Two weeks had vanished without any calls or text. Sloan slowly closed her apartment door and made her way to the front of her building. Patience had never been a word she would have used to describe herself. Without giving her next move anymore thought, she took off walking in the direction of the clinic. Within a matter of minutes, the building came into view with boards covering the windows and a large chain wrapped around the front door. Sloan paused in a near panic and slowly walked around to the other side of the building. A large red leasing sign covered a side window.
“Are you just now seeing it?”
Sloan jumped a little at the sound of the voice. “Yes, what about you?”
Norma walked towards Sloan and frowned. “No, I noticed it a couple of days ago. I guess we were scammed.”
“No, I saw the company on TV, and it was in all the papers.” Sloan shook her head and looked back at the window. “Besides, I read testimonies from people who have used them in the past.”
“I could come up with a phony website and write a bunch of garbage testimonies. I knew it was too good to be true,” continued Norma.
Sloan walked back to the front of the building. “Maybe they met their quota for this area. It could be anything, we are jumping to conclusions. I mean they could still call us, they said two or three weeks.”
“Well, here’s my number just in case you lost it the last time I gave it to you. Will you call me if you hear anything?”
Sloan took the card and quickly grabbed a small piece of paper out of her bag and wrote her number down as well. “I will call if I hear anything, but if you hear something first, could you please let me know?”
Norma nodded and both women went their separate ways.
A few more weeks had rushed by and Sloan had not heard anything from the company or Norma. Life was normal at least post virus normal. There were no more shopping trips to her favorite Asian market or walks in her adored arboretum. There were however frequent briefings on tips to avoid the virus and the occasional message of law and order from President Filmore. The days seemed longer now that the chance of having a baby was no longer on the table. Sloan put down her laptop and opened her frayed purse. Norma’s number was still neatly folded in the side of her wallet. Within a matter of seconds, Sloan unfolded the card and picked up her phone. “No, I need this.” She looked back at the number and preceded to dial the digits.
“Hello,” said Norma.
“Norma, it’s Sloan! I wanted to call you…”
Norma shouted into the phone. “THANK GOODNESS, I am so glad you called me. I didn’t know if I should have called or not. I am so glad you called. I’m guessing you were called back too!”
“I wanted to call after my first appointment, but I thought it would be better to wait for your call because you don’t really seem like the sharing type.”
The room started to spin. Sloan felt the heat rising from her shoulders to her neck. Trying to maintain her balance, she backed up against the sofa and braced herself. “I didn’t get a phone call. I was just calling to see if you wanted to go out because I haven’t been out in a while.”
This time Norma paused on the other line. “I feel like a real ass right now. I thought you were calling because they contacted you.”
“No, I guess they didn’t want me in the program.”
“Well, maybe they will call later. The lady who contacted me said they were late and that they were trying to get a new building for the people moving to the next stage in the treatment. At least give me a chance to do something nice for you. I feel really shitty for blabbing like I did.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Let me cook your dinner.”
Sloan held the phone away from her ear and looked down at a little black bug as it rushed over a small folded piece of her carpet. “I guess I could come over for a little.”
Norma’s smile could be heard through the phone. “Great! Give me like 45 minutes and I will have spaghetti and meatballs ready.”