I’ve not been able to get a handle on this flash fiction. However, I feel that it still has a hopeful message in it so I’m posting it here.
Katerina lounged in bed as sunlight peeked through the lace curtains. The warm silk sheets clung to her skin as she rolled over to glance at her pink alarm clock. Six a.m., she procrastinated crawling out of bed and getting ready for work. She worried about a deadline for a press release because her boss had an aversion to procrastinators.
She yawned then yanked the blankets back. And then she slowly sat up. Stuffing her swollen feet into her fake sheepskin slippers, she glanced around the room. Meanwhile, dreams lingered in her thoughts. The Portuguese lover arrived again. And his kisses lingered on her lips and on her body. Caressing her face, Katerina felt her skin pulsating beneath her fingers. Lately, everything she touched took on a life of its own that left Katerina contemplating the Universe.
She slipped a Malian groove CD into the player. Moments later, Katerina swayed her hips to the African rhythms as she pulled on a skirt and a blouse she picked off the floor. Housecleaning wasn’t one of her specialties.
After assembling her business look, she made coffee. Then she ambled out of her house and to the bus stop. Fortunately, the bus ran late that day. But the winter chill worked its way into her bones causing Katerina to long for her warm bed.
Arriving at the public relations firm on time Katerina made her way to her cluttered desk. She dug through her files in search of her notes. She panicked when she didn’t find her press release. So she glanced at her co-worker Gus who sat at his tidy desk typing on his computer. She watched him take nervous sips of coffee and then return to typing.
Katerina cleared her congested throat, “Gus, have you seen my notes for the Green Lifestyle Company release?”
Gus kept typing. Moments later, he responded to Katerina with his eyes glued to his screen. “I’m working on the press release.”
“Why are you working on it?”
Gus typed the final sentence. Printing out the release, he handed it to Katerina.
“Here it is. Why don’t you proofread it?”
“You didn’t answer my question?”
“I was going to leave that for Harold. He’s out of the office at the moment. But he requested a meeting with you after he returns.”
“I thought my deadline wasn’t until five p.m. today.”
Gus shook his head, “You had to five p.m. yesterday. Harold had gone to a meeting with the client this morning without the press release.”
Katerina proofed the release and handed it back to Gus. “Thanks for covering for me.”
“I didn’t cover for you.” A smug look crossed Gus’ face.
Later that day, Katerina met with Harold in his office. She was distracted by the walls painted in garish orange with the company logo in bold red letters. Somehow she managed to feel exhausted even around those perky colors.
She grabbed a seat as she stared across the expanse of her boss’ desk. “You wanted to see me?”
Harold looked away from his notes and he scowled at his employee. “Why wasn’t that press release on my desk?”
“I thought I had until closing today. I realize that’s not a good excuse, but I …”
“You were out of the office last week. I thought you had returned to your old habit of taking lunch with our clients.”
“No, I had doctor appointments for this sinus infection that won’t go away.”
“I’m sorry to let you go.”
Katerina gaped, “What?”
“I know you’ve been with our firm for several years and up until recently, you did good work. But now, I get the impression that you don’t love your job. You arrive at work late and you leave early. You wait until the last minute to meet a deadline. And you lack the enthusiasm that we require from our employees.”
Katerina knew that her boss exaggerated her behavior. She wasn’t late for work and she only left early one time. But she didn’t feel like fighting and oddly, she didn’t shed a tear over the loss of her job.
Stunned, Katerina sat on a bench waiting for her bus to arrive. She felt as though her life force gave her the boot. She needed a game plan if she didn’t want to end up as a bag lady.
Sitting behind her laptop at her clean kitchen table, Katerina wiped perspiration off her forehead. She had sent out five resumes in the past hour. And she received a phone call for an interview. That cosmic kick rallied her senses. She was constantly on the move as she typed cover letters, sent off resumes, and attended women-in-business meetings across town. She shook more hands in one month than she had in several. As the day wore on, she felt more enthusiastic about her future.
After working with a life coach, she discovered that she preferred to work at an upscale spa giving massages. She was fully-licensed and needed to get back to her real life’s work. The only reason she had taken the public relations position was that communications ran in her family.
With spring around the corner, Katerina came out of hibernation. When the sun rose earlier each day she rose with it. Every day she practiced yoga poses. After she started eating salads instead of pizza, she noticed lightness in her step. She welcomed each day, serving humanity through her hands instead of through her previous corporate laptop.