Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

She was mopping off the dextrose spills at Corridor C when she heard her name over the intercom.

“Janice, to the ER please. Janice, to the ER.”

She turned to look at kind old Mrs. Pintley, sleeping faithlessly in front of her, a new dextrose tube attached to her frail hand. She entered the room, fluffed up Mrs. Pintley’s pillow, and rolled the brown mop cart out. She closed the door, ever so gently, hearing the faint click of the lock.

On her way downstairs, she passed by Rob, the only guy at the nurse’s desk. He was leaning his chair against the wall, his feet up on a stool. His sneer was lost on her as she casually waved her arm at him. He sat up a bit straighter, and gave a cough, half-apologetically for slacking.

She paused by the desk and gave Rob a swift peck on the cheek, causing the forty-two year old man to blush, his crimson face contrasting with the impecably white uniform they had on. He awkwardly tapped her on the shoulder.

By the lift, she saw Mr. Uy and his daughter. The lights were on on the lift and she could hear the whirring sound of a rising elevator as she cordially smiled at the father-daughter team. As the door rattled open, Mr. Uy’s daughter took her octogenarian father’s hand and led him inside. Janice picked up Mr. Uy’s walker and moved it inside the lift.

As she walked down the hall, she heard the silent cries inside the prayer room. Peeking inside, she saw a middle-aged woman. She never knew her name — she saw her a few days ago, at the cancer ward for children. She made her way inside and put her hand on the woman’s shoulder. After a few seconds, she felt the calloused but gentle hand resting on hers.

When she finally reached the ER, a butch big woman came to her.

“Jesus, where’ve you been?” the cross head nurse inquired. “We got vomits by the beds, you know the drill. Mr. Jimmy’s scheduled for tonight.”

Approximately, 20 minutes later, she was on her final break for the evening. Hunched at the employee break room, she opened her cellphone. She didn’t know much people here, and she wasn’t really expecting anything, but she saw one unread international text message pop up.

We miss you, mommy!! Wish you were here. We love you so so so much. Merry Christmas. — Daddy, Jun-Jun, April

She put her phone down, closed her eyes, and slowly started to hum


This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.

Please consider liking Deelaytful on Facebook. We’re doing a promotion in preparation for the 200th post in a couple of weeks. If we get 500 likes before the 200th post, I will be uploading a video of myself singing a medley of Disney Princesses songs on YouTube.