|An operating room.|
The Loser texted his friend, the daughter, late in the morning of the operation to ask how things were going and to say he knew how waiting around hospitals was an unpleasant way to spend one's time. She texted back that there had been bleeding and complications and that they were to tell her more in about half an hour.
That was the last he heard that day until a mutual friend called him that afternoon to say she'd heard the patient died.
The mother, whose name was Linda, was one of the rare parent of a friend whom the Loser had thought of as his friend too, even though he only saw her two or three times a year. The Loser had emailed her the afternoon before the operation saying he hoped all would go as well as he was sure it would and that the two of them should go on a long walk together in the coming fall to celebrate their rehabilitation (the Loser had a knee replaced a month ago). She wrote back: "It's a date!"
The Loser has mixed feelings about dying on an operating room table. The pros are that you're asleep and numb and unaware that you're dying. If you can't die while committing an act of heroism, dying in your sleep is the best way to go. The cons are, of course, that you are dead, and you never got the chance to say goodbye to those you love or take in a sunset knowing it will, not may, be your last. You can't even eat breakfast that day.