a worry-full energy to it. I watched a small group of people walk by while noticing the man shift his weight back and forth between his two feet.
Once the commotion passed the nurse summoned the doctor. The older gentleman had a stutter to his voice as he spoke. “Is it years, a year, how much time do I have left?”
The doctor stood rigid, his eyes staring coldly.
In the pause the old man filled the space, I could feel the wary anticipation in the his voice. “A year?”
“Months, maybe months.” The doctor replied with an almost robotic tone.
The old man’s head lowered. I could hear his voice break as he repeated back to the doctor. “I have months to live, how many months?”
“Maybe two or three.” The doctor said before walking away.
I watched the old man take few steps, his feet sliding slowly across the tile floor. His shoulders slumped and I could hear him whisper to himself. “Months…”
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