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The Speck Essay

1198 words - 5 pages

Time spins around an office clock so fast no one can ever keep up. “Elizabeth, are you coming to Jacob’s mandatory meeting et-al?” Brandon said as he passed Sophie’s cubical marching to the conference room. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you can’t say anything about the meeting either,” Elizabeth said, following him. “Give me a second.” Sophie wrestled her handbag from her desk for lip-gloss. In the fight she accidentally slammed her gray hand with the drawer. Though she jumped at the crack—she didn’t feel the pain. Slowly lifting her mottled arm, her ring finger stood straight on the back of her hand. Without knowing what else to do, she smacked it on the edge of the desk. Snap. The finger popped in place. “Let me just say right-here-and-now, I don’t like mandatory meetings on a Friday night,” Kay mentioned to Peter as they rushed to the meeting. Hiding her hands deep in her blazer pockets, Sophie remained quiet and followed the back of the crowd into a noisy conference room. She took the remaining seat; a folding chair in the corner by the office bulletin board. The chair had an extra fold where she slumped into the bend, stunned, blankly stared at the floor. “That should hurt.” Her voice so low she barely knew if she said anything at all. The gray waxy skin with crisscrossing blue lines never faded, nor did the bump on her wrist disappear. Losing the sensation of touch was one thing, but the utter lack of pain was another unsettling and unexpected symptom of the sickness. “There must be feeling. I have to feel something.” She massaged the top of her gray knuckles and felt the sensation of—nothingness. She rubbed her palms together, gently clapping them. She didn’t feel her hands touch. She clapped harder, and repeatedly until not only did she feel them touching, but everyone heard the clapping, and taking her lead they started to applaud as Jacob and Mrs. Rooney entered the room. Sophie dropped her head in complete cold embarrassment when she recognized Jacob’s rebuff taking his seat in the front of the crowd. Observing his enthusiasm in quickly conducting the start of the meeting, as well as his abrupt ability to control the clatter with a chough, she frowned. She felt something. And that something was more heartbreaking than any cold embarrassment or the vacant feeling of a gray sick hand, she frowned over an odd nostalgia gripping her thoughts. “He cut his hair,” she openly exclaimed. “I don’t like it.” While Jacob introduced the points of the meeting, Sophie stared at the back of her gray hand. A dark blood pooled under the dead skin at the base of her ring finger. “My finger is definitely broken, but no throbbing.” As Jacob rambled, she snagged a red pushpin from the bulletin board and rotated the plastic head between the healthy pink fingers of her other hand. She watched him speak, form his words, however his voice whistled in her ear and she ignored the gist of his speech. With her eyes glued to Jacob’s moving lips—not on her...

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