Outside Lilith Parker’s window, the sun was rising. The air was filled with the joyous songs of birds greeting the new day and the early morning light glinted off the dew that still lay on the grass. Everything was very pretty and nice for those who had the freedom to enjoy it.
But such beauty is not for those who are enslaved to the alarm clock.
“Man, that dream was just getting good. I never knew you could take out bad guys with a forest green milkshake.”
Lilith stretched and pushed back the covers, trying to remember what day it was. Wednesday? Wasn’t there something special about Wednesday?
“Oh man! Today’s the big meeting at work! Please don’t let me get fired. Please don’t let me get fired.”
She stumbled down the hall, wiping the remnants of sleep from her eyes. Something smelled good. Really good.
“Good morning, sleepyhead.”
“Oh wow, you made breakfast?”
Jason was so sweet and thoughtful and kind. Lilith often wondered why she couldn’t care for him as much as he obviously did for her.
“So are you going back to your place tonight?”, she asked him, not sure what answer she wanted.
“I don’t know. Probably. Work is pretty busy right now -you know they want me to go through people’s trash and write reports on what I find? I’m not too sure about that. It sounds sort of fascist. But hey, I’ve gotta pay the bills somehow. Don’t you have a big important meeting at work today?”
“Yeah, Shannon said she wanted to talk to me. Didn’t really say more than that.”
“Are you okay? You seem kind of worried. I don’t think it’d be anything bad – you do a good job.”
“Yeah, we’ll see.”
Jason couldn’t figure Lilith out. She seemed so distant these days. He knew that her job was stressful and took up a lot of her time, but hell – she could at least act happy to be with him. Maybe what they needed was a vacation. A nice weekend in Twikkii Island. He’d start looking at hotels and airfares tonight.
“You know, maybe I should redecorate. Put in some bright colors, get some new furniture. Hey, maybe Shannon wants to give me a huge raise.”
Jason just couldn’t shake the feeling that Lilith was just phoning it in. Maybe she was depressed? Maybe she didn’t like him anymore?
Lilith washed her plate, starting to feel a bit anxious. What time was it? She definitely didn’t want to be late for work, not today of all days.
A single soap bubble floated above the sink. She zoned out for a bit, lost in its prism of colors. It must be nice to be a soap bubble – no cares, no worries, no jobs, no boyfriends. Just a few fleeting moments of perfect beauty, and then gone.
She snapped back into awareness, turning off the faucet and shaking excess water from her hands.
“Focus! You don’t really want to get fired today, do you?”
“Hey Lil, are you okay? You just seem sort of far away. Is it the meeting? Like I said, you do a good job. I really don’t think Shannon would fire you.”
Lilith put her arms around Jason. He really was a good guy. He deserved so much better than someone who couldn’t seem to feel anything real.
“I’m sorry, I guess I am worried. Hey, I’ll call you after work and maybe we can go out tonight.”
She started to lean in for a kiss, and then suddenly she just couldn’t stomach it.
“I’ve got to go finish getting ready now. But yeah, I’ll call you tonight, ‘k?”
Seriously, what was up with her? Maybe it was just jitters about work. Or maybe he needed to rummage through her garbage.
Jason mentally shook his head. That was fascist and wrong, and he was a bad person for having thought it.
He watched her walk off to the bathroom and hoped that things would turn around when he surprised her with the Twikkii Island trip.
Thirty minutes later, Lilith looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. She had to admit the hat was cute. How could anyone fire a person wearing a really cute hat?
She heard the honk of the car pool and turned to go.
The driver honked again, really leaning on the horn this time.
“God, I’m coming. Just give me a second!”
She breathed deeply as she opened the door to the Doo Peas building. It was going to be okay. It was probably something little. She was being very silly. There was no need for her heart to be racing like it was going for the Triple Crown.
But her heart didn’t listen and kept racing as she neared Shannon’s office door. After all, what if it wasn’t something little? What if she was going to be fired? What if she lost her house and had to live in the park and Jason decided he didn’t like smelly dirty girls and left her and what if she had to join a gang to survive and ended up a crack addict and in jail?
“It’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay.” she repeated to herself. Would Jason maybe still like her if she joined a gang? Maybe he was into the tough badass type?
She opened the door and the dreaded future became the present.
“Good morning, Lilith. Please have a seat and I”ll be with you in a moment.”
Lilith sat and tried her best to calm her nerves. She’d figure something out if she got fired. Maybe she’d end up the boss of the gang? She was smart and strong. She could handle anything. She’d be all right.
“Sorry for the wait. I had to finish editing an article about recent local gang activity. Can you believe it? They’re pushing drugs to kids in the park now.”
“I’m glad you could make it. Now let’s have a talk.”