At the Tip of the Syringe

Posted on November 30, 2009


by Dita Surya Kartika


“The vaccination will protect you from certain disease. Tomorrow you will have Tetanus vaccination. Also, your blood will be examined to know your blood type. Don’t worry and don’t be scared, the examination is fast and you won’t get hurt. Remember to eat a lot before you are examined by the kind doctors. See you tomorrow. Class dismissed.”

That ended my teacher’s explanation. I had been vaccinated before, so, I was not afraid anymore. But, at that time I never had been examined to know my blood type. I imagined how the doctor took my blood. I had dreamt about it the night after that. In my dream I was running away from the doctor who carried a huge injection. The doctor was running very fast like he was riding in-line skates. He raised his injection in a scary way as if he needed the blood for himself. Such a bad dream…

The next day, I went to school as usual. The examination time came at noon. The teacher called all of second grade students to go to the school infirmary. I was one of them.  I waited at the infirmary bench. Bored. I looked at my friends beside me. One of them was my classmate. She sat upon the bench beside me. Her face was pale and turned down. Cold sweats were streaming down to her neck. Her hands downed to her thighs and squeezed her skirt. Slow but sure, she burst into tears. Back to myself, my heart was pounding faster and faster. I began to scratch my cheeks, a bad habit when I am nervous. I wanted to run but I could not. A lady on white uniform appeared from the examination room and announced a name, a very familiar name.

“Dita Surya Kartika, please come in!”

“Y…yes, Mam. Wait a minute!”

I walked slowly towards the room. The lady accompanied me entered the room. The room was small. The lighting was neither dark nor bright. I saw the blue curtains waved along with the zephyr. On the room there were two beds, two chairs, and one cupboard. A nurse directed me to one of the beds. I agreed since I had no choice.

“I will give a Tetanus injection first and the blood type examination will be held by the doctor there,” the nurse pointed at the doctor, sat at the corner of the room. Afterward, she took the injection from the aid box. Her fingers danced at the injection’s seal and threw it to a bin near the cupboard. She dug the aid box once again. Less than thirty seconds her right hand was holding an ampoule. Her left hand held a bottle of alcohol. She ordered me to fold my sleeve. I folded my left sleeve and released my arm to her. She scrubbed my arm with alcoholic-cotton. Cold. Yes, it was cold. The smell of that liquid disgusted me. And the needle came. Actually, I was not afraid of needle, but, this needle successfully made my blood rustle. My heart was hopping up and down. Yet the needle entered my skin.

“Stop trembling. This won’t hurt,” said the nurse. Then the needle entered my skin. It was like biting something inside my skin. But, that is all. Nothing special. I recalled again my memories. There was no injection that put me into tears. That was childish. Yes. So I wrote in my mind about that day as another usual vaccination day.

But the story had not yet reached the end. The doctor waited for me at the corner of the room. His bright but cynical eyes suddenly gave me gloom. His arm waved at me. I approached him with silent, slow steps. This would be a long, long day…

Posted in: short stories