Excerpt from “Hypochondraway”

I was chewing my pencil during a presentation at work when splotches of purple clouded my vision. I tried to concentrate hard on Rick, ” The important thing to remember about the time sheets is that for every 15 minutes, you chart .25 hours.” His fat cheeks puffed up as he tried to contain his enthusiasm,“I kn-know!  Simple, right?”. I put my hand over my heart to sooth it, but it pounded the walls of my body, threatening to break free. I felt the color drain from my face, leaving me pale and obvious among the sea of healthy pink and brown co-workers. “Janeane! Janeane” Rick huffed, but I couldn’t speak.

I slid to the ground where I could press my skin against the chilly  hardwood floors to relieve the dizzying heat from my face.

” Get her a banana, Melanie. She needs calcium or potassium ah-o-o-or  something. Janeane, you just lie right th-there. We’re getting a wheelchair”.

A large drop of sweat trickled anxiously down his nose, stopping at the round tip to dangle over my face which lay flatly beneath him. I felt his short meaty arms wrap around my back and lift me into a rusty wheelchair- the only one we had at the office. A parade of people flooded into the room to give me fruits and water bottles and heating pads. Apparently fainting is a common malady. Almost all of my co-workers had a matron aunt or a  neighbor on the brink of death that fainted frequently and swore by the healing powers of whatever they happened to be shoving in my face.

“Hypochondraway” Short Story by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

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