The night had fallen and the old couple had just finished their dinner. The wife was afraid due to her husband’s ill health since a few days and today they had finally decided to go to the doctor.
The only person living in their house apart from the two old birds was their grand-daughter. The old man had been in and out of his health for a few years and so their visits to the nearest hospital had been very frequent, most of which ended up in a week’s stay in the blue ward. Blue, because the curtains, bed sheets and uniforms, the sky, the veins and sometimes even the wall paints, they were all blue.
The little girl took a scarf and left the house to call for a transport. The hospital was a minute’s walk from their place but his grand-father was not in a condition to even take a few steps on his own.
The auto arrived in no time. The girl sat first, then sat her grand-mother and so on. This arrangement was proposed by her so that the old man wouldn’t be too troubled in moving in and out.
They reached the hospital in approximately 50 seconds or even lesser and were climbing those few stairs to the doorway.
“You should only take the two-bed ward for tonight, the one which is on the first floor. I don’t want you to be awake all night due to the lack of proper beds in the general ward.”
They had been to that hospital for quite a few times now to know which floors had what rooms and what number of beds.
To what the woman softly replied, “yea yea, this is the least of my worries right now.”
The receptionist looked at the girl and smiled. He had often seen her coming with food, tea, clothes and also with different people to the hospital. Many times she herself would clear all the bills at the end, of course with the money that came out of her grandmom’s little red bag tied in knots that always took more than a while to open. And since till-date all the bills had been cleared on time, the hospital staff had a certain trust developed for that family.
The three of them waited while the doctor was examining another patient in his cabin. The old man was growing very impatient and kept on peeping in. Finally, the man, or rather the only man in a white uniform called them in.
After a few minutes spent together, the old man was sent to the adjacent room for getting an injection. The old woman came out with a prescription which she handed over to her grand-daughter and went inside the room to help her husband.
Meanwhile, the girl ordered for the medicines and again spent a few minutes untying the knots of that red bag before she could receive the tablets.
They reached home in the same arrangement in which they had left it. It was 22:30 by then and they were all tired. After the old man had taken all the prescribed medicines, the girl and the woman started discussing the total expenditure at the hospital.
“I only paid 90 bucks for the tablets. How much did you pay for the injection and the consultancy fee?”
“Waaaiit, I didn’t pay anything to them, I will go and pay them tomorrow morning. I was so busy looking after him that I didn’t pay attention elsewhere.”
She started laughing. Now both of them, the woman and the girl were laughing their lungs out. They didn’t know what was so funny.
“I think the staff at the hospital knows me so well that now I don’t even have to worry about paying their fees anymore!” She laughs between her words. “I can just walk in and out wherever I want to, it’s like a park now, we keep visiting it for restoring your grand-father’s health!”
Now the old woman started to laugh so loudly that the little girl got scared, for a moment, horrified! She could hear the lungs of her grand-mother scratching, the same noise that comes out when two metals fiercely rub against each other. She stoped laughing. There was sadness now, and all the humour flew away. She could see her grand mother still laughing to herself and knew, that deep down that old woman was so scared that her worries were coming out in the form of a grim laugh.
She wished her goodnight and went to bed, wondering about all the emotions a laugh could contain.
P.S- A laugh is a laugh at the end of the day!
No matter why it filled our lungs, it’s still a great exercise!
Good night! : )