The once almost empty roads are starting to be crowded again. More and more residential houses' lights are being turned on. And people starting to rush out and get busy as the day starts. The sun is about to shine.
But for Ivan Redd, he is dying to reach his bed to got some rest. After a long day of works, he was literally dragging his tired body up to the fifth flour of an old shabby apartment.
"I'm almost there, only 27 steps more then rest time." he thought as he tries to cheer himself.
Slowly, counting steps by steps he finally reach his room. Put down the plastic bag he was holding in a tiny table. Remove his shoes then drop himself in the bed.
Just like that he fall asleep.
This is Ivan's life six days a week. He got two eight hours job so by the time he reach home he will be totally exhausted.
"Come find me! Ivan!"
"Dad! Dad! Where are you?"
"Come find me here Ivan..."
"WHERE ARE YOU DAD? DAD! DADDY!"
"Knock! Knock! Knock!"
"Ivan wake up! Wake up, Ivan" came an elderly woman's voice as knocking continues in the door.
Finally Ivan wake up, he sat up and open the door.
"Granny, I'm awake. Thank you and sorry for disturbing you. I guess I was shouting again." Ivan said shyly. This has been happening to him for few months now. And every time Mrs. Cloud will come knocking to wake him up.
"Is that dream again?" asked Mrs. Cloud, an old widow who live next door.
"Yes granny. I'm really sorry."
"Ivan, this has been happening for months now, I think you should try finding what happen to your father again. It seems his soul can't rest in peace until you found out what happen to him. Try starting in that small compartment that you always sees in your dreams." Mrs. Cloud suggested.
"Granny, I really wish I could. But as you know once I leave from work where can I get money for my mom's medication. And even the money for our daily expenses. Heaven knows how I wish I could go but my situation tells me otherwise." Ivan answered.
"Well, I know. But you have to try to find a way. I really think you father needs you... Well, I have to go back to my room now. Take care in you way to work." Mrs. Cloud said as she walks back to her room.
"Thank you, granny!" Ivan said and watched the old woman enter her room before he go back inside.
He open the plastic bag he brought back earlier and took out some bread. He pour some water into a kettle to heat up. But as he start the stove burner, it failed to light up. He retry yet it failed again. "Out of gas, huh. I need to go out to have it refilled. I just hope my cash will be enough." he thought as pick his wallet and count his money.
Suddenly his phone ring...
Looking at caller ID, he felt excited and nervous at the same time. It was her younger sister. 'Could there something be wrong?'
"Andrea, what up? How's mom?" he answered
"I'm sorry brother... sob... sob... we are at the hospital. Mom, had an attack... sob... sob..." said Andrea
"Wait what... what happened?" Ivan asked anxiously
"Sob... sob... brother..."
"Please Andrea, calm down. Tell me what happened? Why did he suddenly... did you miss her medicine?" Although he asked her sister to calm down, he himself is in panic.
"No... no... brother, we didn't miss it. sob... sob... I promise. I'm also not sure why. But I'm sure we didn't miss her medicine... brother... believe me..." Andrea cried.
Ivan could only closed his eyes and try to calm himself and said, "Relax sister, calm down. I not blaming you. Relax now okay... How was mom doing now?"
"Brother, mom is at E.R. Doctor Martin asked me to go out first. And wait for him here. So I'm not sure either." Andrea explained.
Doctor Martin asked Andrea out upon they reach the Emergency Room cause the young lady is really in panic. Well it is quite understandable since Andrea is but 18 years old. Only three years younger than her brother, Ivan.
"Okay sister, with Doctor Martin there I'm sure mom will be alright. So relax now." Even though Ivan still anxious, he is trying hard to talk calmly so not to agitate her sister.
Ivan has been talking to his sister until Doctor Martin came out of the E.R.
"Doctor Martin, how's mom?" asked Andrea upon seeing Doctor Martin.
"Isabel's stable now." Doctor Martin answered.
Andrea and Ivan, who in the phone, finally breath a sigh of relief.
Doctor Martin noticed Andrea's phone has an on-going call and asked, "Is Ivan in the phone? Can I talk to him?"
Andrea nodded and hand her phone to the doctor.
"Doctor Martin, what happened to mom?" asked Ivan immediately as he heard Doctor Martin want to talk to him.
"Before I came out from the E.R. I called Doctor Sean and tell him what happened. He said that he already advised your mother last week, either to increase the dosage of her current medicine or change to a new medicine. But your mother said that she will talk to you first." Doctor Martin said.
Doctor Sean is Ivan's mother's specialist doctor. He is neurologist, a kind of doctor who specializes in the brain and central nervous system. While Ivan's mother's disorder is called epilepsy, a nervous system disorder that 'causes abnormalities in the brain that can lead to seizures.
"But she never told me anything about this. Why did Doctor Sean advice her?" Ivan asked.
"Ivan, this usually happens when the medicine losses it effect in the patient. Most likely Isabel's body is getting immune with her current medicine. I guess your mother have felt it and consult Doctor Sean. But when Doctor Sean told her the options she decided to keep it to herself as to not burden you further." Doctor Martin paused for a moment before he continued, "Ivan, both option doubles the cost of the treatment. So, I think that's the reason why Isabel decided to keep it to herself."
'Oh mom, why? You should have told me about this. I know you are just thinking about me but... mom, I'm sorry. I can't even provide enough for you...' Ivan thought as tears falls from his eyes.
After few moments of silence, Ivan finally asked, "Doctor Martin, with my mother's current situation which option is better?"
"If indeed Isabel's body got immune with her current medicine even if we increase her dosage it will be just a short term solution. I prefer the option to change her medicine. But as I said, the cost will definitely doubled if not tripled." the doctor explained.
Hearing this Ivan was silent for moment. His mother need this change, but he doubt if can he provide it. "I must! For mom, I'll find a way to provide." he thought.
"We go with your preference Doctor Martin. Thank you!" Ivan answered.
"Okay, if you have further questions just message me or Doctor Sean. I need to go back to the E.R. now." Doctor Martin said then he hand back the phone to Andrea.
"Brother, can we afford it?" Andrea immediately asked. She had been listening to his brother and Doctor Martin's conversation and she himself doubt if they afford the much expensive treatment. They barely make it with their mother's current treatment.
"I'll find a way." Ivan said as he look at the time.
Then he continued, "Well, I have to go now. Andrea, please take care of mom."
"I will, brother. Take care."
Ivan drop his phone in the bed after he end the call. He took a deep breath then look at the kettle.
'Hmm... anyway, coffee taste the same either hot or cold.' he thought as he return the money in his wallet. He must save money and every cent counts.
Ivan quickly finished his foods then rush to prepare for work. "I can't be late!"