A dream come true.
She shrugs at the thought. That’s a mouthful that only means reality. What was once upon a time a dream job is now as real as work piling up on her desk, as real as the boss who thinks something is amiss if she’s not huffing and puffing, as real as her workmate who does half as much as she does and expects to be rewarded twice as much as she is.
Downstairs at the parking lot, her boyfriend is waiting, his patience running thin. To him, all this time is once a dream, at least something he wished for. Now it’s here. It has come true. This is reality, all the time in the world stretching interminably. But what he once upon a time considered luxury — doing nothing — now feels like torture.
Upstairs, she is in distress. He’s waiting and there’s still so much to do.
Downstairs, he is miserable. She’s making her wait, but he has nothing better to do.
He thinks she’s too busy, no time for herself.
She thinks he’s too idle, too much time for himself.
In each of them, concern becomes a mask of resentment.
If only she had time to fix this.
If only he had no time to dwell on this.
He is desperate to find work again.
She aches to quit and be free again.
“What a life!” she mutters under her breath, thinking about his as well as hers.
“What a life!” he mutters under his breath, thinking about hers as well as his.
Finally, they meet in the parking lot. She boards the car. He looks away, taking a long drag on his cigarette. She fiddles with her phone. He turns up the radio.
Not a word is said. With dream and reality on board, the differences between them only a matter of time, the car gets going, taking these two people on the same road but in opposite directions.
This is in response to Trifecta Writing Challenge, where this week’s word prompt is ‘idle,’ the third definition of which in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is ‘lazy,’ ‘shiftless.’