“I know what it is to suffer and I know what it is to love, and at the end of the day, I’m so grateful for everything because there is love.”
Fiction. Based on a True Day This Week.
All journal entries are inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
It’s a cloudy morning. You didn’t sleep well and you had bad dreams.
You wake up next to him, though, so you smile and look forward to the few hours you have together before work. You both brush your teeth and get yourselves ready for the day. He sits on the couch as you apply your mascara.
“You look great,” he says with a slightly playful, slightly irritated tone. “Can we just go?”
You look in the bathroom mirror, which at a certain angle, captures his sleepy face. You smile and shake your head.
“I have a job interview later!” You say in your defense.
Eventually you finish applying your foundation and scrunching your wet hair. You turn out the light, grab your yellow cardigan, and head for the door. You both slide your shoes on and head for the door.
After driving along the coast—your favorite drive—he parks outside your new favorite breakfast spot. You enjoy a cup of hot black coffee as he drinks several. You order a Belgium waffle. He makes sure the waitress brings the Vermont syrup. He loves the Vermont syrup.
“It’s worth the extra 3 dollars,” he says with a smile.
After having a lovely breakfast, the two of you walk the streets of the gorgeous beach town. You wish you had the day to stay with him, but you have to leave in an hour for work. He has work later too. He currently works 90 hours every week. In two weeks, he will have the weekends free, but you will still work on Saturdays. You’ve been thinking about putting in your two weeks, but you need the job to move out on your own. You’re planning on telling your boss that you won’t work Saturdays anymore. You’ve planned the whole thing out in your head. It makes you nauseous to think about though. Your boss isn’t super understanding.
You enter back into reality and gaze out at the ocean. You both walk the streets, looking at the multi-million dollar homes and fancy restaurants. You think about what it would be like to have an adult job and make more than “enough” and live in your own home. You daydream about marriage and children of your own.
Conversation is steady, as he often jokes, and you frequently laugh. The two of you have endured much in your 16 month long relationship. You’ve learned patience and perseverance and selflessness. You’ve both grown and matured and learned from one another. You try to be present, but your mind wanders to the conversation you want to have with your boss later. You want so badly to have Saturdays to enjoy yourself and be with the person you love.
You eventually return to his house, get your belongings, and leave for work. These kind of goodbyes are the hardest, because after being so close, you have to go back to being so far apart. Even though you’ll hopefully see him the next weekend, there are at least 5-6 days in which you have to sustain your relationship through the phone.
You arrive at work early, like always. You consistently arrive 30 minutes before your first client, always dressed business casual. You go to your work space. Your stomach is in knots. You whisper to your first clients that you might be moving from Saturdays. They seem confused. You tell them you’ll still be there on other days, and ask if one of those would work. They seem hesitant. You realize this situation is not ideal. You try to take it back, saying it’s fine—you can still be there if it doesn’t work for them to move. They say they’ll think about it. After, when you leave for your next client, you have no idea what to do. It doesn’t seem like this will work in your favor. You tell the next clients the same thing. They happily move to Thursdays. In fact, they go tell the receptionist that after this session, they’ll be on Thursdays from now on. You begin to feel relief. Your third client is more complicated so you don’t even bother telling them about a potential switch.
You finish your sessions and text him: “I’m gonna go talk to my boss now.” You know that he probably just clocked into work, but thankfully he has an ability to text while he’s there.
He texts back: “Good luck!” as you walk into your boss’s workspace. You approach her with a smile and try to ease your way into the conversation. You’ve never had this situation before so you don’t know if you should ask permission or just make a statement. You go with the latter, telling her you are putting in your two weeks for Saturdays. You assure her that you will still be there three other days of the week, and will still have 16 clients.
You see her expression change and you realize you approached this very poorly. She gets upset at you, telling you she hired you for Saturdays, and if you can’t follow through, she will fire you. She looks at you like you are worthless and says, “How dare you come in here and tell me what you are going to do. You will ask my permission or you will not have a job.” You try to get back on her good side, reminding her that you still have 16 clients on the other days, and that two clients from Saturday (only one for sure, but you hope the second as well) are moving to the week days, so you will only have one client on Saturdays now. She tells you that she will have to hire a new person to take just that one client, and that you don’t deserve a job if you don’t care about every single individual client. She begins repeating herself over and over, saying you are flaky and unreliable. She raises her voice, and clients who are nearby begin to take notice of what is going on. As if one person yelling at you isn’t enough, her husband also tells you that you will work on Saturdays or you will be out of a job. He wasn’t the one who hired you and he isn’t the one who pays you, but somehow feels that his voice needs to overpower your pleas.
Since you don’t do well with conflict, and this went better in your head, you feel tears swelling up behind your eyes. She sees that you are upset and tells you to take a minute. She storms out and leaves you alone with her husband who is giving you a look that makes you want to disappear. You sit down and feel yourself shaking. You think about how much you need this job and the money you make from it. You can’t move out without it. However, you know that you’ll be working and going to graduate school Monday-Friday, and the only time to rest and see him will be on Saturdays. The two of you had been planning a summer weekend trip. You tangibly feel yourself losing your own freedom.
You text him and tell him what just happened. He tells you that what went down is not okay and you need to put in your two weeks. You think about it. You feel humiliated. You cannot suppress the tears now. Huge drops fall down your cheeks and dampen your shirt.
Your boss walks back in, with a huge smile on her face, like the biggest fake in the entire world. She tells you that she gave some thought to it and you can either work on Saturdays or put in your two weeks on Monday. You nod, because words cannot find their way out of your mouth at the moment. She dismisses you. You leave the building with your head down and head straight for the haven of your car, realizing along the way that you left your lunch in the fridge. You think that you’d rather starve than walk back in there, so you get in your car and drive away.
You wonder what you’ll do next. You text him that you’ve left work. He takes his 10 minute break to call you. He calms you down and tells you to relax. You’re on your way to a job interview. You would work this other job in the mornings before going to your current job in the afternoons and evenings. He tells you that what went down is not alright, and you need to put in your two weeks. You respond that it’s your only source of income and you need to move out. He reminds you that you’re on your way to a job interview. You remind him that you’ll be making a lot less at this prospective job. He tells you that you have other options, but you protest that living at home is no longer an option. You don’t want to fight. You’re still crying and shaken up from what happened. He tells you you’re going to do amazing in the job interview and to come see him on his 30 minute break after the interview is over.
You drive to the bookstore where you applied for a job. You park, turn off the car, and open the door, letting the summer breeze in. You look in your car mirror and sigh. Your eyes are swollen. Your mascara is a mess. You have streaks down your face. You retrieve your makeup bag from the trunk and begin to fix your face.
After you feel like you look presentable, you look at your watch. 15 minutes. You can do this. You feel a vibration. You look down at your phone. Work is calling. You hope it’s the receptionist. You pick it up. It’s your boss. She’s upset. Very upset. She found out that you talked to your clients about moving days, before even talking with her about Saturdays. She reminds you that moving clients on your own is the most forbidden thing at your job. Because you already feel like a terrible person, weak and shaking, you just say “Okay, I’m sorry,” over and over. She tells you that she should fire you just for this. You get really scared. You are terrified about what she will say next. She says she has to fix all your mistakes. She declares, “I’m writing you up for this. One more write up, and you’re fired.” You don’t know what to say, so you meekly repeat your one line. She hangs up.
You look in the mirror. You see your eyes swelling up with tears again, even though you tell them not to. You command yourself to stop, and fix your makeup again.
You keep checking your phone, thinking she’s going to call back and fire you for real.
When it’s time, you powder your face to hide the blotches, and step out of the car. Your legs almost buckle under you. You feel weak and unstable. You pull yourself together and walk into the store. You approach an employee and ask for the manager. You are taken to an office. You answer questions. You act personable. You are prepared to tell the manager that you have allergies, if he asks about your swollen eyes and congested nose. Thankfully he doesn’t ask. You do your best at the interview. He tells you you’ll hear back in a week or less.
You return to your car and drive. You think about your actions of the day. How much better they could’ve been. How much more professional and articulate you should have been. You feel terrible. You are disappointed in yourself. You’ve never been written up before. You’ve always been a hard worker and perfect employee. Yet you’ve always had problems with this job. Was it you? Was it your boss? Maybe both.
You sit in terrible summer traffic as everyone is going to the beach. You wish you were going to the beach. You finally get to his work. He clocks out for his 30 minute break and greets you with a hug. You walk to Denny’s next door and he orders two Oreo milkshakes. You talk about the day and about how you feel. You cry when you think about how stupid you feel. He looks at you and seriously says, “Stop crying. You’re okay.” You shoot him an angry look, but know you look ridiculous. After he breaks into a smile, you start to laugh. He tells you once again that you should put in your two weeks. He says he’ll help you find a new job. You say you’ll think about it.
When his break is over, you head home. You keep your ringer on, in case your boss calls to fire you. You are terrified that she will.
After driving over an hour back to your city, you remember that the main road to your house is closed for construction for the next six months and you have to take back roads. The detour adds an extra fifteen minutes to your already long commute. You are exhausted and feel like breaking down and crying all over again. You can’t wait to just shower and get into pajamas even though it is still light outside.
As you drive down one of the last streets of the detour, you notice something in the road ahead. As you get closer, you slow down. It’s in the next lane over. You look over. It’s a crow. It’s been run over. It’s head and body have been completely flattened into the pavement. However, it’s wings are all intact and reaching up towards the sky. You are horrified. You finish driving home, more depressed than ever.
As you pull into your driveway, you think about your day. You think about the crow. You realize that you are the crow. You’ve been flattened into the pavement, but your wings are still intact. Stop crying, you remind yourself. You’re going to be okay.