This week’s Author Aerobics theme was to focus on an emotion without telling what that emotion was. How’d I do?
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The girl at the ticket counter didn’t appear to care where anyone was going. In fact, she didn’t appear to care even when an Egyptian got shipped “Home,” to Istanbul, when a former New York policeman returned from his vacation to busy, bustling Siberia, and when that lady an hour ago who spoke nothing but Spanish went back to her family in…Mongolia.
She was obviously distracted.
“What’s wrong, Natasha?” asked her supervisor, Mr. Lin.
Natasha shook her head, flipped open her Samsung and fiddled with the keys before snapping it shut again. “Life,” she said.
“You’ve been messing up other people’s lives as well,” Mr. Lin reprimanded, flashing ticket stubs in front of her face. She went cross eyed as the paper passed close to her sharp nose. Mr. Lin read off the botched destinations. “Mr. Najarah would up in Turkey…he’s supposed to be in Egypt. Mr. Rang was supposed to return to Manhattan, and now he’s in Anna Tevka. And Miss Perez got shipped to the Steppes. Will you please tell me why you can’t see straight?”
Natasha held up her cell phone and her eyebrows twitched. “It’s my mother. She’s being difficult.”
“Why don’t you take the rest of the day off then?” asked Mr. Lin gruffly. “Or better yet, why don’t you—”
“You must understand my mother,” Natasha cut in sharply, (salvaging her job, because Mr. Lin was about to suggest she take the rest of her life off.) “She is very disrespectful toward personal boundaries. And she is trying to manipulate my emotions to her whims. And it is un-right.”
Mr. Lin shook his head and waved his hand. “You’ve been working non-stop for over three weeks. Take a half-a-week to work things out and recoup. Get some rest. May it never be said that I’m an unfair employer.” He left the room.
Natasha huffed, got up, and paced around her desk for a couple seconds. She went to her computer, and typed in a couple airport codes. Seconds later, a boarding pass printed out of her heavy-duty printer. She grabbed it, and headed for the airplane terminal.
If she had been a little less distracted, she would’ve gone home to her mother, rather than spending three confused days in Niagara.