With a deep sigh, he shut his eyes hard. “If it’s possible, may this cup be taken from me,” he whispered, making an effort not to start crying.
“I knew this day would come,” he thought, “but I’m far from ready. I need more time! O, God! This is terrible!”
He was an experienced man who knew what suffering meant. Both times his wife had given birth, he had been present, reminding her that the excruciating pain she went through was just temporary. “You can do this!” he wisely and patiently had told her. “Don’t let this stupid little pain scare you!”
When his five year old daughter had her appendix removed, he had been there, assuring her that the ordeal would be over quickly, “Don’t worry, honey. This is nothing! It’ll soon be over.”
But the pain that he was anticipating now was of a totally different kind. He feared that it would penetrate into his very core, touch his deepest, most sensitive nerves and cause suffering as yet unknown to mankind.
“Help me!” he prayed, “I am so nervous!”
He opened his eyes and looked at the people around, quietly but desperately pleading for their support. But everybody seemed cold and unconcerned about his predicament. Absorbed by their cellphones, it was obvious that none of them even understood what empathy meant.
Realizing that he was left to himself, he sank deeper into his despair. “This is hell!” he thought to himself, “Death is a better option!”
At that moment, a door opened and he heard his name called out. He turned his head to see if somebody else had the same name, but nobody volunteered.
He bravely stood up, walked into the assigned room, and slumped down into a chair. Tools for torture were laid out on a table.
“Not my will, but yours be done,” he sighed as he gave up his last resistance.
A big, powerful man approached, with a sadistic grin on his face.
“Good morning, Mr Anderson,” the man yelled. “Let’s see now. Which tooth was bothering you? Please open wide and show me.”