shes there and im not. im not watching a fluorescent light flicker. not hearing its soft buzz. no cold empty corridors. no ceramic tiles clicking under shoes in the distance. no orangish bluish tint to everything around me. no silent tears and soft whimpering. no nurses rushing in and out of the one room that im supposed to be there for. im not listening to the useless ramble of sitcoms on a cheap tv. no subtitles hurrying to catch up. no lingering smell of coffee and sterilizer. no clean and isolated aura. no white walls floors and ceilings. im not smelling the sick in the air. no coughing. no sounds of a nurse hole punching a new chart together. no stained blue chairs that have no comfort. no cold draft and the hum of the air conditioner. no pitying stares. because im. not. there. why wasn't i there? was it denial? was it fear? why was everyone there? everyone except me. why wasn't i crying? i grew up there, yet im so afraid. what happened to my childhood? to holding my grandfather's hand as he completed his surgeon's rounds? to chocolate milk in the cafeteria and patients smiling when I came around? what happened? im so scared. the smells and sounds that once comforted me now loom over watching my every move. and im not there.