The hospital was surrounded by lush green trees. On closer examination, she found out that they were Mango and Guava trees. It was the beginning of summer and the small green mangoes hung from the branches, waiting to ripen, waiting to fall down.
As she walked down the dusty brown path, the building started to emerge from behind the trees. It was a dilapidated single story white building. Unsure, she walked inside.
The doctor took her palms in his hand. He joined them together, examined them separately, followed the lines on her hand and shook his head.
“There is pain. I can see it,” said he.
She nodded her head.
“Hmm. It’s in the sole of your foot. Right under your big toe. ”
She nodded faintly again.
“Its travelling up your legs.” He pinched her calf to indicate its trajectory. Suddenly, she realized that there was a dull pain which she hadn’t noticed before.
He asked her to come again the next day.
But she lay in her bed, for the first time, acknowledging the pain, feeling it, feeling alive because of it.
Tears suddenly sprung in her eyes. The reason unfathomable.
She woke up one day, listening to the birds chirping. She decided to take a walk in the garden. But the pain in her foot, in her calf, in her thighs, made it very hard to walk. She said aloud, albeit to herself, “It looks like I am dragging my feet.” And then she smiled as she pondered over the duality of what she had spoken.
She decided that she would visit the doctor again. But the hot summer sun deterred her.
Weeks and months passed as she listlessly lived through the motions of life. The grey clouds and dampness of monsoon worsened her condition. The pain was now embedded in her body, between muscle and tissue, fat and skin, between the organs which breathe life and pump blood, in spaces which she didn’t know.
The early October nip in the air, woke her up from a deep slumber. The pain had spread to her gazelle like neck, delicate shoulders and even lined the contours of her face. She made her way to the hospital. The lush green trees were now shedding their leaves, green turning red and yellow, branches dancing naked in the cool wind.
She stood transfixed by the motion, by the gentle falling of leaves. She felt she was dancing with them, swaying with them, touching the earth and settling into stillness.
A figure in white was moving towards her. She smiled. A momentary freedom from pain. And then blackness enveloped her, like a blanket of night.
The doctor sighed as he wrote the report.
Cause of Death: Sadness.
* This piece of fiction is protected under creative commons copyright.