The Ambulance

I don’t think you realise what you regret until something happens – something comes along and makes you realise what has happened. I’m sitting here, absolutely wanting to be out of my mind right now. I can’t sit still and I can’t concentrate. I have an essay due tomorrow but I can’t do it. Not right now. It’s so much to think about. I’ve never seen an ambulance up close until tonight. That was something I could have lived without for a while longer. Hearing their doors open in the driveway. The seemingly normal living room, knowing what’s coming. Like foreboding. Seinfeld on the TV as if it’s nothing more than any other Wednesday night. But we all knew what was coming, who was coming. As Mum got up to open the door we all stare straight at the TV but no one’s watching it, no one cares. They walked in, green uniforms, big briefcase type bags full of things that I’m sure are magically medical. Their badges like reassurance. That everything would be okay but the grimness hangs in the air and no one really knows what to do. He sits on the couch as if he’s normal, as if nothing’s wrong. I told him before, “you can tell me nothing’s wrong when you can explain to me why you lost ‘a couple’ of hours out of your day today”. He’s stubborn, he sticks to what he knows. But that’s not what he needs right now. We all know he’ll be angry about it later but right now, we all need to know. They question him and the second man in the green uniform turns to me as I sit away from everything that’s happening, in my corner, hiding from the situation behind my laptop. He gives me a thumbs up and noticing my grim expression, he tells me to cheer up. I’ll cheer up when things are back to normal. When the night is normal. When he’s yelling at me for being a disgruntled teenager and I’m yelling at him about being an old drunkard. That’s when I’ll cheer up. They told him it wasn’t normal. We all told him it wasn’t normal. He knew, he didn’t want to admit it but he knew. They took him, the uniforms took him in the green ambulance. They told us to come – not to rush, but to come. We watched as he buckled himself in, alone. He was all alone and I hate that we didn’t go with him. He hates hospitals. He’s terrified. He’d never admit it but I know he’s terrified. It’s the exact stubbornness I’d have. You can’t show fear, fear is weakness. Emotion is weakness. But he hates them and yet he went. We all know something’s not normal. But for now we have nothing to do but wait and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But most of all I wish I’d hugged him before he got into the ambulance. Or told him it’d be okay, because even though it will, it would’ve meant a lot. I know it will. It has to be. He’s always the strong one but now we have to be strong. We have to wait. 

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