A short story ~ good day, bad day

Electra woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Panicking, she jumped over to her phone to realize her cat had unplugged the charger in the middle of the night, causing it to die and therefore her alarm never went off! She was now a good thirty minutes behind schedule! Still able to make it to work on time, she would have to rush and skip making lunch or doing her makeup. Instead, she threw on her outfit (luckily picked out the night before) brushed her teeth and then her hair as quickly as possible, and then rushed out the door to her car.

Electra’s jaw dropped when she saw how much it had snowed the night before. Too busy scrambling to get ready for work, she didn’t even take the time to look out her window and check the weather. Even more panicked now, she immediately started her car and let it warm up while shoveling snow. The windows were still foggy but good enough, she thought.

The roads were icy but Electra felt comfortable driving fast in her Subaru Crosstrek. It didn’t slow her down… that is, until she saw flashing signs for a detour. Windows still fogged, she squinted her eyes to get a better look. Apparently, a giant tree had fallen right in the middle of her usual highway commute. The detour would take an extra twenty minutes! Electra full-on panicked. There’s no way she could be late for work today. She had an important presentation to give at 10:00 and needed at least an hour ahead of time to prepare. There was a meeting scheduled for right afterwards, so she couldn’t push it back.

After her most stressful commute to work, Electra barely made it in the door by 9:46 AM. Forty-six minutes late. Great. There was so much traffic due to the detour, that it took twice as long as she thought it would. As if matters couldn’t get any worse, her boss was standing right at the door, waiting for her.

“Where have you been?” Her boss barked at her, furiously.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” Electra began to explain her excuse, “I…”

“No time for apologies!” She explained, “they showed up twenty minutes early and want you to start right now!”

“But my flashcards! And the presentation! I don’t even have a password to the computer!”

Electra’s boss threw her into the conference room practically against her own will, then mouthed to her, “I gotta go now, see ya!” before shutting the door and disappearing. What her boss did not directly say to her, though certainly wanted to say, “knock them dead or you’re fired!”

After the world’s most awkward and messiest presentation, Electra just sighed with relief that it was all over and things couldn’t get any worse from here. She survived, and that was all that mattered. Unfortunately, she could not stop thinking about how cringe-y it was, no matter how hard she tried.

She had not seen Adonis at work all day but perked up when she spotted him at lunch. She couldn’t ask to eat together, because he always acted like he was too cool for her. She shyly waved while walking by but he didn’t even notice.

It was the last meeting of the day. Finally, she could run on home, drink a few well-deserved beers, forget about her mess of a day and enjoy the weekend. As soon as the meeting came to a close, a co-worker turned to Electra and said, “oh wow, you’re not wearing any makeup!” very loudly and everyone turned and stared.

Electra was mortified and couldn’t believe it was that obvious. How could someone be so rude? She politely smiled and then quickly rushed out the door before bursting into tears. No point in stopping at her desk, she just needed to get out of here as soon as possible.

Stopping for Chinese food, which of course took twice as long to make than usual, Electra cuddled in bed with blankets and a good movie. At last…

Opening the bag, she saw that they had given her the wrong order. She checked the receipt to see that they had screwed up the names, and someone else had gotten her food. Electra was vegetarian and this was all meat!

There was no other food in the house, so Electra was forced to change out of her pajamas, back to normal clothes and demand a refund. As someone who used to work in the food industry, she hated being “that customer” who complained. She also blamed herself for not double-checking the bag before leaving, which she normally does, she was just so impatient to get into bed.

Right before eating, her phone buzzed with a spam email. Completely fed up and desperate for peace, Electra silenced her phone and chucked it across the room in frustration.

After finishing her dinner, her movie, and her beers, Electra felt so much better. She got out of bed and curiously picked up her phone to check the time, doubtful that anyone was trying to reach her. And then her eyes widened when she saw several missed calls from her boss from two hours ago!

Attempting to sober up, Electra splashed some water on her face and downed a glass of water quickly before returning the call. Her thoughts were racing. Oh my god. It’s about the presentation. I hope I don’t sound tipsy.

“Hey!” her boss answered right away, “I’ve been trying to reach you!”

“I’m sorry, I…” Electra didn’t even think to come up with an excuse before calling back. Hopefully her boss would brush past it as always and get to the point.

“You what?” she asked, waiting for an answer.

“Uh, I… I…” her brain was too fried from the longest day of her life to come up with something on the spot.

“Are you okay? Did something happen?” she sounded genuinely concerned.

“I was watching a movie,” she blurted out.

“And you couldn’t answer me? You never handed in that paperwork at the end of the day like you were supposed to. I tried to find you at your desk but someone said you had already left in a hurry. You know, the deadline to process that was twenty minutes ago! Normally I wouldn’t be reaching out to you like this, but considering how important the matter is…”

Electra gasped. So preoccupied with how horrible her presentation had gone, she had completely forgotten about the paperwork!

“Anyway, there’s nothing we can do now,” she continued, “we’ll talk about this on Monday. Have a good weekend,” and hung up.

She had never heard someone sound so angry. What a horrible, horrible day. Electra squeezed her eyes shut and fell fast asleep.

The next morning, Electra woke up to notice that is was actually not the next morning, but the same morning as yesterday — like a time portal.

Her phone was dead because her cat had pulled the charger last night and so her alarm never went off, and now she was thirty minutes behind schedule. So, she skipped making lunch and skipped doing her makeup so she could have time to quickly brush her teeth, brush her hair, and rush out the door.

Walking outside into a winter wonderland, Electra admired the beauty of the snow. She let her car warm up while clearing it off with a shovel. Getting in her car and noticing her windows still needed a few more minutes to defog, she pulled out her phone and double checked the roads. It turned out her usual route was blocked, and the quickest detour was at least twenty minutes out of the way, it would be absolutely impossible to make it on time.

So, Electra dialed her boss’s number and let her know about the road closure. Her boss was very understanding and thankful that she had called — now she had time to find someone else who could possibly start the presentation for her if she’s late.

Electra arrived to work at 9:52. Almost a whole hour late, and only eight minutes until the presentation! She headed immediately towards the conference room, shocked to see that it had already started.

“Turns out they arrived twenty minutes ahead of schedule!” her boss popped up. “So I found Ava, she’s done this exact presentation so many times, she knows it by heart!”

“Should I take over now?” Electra asked, “I was hoping to have some time to get ready first…”

“I think that may just disrupt things. Ava does not mind handling it for now. Sounds like you had a rough morning, go drink some free hot chocolate in the break room.”

Electra walked into the break room and saw Adonis there. Feeling excited about dodging what could have been an extremely awkward presentation, she decided to strike up a conversation. Nothing to lose. Who cares if he ignores me, I had a great morning!

To her surprise, he gave her a wide grin when she spoke and was very open to her, because she commanded his attention. Such a handsome smile, he had.

The rest of the day seemed to fly by! All she had now was this final meeting, which was coming to a close. As soon as it ended, a co-worked turned to Electra and said, “oh wow, you’re not wearing any makeup!” very loudly.

Electra was caught off guard, confused as to why someone would be so rude to her, and so she paused for a moment.

“And it took me all day to realize!” her co-worked added.

“Wait, really?” Electra giggled, “I thought it was so obvious.”

“No, it looks really nice!”

Electra was flabbergasted that someone would ever be so kind to her. Making her way back to her desk, she noticed everyone had received a bag of candy along with a little card that read, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Aww, that’s sweet, she thought to herself.

As she gathered her stuff, she came across a stack of papers which she realized needed to be handed in by the end of the day, or else she was screwed! Thank goodness she saw that!

Stopping at her boss’s office to hand it in, she saw the Adonis was also there. They both left the office together and took the same elevator trip down many, many flights of an incredibly tall building.

“Any plans for Valentine’s Day?” Electra asked him.

“No,” he replied, “you?”

“I’m just really hungry, to be honest.”

The two got to talking — Electra couldn’t even believe it — and somehow, they ended up on a dinner date together for delicious Italian food.

Her phone started buzzing with stupid spam emails, so she put it on “do not disturb” mode, that way emergency contacts can still reach her. Not that her boss would ever call her this late, anyway.

It’s interesting how everything shifts, when you shift your mindset.


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