“I’m leaving for my appointment now” Marta said, setting a disorderly stack of files on her boss’s desk. “Here are the files.

“You see my email?” he asked.

But Marta was already out the door. She made it all the way to the car before realizing her keys were missing. Not in her purse, not in her pocket;

Marta dashed into the office, heart racing. She grabbed her coat from the back of her chair, relieved to hear keys jingling in the pocket.

“Back already?” the boss called as she passed his office.

She didn’t stop.

Outside, across the parking lot, into her car. The engine roared to life.

Something was beeping.

Not now, Marta thought, scanning the dashboard. No alerts illuminated. Then the beeping stopped. Good enough. Marta sped out of the parking lot.

It wasn’t till she arrived at the clinic that she saw the missed call and voicemail.

<Hi, this is Julia calling from Dr. Mossadegh’s office. I know it’s last minute, but the doctor is going to have to cancel your appointment. He’s very sorry, but of course we’ll reschedule as soon as we can.>

She stared blankly at her reflection in the phone and sighed.

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox