QB Short Stories

Late

Beta, can you please get my medicines from the chemist”, yelled Sagar’s mother, her voice just slightly louder than the noisy kitchen exhaust fan. “Yes maa, I will go in a while.. god..chill please”, he bellowed back. “Ok beta”, said his mother and continued to wash the dishes with a smile on her face. Her son was twenty years old and yet she felt the need to remind him about things many times. She had not been keeping well for the past few months. She used to get migraines and often felt very faint and dizzy. The doctor was yet to find out the cause of her problem and for the meantime had prescribed some pills to help lower the severity of her condition. These attacks were very unpredictable and increased in intensity each time. She had just run out of her stock of medicine. She did not wish to go and get it herself as the chemist shop was quite far and she had to prepare food for a special dinner tonight.

Twenty minutes later, with all the dishes washed, she called out, “Beta I am walking over to the grocery store to buy some vegetables for dinner, I will be back in a while, lock the door, will you? And don’t forget to get my medicines”. “Okay maa, coming..yes please don’t nag”, replied Sagar, in an irritated tone. He bid his mother goodbye, locked the door, went back to his room and started watching his favourite TV series ‘House of Cards’. Totally engrossed in it, he lost track of time. When his mother came back, she found him fast asleep. Not having the heart to wake him up, she went to the kitchen and started cooking for dinner. Her sister would be coming over and she was quite excited to meet her after a long time. Humming a tune, she got busy with her work. Baked vegetables and pasta were the meal for tonight. As she put the dish in the oven, she started to feel dizzy. “Oh god, this again”, she thought, feeling frustrated with what seemed like another upcoming attack. She poured herself a glass of water and sat down. After a few minutes, she tried to get up but felt even dizzier. She started to feel faint. She slowly stumbled towards the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet. Fumbling around the shelves for her medicine, her hand fell on an empty bottle. “The medicines”, she thought, Sagar must have forgotten and gone to sleep. Almost on the verge of blacking out, she tried calling out, “Sa-ga-ar, Sa-a-gar”, as loud as she could, but all that came out was a gurgled sound. She couldn’t hold on anymore, and with a dull thud, she fell to the bathroom floor.

Yawning and stretching, Sagar woke up. It was 7 pm. He had slept for 3 hours straight. Rubbing his eyes, he got up slowly and went to the kitchen. “Maa?”, he called out. There was no response. He walked over to the dining room. He saw a note on the table in his dad’s handwriting. “Masi and I have taken maa to the hospital, call on this number when you see this” and below was what looked like the number of a hospital. He dialed frantically, his heart beating fast. A female voice picked up, “ART hospital, how may I help you?” “Hello? ward number 712 please, jaldi kijiye.” An annoying two-minute musical tone later he reached his dad, “Papa what happened? Where is maa? Is she ok?”, he asked shakingly. “Beta, she fainted in the bathroom while looking for her medicines today. Her condition is getting worse. She is not feeling good right now. They are taking many tests”, his father said in a grave tone. “Papa I am coming wait..” Wearing his shoes hurriedly, he ran out of his house, screamed out to an autowala, hopped in and reached the hospital within fifteen minutes. Running to the ward he went to his father with tears in his eyes, “Papa, I forgot the medicines…I am sorry, I fell asleep..” His father looked at him with sad eyes. “I know beta” “Papa what do we do now?”, he asked, choking on his tears. His father pulled a stool for him. They sat next to the bed on which maa was lying down, “We wait”.

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