Constant Vacancy on Their Shoulders

What a rainy, dreary Monday! Normally I am all for a good gray day in the fall to enjoy a good book from ones bed, but I had to be to work earlier than normal today so that plan didn’t work out so well. However I did get some time at work to put together a piece from a prompt I got the other day from a lovely anonymous individual. There are spots of this I really like but as overall I think it could be better. I’ve battled editing it for a couple of hours and I just can’t seem to find a way to get it right so I am going to go ahead and post what I got and hope that I do justice to the idea the prompter had in mind. I might continue to work with this though and so in days to come I might have another version up maybe, we’ll see.


Discuss the scary part of putting ones self in the hospital, the humor of having your beset friends at your side to laugh at the ridiculous, the fear, the anxiety of what the future will hold but mostly the hope one can have when knowing they are in a safe place.


The bed isn’t completely uncomfortable but it definitely isn’t the plush, enveloping one you have at home either. The walls are a far cry from the colorful and picture filled ones of your own. But the view, that at least had something on the tiny window overlooking your backyard, with its far off buildings and immediate show of what must be a walking garden.

The doctor was weird; not a bad weird, just that kind of thing where you meet a person and get the vibe they are just a little quirky. He seems nice enough as he goes over the basic steps of your first few days here. You listen as best you can when he has this ridiculous patterned tie on that you know your friends are in the corner mocking. It’s helpful that you’ve done this before so you can afford to not hang on his every word.

The presence of those two in the corner, while distracting, is making this whole thing easier and somehow positive. They get as much as they can and leave a constant vacancy on their shoulders for you to lean on without any judgement or expectation. They are what made you feel better about making the choice to be put back in the hospital for a while. You know this time you have people on the outside who care, and who are willing to even come inside to make things less scary.

The looks on their faces when you asked them to take you wasn’t uncomfortable or forced but accepting and almost honored you trusted them with the task. They could have backed out multiple times by now; left you in the lobby, turned around at the wing entrance, shuffled out when the doctor entered. But they didn’t. They sat down on the floor and kept you company. They would probably stay the night, or the whole week, if they could.

The doctor finishes up, asks if you have any questions. You don’t. He lets you know that it is already past visiting hours but that since your friends have stuck it out this long you can have fifteen more minutes together. They say thank you, you say thank you, and he leaves with his funny tie.

The door to your room is open but you don’t look out. For a little bit longer you want to ignore that you’re in the hospital and out there are other people you will be around a lot for the next couple of weeks; people who aren’t your friends. You look over at the two familiar faces and the laughter falls out in tandem. There isn’t even a specific point of humor but just more the whole idea of they day you’ve all experienced together.

The conversation fiddles between the last few hours and what the future weeks before school starts up again has in store. Their support lifts a weight or two of fear and failure from your shoulders. You feel more different about this time and the future after. Of course it’s all still terrifying and a little dark at the corners but at the center is the light of their belief in you. It’s almost as if you are Tinkerbell and you can survive on their believing.


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