Just like that, Ibal passed away.
The day has begun as normal. Waking up, going to the clinic, handling Heart over to Suriah, treating the steady stream of patients still affected by the earthquake.
Ibal retires back to his inner room. I treat more patients, stitching wounds and dispensing medicines.
When the day is done, I close the clinic door. Ibal complains of a headache and has laid down on his bed.
The night sky drips with golden falling star trails. Sa and I watch the starfall, wondering what it means.
Suriah informs me tearfully that Master Ibal has died in his sleep.
“What will happen to the clinic?” I ask, tears in my eyes.
“It will close,” Suriah sobs into her kerchief.
I inhale deeply. “I will keep it open.”
“You are still learning,” Suriah stares at me.
“The city needs more physicians.”
Just like that, I have become a doctor.
I attended Ibal’s wake. It wasn’t a sad affair. Instead there was laughter, singing and feasting. Suriah made her nasi ulam and ayam penyet. Heart made us laugh at her antics.
The real work would begin tomorrow.