Life ticking away...

Submitted into Contest #49 in response to: Write a story that takes place in a waiting room.... view prompt



The dull, white walls stare blankly at me, a small crack that zigzags weirdly looking like a wonky grin. "My heart is crumbling away," I told my doctor, "If you just checked-" "Now, now, calm down. You're probably undergoing some difficult things in life, since your father's sudden death. Have you been seeing your therapist lately?"

It's the same ending to all his explanations for my 'strange' behavior. That's how he ends a conversation.

My father was seventy-five when I left home. He had wispy cream white hair. We used to joke that his head was always in the clouds. He wore ocean blue polo shirts with khaki shorts on weekends, and dusty paint-stained overalls with a green T-shirt. during his work days. My father was a interior painter: he painted kids' rooms, made your bathrooms colorful and (once) decorated toilet seats with Aladdin and Jasmine on a flying carpet. He always came to pick me up from school and hug me tightly. The sheer memory gives me a waterfall of warmth. It sustains my quarter heart for a brief second... then I fall. I trip over writhing snakes that draw my life from me. Tick tock, tick tock...

I sit up suddenly from my daydream. A bell tinkles, the front door whining open. A plump woman waddles in, her doughy fingers clutching an oozing donut, its strawberry jam trickling down her hand. I peer at her closely, examining her unusual outfit. The obese lady was squeezed into an emerald green skirt with a flamingo pink blouse. She was a salmon pink, and her necks (I was able to count up to six, but the wobbly mass was making me feel nauseated) were each draped with diamond-encrusted chains, each supporting an extravagant ruby, jade and alexandrite. Her hair was bouffant, and almost touched the low ceiling. How it stayed in that shape, I do not know. A petite hat balanced on her huge hairdo, held down by a ruby ornate pin. She had squinted eyes, her eyelashes coated in a generous and her baby-faced cheeks were powdered a deep shade of indigo. She was either here to get some health advice or to escape the police.

This woman was sweating, beads of oily perspiration racing down her high forehead. The two other patients who sat a few plastic seats away from me whispered frantically between themselves, one of them getting up and almost running to the front desk. The front desk alone is repugnant. Silly pictures of cats playing with balls of wool, and bright superfluously wrapped lollipops in a pencil holder. The marble surface was hot pink and baby blue, with an even more fake lady sitting behind the desk. She was Barbie in real life. Her lips were a blazing rose, while her eyes were big almonds that seemed to stare through your soul. Her bleachy hair was glossy and held in a pony tail that reached the floor. She wore a pressed, ironed dark blue dress that showed off her shoulders. Her mascara eyelashes were perfect. Her hands were soft and delicate. She was a doll made of china. Her name, surprise surprise, was Barbara.

When the man reached the desk (the other patient that was watching Sleeping Beauty on the TV set up on the blank wall opposite was female) Barbara automatically said "Hello! My name is Barbara. How can I help you?" The terrified-looking man whispered "W-where are the bathrooms? P-please?" Barbara immediately replied "Go down the corridor, and the bathrooms are on your right!" Hurriedly, the shaken man stumbled down the designated corridor to relieve himself. The fat woman munched on her oozing bun pensively, and doddered to the front desk. For a split second, I saw a look on Barbara's face which was not that of a proper lady: a look of pure hatred and revilment towards the tottering mass that was edging towards her. "Hello! My name is Barbara. How can I-" "That's enough, you overgrown swine!" Everyone was shocked. Barbara froze on 'help' and fixed her face into a feinted grin. "Ah! You must be Violetta Stonett! D. Nordstrem will be with you right away." Ms. Stonett didn't look as if she were a psycho. She masticated on her donut, licking away fallen crumbs. "So, Barbara, according to your name tag, you're a receptionist. Am I correct so far?" "That's right," agreed Barbara, nodding as if she were talking to a toddler, and she had said that it must be bedtime, "I work here. If you let me show you, I'll take you to a nice man who will-" A loud cackle came from fat Ms. Stonett. "I am not called Violetta Stonett! You must be looking for someone else. My name is Carmen Algeron. I'm here to visit a friend of mine." She screwed her eyes on Barbara who was slowly melting before the authorative woman. Barbara had never been proven wrong. Her name tag read 'Truthful, loyal member of the Cooperation of Therapists and Psychologists (CTP)' This was to me like a revolution. A protest against a tyrant. It was historical.

That day in the waiting room, when the fat lady Carmen Algeron made Barbara cry and pull off her disguise, and we discovered that the so-called Barbara was a serial killer that had been searched for, and that Carmen Algeron was a famous detective, I was confused. Why did people use disguises? Couldn't they just accept who they were and get on in life? Maybe it was meant to be. Because it made me think a lot on my life. Was I wearing a mask, thinking that my heart was disintegrating? Maybe I should get over the passing of my father. I should keep the best memories, and keep them in my heart, and let go of all the others: let go of the grief, the despair, the confusion. I should stop believing in my heart being pulled away from me, and that I have no control over these things.

If I waste my time worrying, grieving, wishing I was dead or that he had stayed. If I let go of my will to live, then my life will tick away, and opportunities will float around me, and burst. They will never be mine to remember. To grieve is fine for a while. But your whole life? No. I decide. I will decide on what my father would have wanted for me. His passing was a challenge to me, and now I must overcome it and keep with me the experiences I value the most. Like the time he comforted me when boys at school had spit at me. Or the time when he gave me a puppy for my fourth birthday, and a few years later reassured me when the dog died from old age. He will always be with me. He will be in my heart, and make it whole.

Dear Diary,

It has been a few months since I have moved all the things I wanted to keep from my old home. I have sold our old house, and with the money I am going to go to university. My partner Benjamin, will be coming to live with me in my spacious flat next year. Wisp, my white and black kitten is turning seven months tomorrow! Thank you for being there when I needed you most.

July 03, 2020 17:16

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14:08 Jul 12, 2020

This made me smile! I love your fantastical descriptions.


Spirited Wings
19:51 Apr 29, 2022

Thank you very much!


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