Dr. Merar flashed a light reflected by the sun in his patient’s eyes to study the pupillary reflex. He gave a rueful shake of the head as he stood from the bed and with a heavy sigh, removed his stethoscope from his ears and hung it around his neck. “There’s no change.”
“That can’t be, Doc. I know he can hear me,” the brother argued fiercely. “When I talk to him I can see it in his eyes that he understands.”
“That’s what you want to believe,” the doctor countered. He glanced back at his comatose patient and shook his head with hopelessness. “There is no reaction whatsoever. He is no longer with us.”
“You’re wrong! I know my brother’s in there struggling to get out.”
“Try to understand…”
“No YOU understand something, DOCTOR,” he lashed out, jabbing his finger at the physician standing rooted to the spot at the sudden outburst. “He’s a Barkley,” he moved his finger towards the listless patient lying on the bed, “and Barkleys NEVER give up. I am NOT gonna sit by and watch him die. I won’t give up on him no matter what doctors tell us, HE IS NOT going to die.”
With a composed stance, Dr. Merar stepped over to the dresser to put his stethoscope in his bag. “There’s nothing more I can do for him.” He pinched the bag close, took a hold of the handle and turned to the grieving brother. “I can’t make you resign to his fate. You are more than welcomed to seek other opinions but my guess is that they will all be the same.” He looked down at the patient next to him. “At least he won’t be in any pain.”
“Go away. Leave me alone with him.”
“I’m truly sorry,” the doctor said with genuine sympathy.
“Sure ya are,” the brother scoffed as he made his way to the bed to sit in the chair. “Go on, get out. You said it yourself ya can’t do anything more for him.”
With a shuddering breath and a heavy heart the doctor crossed to the doorway. He cast a last glimpse at the two brothers before closing the door.
“Don’t ya worry none ‘bout what that no-good doctor says. Ya gonna be fine. I know ya can hear me.” He waited for a sign that his brother was complying to his request. “I won’t let ya give up, ya hear me? I won’t let ya give up.” He slid his hand in the limp one and squeezed it tightly with the hopes of eliciting a response. The deathly silence was deafening. He raised the hand to his cheek and let the tears flow.
“You can’t die. I need ya, brother. I need ya’ so much.” He squished his eyes together to wring out the tears before he looked heavenwards. “Please God, don’t let him die. I beg of ya, gimme back my brother.”