While walking through the exhibition titled ‘ Talking with Strangers’, my friend, Bailey, was reminded of the toys you would play with at the doctors office. This gave me an idea to write my short story.
She watched as her daughter pulled the rings through the maze, paying careful attention to each of the loops. She sat praying that she would never have to see her here again.
It had been just a few years ago that her daughter, Jesse, was diagnosed with cancer, so they had spent more days at the doctors office than she could remember. Today marked three months after her last chemotherapy appointment. Her daughter had just completed her PET scan, and while Jesse didn’t quite understand the severity of today, she knew that she must stay strong despite what the results said. She wanted nothing more in the world than to walk out of this office with good news to share with their family.
This past few years resembled the toy that Jesse was playing with, full of loops to go through only to be forced to go back to the beginning. She had watched her 9 year old daughter go through unimaginable pain, feeling more and more helpless each time, and only wanted her to be the same peppy little girl she was not too long ago.
“Jessie, we are ready for you,” the nurse called out and before going to meet her at the door, they looked at each other nervously. This was the moment they had been waiting for.
She grabbed onto Jesse’s hand as they sat across from the doctor, making sure not to be too forceful with her fragile daughter. The doctor welcomed them and opened the file to review the final results of the scan. For a second, everything in her body went numb as she prepared herself for whatever was about to happen. As the doctor started speaking, she zoned out and thought about every moment she had shared with her daughter, good and bad.
“I can officially say that you, Ms. Jesse, are cancer free. Congratulations,” the doctor closed the file and smiled.
They both broke into tears and embraced each other with the good news. They thanked the doctor and all the nurses for everything they had done for them these past few years. Before walking outside, they turned around for a quick second, leaving behind all of the painful memories, and walked out of the office, hand in hand, towards a new and beautiful life.
*Piece made by Ariel Maldonado
CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East