Lumley - Found in the flood

By Lance Lumley

Silence always makes people think, according to Chloe. She thought about a year ago when she came to give blood after the flood that destroyed most of the town and its neighboring areas. It was her civil duty to help out by giving blood, yet unlike others that rushed to the blood bank at the time, she was one of the few that came to donate as often as she could. Her day was awful, being told she was losing her job due to “downsizing,” and the “economic problems” due to the flooding. The jobs were just no longer there. She needed something to clear her mind, and decided to come to the blood bank to think about the future.

She looked at Jason and remembered his familiar face.

Jason looked over at her and smiled. Of all the things that happened to him this past year: the flood destroying his house, having to move back in with his parents, and the part-time job that he could barely live on, was too common to the people whose lives were affected from the flooding. He never dreamed his life would be turned upside down when he was on the so called “fast track” in the town where opportunities were rare.

Just like the blood, his dreams and goals dripped away.

He wanted to start a conversation with her, and get to know her. Jason thought she was stunningly beautiful. What could he say? Should he make a joke, asking if she was here to donate to the local vampire association? Is this the right place to use humor?

The doubt rushed into him as he realized he could not impress a woman by telling her he has a part time job at his age (especially at age forty) and had to move back home with his parents. No way she’d be impressed with that, although he couldn’t control the fate of the floods, thanks to Mother Nature.

While he was lost in self doubt, a nurse came over and led the girl away. Jason wanted to say something to get her attention, but he held his thoughts inside.

The beautiful woman was gone.

Chloe walked out of the hospital with mixed feelings. She was happy she got her mind off of her day for a little while, but couldn’t get the man next to her out of her mind. Should she had said something to him and started a conversation? Did she watch too many British television shows that warped her views in thinking romance still exists in the modern world?

I can’t worry about romance and dating. I need to find a job and fast. Maybe Sarah can give me a few hours, Chloe thought to herself, thinking about her best friend who owns a catering business.

Chloe’s cell phone ran. It was Sarah.

“Chloe! I need some help. I have an anniversary party to do tomorrow and I’m shorthanded. Can you help me?”

Chloe ran around the banquet hall making sure water was filled, along with odd jobs Sarah asked her to do that needed attention. She grabbed a tray of water to take to table four. She stared at the glasses, afraid to look up from the tray, worrying about spilling the water on a guest.

Walk slowly, don’t spill the....

Chloe felt like she hit a wall in front of her, as the water–filled glasses went everywhere. It wasn’t a wall she hit, but a person standing in front of her, now soaking wet. Her eyes went to his face and was ready to apologize (and run as far as she could to the kitchen). Shock came across her face before she could start her apology.

It was the man giving blood.

Jason described how he first met Chloe years earlier at the anniversary party for his parents, along with his getting drenched with water, which started the day he met his best friend. As he talked to the crowd in front of them, he explained why each of them were holding squirt guns and sprayed each other with water during the wedding reception in honor of the spilled drinks. The first thing Chloe and Jason were going to do when they returned from the honeymoon as husband and wife was to donate blood.

Chloe took the microphone and told her guests “The chances that your life could change while changing someone else’s are indeed greater than you think.”

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