Off the Shelf
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Murmur. Murmur.

A dull, swirling sound that seems a mile away reaches my ears as they roll me through the endless hallway. A multitude of eyes are on me and mouths move in a flurry but my focus is on the weight in my chest. My senses dissolve as I am crushed from the inside.

Murmur. Murmur.

I hear the faint beeps of the machines, I assume, as I drift in and out of consciousness. There is no continuous hum, not yet, and I am grateful for that before I drift off again.

Murmur. Murmur.

My bleary eyes open to the muffled voices of two silhouettes talking at my door. I cannot hear their words, but they sound agitated. I feel my pulse begin to bound, and the machines begin to echo my rhythm. The voices cease and the silhouettes come closer.

Murmur. Murmur.

My family converses in hushed tones when I am near. They have spoken in secret ever since I have come home, but I catch bits here and there. “Frail.” “Fearful.” “Future.” The crescendo of my heartbeat drowns out the rest.

Murmur. Murmur.

I hear the whispers of the nurses outside the exam room. My appointment is in five minutes. Their voices sound like alarm bells as they talk of “troubling results” and “unusual findings.” Finally, the doctor enters my room and listens to my chest.

Murmur. Murmur.

“What are they saying, doc?”

“Nothing you want to hear,” she replies with a frown.

” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Felipe Sepúlveda R.

Jillian Barry Jillian Barry (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Jillian is a medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey class of 2027. In 2020, she graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in biology. She enjoys writing, singing and practicing archery in her free time. In the future, Jillian would like to pursue a career in dermatology.