I woke with a start; I’ve been having very strange dreams lately. Like one about a boiling kettle that brought me to court for staring at it for too long and the jury found me guilty because they thought it was an awfully rude thing for me to do. However the dream I just woke from was much darker than that; in this dream I was sent down to an empty room that was painted in a beautiful shade of sky blue. I was sent down there by the brother of an old friend I have and he told me to pick off all the paint on the walls and when there isn’t even a spot left on the walls I will be able to leave. Of course in my dream that sounded like a perfectly normal compromise, so for hours and hours I picked off the little bits of wall paper; some of the bits would prick the inside of my fingernails or would be so hard to peel off the wall my fingers would start bleeding or make a sound like a nail against a chalkboard and make me flinch for a couple of seconds. But finally there was only one bit of wall paper left on the wall so with pride in my shoulders I picked it off rather easily and started to walk out of the door but before I did I saw from the corner of my eye that the spot was still there. Or else was another spot that I had just missed. Never the less I peeled that off as well; however each time I turned to leave the same spot somehow grew back over and over again. And then I woke up. It was the most frustrating dream I have ever had and, even though it was a dream, my fingers somehow aced.
I got out of bed and put my slippers on. My slippers are always on the right side of my bed, in the exact right place where my feet would be when I sit up in bed. I put on my dressing gown which is hung beside my door to my bedroom and start down the stairs to the kitchen for some breakfast. I like my little routine; these are the things that bring comfort to me every morning. Knowing that I can’t help the poor man on the news who is in the hospital for the car accident that just happened but I will always know that there will always be a fresh box of corn flakes in my second top cabinet from the left in my kitchen, ready for me to eat a bowl of for breakfast. These certainties are what make me happy. Almost nothing in life is certain, you could decide to go to the bathroom one minute but change your mind at the last minute. The only thing that is certain in life is death and that scares me. I want to be certain of what I’m going to do today and tomorrow and the next after that but I don’t think I can so I am trying my very best to make as much as possible certain for me at least.
I eat my corn flakes quietly, sometimes chewing to the beat of jingle bells or something like that and then put my bowl in the sink and quickly wash and rinse it before putting it and the corn flakes back in the cupboards. I went back upstairs and switched on the light on the mirror in the bathroom. I squeezed my chubby tube of Colgate on to my toothbrush and slowly started swerving the bristles against my teeth like I was trying to paint a picture with it. After a few seconds of this I spat it out and repeated the same thing another four times; just enough times for all the toothpaste on the tooth brush to be used up. I go for a quick shower and shampoo my hair and wash my body. After 10 minutes I got out and put a towel on and started blow drying my hair, I have always kept my hair quite short so it is easier to wash, however I inherited my mother’s curly hair so short hair never looked grew out right for me but I never cared much. I went back in to my bedroom and dropped the towel on the ground and started getting dressed. A pair of black tights, a navy skirt going just below my knee, a white shirt and a navy cardigan to match the skirt was what I like to wear on Mondays and I laid everything out the night before neatly on my dresser. I never bothered wearing makeup either, so I put my hair in a tight bun and then leave the house.
I work at a management company for lots of different people, like singers, actors; things like that. Art always fascinated me when I was younger but I soon found out the silliness of the whole thing once I got older. Usually I file documents for the actual managers but sometimes I come in to meetings about how we can improve the company and I even give my input sometimes which makes me feel good about myself. There are also a lot of men in my office and a lot of the other female secretaries get flirted with, by them, but not me. I don’t care that much to be honest though; I’ve only ever been with one man, which my mother said for 36 is ridiculous, but he was a very lovely man but asked me to move to England with him and I said no. I don’t like regretting things because it’s a horrible feeling, especially the simple ones where it was so easy to avoid the regret, but this is quite hard to push out of my head.
I arrive at my office and place my briefcase on my desk alongside my phone, computer and the documents I have to go over and copy today. This job is also very stable money wise. It pays 2,000 a month, which for a lot of people nowadays would be like winning the lottery, so I should count myself lucky. That amount of money is also perfect for me because it’s just enough for food and other necessities I need for the rest of the month. I also send a lot of money to my parents because they don’t like excepting the pension that they get sent because they say it’s just charity and we should all work for our money. However they have no problem excepting my money, I never really understood why exactly.
I get off work at 5:30 but my boss has asked everyone to go home a half an hour early today for personal reasons. The thought of getting home a bit earlier makes me jittery for some reason; just the thought of having to wait for the news for 45 minutes instead of 20. What am I going to do for 45 minutes. I don’t have anything to do. I get in the lift and check my watch and see that it’s exactly 5 o’ clock and feel good that it’s not any earlier, at least now it’ll be a little less than 45 minutes. I walk out of the building listening to the sound of my heels clicking against the pavement. But I stop dead in my tracks. “shit” I say out loud and some passer-byres lift their heads to see me. I’ve forgotten my brief case up in my office, I never forget anything and because my stupid boss made us leave early everything is messed up.
I start crossing the road again to go back in to the building. I was so distracted I don’t see the speeding car coming for me to my right and BANG.
I’m on the ground and I feel excruciating pain all over my body. I don’t look but I feel that my leg is in a place where it shouldn’t be, my elbow is broken as well…I’m not even going to try and move it. What just happened? I got hit by a car, that’s what happened. I start shrieking at the realisation of that and I see heads peering over me to see. I wonder if anyone has called an ambulance yet…it’d be silly if they didn’t. Some feeling at the bottom of my stomach can tell that it doesn’t really matter if they called them or not. It was the same feeling that told me to say yes to the man that asked me to go to England all those lifetimes ago. I’ve learned to trust that feeling so I stop shrieking and just silently cry. What if I do die? God has to pick some people to die in the world so he picks the people who don’t necessarily mean much to the world. The thought makes a sob get stuck in my throat and I start coughing. I realise that it wasn’t a sob and that blood comes out of my mouth instead. I wish I had a tissue. I wonder if anyone at the office will miss me or even realise that I’m gone. I wonder if my boss will feel guilty and use one of my ideas. Like the one about the Christmas party I wanted to have later one this year, just for fun. I wonder if my parents will miss me giving them money; they probably won’t tell the difference and just get sent a pension again and think it’s from me. Why am I so calm? I should be fighting, I should want to get up and be carried away to safety but do I really?
My breaths start getting slower and my crying starts to stop. There will be my slippers left at the side of my bed for no one to wear them, the corn flakes to go stale and for no one to eat them and my briefcase forever lying on my desk waiting for me to come and pick it up and bring it home. My life is unfinished but I’m just realising that 36 years too late. In the next minute or two my body will shut off and I will be nothing, just a body. No one will ever talk to me ever again and I will never talk to anyone ever again. And my heart stops and then nothing.