Chapter 5:

I Must do It - II

I Can Hear You

Two days ago I had my first real failure as a doctor, I was unable to save a person’s life on my own, Zack Medina, a guy a bit younger than me, had died in a horrible way, but this was my chance to use my power for something useful, not only complaining about failing or suffering out of the fear that seeing someone’s spirit may cause.

Inside his pocket, I found a box with two rings, and since then his “spirit” hasn’t abandoned me, he has been standing next to me since I took the box out of his jacket, but he refuses to talk, I know that he needs me to do something with them, but the only thing he is letting me do is taking a look at them.

“Z. M.” is written on one of the rings, no one needs to be a genius to know that it refers to Zack himself, but the other one is different, smaller than Zack’s, most likely for a girl; “N. A.” is what’s engraved on it.

“Zack, was this for your girlfriend?”

As soon as he heard the question, he nods his head.

“Were you going to marry her?”

Once again, he only nods his head.

Some days ago, when his family went to the hospital to retrieve him and his belongings, only an older couple came, his parents, I assume, there was no girl or no man who could pass as a partner for him.

Now that I think about it, they didn’t search for these rings, it doesn’t make any sense, why would you ignore such an important thing for your own son?

“Zack, the people who went to retrieve your things were your parents, am I right?”

He still isn’t answering with his words, but it’s completely understandable, he died some days ago, and accepting that you are nothing but a spirit, a ghost trapped in this purgatory-like state, even when your age isn’t that much over 20, nothing meaningful in your life but maybe what you did for some friends or your family, the sole idea of being forgotten is frightening even for me, but still, he at least nodded before.

“Please tell me, Zack, I’m sure that those were your parents, did you have a bad relationship with them?” – it must be hard to acknowledge something like that, but I must at least give it a try.

Zack timidly nods his head, like he didn’t want to accept it, with this I’m sure that they just ignored this.

“Did they know that you wanted to marry her?”

“Y-Yes, they knew, they also knew about the rings”

“Z-Zack! You talked!”

Zack seemed like the usual “cool guy”, the kind of cool person who wouldn’t go and talk to someone like me, the usual loser, but he seemed nice now, almost like a little pup, guess that you can’t judge a book by the cover.

“Nice, so could you tell me what your girl’s name is?”

He shuts his mouth once again, I thought that he only was shocked, but I’d assume that he is also quite shy for this kind of cool guy.

We kept talking for some time, no; I kept talking to him for some time, that’s a better way of wording it, but he didn’t want to talk again, at least not to me.

“Zack, follow me”

I didn’t want to be bad with him or anything, but I had to order him a bit, to guide me to his parent’s house.


We had to walk for around an hour and a half, not like it was impossible to take a bus, but since this is a free day for me at work, and I don’t want to seem like a crazy guy talking to himself in front of a lot of people, it would be better to just walk, that was my idea at the start, but just at the start… I really need to start doing some extra exercise…

“Here it is, that’s my house…” – Zack finally talked, I quickly noticed that he didn’t want to talk anymore as he only pointed towards a really big house, one of those you would normally see in a movie or one of those cheesy soap operas, or well, the kind that my father would consider just a small property.

The gate could feel giant for anyone, but for me, I was quite accustomed to this kind of unnecessarily tall iron fence, is the kind that my father would build because “Normal people shouldn’t be able to look inside”, ha, I guess I can really relate to Zack hating them.

There weren’t guards out of the gate, so I guess they aren’t all that much like my father, but at least they could come and answer the damned doorbell.

After more than ten minutes a butler came to open the gate, a long time since a butler was the one opening something for me, not like I missed it though.

“What do you need sir?” – At least he seems like a nice person, nicer than I expected from Zack’s reaction to the house.

“I came to talk with the homeowner, Mr. Medina” – I hope they share the same last name, it would be dumb of me if they didn’t.

“I am not waiting for anyone!” – The same tall man I saw at the hospital, Zack’s father, I’m not going to lie, he looked exactly like you would expect from a parody of Vito Corleone, almost like Marlon Brando came back to life, but with a lighter skin tone, believe when I tell you that I would be asking him for an autograph if I wasn’t doing something way more important than worshiping a look-a-like of a deceased actor.

“Mr. Medina! I’m the doctor who attended your son, Zack, could I talk a bit with you”

“Uh, why should I accept talking with a man who couldn’t save my heir?”

Whenever I see someone who talks about a deceased son and doesn’t even try to fake a tear I know that something weird must be going on, I may be a bit biased, but it wouldn’t be weird to at least change the tone of his voice, this man just doesn’t care, or at least it doesn’t seem like he does.

“Tell me, why shouldn’t I just sue you as the man who neglected a correct assistance to my son?”

Wow, the man is a real idiot, the worst kind of person I’ve seen in the last few months, and that’s comparing him to my family and Zack’s killer, even Mr. Abraham would be offended by listening to this kind of person.

“Would you be so stupid?” – Maybe I shouldn’t be so freely talking to him and calling him stupid out of the blue, but someone like him deserves to be called by way worse words.

“So you come here, after killing my son, call me stupid and want me not to sue you, are you stupid!? Are all the medics of the newer generations just brainless kids!?”

“Sir, don’t you ever talk to me like that again, my name is Adam Forte, if your wish is to sue me, then let me talk with my father about it, Richard Forte, have you ever heard that name?” – I hate using his name for my benefit, but this man just can’t be real, if it causes me some trouble I’ll have to think about it once it happens, but for now I’ll just enjoy the fear that the name “Forte” causes on everyone who knows how Richard Forte really is.

“Now, Mr. Medina, let’s talk about something, do you recognize this?” – I said while showing him one of the rings.

“It was from my son, Zack, am I right?” – He clearly didn’t want to answer, but that’s the power of bearing a name like Forte, you just don’t ignore something when Richard Forte is brought to the conversation, no one wants to make that man go mad.

“You’re right, now tell me, sir, why didn’t you and your wife retrieve it from the hospital, you didn’t know that it was there?”

“We knew, we just didn’t care”

A man so freely saying that he didn’t care about one of his son’s more important things in the world is a thing, the fact that his mother also didn’t care was just salt to the wound.

“But why didn’t you care? Shouldn’t you be happy!? It could have been Zack’s more important moment” – I’m not going to control my anger now, this kind of person just makes my blood boil like nothing else.

“Well, it wasn’t the correct way of saying it, it’s not that we didn’t care about the rings, we do care about them, they were one of the reasons to stop caring about Zack, his stupid idea of marrying a girl like Nidia”

I turned my head, Zack was watching it like it was normal, but I could see how it hurts him to hear this, all parents worry about this, who their children love, and things like that, but Zack wasn’t looking at a parent, he wasn't looking at his father, that was a fiend who happened to bring him to this world.

“Zack, is Nidia your girlfriend? The girl whose initials were engraved on the ring?”

“Yes” – He finally wanted to talk again.

“Then I’ll take my leave, it was a pleasure Mr. Medina”

“Wait! You come and treat me as like a stupid, say some stupid things, and leave just after that, why were you even here in the first place?” – His face was red, the man who wanted to look all calm at the start couldn’t hide his anger, that was the face of a humiliated person who had just shown the last of his humanity escaping from his mouth. But there was more on his words, pain.

“Mr. I said that I’ll be going, you don’t need to care about what I’m doing, just like you don’t care about your son, please forget that I even came” – I turned my back, and then I saw her.

“Nidia Alfaro, that’s the girl, you were here to know her name right?” – That was Zack’s mother, her face was pale and you could clearly see how tears left a print on her face.

“Thanks, miss”

“Please, I know that my husband must look dumb now, he is acting dumb, but please, if you go to see her… Could you do a favor to us?” – Zack’s mom was the opposite of his father, her pain wasn’t hiding behind a mask on her face, she clearly exposed it to me.

“What would it be miss?”

“Tell her, that we are sorry…” – As soon as she said this she entered the house with her face hiding behind her long black hair, she went directly to her husband, saw him to the face, and he only nodded, like he was a vivid image of his own son not being able to properly talk, maybe I thought too badly of them, they weren’t fiends, nor angels, they were just normal people who did something wrong, who couldn’t fix their mistake anymore; Zack was watching them like this was his win, even if he wasn’t a bad person and didn’t want them to suffer anymore, the pain that they had caused to him was way worse than him, but even if he was showing a glimpse of a smile, I could clearly see what he really wanted.

“Zack, go with them”

He nodded once again, he went to them and embraced them, they couldn’t see it, but I already knew it”

“Stop crying! Your son wouldn’t like that, he would never hate his parents like you may think he would!”

“W-Why do you say that?” – Said his fiend of a father, I could clearly see the tears that were hiding behind his mask of a face just moments ago.

“We were friends, he was a good guy, he would never hate the people who he loved the most”

“Thank you, doctor, we may not be able to ask for forgiveness, but at least your words can help our hearts breath a little better” – Said his mom.

“Don’t worry; he already forgave both of you”

I finally took my leave, this was the first time I truly wanted more people to see what I could, a son embracing both of his parents, who would never know how great of a person their son was, two parents who would never know that their son would never be able to hate them, just like they would never be able to stop caring about him…

N. D. Skordilis