"It's Fine" is a story I wrote in college. It came at a time where everything was falling apart and I just needed a little bit of humor in my life. Apparently I did not accomplish that however, because my mom almost cried the first time she read this lol Let me know your reaction in the comments!
I ran up the sidewalk and lunged to push the café door open. My face smashed into the glass and a solid CLUNK! sounded on the inside of the cafe. People turned to look at me. I shook my head clear and grabbed my nose. Blood smeared itself along my fingers while my nose started to swell like a tomato.
“Great,” I said pinching my nostrils together. I tried wiping the blood on my rain coat, but the fabric just smeared it around more. I took in a breath. Gathered myself. Opened the door.
My supervisor sat in the center of the room, her small frame waiving me over to her table. She was so cute and petite. Her hair was perfectly smooth despite the monsoon outside. No frizz. No tendril out of place. Just neat, beautiful curls that waved around her model face and slender shoulders.
I sloshed over to her, a trail of mud and water behind me. I was wearing my husband’s black raincoat. It was three sizes too big, too poofy, and too ugly. I looked like a mob boss in it. All I needed was a fat cigar, Chicago accent, and a gold chain for people to run from me. Of course, on that day they might be running for other reasons.
I tried to not think about it as I approached the table. There I was in the cafe. Gigantic. Sopping wet. Hair frizzed. Foot aching from stepping into that ice puddle. And there she was.
Perfect. Tiny. Beautiful.
I sat down at the table. “Hi, Margie, how are-” My Texas sized umbrella popped open. “Oh my God,” I scrambled to shrink it. Water droplets had flown onto the patrons at the table next to us. “I’m so sorry,” I gave a smile and tightened the fabric latch around my umbrella. “Okay. Right. Hi, Margie. You look great.”
Margie stared at me with wide eyes and a wavering smile appeared, “You look-” She cleared her throat. “Well, you look, uh- do you have a mirror by chance.”
I stopped, my eyes panicked. “No. Do I need one?”
“Well,” She pointed to the mirror wall next on my left.
I looked over stunned. Mascara streamed down my cheeks in thick black lines that carried all the way to my neck. Hundreds of baby hairs had escaped my scrunchy and they curled mockingly around my head like a make-shift dunce cap. My lipstick smeared across my mouth from where I’d wiped away the rain. Make up was bunched and caked across my skin. The blood from my nose created a red mustache. A nervous laugh escaped, and I wiped my mouth so hard I almost hurt myself. “It’s fine,” I said.
“Rough week?” Margie smiled.
I squared my shoulders and smiled again, “It’s fine.”
The waitress came over. She cringed looking at me. “Can I take your order?”
“Coffee with cream and sugar, please,” I smiled. “And a scone. Blueberry.”
“We’re out of blueberry,” The waitress wrote on her pad. “We have cranberry.”
“Oh no,” Margie tilted her head with a pout, “Blueberry is your favorite.”
I exhaled and kept a grand smile on my face, “It’s fine, I’ll take cranberry.”
It was not fine. I hated cranberry.
The waitress left and I looked back at Margie. She was staring. Feigned concern bled into her eyes. “Are you okay?”
“It’s fine,” I waved her away, “I just- Well you know Monday came and the reports were late so I couldn’t get my project in on time. You know Bill rung my neck for that one. Then on Tuesday my kid got Pink eye so we’ve been disinfecting everything,” I motioned in front of me. “Wednesday my cat died.”
“Sprinkles?” Margie’s eyes widened.
“Yeah,” I shrugged. “Then on Thursday we buried the cat.”
“Rough,” Margie shook her head.
“Yes,” I nodded, “But it’s fine. It’s fine, don’t worry. Today is the first good day in a while.”
The waitress came and sat my coffee down on the table.
I looked up at her, “No scone?”
“We’re out,” She shrugged and left.
I stared after her, “Well,” I refocused on Margie. “So, tell me. Why are we here? What did you want to talk to me about?”
“Well-” Margie drew out.
“Is this about that project that was late?” I smiled. “Don’t worry, I talked to the engineers and those reports are going to be on my desk every Tuesday at three, so this won’t happen again.”
“Well, it was kind of a big deal Lauren,” Margie started. “You didn’t turn in your project.”
“I did turn it in,” I tried to laugh, “It was just a few hours late so-”
“This isn’t the first time,” Margie made a face.
“No, it’s the second time,” I nodded. “But the first time I had the flu and the second time the reports weren’t ready.”
Margie took in a breath, “You’re fired,” she said.
I stared at her. Paused. Opened my mouth. Paused again.
“We’re letting you go,” Margie said, her voice drawn out like a question. “Lauren? Can you hear me?”
“Fired?” I asked.
“The reports were late.”
I stared at her again. “Fired,” I said as if accepting this. “Severance package?”
“You didn’t work for us long enough to get one,” Margie scrunched up her face.
I nodded. “Okay.”
“Okay,” Margie started grabbing her coat. “Well, I’ll leave you to your coffee. Sorry about that scone,” she gave a wry laugh and shook her head. Her face grew solemn, “More importantly, sorry about firing you.”
“It’s fine,” I looked down at my coffee.
Margie left the cafe.
The waitress came by, “Is that lady coming back?”
“No,” I stared at her. “She’s not.”
“She didn’t pay,” The waitress said.
“What’d she order?” I asked.
“The last blueberry scone,” The waitress ripped the ticket off her pad and handed it to me. “Someone’s gotta pay.”
I took the ticket and drew in a breath. “I got it. It’s fine.”
Note From Author:
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