She was unhappy!
Well not really.
Maybe just disappointed
And a little paranoid.
She looked around in paranoia and saw bland faces stare at her like she was a candy bar in a meat shop. Avoiding the stares she walked swiftly but purposefully to her counter. She had just fixed the coffee machine and had to get back to being a cashier. Donning many hats was not an easy job, but she loved fixing things that were wrong or imperfect. During the non- peak hours, when there were fewer customers, she would get busy with tidying the place, checking for proper functioning of the equipment, analyzing the feedback given by the clientele and implementing them. It helped her keep busy. Located in the middle of the city the cafe was decent, nothing too flashy and neither too modest. The customers who frequented the cafe were the simple honest folks of the city who simply picked up coffee and fries to sit, talk about their issues at work and leave with a decent tip. With a steady stream of income pouring into her account every month she should have been happy.
But she was not.
She often dreamed of the day when she would have her own diner. She would make it jazzy, a place that would reflect her vivacious personality, and a place that would promise to give its customers a break from their mundane routines. She would bring dancers, performers, artists and musicians to her café, change its theme every week or even every day, make prospective partnerships and be a part of the glitterati… Well if she owned the fanciest place in the city, it would automatically elevate her status, wouldn’t it?
‘Maybe I could be a world renowned cartoonist and create another masterpiece like Dilbert’, she thought once while randomly imagining a handsome hero and sketching him on a piece of tissue. But when she looked down she was horrified at the transformation her handsome hero had made from her imagination to the paper. As she stared at her artwork, her hero somehow looked like a limp piece of poop. Disappointed and angry at the crappy outcome, she crumpled it and threw it away along with her idea of being a cartoonist.
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As her days in the café passed, her imaginary escapes from her lackluster job role, into more fancy and exuberant roles became more frequent. The monotony of her life was frustrating her a little bit more with every passing day.
Time was running out… the more she stayed the more doors were being shut. She imagined herself locked in a small room with hundreds of tiny doors. Finding the right door could get her out of the stifling chamber. But the number of doors were confusing her… she did not know which one to open, which one would lead her to an exciting life and which one would lead to a dead end. As she contemplated on her choice of door to open, she found the doors disappearing one by one, into bare walls.
She wanted to cry out loud. She was afraid. She did not want to get stuck in a room without doors.
‘Stop crying you bitch, take a chance and open a door before it disappears’, she screamed at herself.
She knew she was free… free to leave when she wanted, free to choose what she wanted and to become what she wanted to be.
But there was one problem….
She had no clue what she wanted.
A hand tapped her lightly on her shoulder, bringing her out of her imaginary world. She blinked twice and found herself facing the owner of the café. He noticed her pained expression, the turmoil of her mind evident on her facial features. He decided to tell her something that was going to wipe away her anguish.
‘We are soon opening another branch of ‘The Daylight Cafe’. I want you to prepare for the responsibility of managing both the cafe’s’, he said with a smile. She looked at him, her eyes wide, but expressionless. She had no idea how to react. In another situation, she would have been happy.
‘Sure’, she said and watched him turn around and leave.
In her imagination, she again found herself in the same room with the same doors.
Only, this time the room was a lot bigger and the doors continued to disappear at a quicker pace.