Goodbye To Life As I Know It


Michelle and I enter the waiting room as Lucy and Jack run to the play zone in the corner. I let a receptionist know I’m there, while Michelle gets the coffees in. We sit down, chat and watch the kids. There is a glass atrium over the central reception. I look up at the yellow, white and turquoise triangular sails that flow down from left to right and then upwards in a gentle arc. There are white zen-like pebbles lining the floor by each wall. The waiting room is about half full of patients. Our kids are excitedly playing in the plastic house, which they turn into a fort.

Ten minutes later, Mr Hogan walks out of the doctors’ area toward the reception station. He acknowledges us with a wave and makes brief eye contact. There follows a hushed conversation between Mr Hogan and the receptionist. Michelle and I get the kids together and walk toward him.

“I’ve arranged for reception to look after Lucy and Jack,” Mr Hogan says.

He looks at me, remains expressionless and gestures for us to follow. We explain to the kids what’s happening and they’re overjoyed because there’s more playtime to get stuck into. It feels odd as we follow Mr Hogan in silence through a wide doorway. The last moments of normality tick by.

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