by Nicole Guerrero
A soft breeze billowed the filmy white curtains on the bedroom windows. The girl on the bed turned over onto her back, staring up at the alarm clock reflection on her ceiling – 3:37 in giant red numerals. She lifted her fist and let it drop listlessly onto the coverlet. Then she sighed in frustration and sat up, running her hands through her hair.
Serina washed her face with cool water, then pulled on the previous day’s clothes, crumpled in a heap on the chair. She pocketed her keys and shut her apartment door securely behind her. Her sneakers vibrated on the metal stairs as she descended to the street,. Somewhere, a dog was barking. She found her car and sank into the cool leather seat.
Serina headed for the freeway, enjoying the dearth of cars on the road. She rolled her windows down, letting the air swirl gently through the car; it tickled the hairs on the back of her neck. She reached across the seat for her pack of cigarettes; the brilliant green of the dashboard clock played over her hand as she pulled one out of the pack and lit it before bringing it to her mouth. She sighed a stream of smoke out the window, and tried to forget the day’s events. She had been late to work . . . again. Attempting to sneak into her cubicle ran her directly into her supervisor, Gloria. A mountainous woman, she towered over Serina, a sneer curling one corner of her rubbery, lipsticked mouth.
“Well, well, well, look who decided to join us today!”
“I can explain,” Serina stammered. “I -”
“I am really tired of your excuses, young lady. You have been late at least once a week since you started. Warnings and write-ups have no effect. I have no choice but to fire you.”
Serina could feel her face warming with embarrassment; tears threatened in the corners of her eyes. Gloria straightened to her full height and sniffed. “I don’t want to hear any blubbering. Clean out your desk immediately.” Serina’s meagre box of belongings still bounced around in the back seat as she continued her late-night drive. No one had said goodbye.
She flicked the half-smoked cigarette out of the car as she crested a hill. Something was fluttering down below, a large, white object. Serina squinted, but she couldn’t figure it out.
She coasted downhill; it became clearer as her headlights swept the ground. A man in white was standing in the road, arms outstretched, head thrown back. Standing in the middle of her lane. Read the rest of this entry »