Vargo - Jason rushed into the lobby

By Judith Vargo

A phlebotomy technician approached Jason and he instinctively held out his left arm, the arm with the big, thick, good vein that would give 500ccs of blood in less than 10 minutes. Usually he liked being in and out of the blood center that fast, wham bam and off to the rest of his day. Saturdays were usually very busy for him and the blood bank, but today it was just him and the beautiful girl sitting next to him and he was in no rush. It had been a year since he last saw her here, although he looked for her every time he came. Today he would finally be close enough to chat with her, find out her name, ask if she wanted to get coffee sometime. He smiled at the tech, but she didn’t smile back.

“I’m sorry Mr. Jones, this station is out of order, the scale is broken. Have a seat over there,” she said, pointing toward a lounge three seats away. Jason frowned but moved over. It was okay, he was still alone with the pretty girl. He turned toward her and smiled, she smiled back.

“Do you come here often?” he asked.

“My fifth time,” she said. “I give whenever I’m in town visiting my mom.”

That explained why he hadn’t seen her for so long. He almost asked, “Where are you from?” but worried that it seemed too forward, like the first question a stalker might ask. So he sat silent, staring at the ceiling tiles for a moment. He hoped she would say something, but she sat mute, too.

After the tech got the line started, he turned toward the pretty girl again. He could ask about her mother or something. Like where she lived. No, stalker-ish again. He could say how good she looked in that purple sweater. Sheesh, Jason was an English teacher, why did words suddenly escape him?

He couldn’t think of anything to say to her. He had to stop himself from staring at her.

“Miss Jackson, you are done,” he heard the technician say to the pretty girl and next thing he knew she was taped up and out of the room. But she would still be sitting at the canteen for a few minutes. “Hurry!” he said to himself. “Am I almost done?” he asked the tech. “Almost. A few more minutes, Mr. Jones,” she replied. “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!” he muttered to himself again and put as much pressure on the vein as he could to try to squeeze the blood out faster. At least he knew her last name was Jackson now and she wasn’t married. He had no idea what her first name might be, but at least it was something. Finally the tech was disconnecting the tubing and Jason rushed out of the room as fast as he could, hoping Miss Jackson would still be in the lobby at least.

As soon as he rounded the corner, he saw her sitting at the first table in the canteen, facing the door, smiling with those pink lips and beautiful white teeth. His heart was pounding as he approached her, still unable to think of a clever line that might impress her. As he got to the table, he extended his hand and said, “My name is Jason.”

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