Inspired by Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
It was Thanksgiving long weekend, and as always, Jeremy was traveling down south across the border to have dinner with his family from the United States of America. Unlike most extended family, Jeremy was actually excited. He loved meeting up with his amusing, dare I say interesting, family members from the south. Some of his family traveled all the way from Alabama and Louisiana to the northern state of Washington where Jeremy’s parents lived for the Thanksgiving feast. His aunt from Eufaula, Alabama, Miss Maxine, would always have had a sweater knitted for Jeremy to wear during the coming winter months, and his cousin, Tommy, from Slidell, Louisiana, every time, had to ask whether or not Jeremy had certain basic amenities available up north in Canada, such as cable or heat. Living in Canada, Jeremy only got the opportunity to hear the sound of his family’s southern drawl once in a blue moon, and he was excited. From the border lineup app that Jeremy had downloaded onto his phone, the border line was only supposedly ten minutes, which was good as he was in a rush. As he pulled up though, it was a much different story. Hundreds of cars piled up all the way from the border booth to where Jeremy sat still in his rumbling Toyota Tundra. As Jeremy slowly gazed upwards, he saw a large digital sign: BORDER WAIT: 1 HOUR.
At this rate, Jeremy would most definitely be late, and the food he brought with him would get cold. This was a disaster. He proceeded to pull out his phone to play some stupid game, maybe Candy Crush, or Angry Birds, but as he opened his phone, he noticed that his battery was at one percent. It was only minutes from death. Jeremy quickly sifted through his glove box looking for his charger to no avail. Now this was a big problem. See, our fellow Jeremy is a millennial, and his frail mind would not last long, definitely not an hour, sitting in a car with no distractions from reality. Jeremy panicked. Sweat dripped from his face; he started to feel claustrophobic as he was surrounded by other cars. As he clenched the steering wheel with white knuckles and his thumbs tapping, and twiddling, Jeremy looked over to his dashboard clock. It must have been at least half an hour. Three minutes had passed since Jeremy arrived at the border. This was going to be a long wait. Roughly twenty minutes in, Jeremy started humming a tune and started singing lyrics that represented his pain:
“One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever doooooo… Two can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number one!”
As he sang to himself, he thought to himself, Who was it that did that song again?
Surely if his phone was not dead, Jeremy would be able to Shazam this, or maybe Imdb – did Imdb do songs as well? Either way, this would tear Jeremy apart until he was able to turn his phone back on. As Jeremy waited for another forty minutes, reciting the same song over and over, he noticed that he was close to the border. This was his moment, he had been waiting for what felt like eternity, and he was ready. He was ready to enter the USA. As he pulled up, the border guard turned to Jeremy.
Written by Jacob Chapman