“Dr. Philip, let me take over this case. I will continue with the operation. There is an emergency in the next theatre. Please go and see the patient.”
“You know that I hate to change hands in the middle of an operation. Why don’t you go and handle the other one. I am already halfway. Let me finish up with this.”
“That other case needs you, please go.”
‘Nope. I am finishing this up. Nurse---swab.”
Patrick used to pack his own Tiffin for school everyday. Every time Philip was on night shift duty, the next day early morning he used to come back home and eat sandwiches made by his son, little Patrick. Knowing his father’s appetite, Patrick usually made extra large sandwiches with a lot of mayonnaise on the salami, lettuce leaves and fresh tomatoes. That day, Patrick had another reason to give his father still a bigger sandwich- he lost his bet to his father in the football match.
Little Patrick went with his mother to buy bread. They were walking side by side, in his one hand, he had the loaves of bread and another hand was clutching his mother’s skirt on the side. He was still grumbling about the football match-“because of the silly mistake Drogba made, I have to prepare a bigger sandwich for Papa.” He was not sure how many layers of bread slices he could put in the “double sandwich” he was supposed to give his father.
“Mummy, you will help me?”
“Yes, of course. But promise me, next time before you start watching a match, you will finish your home work first.”
“Promise”-they both laughed because that promise was a daily routine which was never kept, he knew it; she knew it.
They were very much engaged in conversation. They did not hear the engine sound of the approaching car. The screeching sound of the sudden breaking, made them startled. Anna, his mother, dropped her shopping bag and stretched out her hand to grab Patrick but because of panic Patrick left his hand from his mother’s skirt and ran, crossing the road right in the middle. When he realized that his mother was still on the other side of the road, he tried to cross back towards her. Anna shouted-“stay there”. He went back to his position again. The confused and panicking driver rammed Patrick from behind, his car bumper directly hitting on the tender thighs of Patrick. When he fell, the bread loaves flew away from his hand. Before he fainted, he screamed-“Papa’s sandwich”.
When Anna lifted her son, his legs were dangling like socks-both the thigh bones were broken. Anna lost consciousness.
They were brought to the hospital. The staff members at the reception recognized them. The casualty officer knew Dr. Philip was on duty, he was doing an operation of a stab wound, inflicted on a drunkard by his fellow drunken man. They were fighting for a lady seated opposite to their table with her fiancé.
When Philip was still arguing with his colleague, the director of the hospital entered and asked Philip to leave the theatre immediately and go to the other room.
“Chief, what is going on? Why every body wants me to handle the other case? Is it a millionaire or a politician?
His colleague had already started operating on Philip’s patient.
“Nurse, what is this nonsense? Give the scissor to me.”
“Philip, it is your son. He had a bad motor accident. He needs you. He is in the next room”- the director was forced to tell him.
“It’s impossible. I left him at home with his mother.”
Patrick was feeling very sleepy. He had lost a lot of blood. He drifted to a dreamland.
……He was arguing with his father about the goal. His head teacher came out from the kitchen of their house and switched off the TV…. He was requesting his father to switch on the TV again so that they can watch the replay. …His father was ignoring him…His mother was making a sandwich for his father…he was telling her not to give him because he has to eat the one which he would be making…..his mother also ignored him….. Drogba told him to give the sandwich instead of his father… he was shouting back at Drogba- I hate you, you missed the goal….Now I have to make a big, very big sandwich for father. I lost my bet……..He sees Drogba leaving the field, marched towards him, growling like an angry Lion……. graved him on his neck……picked him up and held high in the air …swirling few rounds ……threw him out to the street on a running car….
They pulled Philip out of the theatre. In the corridor he found his wife, her cloths soaked with blood. Philip was all confused. He rushed to her.
“Anna what happened.”
She did not react. The nurses told him “she is sedated, not hurt. It is her son’s blood on her cloth.”
His chief pulled him to the other theatre- he found his son lying on the operation bed, sedated, waiting to be operated. The nurses were draping him with the sterile towels. The surgeon was getting ready for the operation. The anesthetist was trying to put the oxygen mask on Patrick’s face.
Patrick moaned softly-“Papa’s sandwich”.
They were the last words of his life.
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