Just Another Day (A Short Story)

I’m posting a short story in honor of my mom’s decision to choose life when she was scared, barely seventeen, and abandoned by an equally scared kid.  While the woman in the story did not choose life, the story still deals with the issue of abortion.  You can read my mom’s  story HERE.

And now …

JUST ANOTHER DAY


From well-conditioned, salon-perfect locks down to fine Italian leather shoes, Carole Kramer was the picture of control. Determination in every step, she made her way past tiny cubicles heading toward her spacious corner office.  She stopped short at her receptionist’s desk.

“Whose are those?” Carole nodded her head toward the bouquet of fresh cut flowers spilling out of their crystal vase.

“Misty’s,” the receptionist grabbed a card from the bouquet.  “The card says, ‘With Sympathy’.”

Carole rolled her eyes as she headed into her office. The door slammed behind her and she jumped.  She hadn’t meant to use so much force.  Her leather chair squeaked as she eased into it and picked up the phone.  She pressed speed dial for Connelly and Dowell’s.

“Hello, Connelly and Dowell’s, how may I direct your call?”

“Is Dan in?”

“One moment, please.” Carole picked up a pen and tapped it on her desk.

“Hello, gorgeous.” Dan’s smooth voice floated into Carole’s ear. “Breaking our dinner engagement again for a stodgy client?” There seemed to be a touch of bitterness in his tone.
Thankful that phones did not betray facial expression, Carole winced at his comment. She had only broken one dinner engagement this week and it had only been because…she broke off the thought as her phone beeped.

“Hang on, Dan.  I’ve got another call.”  Carole pushed a button and her receptionist’s voice broke over the line.

“Carole, Mr. Erickson’s on line four.”  Carole frowned.  She couldn’t keep the president of her company, and her boss, on hold.

“Sorry, Dan, I’ve got to go. I’m not breaking our date. I’ll see you eight o’clock sharp and we can talk then.” Carole hoped Dan didn’t catch the tremble in her voice as she said good-bye. What was wrong with her? She hadn’t earned the reputation as the “Dictator” by falling prey to the usual feminine musings. She wasn’t weak like the big-bouquet-of-flowers-girl, Misty. Misty wore her heart on her sleeve and floated from emotion to emotion. It was enough to make a person sea sick!

Carole’s thoughts floated back to last week and her encounter with Misty at the Doctor’s office, of all places.  She would have rescheduled her “procedure” if she had known Misty would be there at the same time. She could feel the prickle of hairs on end at the back of her neck with the memory. The moment their eyes had met, each coming out of their exam rooms, Carole had wanted to run. It was bad enough for her to be battling a moment of vulnerability; she didn’t need Misty around to prick at her conscience as well.

A “gift from God” Misty had called it. How about an inconvenience, a bit of tissue wreaking havoc with her body? How many meetings had Carole sat through, afraid her stomach would reject her last meal? Misty should be glad “Mother Nature” had intervened on her behalf. Doctors willing to “intervene” were not as easy to find as Carole had been lead to believe.

“Carole, Mr. Erickson is still on hold.”  Carole’s mind jumped back to the present at the sound of her receptionist’s voice.

Carole reached to push line 4, but her sleeve caught the petty cash dish.  It crashed to the floor. A start passed through her body as she caught sight of a quarter spinning on her carpet.

Beads of perspiration dotted her upper lip and her chest felt compressed as a wave of reality settled like a hammer. Color left her face as she continued to stare at the quarter. Heads or tails, it didn’t matter, no matter what side was up the fact was still there. A quarter was a quarter and a life was a life. Whether viewed as a blessing or a curse, it didn’t matter. Life couldn’t be determined by “choice”. It simply was.

The beeping phone brought Carole back to the present again and she gasped. Mr. Erickson didn’t take kindly to waiting.

“Mr. Erickson, how can I make your life easier this morning?” As she slipped back into her familiar role, confidence covered doubt and composure buried vulnerability. What was she thinking? She had just experienced one of those “moments” the doctor had warned her about. She was still the “Dictator”.

“By showing up with your usual brilliance for our merger meeting on December 2nd.” Carole smirked as she heard the exact date the doctor had predicted as the due date. How ironic. She penciled in the meeting and affirmed to Mr. Erickson that she would be there.

As she placed the phone in the receiver, she righted the petty cash dish and scooped up the change, including the quarter. Settled once again at her desk, she straightened her jacket and smoothed her hair. December 2nd, what did it really matter? After all, wasn’t it just another day?

Copyright by T. Ruby Johnson 2009

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~ by trubyjohnsonwrites on 06/06/2009.

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