Cause I’ve been looking at the sky to show me where I went wrong Been looking at the sky like someone was looking down But it keeps raining on me
“Alright buddy, we held our end of the bargain, it’s up to you to finish the job.”
Damn, I really didn’t think any of them were gonna follow through.
Last night, after a heated and probably very intoxicated dicussion, my compatriots from work and I schemed out a terrible plan. Person A would (cordially) ask out their coworker of interest, and once completed Person B would (cordially) ask out their coworker of interest, and Person C (me) would follow in suite. Hey, I will join in too, clamored Person D. Shut up, you don’t even have anyone you’re interested in, said Persons A, B, and C collectively.
I kind of joined the bet from a pure humour standpoint, seeing as though not one but two socially inedpt software engineers were going to ask out females way out of their league, but low and behond, no one but BOTH followed through. Damn, I really wasn’t expecting it to ever get this far. But I am a man of my word, and I follow through on everything I can conciously rememember, so here we go.
So a new girl joined my workplace on one of the larger groupchats, we’ve been chatting back and forth on occasion, but because I am ever-logical and fearful of failure, I usually do not initiative spontaneous conversation unless I have a valid reason to do (ugh that was a digustingly large amount of words). I did have a reason now, albeit a very flimsy one, so I typed her name in the work messenger, wrote out a message, and…
I felt a large bead of sweat fall off my forehead and onto my quivering palms. This is just sad, I’m already a college graduate, why is this wracking my nerves so much?
“Hey! How are you?”
An instant reponse remediates my screen.
Here we go.
“Hey, I know you’re new here and I still haven’t properly introduced myself. Would you want to grab lunch sometime?”
Radio silence. Not even the three dots of X is typing…
Seconds pass by, and I feel like I’m about to pass out. While still concious, I started raging at my friends group chat at work. What have you done. Why did you let me come this far. It’s all falling apart. It was going so well. I’m going to wring your guys out next time I see you. asdfadfafasdf (live translation of my brain).
8 long minutes later, 7 minutes and 59 seconds after I already gave up hope, I recieve a message notification.
“Sure! What day are you thinking?”
I quickly reply with a random day next week, and quickly close my corporate laptop. I still had around 90 minutes on the work clock,, but I knew I wouldn’t get anymore work done today. Way too much drama for one day. I gotta go home and lay down for a bit.
The only surivivor of that day’s events, I was only one who got a yes when my other two comrades had quickly received nos. Having no plan or anything resembling the sort, I had the lunch with this mysterious maiden and it turned out… quite ordinary. They were very kind and very… normal. I wonderered what my faciscation had ever been in the first place. It was a fine lunch regardless, and I walked away collecting more uncertains about the way I was going about anything anymore. Whatever the case, I figured getting to know her more wouldn’t be a bad way to spend my spare time after work.
It was happening again.
I was falling back into the hole I had spent so long clawing my way out of.
What once started as casually indifference flared to an interno self-hatred. Once again, I latched onto something I felt was almost real, and once again, I burned myself when I grasped what I was really investing my worth into. A way out. A justification for being. A reason to keep going. Someone to tell me that it was okay, to not be okay.
“I met her, dude. She was nothing special. Why are you so hard-pressed about this?”
My sempai (a gratutious nickname typically granted to upperclassman, but hilariously bestowed upon to a younger coworker who I considered my mentor of sorts) pulled me aside after an outing with a big group of us from work. Sempai is kind of a curious character, he is well-liked by me but pretty much despised by mosts others because he is painfully blunt about his grievances with others. He doesn’t mince words, and as a result his life is rather simplified compared to the web of lies and convenient half-truths that keep most other friendships afloat. But as blunt as sempai my be, he has a heart of gold, and emphatic enough to notice the complete desync from the personality I had fostered with him. Usually I’m quite rowdy and rambuncious when it comes to hangout out with a smaller group, but in this bigger group, I stay complete frigid and unmoving, like I was waiting to be selected to be allowed to converse. From…
“I don’t know if you know this, but I think you have a problem, buddy. You put women on pedestals, it’s unhealthy man. For you, her, and everyone else in between?”
Me? Pedestal? Women? That weren’t even my girlfiend? Pfft, preposterious. Those guys are sad, pathetic, they cliing to the crumbs of kindness distributed at seemingly-random, to be acknowledged, just like-
Still gripping my shoulder, sempai gave a quick sigh of relief, deonating that he knew what kind of train of thought I would embark on to to reach the stop he was predicting.
“So… with that knowledge, what do you plan to do?”
I tensed up once more, realizing the onus of my own salvation came back to me. I had never made plans for the future prior to anything past a week. I was always booked up with events that were of ever-importance for me to attend. Barely scrambling to keep a social life I didn’t really wanted, but scared of being alone once more, I swam on frantically. The future could wait, it would always be there tomorrow…
Apparently tomorrow isn’t promised after all. Dragging my feet despite sempai’s intervention, he decided to intervene no longer.
“You’ll know what you need to do when the time comes. Be ready, it’s sooner than you could ever anticipate.”
The last work social outing I was very much out of character. It felt like all the stop-gap bandages would all about to exploud at once. I was about to do something dramatic, something outrageous, something that would get a lot of people hurt, but especially myself as I was ground zero. Barely paying attention to my personal demeanor or the new hit blockblcoster movie we had lined up to see, my work friends and I had gathered post-viewing to discuss it a bit before we departed for the night. Unbeknownst to me, a single tear was trickling down my face. I was so caught up in my own head that I also failed to noticed a small delicate finger coming to wipe that tear off. When I snapped back to reality, a petite women just shy of my height was looking up at me.
“That movie was great, right? I see it brought you to tears, too!”
It was her, yet again. The one I had been obsessing. The one I had been avoiding. The one I made me feel lesser, not through her malice, but her un-ending kindness. Once again, I was here, I was no better than the weakling person I was yesterday.
“Sure was…” I weakly smiled back.
I excused myself from the group and briskly walked back to my car to end the night promptly. I couldn’t take it anymore, I hated feeling this way , but I no idea how to stop it. The last time I tried to cut it cleanly ended in disaster. I didn’t know how to get out of my own head. Stopping just short of my car in the top-floor parking garage, I looked up to the sky for some sort of sign. Now matter how overwhlemed I was feeling, looking at the brightly-llit sky would instill just a small wave of calmness within it. It reminded me for just a brief moment how small we were really in the grand scheme of themes, and how much smaller my problems really were, despiting it overwhelming and engulfing me. But tonight no stars greeted me: instead a dark overcast sky and the remmants of light pollution blocking out anything else. But today was unusualy compared to other days: I noted this only after a frost flat piece of liquid splattered me in the eyeball.
Wiping away the snowflake, I noticed that it began to snow. That’s weird, it wasn’t scheduled to snow as far as I knew: I hadn’t looked at the weather reports since I was a kid waiting for school to be cancelled. But more and more snowflakes began to cover the asphault garage-top, and gradually changed the landscape to be just a shade white, just a shade kinder. I stood in awe of the scene forming before me, but quickly snapped to my senses to scurry off and drive home. Rushing to get home before the snow made the streets too slippery to navigate, it would be unknown to me that this would be the last time I would ever see these work friends again.
Next week, the pandemic had official hit home. The order was made from the top brass, and we were all ordered to work from home until further notice.
The choice had been made for me, I would never see these people face-to-face again. But something strange happened: instead of becoming lonely, I found something else. In the absense of one aspect of my life, something else came to fill it. And this something, was the old me I had long forgotten ago.
And I’ve been looking at the sky since I was like 5 years old Been looking for the stars but it seems like they’re all gone And the fault’s not ours alone But I think it’s time to go
Today’s word count: 1,750 words
Total word count until today: 25,633 words
@mariasokolowska @michellebasey @sabweld @philkastelic @nicolaworley @ParisaR @sydneydobersteinlarock @wildcat @dragon @homeroom11