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“What is that pasta strap called again?” Sofi asked me. I was surprised she forgot what a spaghetti strap was, especially considering the shirt she was wearing had spaghetti straps on it.

"You mean a spaghetti strap?"

"Yeah, Louise. That's what I meant."

A simple conversation, really. It shouldn't make you worried, but it worried the shit out of me. Every time I have one of these silly conversations with one of my friends, someone comes in with some seriously bad news about something. I keep hoping that stupid conversations won't put me on edge quite as much, but it almost never happens. Something bad has to happen. 

Mark (the guy who would be interviewing us) came back into the room. "Louise, Sofi, I hope both of you are prepared to discuss your essays." Mark spoke with Sofi first. "Now, Sofi," he began, "usually, I'd ask you to leave because you aren't dressed properly; but the sorry state of your writing is a far more pressing issue."

Sofi was pretty confused. "Is my writing that bad?" she asked, a twinge of sadness hanging in her voice. 

"Bad?" Mark replied, "It looks like you aren't even trying." He looked at her like she was a four year-old that just drew on his wall with permanent marker. "Come on, I have a three year-old that writes better than this," he continued, massaging his temples as he spoke. "You're not a fucking kindergartener, you should know by now that you need to not just get your words on the paper, but you need to actually paint pictures with the words."

Sofi looked at him, her eyes wide with disbelief. "What's wrong with my essay?" she asked. 

Mark winced. "Oh, where do I begin?" he said in disgust and frustration. "Sofi, do you even know what a metaphor is?" 

"Umm, yes?" she replied. 

I felt bad for Sofi. She wasn't that smart, and the jerk who was interviewing us was yelling at her for being an idiot. Yes, Sofi wasn't that bright (come on, she couldn't remember what a spaghetti strap was), but that doesn't mean it's okay to yell at her for being a moron (no matter how tempting it is). "Come on, you liar. You wouldn't know what a fucking metaphor was if it hit you in the face." Mark barked, "This essay thing is not that hard." Maybe essay writing is easy for Mark, but it's hard for Sofi. 

"C'mon, Sofi. Gimme a metaphor," Mark demanded.

Sofi looked like my cat when he saw me carrying a big bag of dirt into the backyard (because my cat can't seem to understand gardening, for some reason). "Uhh…" she said, "Tom and Alice stood side by side in the lunch line." 

Mark scoffed. "Seriously, Sofi, that was all you could come up with? What the fuck? That's not even a fucking metaphor. Again."

Sofi was starting to noticeably sweat at this point. "Hrm… does 'Tom and Alice stood side by side in the lunch line, two pieces positioned on a chessboard' work for you?" she said, with a twinge of nervousness in her voice. 

Mark couldn't believe what Sofi was saying. "Bullshitter, you call that a metaphor? I'll show you a metaphor: Tom took a step closer to Alice and made a date for Friday night, checkmating. Rudy was furious at losing to Margaret so easily and dumped the board on the rose-colored quilt, stomping downstairs. Now that's a metaphor."

It wasn't. If it was anything, it was a string of nonsense that was as far removed from a metaphor as a metaphor was from regular speech. While our backs were turned, Mark left the room. "Wow," I said to Sofi, "can you believe that asshole?"

"I know," she replied. "Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"

That totally caught me off guard. I mean, I think Sofi was asking me if anyone had ever been so verbally abusive to someone over something as trivial as a metaphor, but I'm not 100% sure. 

"I think I know someone who can help with that," I said, proceeding to dial 911. When it comes to a stroke, time wasted is brain wasted. However, 911 had me on hold for about half an hour. I don't know why, but they did. They shouldn't have had me on hold for longer than five minutes. It's 911, not the phone company. If you're on the phone with 911 and you're on hold, it's the difference between life and death. Worse, by the time I was finally off hold, 911's office was closed. Seriously?? 911 can't be closed. What if someone has an emergency at all hours of the morning? We are living in a society, here (as George Costanza says). 

Soon, almost as if by deus ex machina, Mark's assistant showed up. "Hey, everybody," he said, "is everything OK?"

"No, actually, it's not," I said, "I think Sofi might be having a stroke and 911 is closed for whatever reason…"

"Don't worry. I can drive her to the hospital," he said.

"Thanks," I replied. I wasn't sure about the whole thing. On the one hand, the best way to get someone having a stroke to the hospital is to call an ambulance but, on the other hand, I was sick of wasting precious time farting around with everybody. The sooner Sofi got to the hospital, the better. Thus, Mark's assistant drove Sofi to the hospital.

Except, they never made it. Yesterday, I heard on the news that they found Mark's assistant's car crushed up at the side of the road and Mark's assistant dead. Worse, they'd found neither hide nor hair of Sofi. 

Written by ShepherdMoons
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