October 20, 2018; Anticlimactic

This morning, the doctors wheeled dozens of bodies out of the hospital. I don’t know where they went, but I don’t think they were alive. They were probably being reburied.

After that, they opened the hospital doors, and Bill and I were some of the first ones inside. We went to the overcrowded reception desk, fighting for the flustered receptionist’s attention. After a few minutes, she gave us a room number, and off we went.

When we finally reached room 113, Bill stopped outside the door. I could feel his anxiety. “It’ll be alright,” I told him. He nodded unconvincingly, but he opened the door and went into the room nonetheless.

“Hey, Bill. Oh, and you too, Marty,” Max said as I walked through the door.

“Hey, Max. What’s the prognosis?” Bill just stood there, silent, worried.

Max laughed. “You won’t believe this.”

“Try me,” I said.

“I had a hairline fracture in my leg! That’s it! It healed within a day. I tried to get out of here, but they’ve had the hospital on lockdown. I guess others weren’t as lucky as me.”

I gave a long laugh and looked at Bill. “That’s it! He’s fine!” I said.

“Fine!” Bill agreed, smiling. He gave Max a huge hug, not letting him go. “I was so worried,” he whispered. He stepped back. “So when do you get to leave?”

“As soon as someone gets me the damn paperwork.”

We waited and talked for a while as the hospital staff dealt with their gaggle of patients and families. Finally, after what felt like days, they got the paperwork.

Outside, I parted ways with Bill and Max. Better to let them spend some time by themselves. I’ll get to see them tomorrow. Plus, I don’t want to hear that.

-M A R T Y

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