Looking out the window, I wonder if it’ll come in time. I sit here waiting. I look absently outside as if I could spot the arrival of good news, and somehow looking will make it happen sooner. I’ve been here long enough, and I’m ready to leave. The constant weight of not knowing where you’ll be going, or when, can drive a person crazy. You try to find ways to pass the time. I’ve spent many a minute staring at the cracks of the dirty floor, seeing if they form shapes or images. Almost like watching clouds, but less interesting. All I really want is to hear the news, and no matter how much I try to think of anything else, all I’m really doing is wishing it’ll come soon. It has to, because I need it.
I hear a noise down the hall, the sound of boots hitting the floor in a steady thump thump thump, and for a moment my heart skips a beat. Maybe this is it. Maybe now is the time. But the hope is quickly crushed as I see the grim looks on the faces of the men standing at the door. No news is good news is how the saying goes. But for me it definitely isn’t good. Surely something would’ve come down the line by now. They were so sure. They told me they would have it sent quickly, and everything would be fine. I felt the urge rising up to scream. THEY PROMISED! THEY PROMISED ME!
But that would’ve done me no good. These men could do nothing for me. My screams would only make this trip all the worse, and that’s not how I wanted to leave. I knew why I was here. I knew what people said. What they thought. I knew where I was going. Was there any point in fighting it? No reason to be demanding answers when I already had them, regardless of whether or not it was what I wanted, or if it was actually true. Does truth even matter? Everyone has their own truth. All I wanted was my good news. What I wanted, regardless of truth.
As the men reached out, not to grab me in any way, but to guide me out and point me in the direction I was to be led, my heart began to pound. The rhythmic even thumping of their boots hitting the floor was out of sync with how I felt, and it made my skin crawl realizing how uncaring the world was around me. I could feel that scream attempting to claw its way back up my throat. Choking on the words that wanted to burst forth. Maybe if I had the right words right now, I could change my fate. I could make the difference. Who needs someone else’s word when my own words should be enough? I’ll tell them. I’ll tell them what they need to hear, and perhaps they’ll listen to reason. Maybe I could stall. Word should come soon. News comes eventually. It all has to make it here at some point. I could stall.
But I don’t have any words.
I’m choking on the screams clawing up, and the sobs I’m swallowing down, and the constant struggle to calmly walk forward, because this has to happen. I glance out a passing window in the vain hope of seeing the approach of a newcomer. If I could spot someone maybe they’d pause. Stop and think and give me one more minute. What is another minute, after all? They couldn’t deny me one more minute.
But I see no one, and no words come, and no cries escape as the sound of footsteps carry me ever forward.
They sit me gently down, and back away. No words. Just the silence as everyone knows what’s coming. A nice-looking gentleman steps towards me, though the look on his face isn’t exactly pleasant, it’s not too grim either. I think he’s attempting to look calm, as if that would make me feel better. I feel a slight pinch, and it’s as if all the stress is pressing down as exhaustion sweeps over me, and the urge to fight is slowly washed away. The room is silent. Everyone simply waiting for the predictable results.
I hear a rustle outside, and footsteps by the door, and someone breathing hard. Muffled sounds, and one voice raises up a bit more, and the other simply states, “I’m sorry. It’s too late.”
I should feel crushed. Despair. The cruel twist of fate that the news came too late for me. But I don’t. It was only a small chance to begin with. With that I exhaled my last breath, wondering what would come next.