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August 6, 2017

Reassignment Center

            When I decided to drive to the graveyard at 3:00 A.M. on a Sunday, I didn’t know
what to expect. I didn’t know if I was going to be sad, I didn’t know if I was going to be
angry, Hell I didn’t know if I was even going to be upset; I just knew I had to see him.
But the second I got there, the second I saw his tombstone, I’m not going to lie I lost my
shit. I remember falling to my knees and just letting the waterworks unload. There was
this pain in my chest, this deep clenching feeling that burned with every breath I took. I
remember staring at that chunk of polished marble wishing I was the one in the ground
and he were the one still alive.
         The next thing I knew I was, well, I didn’t know where I was. Somehow I was
sitting in a row of chairs in what looked like a waiting room. The room was painted a
faint yellow with an obnoxiously large fern propped precariously in the corner. Diagonal
of me was a semi-large desk, behind which was a woman steadily focused on a
         “One second please and I will be right with you sir.” The woman said, sounding
more annoyed than thrilled that she had to talk to me. Despite looking like she was only
about forty, she looked like she was from the sixties. Sitting behind the desk, she wore a
plain white button-up shirt and an old style black pencil-skirt. Her hair was put up into a
beehive, the same way I had seen people do in movies like Grease and Hairspray.
Despite her age, she was definitely too young to be using a typewriter.
         “Excuse me Miss—.”

“I said I will be with you in one second sir!” The woman repeated, this time with a
bit of sass. As I looked around the room, I realized a severe lack of detail, the only
decoration beside the fern being one of those “Hang in there, Baby!” cat posters. God, I
always hated those things. She must had noticed me looking around because the
second I was about to get out of my chair she finally called me over by asking “Can I
help who’s next?” despite me being the only other person in the room.
         “Hello sir, my name is Gladys, and I will be the one reassigning you today. Have
you decided when you would like to spend your next life?”
         “What..?” I asked, not really sure what she meant. Did she just say my next life?
         “When. Would. You. Like. To. Be. Born. Clear enough?”
         “Not really, no.” I confessed, Gladys rolling her eyes in response.
         “You wished you weren’t alive anymore, so you’re not. Now can we please hurry
this along, I have about 152,000 more people I need to process before tomorrow.” As
she said this she let out a deep sigh, obviously having no interest in talking to me in the
first place. I knew she could tell that I wasn’t comprehending anything that was coming
out of her mouth because she started to look at me like I had the IQ of an acorn. “You
asked for us to end it, so we did.”
         “What do you mean we, it looks like you’re the only one here.” I asked, looking
around the room. “Where are we anyway?”
         “You are in a place outside of time and space. We prefer to call it the
‘Reassignment Center.’ As for the ‘we’, I was referring to the other desk attendants who
work when I am off duty.”
         “You mean there are others?”

         “OF COURSE THERE ARE OTHERS!” Gladys exploded, “When do you expect
me to sleep? I need to clock out at some point.”
         “So you’re telling me that I can go anywhere I want and it doesn't matter when. I
can just live in whatever era I want?”
         “Obviously it’s not that simple. You have a list of choices that you are able to
choose from based off women in a general era that are about to give birth, and based
off your life choices, you are approved for reassignment.”
         “Oh yeah, that’s real simple.” I laughed. Obviously Gladys wasn’t one for jokes
because her eyes were pointed at me like daggers.
         “Since I can see this is clearly going in one ear and out the other I can also
randomly assign a place for you. How does Europe in, let’s say, 1542. You’ll hit puberty
right at the start of the Elizabethan era. Don’t uncomfortable clothes and powdered wigs
sound like fun?”
         “Wait…but my friend just died recently, where did you reassign them?”
         “What part of 150,000 people a day did you not catch, gosh you humans are so
egocentric this century. You know not everything is about your species.”
         For a second I wasn’t really sure what to say. This was all so much to take in,
and for starters, I still didn’t know if I was all just a really vivid dream or not.
         “I... So this is awkward…but is there a way you can send me back to my time.”
The second I said that, I swear Gladys looked like she was about to kill me. Instead,
however, she instantly went back to clicking away the keys on her typewriter. “So…”
         “Shhhhh!” After about three minutes of clicking, she looked up at me.

         “Listen to me very carefully. You have already wasted a very precious amount of
my time. If I do this for you, don’t waste the time you are given. Do I make myself clear?
The only reason I am able to do this is because you never ‘technically’ died.”
         “Yes please!” I said desperately.
         “Alright, the second I finish typing this form, you will be transported back to the
moment you were taken.”
         “Wait I have one question!” I said, realizing there was one thing that I had to ask
just in case this all was real.
         “Which is?” she asked coldly.
         “You said we, so like, are you God? Is there a God?” For the first time during our
encounter, she smiled.
         “It really doesn’t matter what I say, you won’t remember any of this anyway.”
With that said, she slid the carriage return on the typewriter to the side, and it all
went black.

hang in there.jpg
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