.. 15 like the number of a bed in the children's Hospital.
I dedicate this story to all children, and they are too many, that are forced to spend Christmas in hospital. They are so tender. Whites, blacks, yellows ... all the children are equal whatever color of their skin and especially when they are sick. I carry the gift they asked me and leave a caress too. From the blissful smile they do, asleep as they are, I am convinced that in their dream they see me and reciprocate my caress. I deserve this special treatment to them because they are too unlucky.
But back to our bed number 15.
My story begins on a gray Monday morning in late November. A gray weather with a moisture that entered in your bones, do you know? It was enough cold to make you wish a nice steaming cup of hot chocolate or tea. Something hot that makes your hands and heart be warmer.
Disguised as a clown to entertain the children I had started my usual tour of the hospital wards calling everyone by name. "Hello Mario, how do you feel? Ah Luke, pretty face you today ... Oh Matilda, how happy you're! You are now leaving eh ... Hey come here Mattia, we have to play arm wrestling. It makes no difference, you always are the winner! ". And Andrew, where was he? he was no longer in his bed number 15.
In his place a skinny and frightened child. All crouched on himself. A very sad face. He was all wrapped up in blankets and I 'd noticed, a couple of times, he had tried to suck his thumb. Indefinable his age. He had never looked at me and smiled at my little show of unfortunate juggler.
Before leaving I looked at him again. Half a tear stood at the corner of his right eye. Same scene on the following Monday and every Monday for some weeks. Meanwhile, he was losing his hair and seemed sadder and sadder. But I had noticed a thing. Where was her mom or dad or at least a grandfather? Always alone.
He didn't answer my questions. I had asked to the nurses too but the nurses that worked the day shift knew little or nothing. I finally decided to change time and go in the evening.
So I could discover that this child had the mother. A young woman who looked more scared of her child, but you had to see how that little boy came alive when he saw her coming. They spent long moments embracing and chattering in a strange language. Foreigners ... Russians! that's why Nikita, this was his name, did not answer to my questions.
So I met Nikita and his mother Katerina. OK but Santa knows Russian too. Of course. The next day I returned to see Nikita and I finally made him smile, a first toothless smile. And he told me all about his mom, her illegal work to pay for the room where they lived and send some money to his unfortunate brothers.
Dad had died the year before ... so another terrible story of our days.
I knew at that point what to write as a reminder for Nikita and his mom. Curious eh ... the answer on December 25, as usual :)))
By the way, we are Italians, to translate better the stories. Thank you :))