Bad Days and Break Ups
The phone rang shrilly, rudely awakening me from a much-needed sleep. Dang. I cracked an eye open, peeking at the face of my watch. Ten. It was only ten.
I jumped up in horror, and nearly fell over. Flailing my arms around wildly to regain my balance, I clumsily knocked over a cup of water, promptly spilling it all over something sleek, smooth... My new laptop! I leapt over in horror, a pain cutting into my foot. Oh joy. I'd cut myself. I rolled my eyes, lifting my laptop gingerly – my poor baby! I'd saved and scrimped and literally worked my fingers to the bone for him! (Yes, my laptop is a him called Timmy) – onto a dry surface. Please , please don't crash, I pleaded Timmy silently.
I placed him on my bed carefully. The clock on the wall smiled serenely back at me. 10.10 am. I rushed to the bathroom for a two-minute shower, only to feel a stinging pain in my right foot.
"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!" I hissed, hopping about on my left leg in pain, and being the wonderfully agile person that I am, knocked my shin against the toilet. Clenching my jaw in pain, I bathed quickly and dressed. Blood stains from my foot were all over the room. This obviously wasn't my day.
Never mind that, if I didn't get to work in 5 minutes, I'd be... Late... I glanced at my watch despairingly.
I was so screwed. I sank down miserably onto the doorstep of my apartment (which had me neck-deep in debts). I'd barely begun my self-pitying session when my cellphone rang. Ah. The wonderful Nurse Mariam. (Since the doctor under which I was interning had taken off on a honeymoon, I had to be taken under her wing until a new doctor –my saviour! – who could 'take' me came along.)This really wasn't my day.
Groaning, I flipped the phone. "Hello?"
"Ms Morgan! You ought to have been here 8 minutes ago! Where are you and what time will you get here?"
My head throbbed at the sound of her voice. Thud, thud, thud. Like the noise the neighbour next door was making yesterday. Okay, don't go there, brain...
I tried to sound polite as I replied. "I... I'm in a jam, Nurse. I'm sorry."
"Sorry? Sorry?! 'Sorry' doesn't cut it! What time will you get here?!" she barked. Ouch.
"As soon as I can," I replied, grimacing. Her voice was really grating on the nerves, especially on the nerves of someone who had just woken up only a half hour ago. I flipped my phone shut, getting to my feet. My foot! I grit my teeth, squeezing my eyes shut. Dang.
I sank down in my seat, grateful for a respite after a long day. Here, having a five-minute break was a luxury. Lunch was non-existent, and as a result, I was starving. The delicious aroma of chicken fried rice aroused me from my semi-conscious state. I grinned guiltily at the leggy brunette, otherwise known as my best friend, who sat down opposite me.
"Thanks, Becks," I mumbled, gobbling down the food, which tasted as sumptuous as it smelled.
She laughed. "No need to thank me, you're buying tomorrow."
I gave a one-shoulder shrug that meant 'Fair enough', and we ate in silence, savouring every mouthful.
After we'd finished our dinner, I started fiddling with the hem of my shirt. Rebecca noticed and sighed.
"Go on, rant. I know you want to."
I mock-glared at her. "Is it such a chore?" She sighed tiredly, "You have no idea."
We looked at one another and burst out laughing simultaneously. "Okay," Becks quietened herself down, "C'mon, spill."
I sighed (why do I seem to be sighing so much today?), leaning back in my chair. "Let's see. I woke up half an hour before I was due at work, knocked over a cup, spilt water over Timmy – which I suspect has since crashed – and cut my foot." I glared at Becks, who was trying to refrain from laughing. She had a very interesting laugh. It would start out as a very Polite laugh, then evolve into a sort of melodic Chuckle, then transform into a paroxysm of Guffaws. Sometimes it would end with a very attractive Snort.
I continued my narration of my Bad Day, ticking the events off my fingers. "I was late to work, scolded by Mariam Jacobson and to top it off, Krystal (she was the doctor I was interning under) called to say she won't be back from her honeymoon until... Time as yet unknown."
"Oh Em, that must suck. Hey, isn't her husband that hunk in paediatrics?" Her expression changed quickly from one of sympathy to interest.
I laughed. "He's spoken for, Becca!"
She gave an exaggerated sigh. "Yeah, I know. Hey, if Krystal is gone, who are you going to finish your internship under?"
I frowned, trying to remember what I'd read in his Bio file on the sly. He was a new addition the hospital, apparently. "A Dr. Spencer, from the private sector, graduated from Oxford, specialised in gynaecology, currently unattached, a self-proclaimed computer nerd..."
"Whoa whoa whoa! When did you start your job as Stalker Extraordinaire?" Rebecca narrowed her eyes. "Do you have some secret double life you haven't told me about?"
I rolled my eyes and shrugged. "It was in his file. I sneaked it when the Nurse wasn't looking. Doesn't seem to be a very punctual guy though, he didn't turn up on his first day today." It would leave a permanent red mark in Nurse's book, if you asked me. Something you would much rather not get.
Rebecca laughed, snapping me out of my thoughts. "What's so funny?"
"Trust you to say that, of all things. You really are a stickler for punctuality," she said, smirking. I stuck my tongue out at her like the mature adult I was. "What did you read about him? And surely he wouldn't say he was a computer nerd..."
I rolled my eyes (again. I seem to be very repetitive today) and laughed. "Of course not, I just made that up myself. I thought that might make him seem... Less perfect. To you, that is."
Rebecca laughed again (a melodic Chuckle). Honestly, what was wrong with this girl? Did she inhale laughing gas or something? Because I couldn't for the life of me see what she was laughing at.
"And he appeals to you?" she asked curiously, a little sly look in her eyes. I watched her carefully. That sly look never meant anything good. I should know.
"He's okay, I guess," I replied cautiously. I wasn't stupid enough to tell her what I really thought, that he was a good doctor (judging from his credentials), graduated from Oxford with a major in medicine, a decent gynaecologist, was 6"2 and allergic to dark chocolate. This, because I knew Becca would hook me up with him the first chance she got, like she had been doing with almost every guy for... I can't remember how long. Whatever.
Now on the other hand, I mused, slipping into my reverie (something, according to, well, everybody, I did all too regularly), the guy I'd met a couple of days ago... Man, let me tell you, that guy was fine. I was just leaving for work and he entered the elevator just as I exited. I had caught sight of his facial features for a moment, and almost froze, he was that good-looking. Short, dark brown hair sticking up every other way, and a little windswept – he'd probably been jogging. A chiselled nose and chin, deep-set dark blue eyes framed by – I don't know how I saw this, maybe it's just my imagination making things up – long, dark lashes I would kill for. His mouth looked soft and well, kissable. His body – well let's just say Mr Hottie, as I had since dubbed him (although it was unlikely that I would ever see him again), could very well be a freaking model. I sighed, basking in my memory.
"Emma!" Becca snapped her fingers in front of me, startling me out of my reverie. Pfft.
"What?" I replied, slightly annoyed.
"You've been spacing out for ten minutes already. What were you thinking of?" Her eyes flashed mischievously. Uh oh. "Or rather... Who were you thinking of?" She amended, winking.
I shook my head and stood up, stretching my stiff back as I did. I was exhausted. "Let's go," I said, before emitting a loud yawn.
"Were you thinking about that doctor?" Becca asked innocently (but we all know better). "Oh shut up," I said good-naturedly.
Home sweet home, I thought sleepily, hobbling toward the door of my apartment. I was about to slide my key in the keyhole when I heard an exasperated voice from the stairwell.
"Alisha! You can't do this to me! It's not my fault my mother is ill." Silence. "Of course I have to take care of her! Who else would? You know she only has me, 'lisha, I'm her only son." Silence once more. I heard the man stand up and pace around, the sound making faint echoes in the stairwell. Suddenly, a sharp intake of breath. I listened carefully, heart pounding. It occurred vaguely to me that I was eavesdropping on a couple quarrelling, but the man's voice was... Enrapturing. So much so that I couldn't have pulled away if I'd wanted to.
"Alisha, please, don't do this to me," the man pleaded. I was still frozen in front of my door. "Please, 'lisha, I can't... I can't lose you, 'lisha." His voice cracked on her name, and my heart went out to him. Poor guy. "'Lisha please, please, I'll come back once my mother recovers, I promise," he begged earnestly. I found myself envying that Alisha person, whoever she was. She had such a devoted boyfriend (or husband?); why would she want to break up (or – gulp – divorce) him? Or at least the one- that was what I had gathered from the cellphone conversation.
"You're what?" the man sounded shocked; pleasantly surprised. "How far along...?" I was willing to bet she said she was pregnant. "Three months already?" Joyful. No, overjoyed. "Listen, 'lisha, I'll drive down on Sunday, alright? I lo –" He broke off. Then – "You what?" Disbelief, shock. Hurt and anger, even. Wow. It was amazing, almost terrifying, how that Alisha person could bring a person down, pull him up and then push him all the way down again. I wondered what she'd done now. My feet started aching a little. My right foot, more specifically. I hoped it hadn't stained the inside of my shoe.
"I can't believe you cheated on me, Alisha. How could you?" He sounded like he was trying not to let his emotions get the better of him, trying not to let his hurt show in his voice. "Fine, it's over."
I heard the phone snap shut, and the man sinking to the stairs. I couldn't help it – I'm curious that way – and went toward the stairwell, almost stumbling because my right foot had gone numb. I hoped he was alright.
At that moment I didn't stop to think if he might be a serial rapist, or a psychotic murderer. Really, my curiosity needs dampening down. I didn't realise, then, either, that this would be exactly what would quell my curiosity. Well, temporarily.
I pushed the door to the stairwell open. The man was huddled on the stairs, looking for the life of him like a hurt, little boy, head nestled on this drawn-up knees.
"Hey..." I called quietly, and he glanced up. I froze. Mr Hottie?
A/n: So this is the first chapter, and I agree it kind of sucks. But it gets better, I promise! At least to me.