“I have prescribed some analgesics; and please make sure that you do have them”, said Dr. John Morgan, in a stern voice. Doctors of his hierarchy had to be stern with patients, to ensure that the patients never skipped their doses of tablets. Dr. John Morgan had the physique, which grabbed the eyeballs of his women patients. Morgan’s physique had often resulted in funny banters taking place among his peers; who suggested John to try his luck as a supermodel, rather than doing the mind-numbing job of a ‘Master of Surgeon’ (MS). He towered over his colleagues and stood at an eye- popping 6 feet 4 inches. Doctors hardly were such gigantic in stature. John was considerably young as well for an M.S., aged just 37. But for John, his job was everything. He never let his looks come between his job and career. There were instances when John often slept in the hospital, when the late night surgeries often extended, way above their designated time.
The City Hospital was filled with hustle-bustle and the chitter-chatter of the nurses and the ward boys throughout. It was a mammoth hospital; with seven storey’s and as many as eight Operation Theatres. The flowery fragrance of the phenyl, spread over the snow coloured floors diffused throughout the hospital. Dr. Morgan’s chamber was on the fourth floor, and was sandwiched between two ICU Wards. The fact that he was busy throughout the day was an understatement indeed.
The clock in Dr. John Morgan’s chamber had struck a 90 degree pose, indicating the time to be nine pm. That day had been really tiring and exhausting for Morgan. It was one of those rare days, when Morgan wanted to leave early for home and be far from his place of work. He had never felt the same regarding his job. All John wanted was, a week off from his work, and visit his brother’s family, in the neighboring town. John already had a strained relationship with his brother; and didn’t want to worsen it further, by not visiting him. John looked at the portrait of Jesus Christ with tired and sleep-deprived eyes. This was not an uncommon habit for John. Whenever he was stressed out and grumpy, he often stared at the portrait of Jesus blessing his disciples. He believed that, by doing so it would calm him down.
John decided that he would leave early for the day and left his chamber. Just as John exited the third elevator, on the ground floor, one of the ward-boys came rushing towards him. The ward boy, Peter was panting and in a stammering voice said, “Wait Dr. John. Don’t go! We need you!” “Calm down Peter! What’s the matter?” “Dr. John, bomb explosions have rocked the city! One of them took place at the nearest railway station, just a mile away. The death toll is going to rise. You should be in the hospital, as a lot of victims would be admitted over here”, replied Peter, in a trembling voice. John stood still, as though the world had ceased to exit. A drop of sweat crossed his face, but he didn’t feel it. Morgan rushed back to the fourth floor, and gazed at the T.V. set in the canteen.
“BOMB BLASTS ROCK CITY! ATLEAST 50 DEAD!” said the reporter. “Fellas, we in for a night out,” said Dr. Andrew, in his casual American accent.
The news channel, broadcasted some disturbing images of the victims, and John, already stressed out questioned his instinct, that could he manage to pass out the night of gore and blood. John glanced at the lobby from the stairs, and could see people in hundreds, thronging the City Hospital. As he walked past the lobby, John could sense the pain and agony of the victims’ family. The daughter of a deceased, stood crying and yelling in grief. While the mother of a teenage victim, sprinted from one corner to the other, in search of a doctor. In contrast, sat a lady in her fifty’s, staring silently, at her brother’s lifeless body, riddled with nails. A stretcher went past John, carrying the headless body of a victim. The white, snow coloured floors that shone on most of the occasions, had turned red with blood. The usual silence of the ICU Ward had been substituted with the crying and yelling of victims and their families.
Dr. Morgan’s first patient arrived, with the layers of his skin hanging out like over-sized shirts. Without even wasting a nano-second, John took the victim into the Operation Theatre, and began his job. “Sterilised needles quickly!” said John in a loud and clear tone. These were the testing times for a doctor. Such situations determined that the real mettle within the doctor. It took about an hour for John, to complete his first job. The second patient too arrived quickly, with his forehead having severe cuts and bruises. This would be a considerably easy job for John, as compared to the operation of the first victim.
For the next couple of hours, John operated up to three more victims, one of whom couldn’t be saved. It was after his fifth surgery, that the news channel flashed yet another breaking news, saying that another bomb detonation had rocked the city. The toll of the dead was obvious to scale greater heights. The numbers of victims being rushed into the City Hospital were escalating at astonishing rates. Dr. John kept on operating patient after patient, in hope that the misery and agony would finally come to a standstill. But it would happen so only after a couple of hours.
It was quarter past two, when John was said that he could leave, as the situation in the hospital was finally under control. A relieved look embraced John’s face, and John finally had some respite. John left for the basement parking lot and throughout the five minute walk, all the nerve-wrecking images of the past four hours juggled around in the 37 year olds mind. John ignited the engine of his car, and drove past the lane of the City Hospital. Just as John went past the railway station, John’s sedan was jolted massively. Within a fraction of a second, John flung out of his car and fell on the pavement. Within seconds, he lay unconscious, surrounded by a pool of blood. It was the third detonation of the day.
Finally after a couple of days, arrived Jason, John’s brother, to claim his body from the morgue of the City Hospital.
Yes, the very hospital which John considered as his “second home.”