He startled awake. It had all been a dream. This would have been the perfect end to a story, clichéd? Absolutely. But safe. Secure. Instead, however, this was only the start. And it wasn’t even a story. Brandon knew the world he’d just imagined could never come true. And that was the saddest part of it all.
He plopped the small, single-serve foil packet’s contents into the cat bowl. He brushed his teeth, after slurping half of the coffee down. It was already well on its way towards being cold. He rushed out the door with his laptop-bag wide open, his gym clothes stuffed on top.
The bus was late. Making him even later. The wind was cold. The work he couldn’t yet see was piling up like existential grief.
No lunch break, and just the threat of more and more email. Most of them containing links to previous meeting notes or the threat of yet another meeting. Purgatory has a 15-minute break in its contract, but you try enforcing it!
Brandon missed the bus back home, sweaty and cold from his gym efforts. Around 9pm, he opened another single-serve foil packet. This one was for him though, looking just a little bit better than the cat’s – but only just.
The spreadsheet haunted him so he checked back in before bed. And immediately wished he hadn’t.
And then, eventually, to sleep. Perchance to dream. But only ever to startle awake. Elvis Presley’s opening line from Suspicious Minds soundtracking on a loop.