The Waiting Room: Pt. 9: The End

July 9, 2010
I sat in silence for a while. What do you say to a girl who just lost a parent? I’m sorry? Bulls***, not only is that hackneyed and cliché, but it also shows a lack of caring. Too often do I see people say, “I’m sorry,” for things that they aren’t really sorry about. I’m not saying that the person isn’t struck by pity or doesn’t feel bad, but what I am saying is that when that person goes to sleep that night, they aren’t going to be losing any sleep. And that’s understandable, even if it does sound horrendously awful. They never knew the person; you can’t feel empathetic for a person you never knew. Sympathetic maybe, but sympathy is a far cry from empathy. But I couldn’t just say, “I’m sorry,” it’s also too easy – a cop out, per sé. But was not saying something worse? I don’t think so. Sometimes it’s the silence that means the most. However this caring silence had gone on for too long and I felt compelled to say something.

“Mievni…hmph. Interesting name. A good name, I think,” I paused for a moment. “The world isn’t filled with as many bad people as realists and pessimists like to believe. You seem to be someone who supports facts and figures and whatnot, so I’ll try to say this as closely to that as possible. One of the major attributes that come with being a human is our ability to reach out and connect with others. You can’t keep yourself closed off forever. In general, people like helping others. Whether it’s a genuine desire to help or that they just like the satisfaction of bragging about how helpful they were, I don’t know. But I do know that these people aren’t out there to bite you in the a**. You’ll hit some hiccups along the way, but for the most part, it’s hard to go wrong. You only have so many years to live; it’s a waste to live them miserably.”

“Yeah…whatever.” She may have answered abruptly and apathetically, but I knew intuitively that I had planted seeds of thought. Maybe they wouldn’t completely change her outlook, but maybe they might have just enough influence to make her day a little better, or at least teach her something. Then she surprised me by actually taking a little initiative in the conversation. “What about you? Everyone’s got their story, right? What’s yours?”

I chuckled, looked away from Mievni and into the dark of the room. I stared into the void for a long time. It was almost relaxing, but not quite; somehow it still kept me on my toes. But it got me thinking about what my story was. I don’t believe I had really found myself and yet all these other people seemed to have such deep insights into their own selves. It was a little disheartening. At last, I turned back to Mievni.

I smiled. “That’s what I’m still trying to figure out.”

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 12, 2010 at 10:21 pm
That was really great.  The mysterious 1-starrer doesn't know a thing about good writing.  Keep up the good work! ~AsIAm J7X
AgnotTheOdd replied...
Sept. 12, 2010 at 11:17 pm
Haha thanks for the vote of confidence.  It's reassuring.
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