The Waiting Room

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The air is dry and stale and hangs still in the space, I look around the room I have become all to familiar with; Its cold blank walls stare back at me, and remind me of how long I’ve been in here. On the other side of the room is the door I wait to enter.

A few scattered chairs lay around, acting as remnants of the people who have come and gone into the next room. I had been under the impression that I was here first, and had my name on the list before the several individuals who have somehow come and gone in before me… But for one reason or another, here I sit, still.

I have been dreaming of what’s on the other side of that door for years now, and now I sit so close and yet so far. I am kept from my dreams only by what seems to be a thin door, needing only permission from those in charge to pass through.

I pick up an old magazine and mindlessly flip through it’s torn pages, while thinking of the people I have witnessed pass through the door and into the room I so desperately want to be in. I wonder if it’s something about them specifically that got them in. Maybe it was their beauty, skill or personality that ushered them into the coveted room. I turn the magazine page to a perfume ad where a very fit couple -making a striking and intimate pose- stare at me from the thin paper. I begin to wonder if it’s me, If instead of some people being let it in because of who they are, perhaps I am being kept out because of who I am. Maybe my resume is to small or wasn’t formatted correctly, or perhaps they found out about that thing that happened last year I hoped no one ever would, or maybe they inexplicably realized I’m not as good at math as I told them I was. Or maybe they somehow saw who I really am.

Whatever it is, I think it’s time to give up. I toss the magazine back onto the table beside me and slowly stand up. I look one more time at the door that now seems so impossible to pass. I put my hands in my pockets and with a final deep breath, turn and begin to walk out.

Then suddenly “Nathan”

Startled, I swing back around, and there next to the door -I had so long waited to open- is another door… It’s smaller than the other one and the finish on it looks worn, but there it stands none the less. I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed it before, perhaps I had been so focused on the entrance I thought I was supposed to go through I hadn’t noticed the one right next to it. The new door was cracked open, presumably where the voice came from. I paused shortly, then answered.

“Yes?”

“Where are you going?”

“I uh… I have just been…”

“Come on in”

I hesitate briefly, looking back at the door I had been so sure I was supposed to go through, then look back at the open door beside it.

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