I lost track of time again. We were sitting in this waiting room for what seemed like hours. It was incredibly cold, and I could see the wisps of moisture from my breath swirling in front of my eyes. I glanced around the room again, spending another few minutes studying the others that sat waiting, like me.
There was Frank, sitting near the double doors. He was picking at the red foam padding near the hinge; he seemed preoccupied, despite his efforts to ignore the cold. He could have left at any time, but Frank never really wanted to. His obese body hung like a reminder of what not to become. Fat seemed to drip from his words and his blank stare, and as he shivered from the temperature, his biceps writhed slowly like too many snakes shoved into a cloth sack. I couldn't understand what Frank was waiting for, either.
The clock above the double doors kept ticking. People were still shifting in their chairs, paging through magazines filled with demigods and hair extensions. I thought of the cold again, and the taste of sashimi, fresh from the chopping board. I wish I knew what I was waiting for.
The checkered floor kept Mary occupied. She counted the number of squares, estimated the dimensions of each tile, and mentally calculated the surface area of the room. Her eyebrows twitched as she lifted her bangs from her eyes, and prepared to cover her bare shoulders with her shawl. She never looked up, almost as if she was diverting her attention away from what loomed ahead of her.
I leaned down to scratch my leg. I always had this itch near my ankle, but it was bothering me quite often lately. I ran my fingernails deep into the flesh, dragging them through the skin and the viscous fluids inside. I reached deep to scratch; too deep, in fact. I pulled my hand away, and watched as a crimson tear fell onto the tiled floor. I felt satisfied. My itch was temporarily gone.
Minutes had passed. David sat in the corner of the room, in a suit and tie. He was a young man, professional, but with a boyish face. Embattled with the front page of the Wall Street Journal, he sat and crossed his legs. David would only cross his legs the proper way, the way a man should cross them. His right calf rested on his left knee, forming a T that spoke of power and respect. He could have been something, someday, except here he was, in this room, waiting for the same thing as I was.
My watch stopped. So did the clock on the wall. It grew slightly colder, and my teeth chattered like marbles spilled on the checkered floor. The light grew dim, the air grew red and hazy. We all looked up at once, and shot our attention towards the double doors. Frank backed away, moving to another seat. The chair barely held his girth as he sat down near Mary.
A doctor emerged. He wore a black coat, with a grey button-down shirt and a blue tie. His hands were busy trying to grasp a pen from his coat pocket, though the blood on his fingertips prevented a strong grip. His eyes set far back in his head, almost as though they were not there at all. A yellow glint formed in his eyes, as we all hung on his actions. This was his waiting room, and this was why we were here.
He spoke softly, though his voice was so harsh that I nearly covered my ears in disgust. "I am awaiting my next entry," he said. Puzzled, we looked around to each other.
Again, he spoke. "You do not understand just yet, but you will. Please, whoever is next, please come with me."
Frank murmured softly. "I-I think I am next," he stammered.
The doctor reached out his bloody hand to Frank. Seeing the red stains, Frank immediately backed away. "W-W-What is this? What must I see you for, and what is that? Blood?"
"Do not question me. Simply follow," the doctor said.
Frank resisted, but fell into the doctor's gaze, and reluctantly agreed. As he rose, the doctor turned to look at me. I shot a glance back to him, and for once, I wasn't so cold. I knew where I was, and I knew why I was here. I knew what I was waiting for.
Frank and the doctor left, and headed through the double doors. I shrank back into my seat, wondering when I would pay for my sins, when I would die, when I would be born again. All of these questions, and so little time to answer them.
I opened an issue of People magazine. Wow, Jennifer Aniston was cheating on Brad Pitt...