26 comments

Creative Nonfiction Sad Inspirational

I wouldn’t call it hate; I simply envied the little girl waiting outside the Operation Theatre. 

Extracting the tumour was laborious. My arms were lodged into position so firmly that I reckoned moving them would inevitably cause them to fall to the floor, dragging my body weight with it. So, maintaining my arms in the same awkward position, I compelled my feet to carry myself to the sink, washed off the smell of rubber gloves from my hands with hospital-scented water, and closed my eyes for a much-needed rest.


The cool liquid served as a lubricant to allow my fingers a narrow range of motion. They shook, and I wheezed.

The clean-shaven intern stared at me quizzically, with a blithe disregard for proper etiquette. And why wouldn’t he? The surgery was successful, so much so that any surgeon would be chest-bloatedly, beamingly, fake-modestly proud of the accomplishment. Instead, to postpone conversing with the patient’s family, the little girl, I picked at the thin cotton of my mask and risked wetting the surgical cap in my hand. I inhaled vigorously. 


“You”, I turned to the intern. “Inform the family.”


My repertoire of unfriendly snarks and remarks was well-known. He nodded and scuttled towards the doors without hesitation. 


I wasn’t always like this. I remember my first day at the hospital: 


I bounced down the sorrowful hospital halls, greeted everyone- underpaid nurses, dying patients, penniless parents- with an ignorant cheer. 


A constellation of colours adorned the inside of my locker in which I kept my Medical books on dissections of the human body. 


My white coat was white, untainted still by drops of foreign blood and dried ketchup. 


Every day, during lunch hour, I’d sit with fellow interns to glare at the unsuspecting, grumpy Dr. Scott. I hated him. I hated his, “What are you crying over? It’s just a patient. Just one life. Get over it.” 

And now, I’ve taken his place, followed his footsteps, and have been waiting for an untimely death of my own.



Today was not an anniversary of any sort, and yet a reminder sat just meters away from me: the little girl had cried for her mother; she had begged me to save her mother. It took only one look; only one look of uncontrolled ebullition had her cowering behind the nurses.


Nonetheless, I had vowed to donate- no, sacrifice- my life, my time, my opinions, my emotions for the good of society and its people. Today, I had offered my profession any remaining sympathy for my mental health, pushed aside emotions that risked the surgery’s success, and saved the mother. 


With caution and a still chest, I tiptoed from behind the group of nurses crowding and blocking the little girl’s view and turned to a different hallway.


 The uneasiness in my chest, once bubbling up my throat, ebbed as I faltered towards my office and away from the girl. I stumbled into the cold room- no attempts to keep the room warm had been successful- and collapsed near the empty bin. I retched. Unbid tears rolled down to allow me a taste of how salty, how unsavoury my life had turned out. I retched again. The unforgiving coldness of the marble floor had me shivering for mercy- the room I grew up in had marble floors; the house I spent my youth in had marble floors; the house my mother raised me in had marble floors. 


Today, years since I visited my home, the memories were more scattered than ever. I couldn’t recall the books I had read in that house, but I could effortlessly list those I suggested to my mother. My favourite frocks didn’t manifest themselves in my mind, but I will never forget her long skirt and buttoned-up shirts. I could try- neither do I want to, nor have I ever- to remember the distractions that kept me from spending my weekends with her, but all I know is her toothy smile, the one reserved only for me. 

I left that house, and her, over a decade ago. I despised the confining walls, the conservative father, and their prison bars. She saved me from its patriarchy. Instead, she encouraged me to succumb to my weakness- my appetite for science. It engulfed me; I should’ve let it only accompany me. 

The day she wished me a ‘safe journey’, I said, “I’m never coming back, Ma.” She cried for one last embrace, and I proclaimed her ‘silly’. 


I crawled to where the telephone sat on the floor- courtesy of the piles and piles of papers and files on my desk- and caressed the inch-long crack on the teal handle. It was my anchor. Through this very telephone, in the initial years at the hospital, I had fed my mother excuses and explanations to avoid her spam calls: Did you eat yet? Have you taken your pills? Call papa, he misses you. Talk to me, I’m dying. 

And through this very telephone, I had said, “I’m busy. Bye.”


Cuddling the telephone after every surgery had become a routine, a tradition. It was as if I was expecting a call to inform me of the stark opposite of what I had heard that day. 

“Hey”, my brother had whispered. “Any last words?” 

Now, I regret the silent sobs I had emitted. I regret the words I did not say. I regret the “I love you” she didn’t get to hear. 


As a 15-year-old, young with ambition, I had announced, “I will be a neurosurgeon by the time I’m 35.”


“That’s impossible. Look at you, a frail little girl”, papa had said. 


“Fine. I’ll be a neurosurgeon by the time I am 30.”


A light knock to the door kept me from transgressing sanity. Shabbily wiping away my tears and expertly putting on a face of indifference, I opened the door. 


Innocence redolent of my recent past stared back at me; the indifference on my face rephrased into anger, envy. 

The little girl stared back at me with courage and resolve. “Thank you for saving my mom”, she said. When I didn’t accept the rose she had held up for me, she frowned, dropped it at my feet, and bounced away. 


 That cruel day too, seconds after Ma had left, I had saved a daughter. That day too, seconds before the phone call, I had saved a mother. That day too, I wailed for my own mother, the way she must’ve wailed when I had said, “I’m busy, bye.”






December 02, 2020 21:15

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26 comments

I loved the entire idea and concept of your story. Plus, I like that it is sad, yet inspirational, because I think to make a story like that takes a lot of talent and effort which we must put into consideration. Overall, I loved this story a lot Ash, you did an amazing job! :)

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Aesha Amin
22:23 Dec 02, 2020

Ahh you have no idea how happy your words make me. Thank you for reading!

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Thank you so much!! :)

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Shea West
15:48 Dec 12, 2020

I highly encourage you to go back to your Bio and update it. Because listen up, this was really really good! I suspect you know your writing is good, but maybe are afraid to say so???? Age shouldn't dictate whether you're any better than any other 17 yo that is writing right now. Your story demonstrated that weird layer of family life that is hard to peel away, it's permanent and bothersome at times. Yet, her professional life was saving other families with ease, and being able to walk away from the accolades and roses. The sadness, I ge...

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Aesha Amin
14:01 Dec 13, 2020

Hi! I’ve been told I’m good but I know I’m not good enough yet. I won’t be taking literature or writing in college so I’m a bit insecure of my writing. But thanks to comments like these and my best friend, I’ve been gaining confidence. (Finally changed my pen name to my real name haha) I had an advantage while writing this story: this story is my worst fear. I believe that is why I could portray the sadness well. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you so much for this comment. I couldn’t ask for better motivation!

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Leonard Kizito
08:26 Dec 10, 2020

If ever a piece of work deserves a comment this deserves a compliment....wonderful writing, Ash

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Aesha Amin
14:17 Dec 11, 2020

Hi! That’s a wonderful compliment, thank you so so much!

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Leonard Kizito
17:18 Dec 12, 2020

You are welcome

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Maddy Faggioli
19:49 Dec 07, 2020

I love your descriptive writings! I'm 16 and an avid reader myself, and it's honestly really inspiring to see such beautiful writing coming from someone around my age. It makes me feel like it's possible. If you're looking for notes, I will have to contradict myself. What I love most is your descriptiveness, though at some points I had to reread a few sentences because it was congested. I'm not sure if I would even call that a bad thing though, I think it was a wonderful read and it seemed to only add to the story.

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Aesha Amin
23:33 Dec 07, 2020

Hi! Honestly, I wasn’t half as good as you are when I was 16 (look at me talk as if I’ve aged beyond years) so you can only imagine how good you’ll be at 17. Thank you so much for the input. My friends too pointed out the complexity of some sentences but I just can’t seem to find alternatives. I hope I’ll learn to mend that with time. Anyways, thank you for reading the story!

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16:25 Dec 07, 2020

Hey Ash! I read your bio- and it is totally relatable. Reading is my favorite past time. Exams are coming up for me too (next week) and instead of studying for bio (which is what I should be doing), I am reading stories on Reedsy and writing my own for the contest (I am thinking of it as studying for English :)). And, hey, keep in mind that even if other 17 year-olds are publishing books right now, doesn't mean you have to be. ;) This story was very sad, but it also held my attention. You have talent- your writing flows very well and y...

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Aesha Amin
23:45 Dec 07, 2020

Haha I should be studying for bio right now too. Thank you so much for reading and for your wonderful feedback (I’ll be gloating all week). I guess what I usually do for vocabulary is that I keep a separate book for new words, their meanings, and the sentence I read the word in. And then every time I write a story, I try to incorporate as many words as I can. That way I can learn the words without having to memorise them. For writing with deeper meanings, I didn’t realise I could do that. As for this story, I wrote it partially because i...

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Philip Ebuluofor
18:51 Dec 05, 2020

17years and wonder piece. Fine work for sure.

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Aesha Amin
20:06 Dec 05, 2020

Hi! Thank you so much, for reading and for this comment (which btw made my day)

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Raquel Rodriguez
22:39 Dec 03, 2020

Hey Ash! So, I liked your idea for this story! You completed the same prompt I did :) I noticed a few things while I was reading. 1.) 'The cool liquid served as lubricant to allow my fingers a narrow range of motion. They shook and I wheezed.' After shook, the sentence requires a comma, so the sentence would be: 'The cool liquid served as lubricant to allow my fingers a narrow range of motion. They shook, and I wheezed.' 2.) 'The surgery was successful, so much so that any surgeon would be chest-bloatedly, beamingly, fake...

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Aesha Amin
11:17 Dec 04, 2020

This is exactly what I was looking for. I'll make the changes and try not to repeat the mistakes again. Thank you so much!

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Raquel Rodriguez
15:21 Dec 04, 2020

I'm really glad! No problem!

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Nora K.
23:06 Dec 02, 2020

Hello again!! :) This is such a lovely and engaging read!! Your characters are so wonderfully written! Amazingly realistic dialogue, along with fantastically creative descriptions!! A superbly fabulous story, keep up the marvelous work!! :) -Nora :)

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Aesha Amin
01:23 Dec 03, 2020

Thank you Nora!! It’s nothing less than an honour to receive such a review from someone as good at writing as you are <3

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Nora K.
12:36 Dec 03, 2020

Oh, I’m simply flattered! Thanks so much!! :)

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22:43 Mar 25, 2021

#StopDownvotingNow Share to ten friends, thanks! Tell then people what you like about them and their writing! Share this to someone feeling sad and thinking about elaving. If you leave, leave up your stories. Many people think they're great. Keep the up. If you're gone, don't remove your comments. Others might hear your voice in them, and it's not like you'll get downvoted if you aren't there anymore. Keep your stories up. We need more joy and you can spread it.

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13:50 Dec 08, 2020

As a newcomer, this is the first story I'm reading and I totally love it.

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Aesha Amin
15:48 Dec 08, 2020

Hey! Thank you so much and welcome to Reedsy :))

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This was a great story with wonderful concepts, great job Ash! I felt the emotion that almost seemed to be locked behind a door throughout, and at the end it flooded and rushed...great job!

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Aesha Amin
23:34 Dec 07, 2020

Hey! Thank you so so much!

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Of course!

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