Monday, April 5, 2010

Truth or Fiction

She waits.

It is a waiting room, after all.

There's a book in her purse; she doesn't take it out, open it, read. There are people down the corridor, but she doesn't mind them. Not like she normally would, curious by nature as she is.

She studies the linoleum floor, wondering how many steps cover the space between where she is and where she'll be. Somewhere back behind that closed door, to where a nurse must invite you.

News waits.

The hard plastic chair grows, well, harder, though its chemistry hasn't changed since she sat down. It's just... maybe somehow, because all her nerves are alerted, she feels it like she didn't before, leaden and solid. Like that heft of unease in her stomach, leaden and solid.

She hears the rattling of the knob, sees it turn. She imagines a significant woosh of air, one she might saddle, mount and escape on, as the door swings open.

She hears her name called. Pries herself from the weighted chair. Wants to smile at the warm nurse, who offers a grasping and guiding arm, but she can't get the right muscles to cooperate. Not in this moment.

Instead, she draws a deep breath. Again.

Reality waits.

38 comments:

LA said...

I wish it weren't the truth.

Slamdunk said...

Excellent descriptions. Thanks for sharing.

Lydia Kang said...

Lovely piece. I'm going to say truth.

Susan R. Mills said...

Great writing. I can feel the unease. Truth?

Jen said...

I loved this... so much emotion, perfect descriptions, beautifully written!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

"She imagines a significant woosh of air, one she might saddle, mount and escape on, as the door swings open." Oh, I loved this!!! :-)

Tess said...

don't we all know that feeling? that's the beauty of good writing .. it allows us to remember and connect.

very nice.

Melissa Marsh said...

I know this feeling. Just had it last week. Actually, several times in the past two weeks with everything going on.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I FELT the hard chair, the coldness, the leaden weight.

Hurrah!

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Carol J. Garvin said...

I'd say fiction, but a description that conjures empathy because of its authenticity. Beautiful writing!

Karen said...

Oh, is it truth? It certainly has been played by many, I know. I was right there with her, the leaden feeling in my stomach and feet.

patti said...

Oh, I pray you aren't having to go through this, dear one.

How many times have I been here--with kids, parents, spouse, myself????

Hate it!! don't we all?????

What wonderful writing...
NOW TELLL USSSS.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

It's written as though it's true.

~ Wendy

Janna Qualman said...

So you really want to know? The suspense isn't enough? ;)

I took a grain of truth and polished it into something representative of circumstance. It is embellished from something I recently experienced. And yep, we've all been there, in that waiting space. I love the relatability of a moment like that.

T. Anne said...

Sounds like a writers life. I say TRUTH???

Terri Tiffany said...

You write vividly!! Wonderful!

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, I was riveted. Great writing.

Joanne said...

Isn't it great to write those words that you just know will reach people's hearts with recognition? Beautifully written, we're walking in with her.

septembermom said...

You conveyed those anxious feeling so well through your imagery. Well written.

Kara said...

Love, love, love this discription! I felt it, I was there in that moment as I read.

Nadine said...

Beautiful piece, but I really wish it was only fiction. :(

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

This rings true. I've been in that position, and experienced those feelings more times than I care to remember.

Please say, "it's fiction."

Susan

P.S. I read the more recent comments. I'm glad there's only a grain of truth.

Theresa Milstein said...

I was right there with you. When fiction is believable, it's truth. If it's truth, you've expressed it clearly.

JLC said...

Very nice. I was going to say a mixture of truth and imagination, but I have a little background knowledge. Personally, the smell of hospitals turns my stomach.

Thanks for sharing this with us. It was a wonderful glimpse with great visual descriptions.

:D

Melanie Avila said...

This is beautiful.

::hugs::

ChristaCarol said...

Wow, you are such a beautiful writer. In every sense!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Truth?

This was beautifully written!

Janna Qualman said...

You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the kind words.

Tamika: said...

Beautiful prose! I felt her anguish and apprehension.

Well done! I hope you're putting this in one of your books so I can turn the page...

Journaling Woman said...

great writing. you took experience and made us feel for the character-take on the character's emotions.

Great job.

myletterstoemily said...

we've all been there, and you
captured it beautifully.

Angie Muresan said...

Oh yes, been there. You did a wonderful job writing it. Reads very much like Anita Shreve's work.

Anne (aka "stormie") said...

Oh geez, I felt my heart beating fasting, feeling like I was in that waiting room, waiting....

Great writing!

Analisa said...

I must agree I felt her stress and felt the heartbreak. Wonderfully written.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, Janna. Wow. You have captured the art of writing in first person. Very challenging, but you managed it with such seeming ease. Wow. I love this.

And did I say wow?

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my ... it feels so real, I'd have to go with Truth.

Deb Shucka said...

This is truth, whether the experience actually happened at this time in this way by you personally. I've been in that chair, and sat there again as I read. That's truth.

Glynis said...

Great work, a little bit of truth, twisted into fiction.