Short Story

In honour of national storytelling week, I thought I’d write a short story to share with you all.

They pass by. She watches. Some catch her eye, most don’t.

Her heart is heavy as they push past with bags, toys and smiles. She flashes a fake smile when they see her. They are leaving.

They are leaving and will probably never have to go through this again. Her heart aches as she watches. She spends her days watching.

Sometimes she gets to know a few of them. They exchange stories, tales and expectations. Her story always causes them to apologise for their own story.

Her phone vibrates. Quickly she grabs it before it falls. She exhales heavily as he doesn’t stir. He needs his sleep. Sleep can help. Sleep can do many things, she tells herself as she lets the phone ring out.

The stale air hangs heavy around her as she turns her attention once more to the window. Why put a window there? She ponders. Quickly she scoffs at herself, she knows the answer.

She has the perfect view. She can see everything. She watches the team too. They see her. They know that’s how she passes time.

They often make gestures at her, asking if a cup of tea would be welcomed or if she’d like to leave for a bite to eat.

Food. It’s fuel. It helps just as much as sleep does. She hasn’t had much of either of them in two weeks. She can’t bring herself to leave, not yet. She will leave, she knows she will, but just not right now.

She should be used to this. That’s what the team think, the experts. She can never get used to it. It’s a lonely place to be, yet it’s full of busyness.

She sighs as she watches the cleaners come in and begin their deep clean before they clock off for the weekend.

She has the room ready. She’s ready to be moved for the weekend to another room, on another floor with another window for her to look out of.

They have all left now. All gone home. Unlikely to be back for a long time, if at all.

The tap on door startles her.

“We will be moving shortly. Do you want to nip out for a bite?” He offers as he grabs a disposable apron ready to come and sit for a while.

“No. No I’m grand, thanks. I’ll wait until we are moved. Thank you” she smiles wearily.

She wants to be just like them. Those who are going home. Going back to their lives.

Each time they stay here, she has to hope that they all get to leave, together.

Beep… beep…beep

She watches the digits rise and fall. His head moves slightly. She walks towards him, takes his little hand in hers and gently kisses it.

He needs his sleep.

The orderly enters “Ready?” He asks.

“Yep” she takes all her hands can carry.

“Hopefully you will be out by next week” he smiles at her as he unlocks her son’s hospital bed.

This was originally published on Firefly


  1. This made me feel a little sad, thinking of a parent we left last time my daughter was in hospital. She had already been there for 3 months and her son was terminally ill awaiting another operation.

  2. This story makes me think of Summer 2016 when we had to go to get my baby’s heart operated… Not an easy one but I saw so many other parents in situations worse than us… Thinking of all parents in the hospital right now!

  3. This brought a tear to my eye. I can not imagine what you go through day in day out. I was only in for a few days with my youngest but it was honestly the most isolating place I have ever been x

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