The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Daily Sundial’s new serialized story: ‘Waiting’

When they reach the reception desk she sits down in front of a computer and starts tallying up the money he owes.

“So, how was it,” she asks without looking up from the screen.

“Oh, about as well as these things go, I suppose,” he says with a lopsided grin. She looks up at him and smiles, brushing a stray lock of hair out of her eyes before turning back to the computer.

Shiloe looks around at the bookcases filled with color-coded files. That’s a lot of files. I wonder just how many people this office has had over the years. His eyes move along the bookcases until they come to a wall with a clock. 2:20. He looks towards the end of the counter and spies a basket filled with stickers.

“Can I have one of these sweet stickers?” he asks her.

“Sure, if you want one, I guess,” she says with a giggle. He reaches into the pile and pulls out one he likes, examining it.

“That’ll be $152. Cash or credit?” she asks.

“Credit,” he says, and fishes out his wallet, handing her his debit card. She runs his card through the machine and hands it back to him with a receipt and a pen. He signs the receipt and hands it back.

“Thank you very much,” she says, smiling. “We should call you in a week or so to make another appointment.”

“Okay, thank you.”

“Have a nice day.”

“You too,” he says, smiling back at her.

He walks out into the parking lot to sunshine and the smell of exhaust. I should’ve asked her for her number or something. Is there some sort of doctor/client privilege that would be violating? I could always find another dentist.

Shiloe heads toward his ’91 Buick Park Avenue, good old Silver Bullet, fishing his keys out of his pocket. He opens the door and slides inside. He puts on his seatbelt, turns on the car, and the engine rumbles to life. Pink Floyd’s “Time” comes out of the speakers.

“Ticking away the moments that make up the dull day. Fritter and waste the hassafa heyeyey,” Shiloe sings along, making up the words he doesn’t know. He glances at the clock as it changes from displaying the station. 2:30.

He pulls up to the driveway and puts on his left-hand blinker. He looks left, right, and then left again, seeing nothing but cars on the road in each direction. He puts on his right hand blinker with a sigh and squeezes in behind a Hummer. Turning onto the next side street with a light, he makes a u-turn and pulls into the left-hand turn lane, stopping for a yellow light. He reads the sign on the corner gas station and marvels at the price of gas these days. Jesus Christ, gas is expensive. I wonder how high it will go?

The light turns green and Shiloe eases into the intersection, waiting for a break in the cars. As the light once again turns red the oncoming traffic finally stops and Shiloe finally makes his original left turn.

He drives for a few seconds before a lemon yellow Miata comes out of nowhere and turns right in front of him. Shiloe slams on his brakes but to no avail. That moment of split second clarity when you know what’s going to happen hits him. Goddammit. He hits the Miata going 45 miles per hour. His airbags deploy, giving his head enough cushion to kept it from splitting open but not enough to keep him from having a splitting headache when the adrenaline wears off. A moment later he unfastens his seatbelt and staggers out of the Silver Bullet, ears ringing, a little shaken but otherwise uninjured.

He looks at the Miata and there in the driver’s seat is Edward D’Galle, his fine black suit with dark gray pin stripes over a white shirt and black tie stained with blood from a deep gash on his head and several smaller ones on his hands and arms. Glass lies on the seat next to him. Oh shit.

A small groan escapes D’Galle, and Shiloe snaps back to reality. Remember Boy Scouts. What do you do in an emergency? Number one: remain calm. Okay calm. I’m a Hindu cow. I’m in an airline safety pamphlet.

Shiloe just stands and breathes, eyes closed.

Number two: Dial 911.

He snaps his eyes open and digs in his pocket, pulling out his cell phone. 2:33. Number three: find something to press against the wound to stop the bleeding. As he runs to his car and opens the trunk, pulling out some old clothes he had planned on giving to the Salvation Army “one of these days,” he dials 911. He digs out an old worn shirt, sorry Salvation Army, it turns out I do need these, and heads toward D’Galle, ripping the shirt into strips, holding the phone to his ear as it rings. He opens the passenger side door and scoots closer. Number four: examine the wound for foreign objects, ensuring not to cause further injury. When he doesn’t find any glass in the wounds he takes his old shirt strips and presses them against D’Galle’s head. As a busy signal blares in his ear, Shiloe drops his phone and starts wrapping D’Galle’s other wounds.

“Where’s my BlackBerry? I need to call my lawyer,” D’Galle mutters, only semi-cognizant of what is happening. “I’m late for a meeting with the Malaysian minister of economics.”

By now a crowd has gathered. Shiloe hears from outside that someone has called 911 and an ambulance is on its way. Police sirens blare in the distance. D’Galle has yet to open his eyes. I hope he doesn’t have a concussion. Him being unconscious right now would be very bad.

Finishing what he can for D’Galle, Shiloe wipes his hands on his remaining old shirt strips and grabs his phone, putting it back in his pocket, glancing at the time. 2:34. He scoots back out the passenger side, trying to disturb D’Galle as little as possible.

“Hey, are you okay, man?” someone in the crowd asks.

“I’m fine, not even a scratch,” he says, suddenly fascinated by the tiny shards of glass sparkling in the sunlight before being eclipsed by his shadow. “Just make sure not to move him, okay?”

“Okay, man, no problem. You heard the man, just stay back!”

Shiloe walks back to the Silver Bullet and sits down at the driver’s side seat. He leans back and closes his eyes.

The sirens continually get closer. When they stop, Shiloe looks up to see a firefighter standing over him.

“You okay, son?”

“Just fine, sir. How is Sir D’Galle, over there?”

“Well, whoever tied up his wounds had the right idea, even if it was a little sloppy. He’ll be fine,” the firefighter says, turning to look toward the Miata. He pauses a second before turning back to Shiloe. “You know him?”

“We go to the same dentist. Never met him though.”

“What a coincidence, huh?”

“Yeah, what a coincidence,” Shiloe mutters, leaning back. He glances over at the clock. 2:42.

The police eventually come over to get his statement of what happened and his license and insurance information. As the police set up cones and start directing traffic, Shiloe calls his work and tells them what happened.

“After you just got out of the dentist, no less,” his boss says. “Just one of those days, huh?”

“I guess so.”

“So you probably won’t be coming in today,” his boss asks.

“I would say most definitely not,” Shiloe says.

Shiloe calls AAA for a tow, and they tell him they won’t be there for an hour to an hour and a half. He says thank you and snaps his phone shut, looking at the time. 3:05.

He settles back into his seat, getting comfortable for the wait.

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