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The Wooden Door

This is number 16 in a series of stories told to me by people

who want to connect with others in this crazy beautiful world.

Maybe you can relate.

The oversized wooden door opened then and the nurse called her name. Quickly Sara replaced the Red Book magazine on the battered table, fumbled for her bag and stood. Hurriedly she tried to follow behind the nurse who had already started down the creaky hallway.

She felt left behind, always left behind.

"Step up please," said the nurse, standing before the tall metal scale.

"Should I take off my shoes?" she asked quietly.

"No," said the nurse, but then she was distracted by something and when she turned her head Sara took her shoes off.

Why add more weight? She was already so heavy.

The nurse looked back and moved the chunky block along the bar at the top of the scale and Sara looked away.

"One fifteen," said the nurse. Sara winced.

As she tried to get back into her shoes the nurse started off down the hallway and stopped at another wooden door and turned to look for Sara who was walking briskly with her shoes untied and trying not to cry.

The nurse opened the door and let Sara enter first and she tried to decide where to sit, but she didn't know so she asked the nurse who said that either chair was fine.

Sara still could not decide. She just could not decide.

The nurse sat on a rolling stool then and pulled herself up to the counter and began flipping through the pages on her clipboard, pages that surely told her all about Sara and why she'd been here so many times. She was wondering what the nurse thought of her just as she looked up and motioned for Sara to sit in the blue chair on the left.

The blue chair on the left. Of course. Sara sat, relieved to be told.

"Let's get your blood pressure and your temp," the nurse said, reaching for things.

Sara put her arm out and saw all the veins peeking through her white skin and she felt sick. The nurse wrapped the cuff around her then and placed the stethoscope's bell over her artery before she began to squeeze the bulb.

Sara felt the pressure immediately. She felt all of the pressure around her arm and around her heart and around her whole self too. She felt all of the pressure to be OK, to be someone that would not cry when pots of pasta boiled over and tires went flat and people lied.

The nurse swiped a thermometer across her forehead then and Sara wished there was something that would take away all of the thoughts that made her life so hard to manage and so easy to fear. After a moment there was a beep and she imagined it told the nurse that Sara had a fever, hot with worry and so much sorrow.

The nurse then turned her attention back to the clipboard full of pages and Sara looked at her arm, red from the blood pressure cuff. Slowly she moved it into her lap where she held it against herself, just tried to hang on.

"OK," said the nurse. "Wait here. The doctor will be right with you."

In moments the large wooden door closed again and Sara was alone in the too bright room where everything was white and cold, just like her arm and like her whole life, and suddenly she couldn't do it. She couldn't wait for more of the same and always expect something different.

And so she got up. She got up and gathered her bag close to her heart like a little girl might gather a loved teddy bear.

She walked to the wooden door and she stood before it.

Then, after a beat of her heart, she opened the door and she left.

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