Tomorrow. What crosses your mind when you think of tomorrow? Some people think
of the future literally as the next day. To others, it means the unknown. To me,
it signifies hope. Let me tell you a story.
Every day, on the way to and from
school I pass by a children's hospital. One morning, as I was hurrying to
school, I noticed a child staring out of a small window on the first floor. The
next minute I tripped and sprawled on the
ground. As I slowly pulled myself up and dusted myself off, I looked up again
and saw the child laughing. In spite of my situation, I was pleased to have made
someone laugh. I bowed as though I were a performer. The child clapped and waved
at me. As I stepped closer, I saw that the girl's head was bald, a sign that she
was a cancer patient. I quickly waved one last time to her before
hobbling off towards the school.
The next morning and the next, I looked out for the little girl and waved to
her, doing a little jig just to make her laugh. I thought about her and wondered
what her life must be like. 'Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, Creeps in this
petty pace from day to day.' Those lines from a Shakespearean poem I had learnt
in school came to my mind. Was that how the child lived from day to day?
I felt the urge to visit the child. I went to the hospital and looked for the
room facing the road. I found the little girl. She was thin and pale. When she
saw me, her eyes widened with recognition and she welcomed me with a shy smile.
I talked to her a bit and learnt her name, Suki. The nurse who saw me talking to
her later told me that Suki was a leukemia patient. Her navy officer father was
a widower and was on duty outside the country. The nurse encouraged me to visit
Suki so that she would not be so lonesome. As I was leaving, Suki called to me,
`Tomorrow?' I understood and said, 'Yes, tomorrow.'
After that, I popped in to visit Suki
after school every day. We played card games, Scrabble and read together. Even
though, Suki was only ten, I found that I could get along with her very well. I
was not visiting her out of pity. I really looked forward to her company. At the
end of each visit, she always asked, `Tomorrow?' and my reply was always, 'Yes,
Two months later, Suki told me the good news. She was well enough to be
discharged from hospital. On the day that was scheduled for her father to take
her home, I visited her one last time. She gave me an envelope and said that it
contained her email address. I promised to write. After Suki left, I opened the
envelope. It was a short letter. Suki thanked me and told me how my answer to
her question 'Tomorrow?' had given her hope from day to day. She believed that
she recovered because of this. At the end of the letter, she wrote `Tomorrow?'
followed by her email address. I smiled and said to myself, 'Yes, Suki,