The Best Day of his Life

Submitted into Contest #99 in response to: Begin your story with somebody watching the sunrise, or sunset.... view prompt



So sorry for your loss, but look on the bright side ma’am, this corridor is duck egg blue. Whoever had decided that hospitals were to be grey, he decided, had better not have made any other decisions that would play a part in his life. People were here having the best days and the worst days of their lives, the scariest and the most underwhelming, and all the while the walls were trying to disappear. Trying so hard to not be noticeable that they had the opposite effect, and one spent a large section of the best day or the worst day of their life contemplating who had decided to make this place so dismal. All round some pretty bad decision making in his opinion, although he wasn’t quite sure what he would have done himself in their shoes. Perhaps a nice pastel colour, doors all silver. Must be careful not to be insensitive and make your building look quite frankly offensive to the recently widowed or whatever.

From his current vantage point, he could enjoy the small mercy of not having a view of the inside of the building at all, instead he stood gazing from the window, watching everything and nothing all at once. Even if he had been trying to pay much attention to the outside world, he would have struggled. It was still dark out, had been all the time he had been here so far, but the sun was surely on its way, a deep blue line forming along the horizon of the black sky. He had been to this hospital many times before, but the frantic rush through identical corridors had disoriented him - not that he would admit that, he was just a little distracted, that was all - and he wasn’t sure what he would be greeted with when the sun had made enough progress. He hoped it was woodland, at least a green verge. Not more hospital buildings, he would despair.

There had been a room, it had seemed like he would be allowed to wait there but he hadn’t wanted to. Hadn’t wanted to look at the empty bed, to be alone and obvious. Instead he had left, finding an alcove in a corridor that someone had squeezed a sofa into, evidently an old one from the staff room that they had felt was too much of a waste to simply throw away. Not that he was ever going to sit on the sofa, no he would remain here standing guard over the uncertain outdoors. Truthfully, he had chosen this alcove because its sofa was already occupied and he hoped his presence too would attract more stragglers. Encourage them to believe this was the place to be to wait, to experience the best day or worst day of your life. The more the merrier, he could blend in and try to disappear just like those damned walls, and if he disappeared well enough, he could finally let himself think.

To his delight, delight which he quickly squashed and scolded himself over experiencing, the sun when it did rise, rose directly in front of him. It was trying its best now, the sky was almost all a nice light blue (a bit too deep perhaps for the colour of my hospital walls) and he could have tried to convince himself that he could smell it in the air. The beginning of a new day, a fresh and unblemished one. How ironic. To make matters worse, it was even springtime. He was sure there was a lesson here somewhere but he decided not to learn it. There would be no hoping today, there would be very decisive and purposeful realism.

The woman living on the legendary sofa beside him was bouncing a blonde toddler on her knee, feeding it tiny biscuits out of a plastic tub with a flexible green lid that the child seemed to find much more interesting. He spent a good two minutes contemplating whether the biscuits were intended for children at all or whether they were really dog treats, and then he tried to decide whether anyone would even notice she was feeding her child dog treats if she did it with such confidence. Perhaps many people she came across thought the same thing but kept it to themselves. It was, after all, not the sort of thing one asked a stranger, especially not a stranger having the best day or the worst day of their life.

Now that was something he felt he could question. Admittedly, big things happened to people in hospitals. They might leave plus or minus a person, perhaps even minus a part of themselves, but people also came here and left pretty much the same. It was unreasonable to say that everyone here was having the best day or the worst day of their life. And now he considered it, maybe they didn’t even say that, whoever they were. Perhaps he had imagined this, perhaps they simply said it could be such a key day, not that it necessarily would be. He figured it was unimportant what they said really, it didn’t make much difference to him now, he was firmly in the original percentage. This would be the best day or the worst day of his life.

The sun had made it over the edge of the earth by this point and it was busy painting a long golden rectangle on the wall opposite the window. He turned to face this new exhibit of sunlight, sitting on the windowsill and quickly getting bored of his new view. He had traded the housing estate outside the window for a wall, and he was concerned the woman sitting on the sofa with her child may not appreciate him intruding on her space so obviously. It had been ok before, but now that they were faced the same way, somehow there was the lingering chance in the air that one might talk to the other, say something generic about the weather or the grey walls. Of course neither of them intended on that, but they couldn’t know that the other didn’t either. Best to be on the defensive then, he would turn back around and watch people in suits climbing into their cars, off to places they didn’t seem they wanted to go. But he didn’t turn around, his eye was caught by a man coming down the corridor, rubbing something into his hands and shrugging himself into a lab coat in what seemed to be a well practiced action. He smiled.

“Sir, you have a son”

June 23, 2021 23:03

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.