i saw a popular girl in the waiting room!

I’m almost positive I saw a former high school classmate in Stein’s waiting room yesterday.  I don’t remember her name, and it is probable I never knew it to begin with. She was a year older, and popular.

But I easily recognized the tight red curls and thin lips. She did not look much older than she had at 16. In fact, I could easily picture her and her identical twin sister traipsing through the halls in purple Doc Martens.

And now that plaid shirts and baggier jeans are back in style, she was dressed similarly. (I was dressed the same too, but only because I really haven’t been shopping in 15 years.)

For a few minutes I stole furtive glances, pondering whether to say hi. I hated high school and was gratified by the fantasy that fibroids and early menopause were cosmic payback for (what I assumed was) her supremely enjoyable adolescence.

Then I realized what should’ve been obvious:  This popular girl couldn’t possibly have fertility problems because bad things don’t happen to popular girls.  Duh. She was clearly there to donate eggs to someone less fortunate.

I shot her a menacing glare and returned to my book.

Three minutes later, I had a new thought. It wasn’t a comfortable one, but I forced myself to acknowledge it. Perhaps it she too hated high school?

And if that was the case, perhaps she had horrible fertility problems of her own? Mangled fallopian tubes, fibroids the size of grapefruits, desiccated eggs like potato chip crumbs… “Ah,” I thought, “This is someone I could be friends with.”

Just as I decided to approach her, the nurse called me. When I emerged 20 minutes later, she was no longer in the waiting room.  I had missed my chance.

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3 Responses to “i saw a popular girl in the waiting room!”

  1. excellent piece of writing!!

  2. Wait, plaid shirts and baggy jeans are back in style? Oh, I need to move to where you are! Everyone here is still wearing jeggings and long clingy sweaters with those stupid giant cowls.

  3. teresa stern Says:

    Chloe, this is so true, the way we see others according to the way we think they are seeing us — or rather, how they fit into our picture of ourselves. It’s so funny how your view of someone can swing so wildly when you re-imagine their experience. Really nice writing.

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