Chapter 4

“WHAT is it?” Meera asked Angela when she suddenly stopped walking. “Did you forget something?

Angela looked back at the man Meera bumped with, but they’re already walking away. “Nothing…” she said as her eyes followed the two men walked out of the Hospital vicinity.

Her gaze focused on the man wearing a simple denim blue dress shirt with rolled-up sleeves. The coldness in his smoky voice was making her feel something painful. Angela shut her eyes, she must’ve mistaken that guy with somebody. ‘Of course, it can’t be,’ she said in her mind.

Meera nudged her in the shoulder. “Do you like him?

Angela’s brows furrowed when she opened her eyes. “What are you saying?

Her friend chuckled. “What’s with that face?

She shook her head. “Come on,” she said. “Did you bring Aleli’s records? We’ll need it to get medicine discounts.

Meera rolled her eyes heavenwards. “Guess what? I already know that.

They were about to enter the building when Aleli’s doctor got out. He looks in a hurry but slowed down when he saw them approaching the hospital’s entrance.

“Angela, I was about to call you,” the handsome doctor told her and gave Meera a curt nod.

Angela knotted her forehead. “For what, Doc Clyde?

Meera nudged her again in the waist. “Come on, of course, it’s because of Aleli.

But based on the doctor’s expression, Angela suspected that it’s not just about her daughter.

She swallowed hard before she spoke to Clyde. “What is it about, Doc?

Clyde smiled hesitantly. The lines in his forehead were making Angela’s chest hammered. “Let’s go to my office.

“Why do you have to go out of the building to call Angela?” Meera asked Clyde with an arched brow as they were walking towards the Hospital lobby.

Angela glared at her friend, but Meera didn’t budge.

Clyde scratched the corner of his brow. “Actually, I ran out of my mobile load. I was about to reload my network when I saw the two of you.

“Oh, really?” Meera asked, nodding. “You’re the only doctor I know that doesn’t have a postpaid plan in mobile network—”

“Meera,” Angela cut off with a glare. “Stop being nosy.

“Well, I’m just wondering,” she said with a shrugged.

Clyde chuckled. “I lost my registered phone when I went to Recto Street yesterday.

Angela paused. She looked at Clyde, surprised, and nervous about what she heard. “W-What did you do at Recto?

“I just bought some preloved medical books,” he said and opened the door of his office for them. “Come in. I need to discuss something very important to you.

After felt being relieved of his reply, her heartbeat suddenly increased of what he’s going to discuss with them. Her lips trembled as she spoke. “Is it about Aleli’s condition?

Clyde sat on his swivel chair. He propped his elbows on the table and heaved a sigh. “I did some tests to her last week and…” He turned the laptop towards them. “These are the results.

Angela’s brows furrowed as she stared at the monitor flashing a series of up and down lines. “Can you please explain what those lines mean?

Meera leaned closer to the monitor. “It looks a normal heartbeat for me.

Clyde’s facial expression hardened. He touched the laptop’s screen, and the image zoomed. “Those are the images of Aleli’s heartbeat in her recent ECG tests.

“Then?” Meera asked. When she looked at her and noticed her worried expression, she reached her hand and squeezed it.

Angela relaxed a little with that gesture from her friend. She smiled at her before she turned to Aleli’s doctor, Clyde. “Tell me, what does it mean?

Clyde looked in her eyes for seconds. His concerned expression only worsened her worries. “These lines showed the long spaces between Q and T lines.” Using his pen, he encircled the long lines between elevated lines. “On the first graph, it wasn’t noticeable.” He switched the image to another series of lines.

“I don’t see any differences,” Meera commented, just like what she thought. “But, its definition wasn’t that scary, right? I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about, right, Doc?

Angela lowered her head. Her chest rose and fell due to tenseness. “Is it… serious?

Clyde heaved a sigh. “I won’t sugarcoat it to you, Angela. You have the right to know it. These lines were signs of the severity of Aleli’s heart situation. Prolonged lines between Q and T can be life-threatening if weren’t treated early,” he said and point at the long flat line in between the elevated tracks. “It can trigger a severe heart attack.

Angela bit her lower lip to prevent her tears. She breathed deeply and looked away from the laptop monitor. “Aleli’s so young…” her voice cracked.

“Angela…” Clyde touched her hand on the table. “You have to be strong. I promise I won’t let anything bad happen to Aleli. I will monitor her from time to time.

Angela nodded, trying her best to fight her tears but failed. Meera took out her face towel and offered it to her. She buried her face to the cloth and cried quietly. She can’t afford to lose her daughter. She can’t afford to lose the only reason for her strength to continue in life.

“What could be the possible reasons for it?” Meera asked after a few seconds of staring at the images on the screen. “Last time, you told us that it wasn’t that serious, that it can be treated with drugs—”

“Long flat lines usually caused by heart disease,” Clyde shifted his gaze to her. “Her previous ECG before this one showed an uneven heartbeat. And, because these prolonged lines didn’t exceed the normal length before, I assumed that she has arrhythmia, that’s why I prescribed medicine that could prevent it from worsening—”

“Doc,” Angela cut off, clenching her fist on the table. “Can you just tell me what she really has?

Meera squeezed her hand. “Angela… calm down—”

“I can’t just calm down, Meera,” she said in a quivered voice.

Clyde heaved a sigh. “Aleli has Long Q-T Syndrome. It’s a kind of heart of failure. And, crying almost every night worsened her heart situation, Angela.

Angela balled her hand into a fist. “Why does it have to be Aleli? Why does it have to be her—”

“Angela…” Meera stood and hugged her.

As soon as Meera’s arms enveloped her, Angela broke down and wept in tears.


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