Disclaimer: This story is entirely fictional & any similarity to real-life scenarios are completely coincidental. So please don’t go on to being some paranoind & conceited baboon thinking that this is in any way related to you. Just enjoy the read! Many thanks! 🙂
So here I am – sitting on a rather old piece of furniture which I would not even describe as a chair, despite the fact that I am actually able to sit on it.
Then again, that would make my dressing table a chair, my bathroom counter a chair, my creaky bed a chair…
Okay, let’s not get snobby. You can do this!!
Yes, I like to motivate myself – I am after all, a motivational speaker.
…and your useless nincompoop of a manager isn’t able to have you stay in a hotel any higher than this 2-star one. Remind me again, what do I pay him for?
Ah, yes. My manager.
Funny thing about her, really. You see, I actually pay that degree-holder to manage things for me – as it might seen apparent enough in her job title. She did an okay job when I hired her initially, but since she got pregnant with her second child she was beginning to slow down a lot. Must be the extra pounds.
Maybe I should do my little motivational-speaker bit on her!! Show her that it is parental-pride or whatever to do a good job in whatever she does!
Oh, bah. Spouse, children, family; what a heap of mess.
Here I am, a successful 30-year-old woman with a good career and no other responsibilites!
You do not hear me going on and on about how fantasic my relationship with my lover is, even when I know he is mind-sexing some porn star.
I do not get whining brats at the other end of the telephone line telling me what they want from McDonald’s so they could get some random toy.
My home is always clean – probably thanks to my part-time cleaner. Point is, no little humans running around making a mess.
My schedule does not come up with sudden visits to the hospital because my child swallowed a marble down his throat.
Which idiot would swallow a marble??
“Oh please, Nicole,” I hear Wendy’s usual skeptical tone. “I know that look.”
Immediately, I changed my expression to – default.
“As my manager, Wendy, shouldn’t you at least respect my privacy and knock the door before you enter?” I asked as if offended, even though I honestly do not care. “I know it is only a 2-star hotel… but I doubt the doors would crash down with just a gentle tap-tap?” I say smiling at her as my hand did a knocking action the air.
Wendy rolled her eyes, pushed some of her dyed-brown hair behind her ears and said while flipping through her file, “Well, Miss-I’m-too-good-for-a-2-star-hotel! If you weren’t so caught up in your own deluded world, you might have heard the doorbell instead.”
“Fine, be rude to me. I’ll fire you, Wendy,” I say as I turn my heel to face my dressing table.
Wendy ignores me as she has heard it for the countless time.
“So,” I look at her through the mirror, “What look did you know when you walked in?”
“You know… You said ‘I know that look’ when you intruded my privacy?”
“Oh! It was your classic I-hate-my-life-but-I’ll-pretend-it’s-great-look! You know that you’re not happy with your own life. Admit it.”
“Excuse me?!” My eyes open like she just told me she was a man all along and her pregnant bump is just a big cushion. “How could you say that?! I am extremely happy with my life!! I live for me and me alone.”
“Wow. That sure sounds like fun,” Wendy replies sacrastically.
“You bet it is! I don’t have to anyone I have to go all out to please! I don’t have anyone I have to constantly follow-up on! I don’t have anyone…”
“…to make you cry anymore?” Wendy’s eyes slowly became sympathetic. “You don’t have anyone at all, Nicole.”
“Well, it just makes life dandy, doesn’t it?” I grinned as I touched-up on my lipstick.
“Nicole, I know you led life alone,” For the first time Wendy put her file down and she looked straight at me, “I never see your parents at any of your motivational talks, but I always see you mail tickets to them. I never see that horrible ex-boyfriend of yours call, but you turn down everyone else on Valentine’s Day – hoping he’d come back.”
I keep silent.
I know all of it to be true. And I grabbed my blusher to dap on my face.
“We’ve been friends since our university days, Nicole,” Wendy smiled. “And till now, I always feel this barrier between us – because you simply don’t let anyone into your life.”
“You have no right to say that about me!!” I retorted a bit too harshly as I flung my blusher onto the dirty carpet.
“Even in school, your parents hardly ever showed up. They came for 15 minutes on graduation day, congratulated you with that fancy car and drove off in their own fancier cars each!”
“They were busy that day, Wendy,” I said softly as I looked at my manicured fingers, seeking consolation from my beauty.
“And you went around showing off that car to everyone else on campus! That was utterly disgusting, Nicole! But I played along; acting like I envied you because I knew that car was all you got to show.”
“Everyone else wanted to know what I got, okay?!”
“Oh, yes! I forgot! You were so damn popular back in the university days! The boys wanted you, the girls wanted to be you!”
“You bet they did!” I said with a hint of triumph in my voice.
“But not anymore, Nicole. Not everyone stays in your little world anymore – everyone moves on.”
I lose all feelings of triumph.
“You might be beautiful, Nicole. You are intelligent, successful, rich and you’re a great motivational speaker! Did I mention that there was someone from the audience who….”
“Your point being?”
“…Sorry. My point is that you motivate everyone else in the world – but yourself. So what if Kenneth was such a jerk for dumping you because that whore had bigger breasts?”
“Haha! I should’ve run her over with my car – we’ll see if she still has those breasts!”
“We’ll see if she still has breath!” Wendy laughed. “Anyway, maybe it is time that you finally open your doors.”
“I don’t know… I….”
Wendy’s mobile starts ringing.
“Sorry, Nicole. Hold on just one second! It’s from my home!”
“Of course… Where else?”
And even though her phone was not on speaker, I could hear her son scream over the line – “Happy Birthday, Mommy!!!” Then cheerful laugher practically pours from her phone.
“Josh!! Oh my goodness!” Wendy’s eyes start to well up in tears. “Wait, sweetie. Give mommy just one minute!”
Wendy cups the bottom of her mobile and she asks, “Sorry, Nicole. Can we save this for another time? I have my birthday dinner at home!” She looks so excited and happy.
“Your birthday?! Oh my gosh. I completely forgot!” I laughed. “Well, go! Go!”
“Thanks!” Wendy was obviously too busy being elated over her family, to even bother with my disregard of her. “Oh, hello hubby…” She says to the mobile. “Yes, I’ll be home in a bit!”
And I see Wendy taking lighter and happier steps out the door.
I saw the look in her eyes, the smile on her face and the instant light-up on her cheeks.
Once the door closes behind an ecstatic Wendy, I pull open the drawer at my dressing table.
Inside lies an envelope with a “Happy Birthday” card and a shopping card with $1,000 in it. And on the envelope: To Wendy.
I looked at it and my own tears welled up.
She wouldn’t have liked it anyhow.
I slammed the drawer shut.