Sleepy tired eyes, slightly disheveled hair and visibly exhausted, slowly she came out of the post-op c-section ward ; scratching rather badly at her right collar. For any normal person this wouldn’t be a particularly pleasant sight. But it sure was for him. He took a moment to observe his beloved angel as she walked towards him. There was so much to absorb that he was sort of startled when she waved her hand while still rubbing her eyes with the other and said ‘Hey!, How did you come here?!’
Ofcourse this was a surprise visit. It had been three weeks since she had joined her post graduate DGO course. When she left she had given him a stern warning as to not come to meet her before december. A warning which he really gave no heed to. It wasn’t intentional though. He would have followed this instruction had it not been for their alternate night conversations over the phone wherein she would tell him how her alternate Emergency and OT days were going. The work load was tremendous and it was starting to bog her down earlier than he had anticipated. She sent him a photo of her in the labour ward. A disposable OT mask hanging from her ears covering her chin below an attempted happy smile and wearing a soiled white apron. Normally any photo of hers would send him into a trance but not this one. He noticed she had lost weight and had slightly larger dark circles now. And for someone who had seen through that pretty face for the past 6 years, he could see that the work load was getting to her. He couldn’t resist. He had to go and see her.
And there he was. Soaking in every moment of her presence. She spoke softly and her voice was slightly raspy. It was Sunday morning 10 am and she had her emerg day yesterday. From her voice it was clear to him that she had a heavy day ; gynaecologists are never quiet at work after all. She repeated her question ‘How did you come?’. He was so lost in the moment that he replied ‘I came to see you!’. She gave him a puzzled look. ‘Yes. I can see that. But how?’ she said , moving both her hands as if to ride a virtual motorcycle. Now that made him smile ( to the point that he looked like a complete idiot). ‘I took a bus’ he replied, answering her question this time.
She was still scratching herself. But she realised he wasn’t too happy with her doing that. Any more scratching and she would have had an oozing wound. She stopped it and as if to divert his attention she asked what his plan was. It took him a couple minutes to fill her in on the city-hopping tour he was on and that he would be staying in his friend’s hostel room. She seemed relieved to realise they might get some time together in the evening. He knew she had ward work pending as it would normally take her upto 4-5 pm to get things done. ‘You do your work, have a bath, get refreshed and then call me. We will have lunch together.’ She nodded her head, ‘I’ll call you soon.’ ‘I’ll be waiting.’ He gave her a reassuring smile, a gentle tap on her hand, waved goodbye and watched her go back into the ward. Her body language already looking better as she entered the doctors room and was out of his sight. For the next 3 hours he could think of nothing but the sight of her walking out of that ward ,and their small conversation. Those 5 minutes played back in his mind. At 1:30 pm they met again. This time inside their PG canteen. And Wow was she a pleasing sight now. All cleaned up and tidy. Hairs combed and tied in a single pony to perfection. Her weight loss meant she looked legitimately hot. She had taken the time to wear sky blue earrings matching her T-top. Three weeks ago her jeans button was struggling to stay in place and here she was today; comfortable in a pair one size smaller. She realised he was gawking at her and tapped at his hand, ‘Hungry?’. ‘Absolutely’ he said, answering both her questions. They exchanged familiar naughty looks and ordered lunch. She had a lot to say (as always) and he did his part as a patient listener and gave occasional encouraging inputs to cheer her up. As they finished eating she gave a small complaining moan. She had to go back to the ward for her afternoon rounds. She would need around 3 hours for all the paperwork so they decided to meet again at 6 pm. In the meantime he slept, as the bus journey had ensured he had little sleep. It was 6:15pm and there wasn’t a word from her. He sent her a few stupid romantic emojis. The message was delivered after a few minutes. She had promptly replied she would be late. Her seniors were obsessing over one of her small mistakes and she was being scolded. Further messages were not being delivered. 7:00 pm and he couldn’t take it. He hadn’t come all this way to stare at Hostel room walls. He started for her ward, determined to help her with any work. She was having a discussion with her co-resident when he reached her ward sideroom. Their gloomy expressions were self explanatory that their seniors had not been kind to say the least. Apparently three of their planned operative patients had not reserved blood from the blood bank. Though none of their fault, both girls had had to listen to harsh scolding for the same. 7:40pm they walked out of the hospital building. There was a calm comforting breeze. But his dearest was feeling none of it. She was lost in thoughts, mostly depressing ones. They had earlier planned on going to the town market to get a few things. But it was too late for that now. They thought of dining somewhere nice. But none of them knew any good places. Also the town wasn’t listed on Zomato. Maps showed PVR theatre to be relatively close to the hospital. They settled on a movie date plan. As they got into the cab, he could see she was still feeling low. Putting his arm around her, he stroked her hair and her cheeks. She looked at him, gave a tinny tiny smile and leaned on his shoulder. With a gentle kiss on her head he started counselling her out of the bad mood. He wasn’t very successful though. In part because she still had to and was calling the relatives of those three patients for blood donations. They didn’t have much of a choice as to which movie to watch as they reached the booking counter. An uninteresting movie at 8:15 pm was their only option. They still had 15 minutes so they looked for something to eat and ordered chicken rolls and shevpuri. She could never resist chaat afterall. The movie began and his arm was around her almost in an instant. She leaned on him; more comfortable this time. 5 minutes into the movie he realised it wasn’t going to be any good. So he thought of having some conversation and looked at her. She was fast asleep. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. It was dark in the theatre but he could make out every detail of her face with the fluctuating dim reflected light off the screen. His poor girl had no energy to sit through a movie, let alone a bad one like this. He just kept looking at her till she woke up around 20-30 minutes later. ‘Lets leave’ he suggested. She hesitated at first but later decided to leave during the interval. He held her face in his hands and gave a peck on her forehead, ‘Sleep’ he said. A faint smile followed and she slept again. They took off as the interval began. She was again in his arms as they sat in another cab. This time she let a lot of her frustration out. She went on a rant while he did what he did best – listen. Another round of counselling followed as they arrived in the hospital campus. It was 10pm. He knew she had to go and rest. But he didn’t want to leave her. Sadness was written all over his face. ‘You worry too much sweetheart. I’ll be fine.’, she said reassuringly. He gave a half-hearted nod. ‘Come again only after your exam in December’ she repeated her instruction knowing fully in her heart that she would see him sooner. He finally convinced his inner immature romantic teenager to call it a day. She had to sleep. For someone having to sleep 5hrs alternate nights, every minute of sleep is precious. He wanted to give her a tight hug, a passionate kiss and let her know exactly how he was feeling. PDA wasnt an option though. So they just shook hands, said goodbye and he watched her slowly walk away. She looked back at him once before she entered her room and waved goodbye. The door closed and he stood there motionless. He knew they won’t meet again for a few months atleast. But what saddened him the most was the fact that he couldn’t help her in any way with her hectic work. She was right; he did care too much. As his train took him further away from her, he sent her a message – “Goodbyes are getting harder”