Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu

Day 75 – Another trip to the emergency room


I got to see some of the friends I made three weeks ago, today (if I can call them friends).  When I got to the emergency room, I noticed that everything looks very different when you are not in pain and you just have to sit there and wait quietly for your turn. You get to see the faces clearly, the place is much scarier and the cases that come in and out… well, they are not so pleasant to the eye.

The first nurse passes by; she looks at me, smiles, says hi and I can see from her face that she is wondering where does she know me from. The second nurse comes in and gives me a look, while saluting and starts running to her new case. I begin to feel like a movie star in the emergency room (hahaha) and I also got the feeling that the other patients, who are waiting as well, hate me a little, thinking that I have friends here. No, no friends, it’s just plain luck that tonight it’s the exact same shift as three weeks ago. I see the “morphine” nurse. She passes by quickly, then turns back and grabs my hand: “Are you ok?” I nod and explain the situation and she starts laughing: “Well in that case, no more morphine for you girl!”  I begin to look at the people around me: a five months pregnant woman who has a terrified look on her face and keeps rubbing her belly; she holds a lot of paperwork in her hands. They come and grab her quickly inside a room. An old lady with her whole face wrapped in bandages, who keeps crying, although as I understood she was not supposed to, while her son is holding her hand tight, trying to calm her down. A young boy with an open knee wound that keeps smiling at his visibly scared dad, telling him he’s fine. A lady who is nervous and tries to cover her anxiety reading some papers, while taping her feet to the ground in a constant move. I try to look away; they are making me nervous and sending me their emotions and I don’t want to feel anything, I refuse too.

If you remember character B from the funny story here, she and I keep in touch sometimes. She came to see me in the waiting room today and I was amazed to see her with a bag filled with the hospital’s morning biscuits. They are the best biscuits in the world (I am not kidding, they really are) and she remembered I liked them, so she brought me the stash of that whole week. I smiled and while I opened a pack and took my first bite, I heard her telling me that they’ve discovered she has cancer. I forgot to swallow or to chew the biscuit in my mouth and I didn’t know what to do. When I could move, a couple of seconds later, I grabbed her hand and didn’t say a word. She laughed and said: “Don’t worry honey; they’ll just give me something that we’ll make my hair fall out.” I nodded. I had no words as I usually don’t when someone is suffering. I just react in the way I would love for someone to react for me, and that means not talking for a while. They called my name and I remembered about the biscuit in my mouth, so I swallowed quickly and waved her goodbye. I glanced after her for a split second, watching her moving the wheelchair slowly towards the elevator; I think I heard a “Why?” in my head, but it disappeared as fast as it came when my eyes met the surgeon’s. I realized she made me feel something, although I kept refusing to.

On my way home, I was amazed by my new, almost morbid desire. Everyone who stepped into that waiting room had a story, a problem that needed to be fixed. Even the nurses had stories of their own, that had to be left at the door, outside to be able to take care of everybody else’s problem. So, the reporter in me tickled my senses and wanted nothing more than sit in that waiting room, being invisible if possible, and guess their stories, write them, pass them on and make people feel something, anything; because in these times, in this world we don’t allow ourselves to feel very much and we deny it more often they we should.

About the author

Ela Vasilescu

I’m a writer based in Florence, Italy.

Human nature inspires me, different cultures, traditions, folk stories and the differences which make us unique. Documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience, one which I embrace and honour every day.

If you have a story twitching in the back of your pocket, one that is ready to be told, shared and heard, chances are I will be ready to listen; so don’t hesitate to send me an email.

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Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu