Nancy drove to the diner more so out of habit than anything else. She had no desire to be at work, but the alternative was worse. After taking a couple of sick days to deal with the latest news, she realized that sitting alone at the dining room table with a reheated cup of coffee while staring out her bay window was not a good rehabilitation plan.
She could hardly hear the short-order cook barking out orders over the incessantly loud ding-ding-ding of the bell he was slapping with his greasy spatula.
“C’mon Nancy! These eggs aren’t going to serve themselves!”
As she approached the server’s station to grab the order for table number 30, it seemed like everyone was working at twice their normal speed. Coworkers rushed around her. They whispered to one another, rolling their eyes and giving her sideways glances.
‘They would feel bad if they knew I was suffering’, she thought to herself.
Nancy was determined not to tell anyone what was happening to her. She wanted no pity. She was already tired of being unique and the weight of being a medical statistic was almost too much to bear. She wanted so badly to go back to an ordinary life.
She longed to engage in meaningless small talk and joke around with her customers. She wanted to think about what she’d make for dinner that night, or when she was going to mow her backyard.
She wanted to be consumed with thoughts of ordinary things, but ordinary was gone. It had slipped through her fingers and there was no way to retrieve it.