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Drowning without Water

An original idea crafted into a short story. Nothing super crazy, just trying to express feeling and emotion through my words.

-Turan


 

The air hurts to breathe in. I struggle to focus on anything around me while walking home from work. My boss yelled at me again; saying something on the lines of “having a terrible work ethic.” Unbelievable.

I have been slaving away each day, picking up his and everyone else’s slack. Each grueling day, I come in early and leave late, all so that I can get a little bit of extra cash. For what? To be suspended for a week with no pay? What did I even do wrong? I have done everything in my power to make sure numbers match with inventory, the cash drops are accurate, and everything is signed on the dotting lines.

I even chase after others who haven’t filled out the correct forms, even though it’s not my job! I bend backward for this company! I just wanted a little recognization for the hard work I do. Maybe even a small raise or bonus.

It doesn’t matter anymore. I can’t change the outcome. I try to keep myself from crying on my way to the apartment building complex. It’s old, run-down, and barely holding itself together with plaster patchwork. I make my way up the mildewy stairs, covering my mouth to pass the same mold-covered wall.

I keep to myself, making my way down the hall, spotting my neighbor's flat door wide open; it was ransacked again. Who knows when the next time will be mine?

I sigh and begin to unlock the several keyed deadbolts, the sounds of chains clattering and metal grinding as I open the door. I even give it a hefty shove to close it snugly before shutting the locks tightly behind me. For what little protection it offers me, I feel just a little safer.

Dragging my feet behind me, I strip off my shoes, coat, and uniform. I grab my blanket off my couch and bundle myself up tightly and plunk down on the cushions to stare at the water-stained walls. The room is dark and smells. The neighbor must be smoking drugs again. The holes from the pipes always seeped through no matter how much I stuff it full of cloth.

My lungs hurt, not from the smoke or the mildew. I can’t breathe. Sitting up I walk to my counter full of pink papers and red stamped envelopes. Holding my blanket tightly as if it will shield me from the world I head to the kitchen instead.

I open the empty fridge, hoping the food fairy would bless me with a treat, only to be disappointed in the spacious void. What am I going to do? The pressure on my chest sunk in hard. I fell to my knees, clutching at my chest.

I can barely stay afloat in the swirling debt that floods my home. There is no escaping the suffocating amount; no matter how much I lock my doors or plug in the faulty installation. I am ever bathing in the financial burden that never releases its tight grip around my throat. I’m drowning in it. For once, I wish I could swim.

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