Not Even the Waiting List

Not Even the Waiting List

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

A young man enters a dorm room where a young woman is staring out a window.

Steve: “Kat….”

Katherine: “Thanks for coming.”

Steve sits on the end of the room’s bed.

Katherine: “Do you really care about me?”

Steve: “What do you mean by ‘care’?”

Katherine: “Do you love me? It’s hard question, but I want to know.”

Steve: “Kat….”

Katherine: “I didn’t ask about marriage. You can love without marriage.”

Steve: “You’ve asked me before.”

Katherine: “Yes.”

Steve: “Have you heard from….”

Katherine: “Don’t change the subject.”

Steve: “Okay. Kat, I’m not sure. I don’t know. I’m mixed up. I care about you.”

Katherine: “I care about you.”

Steve: “You’re not happy.”

Katherine: “No. I want you to love me.”

Steve: “Did Cal Tech answer?”

Katherine: “Yes.”

Steve: “So, you don’t need my love. You’re leaving, anyway. Why should I pretend?”

Katherine: “Thanks…just thanks.”

Steve: “Kat….”

Katherine: “What?”

Steve: “You’re accepting their offer, aren’t you?”

Katherine: “No difference to you.”

Steve: “I care.”

Katherine: “Tell me.”

Steve: “I wish I could say I love you.”

Katherine: “I wish you could, too. Maybe we would get married.”

Steve: “No.”

Katherine: “Little @$^*! Get out of my room.”

Steve reaches to hold Katherine, but she brusquely pulls his arm off of her.

Steve: “You’ll like Cal Tech. Can we still be Facebook friends?”

Katherine: “No, of course not. How would you know if I’ll like it?”

Steve: “You always said.”

Katherine: “I always said I really wanted to stay here…with you. Doesn’t matter. Cal Tech rejected me. Just like you. GET OUT!”

Steve: “Waiting list?”

Katherine: “No.”

Steve: “I’m sorry.”

Katherine: “I’m going to call campus police if you don’t leave.”

Steve: “I’m leaving.”

Katherine: “Always an idiot.”

Steve walks out. Katherine holds onto the window frame and cries.

◊ ◊ ◊

KJ Hannah Greenberg
KJ Hannah Greenberg is the author of more than a dozen small press books. She also keeps company with a prickle of imaginary hedgehogs. The presses nibble. The prickle wounds.

2 thoughts on “Not Even the Waiting List

  1. A bitter piece. It is very well done; maybe the ending could be tightened.

    It brought to mind Stephen Crane’s poem:

    I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
    Who, squatting upon the ground,
    Held his heart in his hands,
    And ate of it.

    I said, “Is it good, friend?”
    “It is bitter – bitter,” he answered;
    “But I like it
    Because it is bitter,
    And because it is my heart.”


Leave a Reply