The Waiting Room: Part 1
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The bell rang, calling the end of the school day. Bodies jostled, pushing and shoving. A contest to see who could get out the fastest, who could be free. I hung back, away from the stampede of students, waiting. As soon as it was safe in the halls, I pushed the doors open, letting the brisk wind hit my face. The sun shone, attempting to bring warmth into the air. I walked to my trusty 2005 Volvo, and started my drive home. The flat landscape of Missouri accompanied me, with the newly harvested corn fields on the left. Billboards passed in a blur, advertising Chick-Fil-A, Progressive, car crash insurance, lawyers, the Ozarks. I took exit 13, towards the neighborhood of houses I call home. I parked in my driveway, outside the garage leaving the spots inside for my mom and dad. Slinging my bag over my shoulder, I walked up the creaky porch steps that needed to be repaired, and opened the white door.

"Chase I'm home," I yelled to my brother as I shut the door.

"Hey. How was your day?" he asked politely as he walked down the stairs. Very unusual.

"Fine, I guess. Nothing too exciting. Why do you suddenly care?"

He looked at me, and regained his normally arrogant and rude attitude, saying, "I don't care at all. What's for dinner?"

"What'd mom's note say?" I asked him, matching his tone and setting my bag down on a kitchen stool.

"Spaghetti from two nights ago. Leftovers. Can we just order a pizza?"

"Chase, mom and dad will know if we order a pizza. We'll heat up the spaghetti later. Go do your homework."

"Fine. You're no fun anyway," he said and stomped off.

I hunted in the fridge for a snack, settling for an apple and nutella. When I finished, I plopped my bowl in the sink, licking every last bit of nutella off the spoon, and headed up to my room. I opened my door and jumped into my bed, snuggling underneath the soft blankets. My cat, Reese, walked in elegantly, and jumped on the bed, crawling into my lap. Her black fur and golden-brown spots inspired her name, Reese's, just like the candy. I started to pull out my math textbook when I hear the phone ring down the hall. Weird. No one ever calls the home phone except school.

"I'll get it!" Chase yells and I hear his door burst open, his hurried footsteps echoing down the hallway. I step out of bed, and press my ear against the door, trying to hear him.

"Hello?" Chase says with uncertainty. I can't make out the voice on the other end, but it isn't the school's monotone voice machine, or mom or dad. I suddenly hear Chase gasp, and his footsteps rush towards my room. I sprint to my bed, acting normal. Chase barges in, holding the phone, his face red and shocked. I instantly know something is wrong.

"What is it?" I ask

"We have to go to the hospital. Now. It's mom." He looks down at the phone and then up at me, tears threatening his eyes.

"Let's go, Chase," I say, trying to stay calm. I run to the car, Chase clinging to my hand. He climbed into the back seat and had barely shut the door when I start to reverse out of the driveway. I sped past the shops, the schools, the colors blurring. Chase tried to stay cool in the backseat, his messy brown hair covering his eyes, but I can see his tears streaming down his cheeks, scared.

"It's going to be okay. I'm sure Mom is okay. Probably just a broken leg or something." Little did I know how wrong I was.

I parked in the visitors lot, sprinting to the Emergency room with Chase by my side. The doors opened painfully slow, and I approached the lady at the front desk. She promptly informed me that I needed to wait in the waiting room, and that there was nothing to be done about my mom's condition unless they found a donor- and fast. Chase and I sat in a chair, and I handed him my phone so he could play Candy Crush to distract him. I glanced around the room at the others waiting- a woman and her husband, an elderly lady, and a guy maybe in his mid twenties made up the room. The TV blares storm warnings and a tornado watch is issued in red letters on the screen, but nothing can distract me from the ever growing thought: what if she doesn't make it? I decide then and there, that I will do whatever it takes in the next 24 hours to save my mom.

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