Hypochondriac

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“I’m dying!” These words no longer had any meaning when uttered (or loudly shouted, as they usually are) by a certain person by the name of Ray Smith.
“Clint, I’m dying! Quite dead by now, thanks!” Ah, because I haven’t dropped everything and ran to the breakroom yet, Ray is dying. For the third time this week.
“Look at this! Does this look cancerous?” Oh, joy. Apparently, I didn’t need to rush over, because WebMD himself is already here.
“Ray. You’re. Not. Dying. Don’t show me your arm. I don’t want to see your possibly cancerous arm, or your hand that might need to be amputated- your hand just fell asleep, by the way- I don’t want to see anything. I need to work.” I dismissed my distraught coworker with a glare that he’s seen a thousand times before and went back to the daily grind. Turn my laptop on, type aimlessly for around 7 hours, go home.
“But I’m actually dying this time!”
Another glare. “Go away.”
“No, but look!” Will I ever get any peace? Probably not. With a heavy sigh, I got up and walked out the office door and into the hallway. A familiar sequence of crashing, thudding, shouts of “Sorry!” and “Oops, didn’t see you there!” followed, and soon I was not alone.
“Ray, go away. I’m walking the hallways haphazardly and contemplating my existence- alone.”
`”Fine! I’ll just head back, then.” As Ray tried to storm back into the office, he tripped (over nothing, it seemed) and fell flat on his face. This happened quite a bit, you see. Clumsy hypochondriacs are not the best mix.
“I think I sprained my skull, possibly bruised my internal organs, and now I’m going to die! I give myself a week!”
While I was too busy laughing at my very professional colleague, the extreme look of disdain on Ray’s face and the slight amount of pity in my cold, dead heart led me to saying this:
“Alright, I’ll get you ice from the lunch room freezer or something, OK?”
“Yeah, you’d better! My face hurts and I might as well go to the hospital right now, except they said I can’t come back today. What if I have a sudden heart attack?”
I rolled my eyes. “At 31? I highly doubt it.”
“Spontaneous combustion!”
“No, Ray, If you’re that worried, don’t go near heat.”
“THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS!” Where was that ice…
I internally slapped myself, knowing how this was going to go. A brief flashback to the last time Ray used ice for an injury- “OH MY GOD MY FACE IS SO COLD I’M DYING A SLOW AND CHILLY DEATH!”

Not doing that again. Alas, I walked Ray to the cafeteria and asked the disgruntled lunch lady for some ice with the sappiest, most sugar-coated smile I could muster. Achievement earned- obtain ice. Next task- give it to Ray, hopefully successfully.
“Ray, put the ice on your face.”
“Are you kidding? That’s way too cold! It needs to thaw.”
Rolling my eyes, I said “You’re the one who asked for it, Ray. Ice doesn’t need to th- you know what, just do it.”
“Fine, fine.”
As Ray held the completely unnecessary ice to his very afflicted face, I heard a yell. The unmistakable sound of an angry boss rattled my ears.
“SMITH!”
We rushed out of the cafeteria, back into the office, and into The Room. It was either dreaded or hated, depending on what you did. The Room has nothing but a large menacing desk with 2 smaller, yet intimidating still, chairs in the front. Behind the desk? The boss. He was a feared man, could clear a room of timid interns in seconds- and he was about to speak.
“Clint, get out.” Ray cast a fearful glance my way, pleading me to stay as I backed out of the room. Outside, I stationed myself against the wall to hear every horrible thing going on in that room. I could hear parts-
“Smith, you’ve spent too many days and too much time out of work! No more sick days, and I mean it!”
“But sit-”
“No! That’s final!”
Out walked Ray, looking like a rejected puppy.
“ I don’t have any more sick days.”
“Wow,” I deadpanned. “How are you going to take care of your sprained skull?”
“That hurts, man.”
“More than your case of spontaneous combustion?”
Ray rolled his eyes at me. With that, we walked back to our respective desks, Ray, of course, tripping all the way.






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bradleyccllns This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 12 at 10:13 pm
I thought that it was a great approach to an angsty prompt.
 
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