I never really paid much attention to the kid in the mirror until I was in the sixth grade. On that day, he came to me crying, uttering words of apology between each sob, his hand clenched in a tight fist, his knuckles blood red. I assumed that the blood must have been from someone else; otherwise he wouldn't be apologizing. I did my best to comfort him, consoling him whenever I could. He immediately became attached to me and promised me another visit soon.
The second time I saw him, he was much taller. He bragged about the new clothes that his grandfather bought for him during his summer vacation in Taiwan. He told me that even his underwear and socks were all products from Taiwan. He told me that he wanted to be a doctor one day so that his grandfather wouldn't have to leave the house so many times for hospital visits. We shared stories of our own personal lives over the years, all of the happy moments, all of the sad, the good, and the bad.
The next time I saw him he was sparsely clothed; only a skimpy robe hung around his neck, tied around his waist. This time, he was complaining of pain, of not being able to use the restroom, of barely being able to stand. It was then that I noticed the wires coming from both his arms, the thick red tube protruding from the side of his body, the red tape that ran across his chest. When he got closer, I saw that all the red was due to his own blood. Even though he came to me just to complain, I told him that I was glad that he was still alive.
At that moment, he stopped and looked at me. He stared right though and even beyond me, leaned closer, and whispered that if he was ever to recover from his current condition, he would become a surgeon so that he could give people another chance. With that, he turned away and ambled towards his bed. I offered to help him get into the bed, but he rejected the offer while thanking me.
Now when I see him, I like to joke with him, reminding him of the kid who... [continues]
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