The Single Urgency

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An urgent call from her mother sends a young woman rushing to the hospital with no idea what's going on.

Submitted: September 07, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 07, 2014



Sometimes music overwhelms me. It’s a good overwhelming, but I’ll just sit and let the music cover me. I’ll listen to the same song over and over again just so I can make the feeling last. When the song ends, the emotions slowly seem to fade away. It’s like a drug high that I have to hit over and over again. I wouldn’t call it an addiction though. It’s more of a need to experience a feeling that no other person has provided me with. I suppose never falling in love with someone will force you to find that “high” somewhere else, so I find it in music and books. I think the books provide more of a lasting high, because sometimes when I finish reading I’ll just linger and let the emotions simmer. Instead of fading away after a few minutes the feeling of love that was won and then lost hovers for a day or two. Yet, I want the feeling to last even longer. How I can attempt to live a life like the characters I just befriended. I want to live a life of adventure. A life of mystery and love. I want what I can never have. A life like a book character, but no one lives like a book character. A book character lives the life we all want to have. It’s a combination of everything we want but cannot have. A life of adventure. A life of steamy romance. A life full of second chances.

Real life isn’t like that though. So-called adventures turn into wars that kill. That steamy romance is a drunken one night stand that will never work out. And second chances don’t exist, at least not in my world. My world consists of daydreams. Working a 9 to 5 job in a cubicle will do that to you. There’s not even a window for me to stare longingly through, so my white panel with the lone picture of my St. Bernard, Molly, will have to do. My mother’s worst fear is that I’ll be a cat lady, but I like to reassure her that that won’t happen. I plan on being a dog lady.

The worst part about being single, living in a small town, and having an over-sharing mother is that I’ve been on a date with every eligible “bachelor” within 20 miles. By the 7th bachelor I decided to just have fun with it and make up answers. I made it a game to see what I could get away with before he decided I was crazy and made his way to the bathroom never to return. By the 10th bachelor the waiters had caught on (apparently, there’s only one good restaurant in this hellhole of a town), and I began making bribes to see how quickly I could scare them off. I probably could have made a nice side business off of it if the town hadn’t run out of bachelors. It was a good thing there were no more dates though. I think I was starting to become dependent on the free dinner once a week. My budget actually started to take the extra unused grocery money and put it into the entertainment fund. The dollar theater saw me a lot more than they probably wanted during those months of “bachelor heaven.” However, I don’t think they ever caught on to the fact that I always snuck in a party-size bag of peanut butter m&m’s.

Peanut butter m&m’s are essentially my only motivation for being a runner. I don’t really have any control when it comes to them, which might explain why I’m now sitting on the couch, eating m&m’s and ending another book series that I’ve fallen in love with. Would you believe me if I told you it was a Friday night? Molly’s sitting here curled up on my bed keeping me warm as I delve into a world I’ll never be able to experience. Even as I become enthralled with this fantasy world I begin stare into the frost-lined window. The snowflakes have been falling for the past hour and are now beginning to carpet the gravel driveway. Living out in the country has its perks, and staring out into my open front yard that is lined with only trees is one of them. My mind drifts as I begin to pretend that I am the main character in my book, but then the phone rings. I seriously debate going to retrieve it since I’ve already assumed that it’s my mother with more suggestions of how to snag a man. I decide to ignore the persisting shrills, but at the last minute I change my mind and run to get the phone hanging up in the kitchen, something about a conscience seemed to force me.

“Yes mother?”

“I need you to come to the hospital right now.”

“Are you crying? What’s wrong? I’m on my way.”


She hangs up quickly, and I continue to stand and process the urgency in her voice. I immediately regret my snarky tone, and I’m trying to develop the best apology as I search for my boots and winter jacket. Throwing my jacket on, slipping up my boots, and rushing out the door I sit down in my old ford truck and reach up to start the ignition only to realize I forgot my keys inside. Despite my mother’s insistence, I’m now annoyed at the entire situation and run back into the house to grab my keys from the kitchen countertop. As I grab an apple from the fridge I wonder if my father is the one in the hospital, but I immediately discredit that. Pausing for a second I decide to grab another apple for him, just in case I see him there.

Running out to the truck I run gingerly to avoid falling on my butt, but somehow not gingerly enough and attempt to gracefully slide to the car door. If anyone had been watching I think I would have gotten a 10 based on that beautiful performance. As I slip in and start the ignition, I throw my arm back to rest on the headrests and see my dad’s old ball cap. Grabbing it, because my hair hasn’t been touched all day, I put it on and get a smell of diesel that reminds me of his old stick truck. Golly, I miss that truck. I begin to sit and a smile creeps on my face as I remember riding in the front seat playing with the car phone. The tune of Claire de Lune interrupts my happy memories, and I fumble with my jacket pockets to find my phone. It’s from mom and I immediately regret pausing to reminisce.


“Hi mom, I’m on my way”

“Okay…you need to hurry.”

“Yes ma’am.”


Dropping the phone in the passenger seat and placing my arm back on the headrests I begin to back up. My sense of urgency to arrive at the hospital is stopped by my desire of not wanting to die from wrecking on the icy roads. To ease my impatience I throw on some Hank Williams, my dad’s favorite. Singing along always helped long rides seem shorter when I would go on long work trips with dad. Turning left onto the highway out my driveway, I speed up a little as I see that salt has already been thrown onto the roads. Luckily, I don’t live that far out of town. The snow is still falling and makes for a pretty scenery that distracts me from my need to be at the hospital for a reason I don’t know yet. With no cars on the road due to the weather I’m able to drive with minimal problems and I turn into the hospital parking lot. My back end fish tails a little since they haven’t been able to salt the parking lot, but with few cars in the lot I can slowly slide into a space. At least I think it’s a parking space, but it’s hard to tell with the snow.

Speed-walking towards the hospital the doors slide open and I see my mom talking to a young doctor and the receptionist. The conversation looks serious so I jog to my mom and placing my hand on her back I ask what’s going on.


“Hi darling”

“Mom, is everything alright? I got here as fast as I could. Where’s dad?”

“Your father? He’s at home.”

“Oh, okay. What’s the urgency then? Are you alright?”

“You know me, I’m doing okay.”

“Okay, well that’s good, but why am I here?”

“I need you to do something for me.”

“Yes? Is it an emergency?”

“It most certainly is. Dr. Grayson needs a favor.”

“Who’s Dr. Grayson?”

“It’s this lovely gentleman right here.”

I begin to piece the puzzle together, and meeting eyes with the blue-eyed, swoopy brown-haired doctor my mother was conversing with the pieces begin to solidify.



“Sweetie, he just needs to a date to a big medical function tomorrow night.”


Calmly, I turn my head and walk out the sliding hospital doors. 

© Copyright 2020 wanderlustess. All rights reserved.

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