Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Guest Fiction Series: Pretty Ugly, Part 3

For a few months, will be taking four guest authors #fromblogtobook. Each week you'll be able to read a new installment from unique aspiring authors. This tale is from Je Tuan Jones. Enjoy!

(Read all parts here.)

I’m not the type to wallow in self-pity. Cameron left me, and he was well within his rights. He found my text messages to Shawn, and there was no way to weasel my way out of the truth. I didn’t even want to.
Sure, I could have begged him to stay. I could have blown his phone up with call after call and offered him a lie. I didn’t want to lie to him. Either he would deal with the fact that I cheated on him, or he would get gone.
He wasn’t around anymore, so he chose the latter. It hurt, but I made myself get up in the morning. I had bills to pay and to show up to work with red and puffy eyes wasn’t a part of the equation. No man was going to get in the way of my money, no matter how small my check was.
My list for the day was simple:
  1. Go to work
  2. Go to the Apple store and handle my broken iPhone
  3. Go to Shawn’s house so that he could make me feel better
If I followed those three simple things, then my day would be great. I could not think about Cameron. I couldn’t think about what my life would be like without him. The feelings that I let out the previous evening needed to be locked away.
I leisurely walked to my car, my heels clicked along the pavement. Others rushed by me, but I didn’t care. I had zero reasons to rush. They weren’t going to fire me for being a few minutes late; they enjoyed underpaying me too much.
I put my bags into my too old Ford Taurus and slid inside.
I wondered if I should have taken a vacation day?
I needed to go about my life as usual. Sitting at home and being sad wasn’t going to do anything for me. I needed to go to work.
I put the keys into my ignition and cringed when my car stalled.
“Come on!” I hit the steering wheel, “Please cut on,” I pleaded.
I turned the key again and almost cried when it wheezed, coughed, and complained.
“Life hates me. It has to.” I took a deep breath and ignored the sympathetic stares I received from other people in the parking lot. I didn’t need their pity, they could save it for someone that wanted it. I needed a new car.
I gathered my things, got out of my car, and headed to the bus stop. The world was not going to stop me from getting to work.
Going to work may not have been the best idea. Everyone got on my nerves. From the moment I hit the door, people asked me questions. Who does that? Can I live?
The day went by pretty much the same way that all of them went. I had a morning meeting that I was late too, I had to follow up with some clients, and I had to implement some strategies.
Pretty mundane stuff if you ask me. Of course, there are people who love this job and social media seems so exciting to them. They practically pee themselves when they see an increase in their analytics. I’m not one of them. I look at what works and what doesn’t. I keep doing what works, I stop doing what doesn’t, and I test new methods. It’s as simple as that.
If I got a bonus for excellent work or a raise, then maybe I would be excited about my accomplishments. However, that wasn’t the case.
Lunch time made it’s way around and I headed to the cafeteria. I grabbed a chicken salad wrap, water, and a bag of chips. Usually, I would sit with a few co-workers but today, I just wanted to be alone. I needed some time to think, so I didn’t bring my lunch up to my floor the way that I usually did.
Can you say catastrophic mistake?
When you sit alone at a table for four, you’re basically a huge “sit with me” sign. I didn’t account for that.
Nathan plopped into the seat across from me, “Hey stranger.”
I was not in the mood to deal with him. He was your typical pretty boy douchebag that thought the world wanted him.
“Hi.” I didn’t attempt a smile, I wasn’t feeling it.
“It’s like that now? You’re hurting my heart.”
I smacked my lips, “Man please, you’re not hurt.” I put my sandwich back in the plastic container, “Is there anything that I can help you with?”
“I just haven’t spoken to you in a while. We work together, but we hardly ever talk anymore.” He gave me his wide grin. His elongated canine teeth made him look like a sexy vampire.
“We’re talking now, so you’ve gotten your wish.”
“Is there a reason you're so mean to me? I thought we were friends.”
“Dude, we are so not friends.” I frowned at him.
Why was he in my face? I didn’t want to make small talk with him.
“Ohhhh,” he gave me a knowing look. “I know what it is. Is it that time of the month? Is your aunt flow here?” He whispered it so that only I could hear.
I fought back laughter, “Shut up and go away. That’s not the reason that every woman has an attitude. It’s been a rough day.”
“Tell me about it.” His eyes were soft and interested, and he leaned forward as if he were ready to hang on my every word.
I looked away from him and concentrated on drinking my water. I didn’t need to let him get close to me.  He was at arm’s length and cut out of my life for a reason. It didn’t matter; I needed to vent a little. I needed to tell someone about what happened to me.
“My boyfriend broke up with me,” I sighed.
“D*mn,” he ran his hands over his face, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
I rolled my eyes, “Sure you are.”
“No, I mean it. Breakups are tough. Do you think that you two are going to get back together?”
It felt like someone grabbed my heart and squeezed. I could remember the look on Cameron’s face when he left. He looked disgusted and angry. It was an expression I would never forget. It was a look that made me feel dirty and ashamed. I never wanted to feel that way again. My dad used to look at me that way until I cut him out of my life.
“No, we won’t be getting back together.” My tone was a matter of fact and a lot stronger than I felt.
He nodded, “I can only imagine how that makes you feel. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.” He hit the table with both hands, “I can see that you want to be alone, and I can understand why. However, I don’t think you should be alone.” He looked at his watch, “You still have a good 50 minutes of your lunch break left. You’re free to come by my office if you like. Maybe I could cheer you up.”
I snorted, “Cheer me up. Yeah, I’m sure that’s what you want to do.”
“I’m serious. I’m free as well for about the next half hour. You know where to find me.” He stood up from the table, gave me and understanding smile and walked away.
I shook my head and laughed to myself. Men were a trip. Unlike me, he had an office and was getting paid way more than me.
Nathan and I got hired together, but penises got moved up the ladder faster. I kept getting false promises as a substitute.
My chicken wrap lost its appeal the longer I sat at the table. I looked at my watch a few times within a couple of minutes and resigned myself to my fate.
I needed to feel better. It would be one thing if Nathan were being a complete sleazeball, but he wasn’t. He was merely extending an offer that I’d taken him up on quite a few times. This time, I could do it without the guilt.
My body buzzed with anticipation. My back and his desk had a meeting that I was late for, and there was no reason pretending I didn’t want to see him.

I threw away my no longer nice food and made my way to his office.

Je Tuan Jones is a writer that assists women in birthing their NO B.S. written messages, that's why they call her the Message Midwife.


Unknown said...

Looking forward to more!

Je Tuan Jones said...

Thank you Jacqueline!