Stuff I’ve Written – Live Your Dreams (Part 3)

In the past, I’ve shared some of what I’ve written here.  It may be good, it may be terrible, but I need to get it out into the world.  If you like what you read, let me know.  I’ll be posting the stories in installments, and I will eventually put up a pdf of the full story.

Live Your Dreams (part 3)

Monday morning. 6:45 am and the alarm starts beeping. He climbed out of the warm bed into the cold predawn darkness, and slowly made his way to the bathroom.  John went through the motions of getting dressed and trying to not let the job feel like a crushing burden on him.  The sooner he made it to work, the sooner the day would be over and he could be back home.

The day began normally enough, however things quickly began to change.  John saw several managers coming down and sitting in the cubes.  They never did this, something was going on.  He tried to ignore it, but it was too easy to get caught up in the buzz of rumours and speculation.  Word began to spread about layoffs.

‘It’s not going to be me, they need me, you can’t outsource this work and it’s too complicated to automate.’  John thought.

“Shit.”  It was Tommy from the other side of the cube.

“What? What’s going on?”  John stood and looked across the row.

“I got an email to meet with Adam in 15 minutes.”  Adam was their department manager.  “This can’t be good.  Not with what I’m hearing out of the other departments.  Did you get anything?”  Tommy slumped in his chair.

John started to respond, but was interrupted by his Outlook notification.  “I just got one.”

An hour later John and Tommy both walked out of the building, holding their personal items in a small box.

“Give me a call later this week, we’ll get together and have lunch or something.”  Tommy said as they crossed the parking lot.

“Definitely.  We can figure out where to apply to.”  John stopped at his car and put his box in the backseat.  “I didn’t even get a chance to warn Steph about this.  She’s going to worry.”

“At least you’ve got someone to go home to.  I think I’m gonna call Janice from our team tonight and see if she wants to go out.  We always seem to have fun together.  Don’t have to worry about HR making things weird now.”  Tommy waved and started towards his own car.

John sat in the car thinking of what he would do.  It was only 11:00.  Too late to surprise her with an egg mcmuffin.  She might still be asleep.

He drove home in silence, trying not to dwell on everything.

The house was still dark when he came home.  Stephanie was still asleep.  He moved around as quietly as could, but every sound seemed to echo in the house.  Sitting on the couch he took his shoes off and padded silently to the bedroom.  He stood in the doorway for just a minute watching her sleep.  She would complain that her hair was a mess and she snored, but right now she was a vision of beauty.  He leaned on the bed and kissed her.  She woke to his kiss, but quickly realized he shouldn’t be home.

“What time is it? Why aren’t you at work?”  Stephanie sat up in the bed.

“Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.  Which do you want first?”  He sat on the edge of the bed, pulling off his tie.

“What’s the bad news?”  She was worried and a little confused.

“I got laid off today.”  He looked down in shame.  “They let half our department go.”

“Oh no.  What’s the good news?”

“Nothing, I lied about the good news.”  He curled up to her on the bed, his shirt still half tucked into his pants.

“I’m so sorry, sweety.”  She pulled him close and put her arms around him.  “There is a little bit of good news though.”

“What’s that?”  His voice weak.

“At least you don’t have to go back to that soul crushing job anymore, and you can spend more time with me.”  She smiled at John, trying to cheer him up.

They lay in bed together for another hour before it was Stephanie’s turn to get ready for work.  John changed out of his work clothes, sat on the couch and stared blankly at the dark TV while she got ready.

“I want you to make me a promise today.”  She sat next to him and began putting on her shoes.

“What’s that?”  John said, waking out of his daze.

“I don’t want you to dwell on what happened today.  You said they let a lot of people go, so it wasn’t anything that you had control over.  I want you to take some time today and relax, cheer yourself up.”  Stephanie stood up and grabbed her purse.  She came back and kissed him.  “Find something that will make you happy.”

John managed a small smile and a nod.  “I’ll try.”

“Good.  Text me if anything else happens.”  She blew him a kiss as the door closed behind her.

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