Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SOCIAL (04/07/16)
TITLE: Worst. Day. Ever.
By Sara Harricharan
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Eventually, I squint at the screen.
It’s too bright.
It buzzes again as I try to decipher the incoming text.
Several texts are now streaming in. I know who it is. There are only three people who would text me at this hour—and only one of them texts in rapid-fire burst mode.
It’s so tempting to turn it silent—because it’s my twin sister and she knows I have a new work schedule. It’s an hour and a half until I have to get up.
An entire hour and a half.
Are you freaking kidding me?
The texts keep coming though. The caps lock catches my attention. The words don’t make sense because the context is too weird.
No way is our mother contemplating suicide. No freaking way.
I’m awake enough to worry now. I scroll up to read the start of the conversation.
Not my mother.
Wait—Sophia’s mother? But that’s—they’ve got—she doesn’t—please, please, please let this be some sick joke-
I call my sis before I can stop myself. She answers on the second ring.
Her colorful language spills through and I’m reminded again how our twinship is opposite sides of the same coin.
When she calms down to her usual level of hysteria, I weasel out Sophia’s new cellphone number, her apartment address and the screenshots of the original text that started this mess.
Google finds me suicide helplines—and their FAQ page is sufficient enough for my advice to sound rational.
Sis finally listens and gets off the phone so she can talk with Sophia. I make an emergency phone call to get some folks over to check on them.
One major crisis averted.
By now, I’m only half an hour off schedule. I’m dead tired, but there is no way on the face of this earth that I’m getting anymore sleep today.
Dragging myself through the shower; I grimace while digging out clean clothes and try not to yawn while applying mascara.
I wind up leaving home a half hour early.
Somehow, this equates to forty-five minutes ahead of schedule when I arrive at work. My achy eyes are burning now—even the sun hates me.
I can’t people today. It’s one interruption after another, followed by a host of mini-crises.
My idiot coworker volunteers me for her presentation—because she feels like she’s coming down with something.
And she’s going home.
And the presentation is now mine.
I don’t have a say in this, do I?
The presentation is after lunch.
Why am I eating a salad today? Avoid the onions. There’s broccoli. It’s going to stick in my teeth. It does stick in my teeth.
And of—freaking—course, I don’t have anything even remotely resembling a toothpick or floss in my purse.
…Maybe I could check at the nurse’s office. They would have stuff like that, right?
Ugh. No. Super embarrassing.
Let’s try water.
Half a bottle later, it’s hopeless.
I discover that a fresh post-it note can poke things out of my teeth.
Worst. Day. Ever.
Presentation time! Here we go. Smile and smile some more. Pretend I know what I’m talking about. Don’t sound like I’ve only read the power point fifteen minutes ago.
Huh. They like it.
And they like my accent.
What accent? This is my normal voice.
Eh. Who cares. Now the day’s practically over. I just have to catch up on everything I couldn’t do because of the presentation.
It’s not like anything else can go wrong in so short a time—and I’ve probably jinxed myself. Drat.
Sis texts to say everything’s okay.
Idiot coworker reappears from where she was actually resting in the nurse’s office. She owes me for this.
I drink two cups of coffee and power through a day’s work in an hour and twelve minutes.
A new text comes through. The animal shelter has found a stray tortie—with my info on the microchip.
Oh thank heaven.
The prayers of thanks going out right now would overload every server if that was a thing.
I’m leaving. There’s twelve minutes left. But I was here early. I need to get my fur baby.
Tomorrow will be better.
It always is.
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