The Next Day
Salim & Camilla’s Townhouse | San Myshuno
No barista … No job … No happiness … No nothing … Camilla sighed heavily as she prepared her morning coffee, mulling over the current state of her life. The interview was still weighing on her — had been the entire night — making it nearly impossible to fall asleep. She tried shutting her mind off, allowing blank space to take the place of her thoughts, but that didn’t do anything. She tried counting backwards from 100 then 1000. Still nothing. Even tried identifying all the curl patterns in Salim’s hair, but like everything else, that didn’t work either. Nothing worked — so she finally gave up and took her restlessness to the sofa downstairs, where she spent the rest of the night trying to figure out how things went so wrong — so quickly.
One minute, they were talking — laughing like old friends even — the next, Sofia was all but kicking her out of her office, like she had done or said something wrong. It was right after the thing about why she left home too — that’s what did it. Telling the truth really costed her a job, her dream job, and now — she just wanted to go upstairs and back to sleep for like a week or a month or however long it’ll take for her to start feeling better, but they had plans today; Winterfest shopping for the girls, so she would just fill that little hole of sadness with coffee, average-made-at-home-not-by-a-personal-barista-coffee, at least until they were back home and all the gifts were wrapped and under the tree.
She grabbed her mug and stood in front of the living room window, watching their neighbors go about their presumably happy lives. One of them was across the street, a woman, getting into her car, Camilla was positive she was on her way to work, probably to a job that she loved too and the guy a little further down, walking his dog, he probably wasn’t stressing about the bad news he was keeping from his significant other, even the dog, she was sure he had more than two hours of sleep last night, and the mailman over there, well, he was just delivering mail, but delivering mail was still a job — something she didn’t have.
He placed a few things in their box before disappearing down the street. I bet it’s more bad news in there, she pouted, probably a letter from Webot reminding me of how I’ll never – she paused for a moment, taking notice of the floor creaking upstairs. Salim was awake, probably looking for her since she hadn’t been in bed all night. She forced a smile as he approached, pretending to be in anything but the cranky-sleep-deprived-I-hate-my-life–and-mediocre-coffee mood that she woke up in.
Salim: [kisses her forehead] What are you down here doing? People watching? [chuckles]
Camilla: [smiles faintly] Something like that …
Salim: Did the mailman come yet?
Camilla: Yeah, he just left a few minutes ago. Why? Are you waiting for something?
Salim: Yeah … let me see if it came.
He slipped out the door and returned a minute or so later with some envelopes, store flyers and other junk mail in hand.
Camilla, curious: What was it? Did it come?
Salim: No, but some stuff for you did. [holds up two envelopes]
She reached for the envelopes and quietly read the names of the senders before frantically opening the first one. Her student loan payment was due — past due — and the bank wanted their money. She rotated envelopes and quickly opened the second, from the bank, letting her know an additional late fee had been tacked on to her credit card bill.
She was behind on everything, but was going to catch up and pay it all with her next paycheck. That was the plan … but there was no next paycheck because she messed up and got fired. And now everybody wanted money that she didn’t have and she was sleepy and hated and that coffee and just … couldn’t … stop the tears from coming …
Salim: What’s wrong? Did you get bad news or something? [reaches for the envelopes]
Camilla: [snatches them away] No- I just … [sniffles] I really hate this coffee.
Salim: Isn’t it the same brand you always buy?
Camilla: [nods slowly] Yeah …
He pulled her over to the sofa and sat down next to her, ready to get to the bottom of whatever this emotional-hormonal-mood-swing-thing was because crying over coffee was a bit melodramatic — even for her.
Salim: You want to tell me what’s really going on? Cause I know this not about coffee.
Camilla: [sniffles] I’m just having really bad morning … I didn’t sleep good last night.
Salim: Why didn’t you sleep good?
Camilla: … Just … thinking about stuff …
Salim: Thinking about stuff like?
Salim: Losing your job kind of stuff?
Those words, that accusation, regardless of how right it was, threw her all the way off. How did he even know that? There was no way he could’ve known that unless … somebody told him. But who told him? The only person she told was Cassandra, but she wouldn’t-
Camilla: How did you-
Salim: It doesn’t matter does it? I just know I didn’t hear it from you.
Camilla: I was going to tell you [wipes face] … I just wanted to find another job first and I had this interview at Webot yesterday, but it just … went bad and … [voice trails off] I don’t know if I’m ever going to get another job.
Salim: [chuckles softly] You’ll find another job, Camilla. Everybody’s had at least one bad interview.
Camilla: [pouts] I really wanted that job though … and I’ve had two bad interviews so I’m already doing worse than everybody else.
Salim: You’re not doing worse than everybody else. Things happen sometimes and there’s a lot of other companies just like Webot out here, and I promise you at least one, maybe two of them want you. [hugs her] So stop pouting. It’ll be alright, okay?
Camilla: [wipes face] Okay.
Salim: Now do you have anything else you want to tell me before we get into this?
Camilla: Get into what?
Salim: We have a house together now. One you’re supposed to help pay for and when you found out you couldn’t, you didn’t bother telling me. Did you really think this was going to be the end of it?
Camilla: [sighs deeply] No I didn’t …
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