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Today’s first line is by Innerdialects! She said:
I decided to go in a different direction than I normally go in. Here’s the result:
It seemed like a good start. It had that edge, that sense of important vacancy, waiting to be filled. Good starts usually didn’t stay good though. But I was desperate.
I looked at the flyer again, reading it over. Need some extra cash? Donate blood! Will pay $100 per ten ounces.
I looked it up the best I could beforehand. During most blood donations, nurses take about 500 milliliters, which is almost seventeen ounces. That’s at least $150 right? That could pay for groceries for a couple of weeks. I wouldn’t have to debate about whether I should go to my university’s food bank or get gas to drive to school.
So, it was a start.
I walked up the steps to the fifth floor and watched the room numbers descend until I found room 530. I double checked the number with the flyer three times. Crap. I was here. This was the room. I knocked on the door, rolling back on my heels and back up to my toes again.
When the door opened, a familiar face popped out. It wasn’t one I knew by name but rather one I had passed by for weeks. I had seen him speak to students before, jabbering away in Spanish. But I never paid much attention to him before since I was on my way to Japanese.
He looked shorter than I thought he was, but he still towered over me. Gray streaks lined his hair. Wrinkles swarmed his face as he tilted his head to get a good look at me. I doubted that he recognized me. In the halls, there could be over fifty students at one time, and I was always one to blend in.
“May I help you?” he asked with a Spanish accent.
“I found a flyer about blood donations. It said this room.”
“Really?” A curious smile spread across his face. “I thought those were all gone.”
“Well, they’re not. I found it on the ground.” I turned the flyer around, so he could see it. “Are the blood donations not happening anymore?”
He shook his head. “Not since I went vegan.”
“I do know someone who needs blood though. What did I offer before. . .?” He squinted at the flyer. “$100 for ten ounces? I have some old materials around here somewhere. I can take your blood and pay you up front. Is that okay?”
I gulped down my fear and nodded. “Yep. I need groceries.”
His smile disappeared. “College is rough on students.” He took a few steps back. “Come in. I’ll get the materials, and you can be on your way.”
I stepped inside his office, realizing how bright it was but not in a natural way. All the windows had thick curtains over them, blocking out the light. The curtains had some Spanish designs that I didn’t recognize. The overhead light wasn’t even on. The room would’ve been completely dark except for the lamps spread out around the room.
String lights hung across the bookcases, which had many Spanish books, on the left. On the right, he had a weird sun lamp on the wall and a Superman lamp on his desk.
He let out a soft chuckle; he must’ve caught me staring. He walked over to a filing cabinet I had missed in the corner. “The Superman one was my son’s idea. He’s five.”
“Yeah, he is.” He placed a dusty bag on his desk and took out some materials.
I had also researched the specific materials needed to take my blood. He had everything. “Aren’t you going to check my weight? Iron levels?” I asked.
He glanced up at me with a twinkle in his eyes. “You need grocery money either way, right? I’d rather not turn you down when I can help.”
I nodded. He got me there. I did need it.
The whole process didn’t take long at all. Before even ten minutes had passed, I was out the door with cash in my pocket and a smile on my face.
“Is this a one time thing or. . .?” I asked, turning back toward him. I would need grocery money again soon. I needed to know if I had to look for another quick money grab.
“I’ll ask. We’ll see.”
I smirked. “I just can’t eat garlic, right?”
He laughed. “Oh, don’t believe those fairytales. I’m not a fan of garlic, but it doesn’t mean garlic will kill me.”
Copyright © Robin LeeAnn
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