“Hello, Miss Sloan. Will it be the usual?”, the nurse asked.
“Well then, you’re in room number 27 today.”
Sloan made her way down the brightly coloured corridor to the assigned room. She sat in the plush leather chair and waited for the doctor.
‘Same as all the other rooms’, she thought. Pink walls, sterile seating, a stack of the latest magazines, flowers, and the machine of course.
“Ah, Miss Sloan!”, exclaimed Dr James as he entered the room while reading her charts. “I see you’re in for the usual.”
“Yes, Doctor”, Sloan replied monotonously.
“Let’s get started then.”
Sloan rolled up her left sleeve and held her arm out. Dr James carefully found the correct vein and inserted the needle in. He connected the other end of the needle to a tube from the machine. Clear fluid started to run up the tube and into a concealed container.
Having checked the controls and once again looked at the liquid flow, the Doctor said, “Let me know if you feel any discomfort. It should take about an hour.” and left the room.
Sloan took a few moments to let the slow stinging feeling of the needle settle in and then closed her eyes.
She had been coming to this hospital to donate love regularly for six months now. It had taken eight years and a many generous donations from Sloan and a few others to develop this machine. The donors came from different parts of the country, held different jobs, and had different interests. They had one thing in common though – they all had too much love to give and no one to give it to. So, they came here and donated it. The extracted love could be stored indefinitely. As far as the Doctors could see, it didn’t seem to expire. It was always there for the next person in need of a withdrawal – a wife who no longer loved her husband, a mother who couldn’t stand the sight of her new born baby, a friend who had moved on but still tried to hold on to childhood relationships – there was no shortage of withdrawals. And thanks to the lonely donors, no shortage of supply either. The system worked.