Make A Wish
You have just been informed that a hospitalized kid used their “Make-A-Wish” opportunity to meet with you.
I wait at the hospital’s reception, clutching my black leather purse against my body. The call I’d received made little sense and I almost didn’t come. I half-expect my brothers to jump from behind the fake ficus with a camera and film my angry reaction, laughing at the success of their prank.
‘Danae Charisiou?’ a nurse approaches me. ‘Follow me, please.’
We enter the lift in silence. ‘Do you know why I’m here?’ I ask.
‘Didn’t they tell you?’ she sounds surprised. ‘A kid Made A Wish to meet you.’
‘But why me?’
She shrugs. ‘All sorts of people have come here and I don’t know most of them. They turn out to be astronauts or big-shot scientists or authors. You should be pleased. You’re someone that inspires people.’
The lift stops at every floor, doctors, patients and visitors coming in and out. Some hospital staff greet the nurse who’s with me, exchange a comment about the weather and a Mr Fitzpatrick’s retirement party. Gradually the lifts empties as the lift travels to floor nine.
The doors open. The nurse steps out, but I stop her with a hand. ‘There must be a mistake,’ I say. ‘It must be another Danae. I’m nobody.’
She gives me a bemused look. ‘You can’t be nobody–’
‘I am,’ I insist. ‘I’m unemployed. Living with my dad. I do some writing, but nothing’s published. I’ve few friends. Really. This doesn’t make sense.’
She gives me a considering look. ‘You’re the only Danae Charisiou in the area. The kid was specific. Please come with me.’
I follow her into a lounge where the nine-year-old who wanted to meet me is waiting in a wheelchair. The nurse makes the introductions and leaves.
‘It’s you!’ the boy, Martin, whispers in awe.
I’m shaken by the avid look in his eyes and the way he beams at me. ‘It’s me all right,’ I say with a levity I don’t feel. ‘Look, Martin, this is very… odd for me. I don’t know you, I think? I’ve done nothing to be known for so–’
‘You haven’t,’ Martin agrees. ‘But you will do.’
I realise my mouth’s open as I stare at the skinny boy with the sharp cheeckbones and the shaved head.
‘I know these things.’ He taps his temple. ‘I can see. Far into the future. And I know that one day, you, Danae, will change the world.’
16 March 2018