Beatrice entered her newest patient's room in the ICU for their hourly check-up. The newest patient was a small girl who had been in a horrible car wreck in which her parents had survived initially, but had died shortly after arriving at the hospital. The girl had undergone numerous surgeries and was now stable. Beatrice saw herself in the little girl, as she had been through quite a similar tragedy in which her parents had died and she had ended up in a hospital bed, though cars had not been involved, and she did not come out of it with nearly as many scars as this girl was going to have. If she makes it, Beatrice reminded herself, not wanting to get too hopeful. Beatrice walked to the other side of the girl's bed and sat down. Even though she had other responsibilities, she had already taken care of all the important things, and she kept making excuses to return to the room; she just couldn't keep herself away from the child. Beatrice sighed, closing her eyes.
Beatrice was awakened by the sound of a blaring noise. She bolted out of her chair before she could even open her eyes. She had not meant to fall asleep, but she had been working much more than usual lately, since she had finally found a way she could be more useful. Beatrice realized that the blaring was coming from the machines attached to the little girl in front of her, who was convulsing, sweat running down her face. Beatrice jumped into action, and was already preparing before the other staff reached the room. Beatrice explained what was going on as the other staff took care of the girl. After a few minutes the girl was relatively stable again, but it was concluded that unless a miracle happened, which Beatrice had learned rarely happened in her trade, the girl would not survive. As the other staff left, Beatrice returned to her place by the girl's bedside. The girl stirred a bit and turned her head slowly and painfully to look at Beatrice. A undiscernable noise came from the girl's mouth, and Beatrice leaned her ear in front of the girl's mouth, and the girl repeated what she had croaked out before: "My parents..." Beatrice kept her inner turmoil from showing on her face as she decided what to do. Beatrice leaned back and sat down in her chair before sating calmly, "They're fine. In fact, they should be here any minute." The girl smiled brightly.
The next moment, the girl's parents, or rather, the illusion of the girl's parents, entered the room. The girl's smile widened. Each of the illusions stood on each side of the girl's bed, the mother stroking the girl's hair. "Mom....dad..." the girl croaked. "I'm so glad...I got to see you...before...I left. I know...that I can't avoid it...dying, but...I wanted to see you first. Thank you...for everything." The girl had a serene smile on her face as she closed her eyes and her heartbeat slowed. The illusions disappeared as Beatrice left the room, tears streaming down her face, a mix of the emotions of happiness, sadness, and anger. Happiness that the girl had gotten to say to her parents what she wanted to, even if it was fake; sadness that the girl and her family had to die, as well as the recurring sadness of her past; anger that both her life with her family and her chance to say goodbye had been taken from her. Beatrice breezed through the lobby as she heard the blaring of the little girl's machines go off behind her. She crossed into the long-term care wing, wiping her eyes, her emotions settling, disappearing, replaced with a bright smile as she entered a patient's room. "So, how have you been feeling today?"