When it Rings Will You Answer?

One and One and One is Three

DAY FOURTEEN – “Instructions to a Simple Task”

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Danny sat in the middle of  an uncomfortable couch located at the front of the office. It was leather and looked beautiful. She figured it must have cost an awful lot but it was also rock solid. She felt as though she were sat on a slab of marble. She flipped through an old copy of NOW Magazine before putting it down and retreating into her own head. She was nervous. She was anxious. She was petrified of what was about to happen. It was a simple job interview but she needed it badly. To say Danny had been struggling this past year would be understatement. She’d fallen backward into old patterns after losing her job to “cutbacks” and a “bad economy.”

“People just don’t read anymore,” her former editor told her as he rubbed her lower back. “I have to make some difficult decisions when it comes to our writing staff. It’s come down to you and TJ and I need to know that you’re willing to go the extra mile.” His hand remained on her lower back. “Are you willing to go that extra mile, Danny?” Danny felt her skin crawl. She couldn’t believe what was happening. Here she stood, her livelihood on the line and this man she’d once respected attempting to parlay that into some sort of sexual advantage. Danny walked out of her former editor’s office that day and never looked back. From the office she went straight to the bar and also never looked back.  She regretted not reporting her harasser to the police, or the very least, to the owners of the newspaper. There was still time, she thought. Karma will get that man. I will make sure of that.

Danny spent the majority of her time drinking and arguing with different strangers in different dark rooms. She joked with them all that she was a walking cliché; an out of work writer that drinks too much and writes too little. She’d woken up one morning in the apartment of one of those strangers, splitting headache and no memory of what had happened. She decided then that she had had enough.

The interview was with an upstart blogging website called, “RISE.” It dealt largely in politics but also dabbled in music, art, and film. Danny had been reading it for some time now and when she finally decided to contact the editors to ask about job openings, she got a reply almost immediately to “come in and chat.”

She hoped to hell that there was a woman in that room waiting for her. She then began to get upset that she felt she had to hope that. Once again her nerves were taking over. Danny held out her hand and saw that it was shaking. She needed a drink. She was letting anxiety get the best of her and felt a panic attack coming on. Not again, she thought. Not this time. This potential job means too much. She felt she was losing control and the marble slab began to feel more like a cast-iron frying pan at full heat. She opened her purse and dug through it. She felt for her flask. It was cold in her hand. She wanted desperately to take it out and drink it down. She let it go and continued to dig. She found what she was looking for. It was a note from her father that she’d carried with her since she was thirteen. It contained the simplest of instructions that always seemed to help her. All it said was, Remember to breathe, kiddo. I love you. Danny took a deep breath and exhaled.

“Danny?” She heard a voice call. Danny looked up and smiled.

“That’s me.”

“Come on back, Danny. Let’s find out if you’re ready to Rise.”

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