I follow What Would You Do If? on Twitter and will now be occasionally writing short stories inspired by their posts! I loved my past writing challenge but I want something a little more inspiring as more than once I really struggled to come up with a story that interested me enough to feel pleased with. What Would You Do If? comes up with insane scenarios and I’m gonna be happy writing stories inspired by them!
About this post, I love people who give blood, especially in the UK. If you’re interested in giving blood (one of the few things you can do where you’re genuinely guaranteed to help save lives) then check out where you can go to give! This is obviously a light hearted story as I used to work for the NBS and can’t even begin to say how silly this tale is or how awesome the staff are in reality. Enjoy!
“You’re doing a good thing. Don’t freak out and just trust the people there.”
The text from Steve does little to unfurl the knot of fear that is steadily taking root in my gut. I hate needles. Don’t know why I’m doing this. Yes I do. Because Mum needed almost twenty five pints of blood when she got hit by that car and I’m the last member of the family too chicken shit to give their own blood in return. Twenty five people all braver than me, not including my family, I have to do this. No matter what.
The woman is holding my paperwork. I stand up without feeling my legs, without turning my head towards all the other people on beds with needles in their arms chatting away as though it were NOTHING!
“Have you left the country in the last three years?”
“Have you had a tattoo or piercing within 6 months?”
“Are you on any kind of medication?”
“Have you engaged in intercourse with a prostitute or had unprotected sex of any kind?”
“Have you injected yourself with illegal substances at any time?”
“No need to get uppity, just questions I need to ask.” She says with a strange smile. “Now for the droplet test. I’m going to take some of your blood and place it in this blue liquid. If it sinks then your blood will have enough iron for us to continue”
She gets out a weird handheld device and the knot in my stomach turns to metal. Bile is already rising in my throat as she takes my hand and turns it over. It descends over my finger and I find myself clearly thinking “Don’t you dare sink in that liquid, you bastard.” before the distinctive click. A small pinch and she takes the thing away.
That… didn’t really hurt.
With curiosity, not horror, I watch her tease a mound of blood out of the tiny cut and pick it up with a dropper, dripping it into the blue liquid. It sinks but I’m still stunned by how little that hurt. I mean, I felt it but it didn’t actually hurt. Maybe this will be alright. I will be able to do this!
“Very nice.” The nurse says absent mindedly and I nearly grin as she looks over my sheet. “And you’re also eligible for our new organ donation option.”
“Oh, I’m already on the register.”
“This is different. We appreciate that all the people who give blood have an invested interest in helping those who need it most so we’re now offering you the chance to help even more people in even dier situations.”
“Well, by taking your organs right here! Currently, we’re just offering kidneys but we’re hoping to improve the service by next year to include corneas.”
My mouth is so dry I think my tongue may be hanging out in an attempt to jump ship.
“And you are perfectly suited to a very sick girl in a local hospital.”
“Who knows how long she’ll last?”
“I’m sure someone who wants to give blood would do everything they could do to help.”
Steve’s text. Trust them.
“Excellent! There’s a man in a van behind this hall, I’ll take you there.”
“Apparently she was posing as a nurse from another area and sold your kidney on the black market.” Steve explained
“Still, everyone’s gonna be coming to visit you soon and we’re all proud that you were going to do that for some girl you’d never met, even if you are a fucking idiot for being conned out of a kidney.”
“A-at least there’s no way giving blood can be worse. I’ll finally be able to give without being afraid.”
Steve gives me a look.
“Dude, you were bleeding out behind that hall. You had to be given, like, sixty pints of blood to pull through.”
“Yeah, gonna have to give lots of catching up”
“You can’t give blood if you’ve received it in the UK”