It was a funeral. The weeping mother, the smell of the polished wooden coffin, the final words of the priest ..."earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust..."
Norman awoke from his nightmare. It was the second time he had dreamt about Rawnie in the last week. It came back to him. Rawnie was a young girl of 24 who had died on the operating table. She was a young gypsy who was admitted to the hospital and Normal had done everything he could to save her. But something had gone horribly wrong during her surgery and she couldn't be saved. He wondered why
he had dreamt about her, and finding no answer, he got ready for the grueling
Norman was a leading cardiac surgeon working non-stop to save the lives of the ailing. The lack of a personal life made it possible to work after hours and late nights. His personal life was reduced to memories and snaps on a dressing table, his wife had divorced him a few years after their daughter was born. He had not seen his daughter in years and the last he heard from her was when she had gotten married.
The day went by as any other, he performed two surgeries, checked up on some five critical patients and saw a dozen new ones. By the time he returned home it was midnight. Exhausted he just slept with his work clothes on. And then he dreamt of Esmerelda.
Esmerelda was Rawnie's mother. A gypsy woman, she had not been very happy getting her daughter treated in a urban hospital. She believed in magic, miracles and the occult. She had done everything she could to treat her daughter and when everything failed she turned to modern medicine. The moment she had seen Norman she disapproved everything about him. She instinctively knew he wouldn't be able to save her daughter.
Truly her instinct did not fail her. Rawnie died on the operating table. Norman knew what had gone wrong, but he could not admit his faults. It would have ended is career and he would have been cast out of the medical community.
The surgery was at a critical point when the hand started shaking. He had hidden the fact he had Parkinsons' from everyone. He had secretly undergone treatments to reduce the shaking. It was under control until now. The tension, stress might have triggered the attack. He couldn't control his limbs well enough to perform the highly delicate surgery and it had failed. Rawnie flat-lined on the table few minutes after the surgery.
Everything to save her was in vain. The funeral was done, his symptoms reduced considerably, and life went back to normal but for Esmerelda life became a pain. She lost all hope and in a fury she arrived one night the hospital. She cursed and cried. No one bothered except Norman. In her hysteria she had mentioned she knew Norman couldn't save her. She had cursed him to fail again. She had lost her mind completely.
The next day began with the same grueling schedule. One surgery, many critical patients and a dozen more new ones. A final emergency call was left to attend before he could proceed home. A young lady had suffered a massive heart failure. She had lived out her youth never realizing she had a hole in her heart and it had now reared its ugly head. An emergency surgery was called for and Norman got ready to do what he had done a thousand times.
The heart was opened up by his juniors and he was called in to do the delicate closing up of the hole. He started the procedure, and a few minutes later the first shakes started. He thought it was only his imagination and concentrated on reducing the blood loss. Soon the shaking became rampant, and the juniors were worried. His ego wouldn't let him concede loss so he continued battling his disease. Soon the blood loss become uncontrolled, and he couldn't continue on.
He stopped the procedure and ordered the juniors to continue. It was too late, having lost so much blood the patient started flat-lining. Shocks couldn't bring her back. She had died.
Norman was destroyed mentally, and it was then that Esmeralda's words came back to him. She had cursed him to fail again. He had failed and a second patient had died due to his ego.
He just sat still mentally drained. The juniors were closing her up, and preparing her to be handed over. Nothing about the mistake was talked about. The patient's oxygen mask and the tubes in her nose and limbs were removed. Norman walked up to her. The tears now flowed uncontrolled.
It was his daughter....