Tuesday, February 11, 2014

She Gave.

Laila’s eyes widened as she pulled the skin on her face up and back, forming a temporary face-lift. She moved close to the mirror examining her pores, too large, her eyebrows, un-groomed, and the wrinkles that were slowly fading into her life one by one.

She watched the water pool in her small hands and splashed it onto her face, letting the cool droplets fall back into the sink. There were turquoise toothpaste stains speckling the basin, surrounded by stray brown hairs that had confettied out of her head each time she had brushed her hair.

Amy was supposed to come over for wine later that day, so Laila opened up the cabinet and grabbed a wipe from the Clorox container and wiped down the sink. She used her fingernail to scrape the stubborn toothpaste that seemed to become more of a design than a mess, even though she knew that Amy was likely to flake out on their rain-date.

She looked at her phone. It was 7:10 am on Laila’s 26th birthday, and as she shuffled out of the bathroom, and down the hall, collecting her purse, scarf, jacket, a banana and a salad she had prepared last night, she thought about how she didn’t want to go to work.

She felt like everyone else in the world. At least like everyone else in the world that she knew. Maybe there were those fortunate few who had perfect lives with jobs they loved, and every day, they woke out of bed with a big, ugly, smile on their face, ready to take on the day. Laila swore, that if she was ever to wake up next to one of those freakish fucks, she would absolutely murder them with the closest bedside object. Another reason to add to the list of why one-night-stands are potentially a bad idea.

The thought of her double monitors nauseated her. The black bezel framing her entire world in neat, ongoing, excel tables and red and black PowerPoint presentations about profit growth and territory planning. She was tired of her three-thousand-dollar rolling swivel chair, and how it made her ass increasingly more flat each time she sat in it. She thought about the sound a keyboard made and multiplied it by fifty-five—the number of keyboards she estimated to be able to hear in any given moment. They were all drones. She was a drone. A part of the while-walled, cube-separated, double-monitored, Dunkin-Donut munching, elitist group of corporate America.

But, once she arrived that day, after the usual forty-five minute commute and typical talk-radio drama, Laila settled into her cube, crossed off Monday, and decided that her desk calendar gave her hope. Today, it was her birthday. She was officially in her “Mid-to-Late-Twenties,” which was semi-traumatic to any woman (or at least it was supposed to be). However, today, Laila was sure her mother would call her--at the very least to wish her a Happy Birthday. It wouldn’t be a long conversation about how she was doing, or what she was wearing, or where she would be going out to eat later, or even the weather, but she thought, a “Happy Birthday” wish would be just enough.