It was cold. That was one way of putting it. You were surrounded by whiteness. Snow you assumed. Being that it was cold and falling all around you. You were standing in the middle of no where. No matter where you looked all you saw was white and snow falling in front of you. You shivered quite a bit, you soon found out why. You looked down to see yourself in a sleeveless white wedding dress. It was beautiful and elegant looking. But no where near the appropriate clothing for where you were.
'Where am I anyways? How did I get here? Why am I dressed like this?' You thought as you held your arms for warmth. Your teeth chattered as you stood there. Goosebumps covering every inch of your exposed skin. You lifted the front of your dress up to walk.
'Maybe there is a house or a town nearby?' you thought. You soon found that your feet were clad in black boots.
'Well at least my feet wont freeze' you thought. As you held the front of your beautiful dress you began to walk. You didn't know which way to go; you couldn't see the sun from the snow cloud covered sky. The snow was not harsh thought, it was falling gently down; sprinkling your hair and arms with white delicate crystals. The dress you wore seemed to blend into the snow, almost as if you were floating. You had walked maybe twenty feet when you saw a dark, shadowy shape ahead of you. You stopped walking and looked at it.
"H-Hello?" you called out cautiously. Your teeth were still chattering and you were still shivering. The shadowy figure seemed to move, as if turning around to look at you. You waved your hand to it so whoever it was knew you were there.
'Maybe they can help me?' you thought. But suddenly you saw two purple specks coming from the top half of the figure. They looked almost like eyes, glowing in the whiteness. You squinted to get a better look but when you did, all of a sudden the snow got harsh; the wind became strong and obstructed your view of the figure. Whoever it was disappeared in the snowy wind. You shielded your eyes with your arms from the stinging snow. You squinted your eyes and prayed that someone, anyone, would help you…
Your alarm clock blared in your quiet room causing your eyes to flutter open. You looked around as your vision cleared from your sleepy eyes. You groaned and covered your ears at the noise. You raised a hand in the air and groped for the alarm clock to silence the noise. You were laying face first in your pillow so your vision was obscured by it. Soon, but not soon enough for you, you found the source of the noise and shut it off. Once the room was quiet again you sighed and rolled over on your back, looking up at the ceiling.
"That was a weird dream." you said quietly to yourself. As soon at the air hit your mouth you were aware of your morning breath. You grimaced.
"Ew." you said, sitting up and rubbing the sleep out of your eyes. You turned around to see what time it was
"8:00 o'clock. Time to get up." you said, yawning immediately after speaking. You flipped the covers off of your body and swung your legs over the side of the bed, letting them dangle there for a moment. Your cat yawned and stretched in response to the movement on the bed. You stood up and stretched every muscle in your sleepy body. It was Monday, the start of a new week and one of your least favorite days. That meant you had to go back to work. It wasn't that you didn't like going to work, you painted murals for people who asked. Which you loved to do, the only thing you didn't like was when you would get rude clients that criticized your work even when there was nothing wrong with it. Or complaining that you took too long to paint.
But that wasn't what you disliked about Mondays, it was because it meant the weekend was over and it would be another five days before the next weekend rolled around. You sauntered off to the bathroom to get the horrid taste out of your mouth. You saw that your father was already up and drinking coffee at the table, reading the news paper as he always did. The T.V was on in the background. You flicked the bathroom light on and looked in the mirror. You looked tired, really tired. But you had to look awake for the day ahead of you. You brushed your teeth and hummed a little tune as you did. Once the morning breath had been defeated you slowly made your way to the kitchen where your dad was. He looked up from his paper when you came into the kitchen. He gave you a big smile like he did every morning.
"Well good morning sleeping beauty." he said, taking a sip of his pitch black coffee. You gave him a tired smile and shuffled over to the refrigerator, flinging the door open. You grabbed the milk and placed it on the counter, opening a cupboard above you and grabbing your favorite cereal. You sprinkled the contents into your bowl and glanced up at the T.V. The news was on. You really didn't like watching the news, it was always depressing to you. You poured some milk into the bowl and grabbed a spoon, making your way to the table. You sat there and ate your cereal while listening to all of the unpleasantness that was going on in the world. The cereal crunched in your mouth as you ate; you enjoyed the taste of it.
'At least something is right in the world this morning.' you thought as you took another bite. Your father put the news paper down and sipped his coffee again.
"So how's the business going (name)?" he asked, starting a conversation with you. You nodded and looked at him.
"Good, besides the crabby clients that I get who seem to think they know more about art then I do, everything is going well." you said, giving him a sarcastic smile. He let out a grunt and turned his attention to the news on T.V.
"Well at least you have a job to complain about." he said, drawing attention to the screen. You looked over and saw the news anchor talking about all the job losses in the area. You sighed.
'He's right.' you thought 'I shouldn't be complaining. Besides, at least I have a job I like.' Your job was not as solid as your fathers was being self employed and all. But even your father's job was on the brink of failing. He worked for a company that does negotiating with other companies. Lately, the work seemed to slow down and many people at his place were losing jobs left and right. This made you and your father a little nervous. There was no way you could support both yourself and him on the salary you got. Being that you only got paid once your paintings or murals were finished. But you kept on encouraging your father not to worry, that everything would be alright. Staying optimistic seemed to be your trademark, no matter how bad things got, you always looked at the bright side.
Your father sighed and put his mug down. You looked over at him and smiled.
"Don't worry." you said, already knowing what he was thinking.
"You're not going to lose your job." He looked at you and gave you a half hearted smile.
"But what if I do? We'll be out on the streets." he said. You tapped your spoon to your chin in thought.
"Well. I think we would look good in a barrel and suspenders." you said, flashing him a grin. He let out a chuckle and finished his coffee.
"Maybe you would." he said, getting up from his chair and messing up your hair.
"Oh, and don't forget to put the milk back this time. I don't like chunky milk." he said, gesturing to the milk carton you left on the counter. You gave him a sheepish smile and nodded. He chuckled again before walking down the hall to get ready for work. You leaned on one hand and ate with the other, still watching the news even though it depressed you.
'Things will be alright dad. Don't worry.' you thought.
Once you were done with breakfast and remembered to put the milk away, you walked into your room and got dressed for work. You slipped on your jeans and favorite colored shirt. You sat on your bed to put your shoes on, that's when you glanced at the picture on your night stand. It was a picture of your mother, before she died in the car accident. You sighed and picked up the picture.
'I miss you mom.' you thought, looking at the photo forlornly. You shook your head and placed the picture down, pulling your tennis shoes onto your feet.
'I just hope today goes well.' you thought to yourself, placing your now shoe clad feet onto the soft carpet below. You stood up and walked over to the bathroom again. Your father was in there shaving. So you adjusted and fixed your hair so it looked nice while your father removed hair from his face. It was funny to see the two of you fighting over the mirror as to who would get to use it.
Once the bathroom war was over you went into the kitchen and grabbed something to snack on for later in the day. You put your leather jacket on, grabbing your bag and painting supplies and kissed your dad on the cheek before jetting out the door. You waved good bye to him and he did the same. You smiled as you were greeted by the sun shining everywhere.
"Maybe today isn't going to be so bad after all." you said quietly to yourself as you walked to your car to start the day.
Your father was working in his cubical, mostly staring at the computer screen as work was scarce to come by. He had spent half an hour playing paper football with his waste basket and 45 minutes playing solitaire on the computer. But now he was bored out of his mind.
'Come on. Come on. Give me some work. Any work! Please…I don't want to lose my job.' His thoughts were interrupted by a coworker popping their head into his cubical.
"Hey Edward!" he said. Your father jolted in his seat and turned to the figure. He had sandy blond hair that was perfectly combed except for a stubborn cowlick sticking up, sky blue eyes with glasses sitting in front of them, dressed in a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up with a black tie, black pants and black shoes.
"Hey Alfred. Anything new?" he asked, bouncing a pencil off of his note pad in boredom. Alfred stuck his hands into his pockets, leaning on the cubical wall.
"Yeah, as a matter of fact. I heard their selecting certain people for new jobs in the company!." he said enthusiastically. Your father cocked an eyebrow.
"Is that so?" he asked. Alfred nodded.
"Yup! But only certain people...of whoever is left in this place." he said the last part quietly, kicking a bunched up piece of paper on the floor. Your father leaned back in his chair.
'New positions huh? I hope I get one...nah, who are you kidding Edward. You're no one special.' he thought. Suddenly the intercom came over head with a slight screeching noise. Your father and Alfred cringed and covered their ears for a moment.
"Would Edward (last name) please see Mr. Kirkland's in his office please. Edward (last name) to Mr. Kirkland's office."
With that the intercom clicked off and your fathers face fell a bit. Alfred bit his lower lip.
"They're not going to fire you, are they Eddie?" Alfred asked, looking worried for his friend. Your father sighed and stood up.
"I don't know Al, I just don't know." he said before moving past Alfred.
"Wish me luck." he said. Alfred nodded before going back to his cubical.
The long walk to Mr. Kirkland's office seemed to take forever. Every step he made seemed slow and painful. He could hear the sound of his shoes clicking as he walked across the marbled floors. He swallowed hard.
'Please don't fire me. Please don't fire me. Please don't fire me.' he kept thinking to himself over and over again.
'I can't loose my job. I won't be able to support (name) if I do and she can't support us with her job.' He was starting to worry as he thought of all the worst case scenarios. No sooner had he thought this had he arrived to his boss' office door. He stopped in front of it and stared at it in dread.
'Here we go.' he thought before taking in a deep breath and knocking. He heard a gruff voice on the other side, giving him the okay to enter. He slowly opened the door and peered inside. The office was huge! Big leather couches on either side with a giant mahogany desk placed in the middle. A giant window that stretched from the floor to the ceiling stretched all around the slightly curved room, making it seem more enormous then he could have thought.
"You wanted to see me sir?" your father said cautiously. Mr. Kirkland looked up from his desk.
"Ah! Yes, come in! Come in!" he said in his heavily accented British voice. He was about average height with messy blond hair, which was unusual being that he was head of the company; you'd think he would tame his hair. But no. On top of it he had really big eyebrows; they looked like caterpillars crawled on his face and decided to take up permanent residence there. But underneath his unusually large eyebrows he had leafy green eyes. They were beautiful but at the same time intimidating. He wore a dark green suit with a white shirt and black tie with black slack shoes to match.
This was your father's boss.
The man who literally held your future in his hands and although he was new to this company, he had already made drastic changes to it. Your father slowly made his way to the desk. Mr. Kirkland motioned for him to sit. Your father did so, growing more nervous at each passing second.
"So." he began, pulling out a file. "Edward (last name). I see you've been with our company for quite a few years now." he said looking up from the file to your father. Your father nodded, not knowing what else to do. Mr. Kirkland looked back to the file.
"It says here that you've had plenty of training in negotiations and such." he said, looking at your father once more.
"Yes sir, I have. But I have only gotten to use my skills a few times." he said, choosing his words carefully. Not that it mattered he thought. He was sure he was going to get fired. He had seen so many of his co workers and close friends get called to Mr. Kirkland's office only to come back with a cardboard box to pack their things with. Your father was now just waiting for those dreaded two words, 'your fired'. Mr. Kirkland placed the file down and entwined his fingers, looking at your father.
"Well Mr. (last name) I'm afraid I have no choice now. I'm sure you are aware of the situation of this company and that we have no need for workers that are of no use to us." Your father's breath hitched in his throat.
'This can't be happening. This can't be happening. This can't be happening' he kept thinking frantically in his head.
"So, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave your work in the cubical." Your fathers face fell. All the years he spent in this company now meant nothing. He worked hard and had hoped it would all pay off in the end. Now he was going to have to buy a barrel and suspenders…
"I understand." he said and got up to leave.
"Where are you going Edward? I'm not finished." Mr. Kirkland said.
'Great. Now what? Did he forget to give me my cardboard box?' he thought angrily. He turned and faced his ex-boss again.
"You are not going to be working in that cubical anymore because I have a new position for you." he said. Your father's heart leapt in his chest.
'A new job? Me? This is so fantastic!' he thought.
"A-A new position sir?" he asked, just to confirm that he had heard him correctly. Mr. Kirkland stood up from his desk and took your fathers hand in a firm hand shake.
"Congratulations Edward! You are now working in foreign operations and negotiations!" he said, handshaking your fathers hand vigorously. Your father just stood there dumbfounded. He just couldn't believe it!
"Y-You mean you're not firing me?!?" he asked in surprise. Mr. Kirkland laughed heartily.
"Fired? You're one of my best workers! Why would I do something so foolish?" he said. Your father was speechless.
'Were not going to be homeless! Good bye barrel and suspenders!' he thought happily to himself.
"Thank you so much sir! This means so much to me!" he said truthfully. Mr. Kirkland pulled out another file and handed it to your father. Your father took it and looked at the manila envelope.
"What's this?" he asked.
"That would be your new assignment Edward. Your newest client is already picked out for you." he said. Your father opened the envelope and looked at the information.
"I am going to negotiate computer components with a Mr. Ivan Braginski?" your father said, having slight trouble with the mans last name. Mr. Kirkland chuckled and came around the desk.
"That's right! Your plane leaves tomorrow at noon." he said. Your father looked up from the envelope. Cocking an eyebrow at his boss.
"Plane?" he asked, clearly confused. Mr. Kirkland laughed again, amused by your fathers reaction.
"Of course! You leave for Russia tomorrow. After all, that's the job of foreign operations and negotiations personnel. One of the perks is that you get to travel to all sorts of places in the world." he said. Your father was dumbfounded for the second time today.
"B-But I don't speak Russian sir. And I don't have any money for plane fare." your father said worriedly. He had just paid the bills for the month and had zip money for spending. Mr. Kirkland placed a hand on your fathers shoulder.
"Not to worry my boy. Your client speaks fluent English and your plane ticket is already paid for." he said with a smile. Your father couldn't help but smile back.
"Wow. Thank you so much Mr. Kirkland. It's a honor." he said, shaking his boss' hand vigorously.
'Russia huh? This should be interesting…I wonder what (name) will think about this…'
"(name) you're just doing a wonderful job my dear." said Mrs. Doogle, the kind older woman you had been painting for. You had been working on a sea mural in her study room for about a month now and were almost finished. You turned to face her.
"Thanks Kitty, I'm almost done!" you said going back to your work. You loved using bright vibrant colors in your work. You made sure the sunset in this mural was screaming with reds, oranges and pinks. You loved painting in realistic style. You had been working on perfecting it so that it looked almost like a photograph. You were picky like that.
You sighed in relief as you put the last stroke on the wall. You stood up straight and took a step back, examining your work, looking for any flaws. You nodded in approval and washed your brush out.
"Hey Kitty! I'm done!" you exclaimed. Mrs. Doogle came rushing in to look at your finished masterpiece. She gasped at what she saw.
"(Name)…it's breath taking!" she exclaimed as she took a step closer to examine it further. You smiled at her reaction. This was one of your favorite parts of your job. Seeing the happy reactions of your clients. This one took the cake. You paused your I-pod and took your ear buds out.
"Now don't put your furniture back until tomorrow, the paint should be completely dry by then." you said, drying off your brush and placing it back in your brush holder.
"Alright dear, why don't you come into the kitchen and get some cookies that I made. You deserve it after all." she said, smiling at you. You smiled back at her but had to decline her kind offer.
"Thank you Kitty, but I'll have to pass. Sugar makes me way too hyper and crazy. It wouldn't be a pretty sight." you said, sad that you couldn't enjoy her gift. She gave you a sad look.
"Not even one? I made them with love deary." she said, giving you a pathetic look. You sighed and smiled at her.
"Well…I guess just one couldn't hurt." So after you had your small fill of sugary goodness and got paid for your work, you bid Mrs. Doogle farewell and headed home. You couldn't help but think of your dad as you did.
'I hope he's alright. Poor guy gets so worried all the time. He's going to worry himself sick.' you thought as you pulled up to your driveway. You turned the keys and pulled it from the ignition. You noticed your father's car was home early today.
"Oh no…" you said aloud.
'He got fired….great.' you thought in dread as you opened the car door and closed it. You opened the back door and pulled out your painting supplies, locking the doors as you left. You quickly made your way to the front door and opened it.
"Dad?" you called out. You looked around and saw a pizza box sitting on the table.
'Pizza? What? Are we celebrating our unemployment now?' you thought as you placed your bags down on the floor. You walked to the table and opened the box. The smell was amazing; it was also your favorite kind. You closed your eyes and smiled.
'Well, may as well enjoy it while we can still afford It.' you thought. You then heard foot steps coming from down the hall. You turned and saw your father standing there with a big smile on his face. You cocked an eyebrow.
"I've never seen someone so happy over losing a job." you said, leaning on the table. Your father chuckled.
"I didn't get fired (nick name). I got promoted! You are now looking at the foreign negotiations and operations personnel." he said, getting into a heroic pose. Your mouth dropped and you rushed to hug him. You squeezed him into a bear hug as he hugged you back as well. Picking you up and spinning you around as he hugged you.
"That is so wonderful dad!" you exclaimed as he put you back on the ground. He grinned ear to ear down at you.
"You're telling me! I almost passed out from worrying about getting fired! But now we don't have to worry. Lets celebrate!" he exclaimed. You nodded your head quickly and plopped down in a dining chair and grabbed a slice of pizza. Your father did the same. You two clinked your slices together, like one would clink glasses together to commemorate a special occasion. You took a bite and savored the gooey cheesy goodness. You rolled your eyes back a bit as you enjoyed your first bite. Your dad laughed at you.
"There's plenty more where that came from with this new job." he said. You swallowed a bite before speaking.
"So, what do you do now?" you asked, curious about your dad's new position. He swallowed his bite and spoke up.
"Well…I'll be negotiating trades with foreign diplomats or companies." he said. You nodded and took another bite.
"Which means I'll be traveling overseas a lot more too." he said. You stopped eating and looked at him.
"Traveling? Overseas?" you said with a mouthful of food in your mouth. He sighed and nodded.
"Yup. I'm afraid so. They've already assigned me my first assignment." he said. You blinked and swallowed again.
"Oh really? Where to?" you asked, taking another bite. Your father rubbed the back of his head a bit before speaking.