The lobby is almost empty and the silence is almost eerie.
The soft melancholy tune of a whistle seems to accompany the faltering steps of the newcomers.
They walk slowly, his arms holding on to the woman’s; he looks as if he were her child.
When they reached the corridor, the Janitor stopped mopping the floor, straightened up and looks at them.
He cleans his mop on the pail of sudsy water at his side, and then resumed his job, whistling a sad tune all the time.
He is used to this sight, forlorn looking old couples; they always walk slowly to that door at the end of the corridor.
The couple walked past him without any word.
When they reached the door, they paused, then turned the knob.
The Secretary, quite startled, look up from her desk and gave them a smile, they smiled back.
They sat on the visitor’s chair and waited.
10, 20, 30, minutes, they waited, their hands never unclasped.
Then the door to the inner office opened. A well dressed woman came out, smiled at the secretary and left the office.
The Secretary nodded at the couple, stands up and held the door open for the couple. The couple stand up and entered the inner office.
A bespectacled young man, much younger than them was sitting on a big table.
When they entered, he looked up and smiled at them. The couple smiled back.
Then he read the paper that the secretary handed him.
He stared at it for a long time and then looked at the old man, and nodded.
The old man turned his head sideways and with an imploring eye, look at his wife’s eye. The woman looked back at him then put her head down.
They spent almost an hour inside the inner office.
When they came out, they were more forlorn looking than when they came in.
The lobby is empty and the silence is almost eerie, the Janitor has finished his job, the hallway to the Oncologist clinic is again spotlessly clean.
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