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You Taught Me What A True Man Is

by Kaia


"Goodbye, ya'll!" you said with that big, friendly grin of yours. I watched you go up to each one of my classmates and give them all a hug.

Tears welled up in my eyes, but I didn't cry after our brief farewell. You told us, "Good luck, ya'll. You got this!" just like you did before every module test that we took. It made me so sad to hear those words in such a different context. 

We talked the very first day of class way back in Anatomy and Physiology. In fact, when our instructor randomly assigned everyone to groups, you recognized that you and I were in the same group before I did. How little did I know you back then!

As time went on, I learned that you had been in another nursing program, but had not made it to the end. Now, despite your disappointment, you were returning to try again. And not only that, but you were also working night shift. That was when I realized how strong you were.

I had to stay after class one day to finish an assignment. I was in tears. You walked up to me and asked it I was okay. I said "yes." Still, you were concerned. "You sure?" you asked. That day I learned you cared.

The end of the trimester came near. And our class decided to do a random gift exchange. You drew my name, and you gave me among other things, a purple pen and a diamond heart necklace. I learned how thoughtful you were. Purple is my favorite color.

We started clinicals at the hospital, and you told us you were scared of elevators and wanted to always be near the wall to hold onto the bar there. I learned that even though you were tough, you still had fears and anxieties.

Pharmacology came around, and you became my partner for school projects. As we worked together, more of your qualities began to stand out to me, and I began to appreciate you more.

Skills checkoff for vital signs arrived unexpectedly on a random date in March. I was so anxious that when you checked my pulse, it read 110. You asked me if I was nervous. I said "yes," and you told me I'd do fine, and I did. I read your blood pressure as 112/90. That was only two digits off from what my teacher got. You gave me a double high five and exclaimed my name so loud and clear. It made me feel so proud.

And I remember that one day I missed an assignment and you sat down with me and helped me work on it in the labor and delivery room. I think I will go back there next Monday. But I'm sad because you won't be there.

Your kind heart, your sense of humor, your willingness to laugh, the way you said my name when I brought that smile to your face....It made me so happy to see your red sports car in the college parking lot and know you were in the building beyond.

There was nothing physical about you that attracted me to you. It was your gentle heart and firm spirit. There aren't many men who have those qualities anymore. I think we spoke the same language in a sense.

It's only been hours since you said goodbye to me, and I can still feel the tears, but I'm going to try to be as strong as you were when you said "Goodbye, y'all" with a grin and proceeded to give us all hugs and encouragement.

I will not forget you, Sir. And I salute you for trying as hard as you did. But I'll miss you. Your words of encouragement helped me through some rough spots in nursing school. I don't know if I will make it through this program, either, but if I don't, I want to leave with as much honor as you did. You set such a beautiful example. 

Thank you for showing me that a true man is not a bulky man with a ruthless heart. It's something so much greater that I don't think I will ever fully comprehend. I will keep that necklace that you gave me in December as a reminder that good men still exist in the world, and if I wait long enough, I may find one. I wish you all the best wherever you are. God bless.

-K


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Stickied -- Sat Apr 06, 2024 1:26 am
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Kaia says...



My nursing class began with 25 students. Now we are down to a sad 7, following this classmate's departure. To date, none of us remaining students know if we will make it to our graduation date.




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Mon Apr 08, 2024 8:42 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello, My Friend!

I've been meaning to review this piece after spotting it in the Green Room, and I only wish I did it sooner! You tell a lovely story that perfectly encapsulates one struggle of what I'm sure is many that this demanding field of education has to offer, and this special individual who helped you along the way was the perfect medium. The emotions you reflect in this piece come through, and so does the real-world connection. You can just tell this is a true story even without the author's notes, and that can be a surprisingly hard thing to achieve in writing, so very well done.

*ahem, as far as a more technical review goes, I have nothing to complain about! I didn't spy any errors or the like, and as I said, everything came through just right.

I love how you so seamlessly and perfectly brought the experience to a point in the end about the uncertainty in this field, as well as a more personal lesson you took from it:

Thank you for showing me that a true man is not a bulky man with a ruthless heart. It's something so much greater that I don't think I will ever fully comprehend. I will keep that necklace that you gave me in December as a reminder that good men still exist in the world, and if I wait long enough, I may find one.


Beautiful, like poetry, and so true!

Overall, this was a great piece! Thank you for being willing to share it with us, and wherever you are in this program now, you have my best wishes ~ Nicely done! :D

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Sat Apr 06, 2024 1:40 am
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Wr3n wrote a review...



I honestly debated on whether or not to review this, and what I would even say. But here we are, so let's begin.

To start, I'm so sorry this happened. Though I can't place my finger exactly on what this story is referencing to, I assume it has something to do with either a break up or a classmate leaving. The emotion put into this was so powerful and mind-changing that I felt the need to talk about it. The first two paragraphs especially got me, referencing how circumstance can completely change a meaning. It made me stop and think for a while. This person seems like a huge inspiration and role-model to those around them and the way you conveyed that was so thorough, it was amazing. The conclusion gave such a strong wave of melancholy with it, I don't even know how to describe it. Amazing retelling, moved me to tears.




Kaia says...


Thank you so much for your comment! I always appreciate it. I don't think either of us had a romantic interest in each other, but we did get a long really well, and he taught me a whole lot in the 7 months that we were classmates. His average grade ended up too low to proceed and he was unable to bring it up enough to pass. He said goodbye to everyone including me just yesterday, though it feels like that was whole weeks ago. I've lost 18 classmates since the beginning of the course, and he's the second that's really impacted me. I'll miss him.




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