“Why’s this taking so long? It must be back to working order promptly.”
There was a haze around the office, lined with leather-bound wealthy books and well-traveled ornaments, as the computer repair technician averted her eyes away from the small printer on the desk that was not working to the customer, an older woman wearing dusty clothing.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, usually these things don’t take this much time.”
BEEP… BEEP. BEEP!
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“This is the second time you’ve called out sick this month!”
“I know, I was feeling really sick, really tired, and just couldn’t-“
“Those aren’t excuses!”
Everything was black, except for outlines of her boss and their cube area.
RED, FLASHING, BLUE
She awoke to darkness.
Her sweatpants were covered in sweat.
The blanket was on the ground next to the couch.
It was 4:47 AM.
She had intended to wake early, but not this early.
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The small apartment had only one functionless piece of decoration: a gaudy customer service award hanging from a nail that had long been painted into the infrastructure in a prominent spot in the living room. “Employee of the Month: Jane Lanyard, IT.” She couldn’t miss reading and re-reading it as she spoke on the phone with one of the few recruiters that might occasionally reach out. “We know transportation has been an issue for you…”
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It’s past 6 PM and the view of the parking lot was just as stale for Jane as it had been three hours ago. The studio apartment was cluttered with a cheap brown couch that had a broken pull-out bed, shaky desk for a computer, a cheap dining table with three mismatched chairs, and an acoustic guitar collecting dust. She hadn’t been outside all day, other than four times to smoke on the balcony, reading erotica.
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