There was this book I read once that said that the key to having a good day was all about your frame of mind. That if you started your mornings off with positive thoughts — like really honed in on the things that made you happy, in return, it would set the tone for your entire day. It had nothing to do with luck or anything like that — but that good things would happen, literally, because you wanted them to. That was it. So, I gave this positive mindset thing a shot and it was going good too — right up until the moment I was drop kicked, in the middle of my forehead, by the sunlight that had slithered its way into the opening underneath my closed blinds. And then, to add insult to injury, the loud sounds of trucks and police sirens made their debut — clearly, co-conspirators in some kind of cosmic plan to ruin my day before it even started. You would think though, that as long as I had been lying here awake, I would’ve known better than to think this day would be any different than all the others.
Nothing to do with luck my ass.
My arm slid from underneath my pillow and dropped a few inches to the floor, landing directly on top of my phone. I lifted it to eye level and parted them just enough to see the time. They flung wide open though once they made contact with a text that must’ve come through the one time I managed to doze off. The number was one I didn’t recognize but the lies and desperation oozing from the message were typical of a sender that had been more than successful at dodging my blocked list.
I swiped the message away and toggled the Simstagram app bringing up his profile. The newest entry was just like the last — a photo of him posed on a car he didn’t own with money he didn’t have — and that stupid grin on his face, purposely constructed in a way that showed off the gold plated grill I helped him pay for, did nothing to demonstrate the broken heart he so poetically described in his text.
I hate him.
I tossed my phone to the side and used the last drop of energy I had to push myself off the mattress and over to the kitchen. It was hard but if I could just get at least one cup of coffee in me, I would be functional enough to make it to work where I could re-up and be good for another couple of hours. When I finally made it across the room though and made contact with the empty container that once held the goods I so desperately needed, I was once again reminded of the bad luck that always seems to plague me.
I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised though, I mean, I had been hitting the caffeine a little harder than usual since I got here but that’s not important right now. Okay… let’s think. If I hop in the shower now, I could grab a cup from Starbucks or something and still make it to work on time— well, sort of on time, but then again… with only $17 to my name and a gas tank nearly on E, I probably shouldn’t…
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
Oh, wait! There’s another option! I slipped on my flip-flops and with a sudden burst of optimistic energy, scurried out the door, across the hall to my neighbor, Jesminder’s apartment. After a few knocks, she opened and invited me in as she always did.
“Hey girl,” she stood across from me with her hands on her hips, examining me like she always did, “Shouldn’t you be on your way to work right now?”
“I am… but… I’m out of coffee so I was wondering—”
“You know I got you,” she threw her hand up as a way to silence whatever form of groveling she thought was coming next and made her way into the kitchen.
Okay, I guess my luck isn’t all bad. I did have new friends that were actually good to me — always looking out for me and stuff — I was still getting used to that.
She reached into the cabinet above the stove and grabbed a few packets of instant coffee along with some sugar and other hot beverage things, “You get any sleep last night?” she handed the small care package to me.
“A few hours… Maybe 3,” I rubbed my face as if it would somehow wipe away the exhaustion that was clearly more apparent than I realized, “Is it obvious?”
“Mhm hmm,” she nodded, “So how much of the time that you weren’t sleeping, did you spend simsta-stalking your ex?”
How did she even— And what does she mean stalking? I am not stalking him. Ain’t nobody stalking nobody. He’s dead to me. DEAD.
Before I could defend myself with an excuse I hadn’t even thought of yet, her daughter, Kaelyn, came speeding around the corner, screaming my name — well, a two-year-old’s version of my name, “Tami-luh!” she wrapped her arms around my legs, squeezing me as tight as she could.
I sat the coffee goods on the table and picked her up, using her little body to shield me from the lecture I knew her mom had waiting for me.
Saved by the baby.