Independent

Independent

Maybe she should just do it. You know? Maybe she should. She could. She knew she could. It might be just that easy. Maybe afterward she would be thinking how easy it was. The train howls as it swooshes through the city. A big guy is sleeping next to her. He does not look like much. Somehow she bewildered herself onto the idea of waking him up to ask for advice. But maybe she just wants an excuse to do what she wants to do. And if so maybe she is better off, just doing it? Maybe she is. Maybe, you know. Maybe she feels like this because she is not meant to be doing this job. Whatever that means. She does not know. But she is not happy. Is she? She does not think so.

The boy sitting on the opposite side has been staring at her intensely for the last 10 minutes. That’s his mother sitting next to him. His eyes are like flashlights and she can’t deny that she feels a little exposed in front of him. Maybe she has something in her face? Or, is he looking at her boobs? That little shit is totally checking out her boobs. Jesus. She clutched her chest pulling her coat tighter around herself. Think his mom would notice if she kicks the little snot in the face? The mom hides behind a large newspaper. “Mom, look!” the boy whispers pointing at her chest. She turns slightly sideways being all too uncomfortable. His mom lowers her newspaper looking out towards her. “It’s like yours” he continues. “Oh yeah, “the mother smiles holding up her necklace. It was her necklace. She looks down. They have the same one. Oh shit, it totally was the necklace. She blushes. “I’m so sorry,” she says out loud to the two of them. The mother looks at her, “why?”

“Oh, no. nothing” she smiles and hides the necklace in her coat again. Maybe that is what her boss has been doing all along. Just staring at her necklace. She laughs to herself. If so, he sure likes necklaces. The older man, the mother and the boy are all looking at her weirdly now. She realizes it might not be entirely normal to apologize for nothing then laugh out of nowhere. And you know, none of this would be happening if it wasn’t for Mr. Grabby-hands back at work. He is making her all kinds of trouble. Maybe she could even sue, for, you know. Personal distress or something. Maybe she should just quit. Maybe that.

The train cart has fallen back down to its regular self. And the mom is back to hiding behind her newspaper. Maybe she should practice how to say it? “I quit! I, am done.” maybe? “I will no longer be holding office at your residential”, “I will no longer be part of your offices”, “I regret to tell you Mr. Sir that I will no longer be working with you”. “Why?” He would ask. She would lean over the desk and say, “the world is turning big boy. And I’m moving on to bigger things “. Then she would give his wiener a wink and leave his fat ass blushing in his seat. She would turn around, fling her golden hair like a god damned magnificent shampoo commercial. Then walk away high-fiving the intern on the way out.

“Excuse me?” the mother said. Oh shit, she totally said that out loud. The little boy was staring at her with wide eyes. The old man laughed, “Did you just break up with the boy?”
“No I’m sorry, I was just thinking out loud. “
“but were you thinking about breaking up with me?” the little boy whispered as he leaned forward in his seat. “No!” she erupted.

“Oh good. I have never had a girlfriend before”
“what?” she raised her shoulders.
The mother laughed, and the boy looked up at her. “Does that mean that I get to touch her boobs?”
“Alfred!” his mother erupted. She fucking knew it! “Mam, I am so sorry”. The mother apologizes putting a hand on her leg before turning around and giving the boy a slap on the back of the head. “Now tell the misses you’re sorry”
“I’m sorry” the boy muttered as he looked down into the floor.

The old man laughed. The boy could not be older than 9 maybe 10 and mostly she was just happy to discover that she was right about him. It’s sort of justified her previous thinking, which made her feel better about making an ass of herself in the first place. All in all, she was ironically happy about his little outburst. And though 10-year-old boys were not really her target audience she still felt a sliver of confidence in the fact that she at 26 still got it. Mentally high-fiving herself.

In any case, the final stop was coming up. And she still wasn’t sure about quitting. Should she do it? Maybe she should. Or you know, maybe she shouldn’t. But mainly: maybe she should. Worst case scenario she goes broke looking for other jobs. Gets thrown out on the street. Starts selling herself for pocket change. Lives under a bridge, starts doing cocaine and hangs out in a cardboard box next to a man named Jim and his corpse of a dog. Sounds worse when you think it out loud. But the alternative is to keep sitting at her desk and answer to that acne infested teenage ginger shit the other villagers politely call “Mark the accountant.”

“Fuck that” she says throwing up her hands. “What now!” the little boy complains. The train screams as it stops and the doors open. “I quit!” she yells throwing her hands up again and marching out of the cart and down the track at no particular train station. Free at last. Independent forever.


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