1 min
18 votes
In competition

As she sticks the needle into me

Fiddles with it until the blood trickles

Into place in the first of five vials

She asks why I’m here

“School” I tell her

Still eying the rubber tubing

Winding in her hand

And she asks me where I live

Assuming that I’m only here

Because I have to

Because I’ve been out of the country

And I say China proudly

Though weak from missing breakfast

For the bloodwork

“That’s so cool” she says

Her eyes still on my blood in her hand

Red hot in the clear vials

“My friend’s boss’s wife is actually from there”

I know she’s smiling behind her mask

Waiting for me to say “oh really”

Half-sarcastically as approval

Before she realizes

“Wait, no, she’s from Korea”

Embarrassed but not apologizing

I look at my blood

Willing it to rush faster into the bottle

All of it boiling inside my body

Dark as embers

As I joke about the “good food there”

And listen to her rant on about

How “they stay there for a month at a time

Because it’s so far”

Before she bandages me with white gauze

And a strip of blue

Tape on my arm

Sandwiching the red in my body

Unsettled by her

“Safe trip home honey”

Though I’m still smiling


In competition

18 votes

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Image of Angbeen Azeem
Angbeen Azeem · ago
You have your way with words!! Keep it up
Image of Tony Martello
Tony Martello · ago
I could feel the rawness and awkward moment. Powerful writing. You have my full support-5 votes. Check out my short fiction story, "Maize of Color" and vote if you like it. Tony
Image of Christine Chen
Christine Chen · ago
Thank you so much!!! I'll definitely go check our your story!