The Waiting Room

The room was large, very large, with a wooden floor, empty walls and a high ceiling. The receptionist sat at her desk in the corner furthest from the entry. Her desk was white and empty. She had a telephone headset that plugged directly into the desk, and she clicked on invisible buttons to take and direct calls. Calls that he could not hear coming in. He could not hear her voice either. He wondered if she was just an elaborate work of art. But he had just talked to her. He had walked all the way across the wooden floorboards, his dress shoes clicking along the surface, echoing through the room. He was bewildered; he felt like he was in a dream. He had spoken to her; he was sure he had. She had directed him to the chair he was now sitting in. He had walked the length of the room to the chairs he had not seen on his way in, and he had sat. He was sure he had.

Now, he sniffed. His nose started itching, and then it started running. He did not have a tissue. He felt that standing and walking back again would seem strange. He could not face asking her for a tissue. He had no option. He would sniff. And he sniffed. And he sniffed. And each sniff echoed through the room like a gunshot. He looked at her with panic. He could barely make out her facial expression from this distance, but it seemed to him that she was judging him. He stopped sniffing.

His nose started to drip. He felt the drip forming at the end of his nose. He felt it grow. He felt it get bigger and bigger until it stopped growing and just hung there. It wobbled as he breathed. He tried to stay still, to breath as slowly as he possibly could. He felt the drip draw in as he breathed in and sway out as he breathed out. His mind ticked over.

The door opened and the interviewer walked out.

“Mr Jones?”

He stood, breathing out as he stood, flinging the drip from his nose. He saw where it landed on the floor and stepped past it to meet the outstretched hand of the interviewer.


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