Brian’s day didn’t start well from the start, and it is about to get worse, or is it?
He woke-up in the early hours after having a dream that went from normal to bizarre to a nightmare. Seeing his death imminent he closed his eyes to open them to reality.
“Not many of those pop up into my head,” he immediately thought, then looked at the clock. “Oh crap. I should have been up fifteen minutes ago.”
Brian jumped out of bed and quickly got himself ready in frustration. To wake-up from any kind of dream and to rush for work meant a day of feeling tired all day long. Plus, it didn’t help that his lack of time meant he couldn’t stop for coffee. That meant having coffee at work which he found particularly foul.
“Tastes as if they put ashes from a fire into the coffee pot, and added water,” he commented on many occasions to fellow employees.
Brian eventually felt he was fully prepared for the workday, glad today they were able to wear jeans and a nice, buttoned-up shirt instead of a suit.
“I look prepared,” he said in the mirror. “But not mentally prepared. Heaven help me.”
Brian was soon out the door, in his vehicle, and heading to work. Looking at the clock, he will have five minutes to spare. Enough time to go to his cubicle, turn on the computer, put his headset on, and prepare for the calls to roll in.
“You have reached Healthy Matters insurance. My name is Brian. How may I assist you?”
There are times he tried to count how many times he said that, quickly losing count.
It was only five years ago Brian laid foundations under homes. The pay wasn’t the greatest, and he knew there was no way in hell this was going to be a lifelong profession. Doing this for another year didn’t sound appealing at all.
Thankfully, a good friend came along and told him about schooling needed, and his chances are good in getting into the office environment.
“I don’t do well with people,” Brian said to Chris, his buddy.
“Not all offices have you interacting with people,” Chris explained. “It’s your choice. Stay in an environment your body will eventually give out or work inside and keep your brain working.”
Brian thought about it for a couple of days. When he found a petrified cat under the house he was working under he quickly decided to move on with, he hoped, a better career environment.
Luckily, the schooling took less than a year so he was able to job hunt until the interview at Healthy Matters.
“We are not looking at full-time employees at this time, but if you want to start as a temp, performing data entry, filing, and other projects, we can bring you on,” the lady interviewing him from behind her large desk told him.
At first, Brian was close to rejecting her offer, knowing others who were temps, and suddenly let go from their job, but something told him to take it.
A year later, he was offered a position as a customer service rep. Once again he almost refused but decided to give it a try.
“If this is my way of moving up then I will do it,” Brian told his mother.
There are many others brought on for the position, and Brian immediately regretted taking the position.
“Robert and Jan are working here?” he asked upon seeing the two of them. “And they are in the same departments as I?”
Brian wondered if he upset God recently, and now was being punished.
Further in the past, he met Robert in school and immediately thought he was a pompous ass. The guy had bright, blue eyes, and a jutting jaw so he thought he was all that. Getting a lot of attention, he strutted around with his head high. Robert sat behind him in English, and constantly bugged Brian all of the time. Many times telling Brian how great he was, and how everyone adored Robert. Brian wanted nothing to do with the guy.
“I’m trying to work so can you shut your mouth,” Brian told him one day.
It did for the day, but then the few times Robert spoke it was about Brian being a loser and a nobody.
Brian was glad when the class came to an end.
Jan wasn’t much better with her long, blond hair, and hourglass figure. The boys slobbered all over her and the girls hung around her, hoping to get attention too. She brushed Brian aside as if he was a peasant.
“Why are you in my presence?” he could practically read in her expression as she walked by him.
Years went by since he last saw them, but with all memories being bad, he would request to sit far away from them.
Luckily, he got his wish on that one.
Back to the present, and he made it to work, rushed into the lobby, about to rush up the stairs, but upon seeing the elevator doors open, he jumped in. Brian almost leaped back out upon seeing Robert and Jan, but the doors closed.
“Hello Brian,” said Robert. “Looks like you're making it tight like us.”
“I guess so,” replied Brian, nodding his head, and wanting to curl up in the corner.
“We will be okay,” said Jan.
There were only four floors so they would make it, but when the elevator suddenly stopped and the lights shut off, replaced by emergency lights, they knew they would not be on time.
“This doesn’t look good,” said Robert.
“No shit,” Brian wanted to say but stopped himself at the last second.
Brian was not only stuck in an elevator but with two people he couldn’t stand.
“Probably a good thing I didn’t drink a coffee before going into work,” thought Brian.
“I hope this doesn’t last for long,” said Jan with a look of concern.
“I’m sure it won’t, honey,’ said Robert, putting his arm around her.
Brian looked at them with a stunning look. “Are you going out?”
“We are newlyweds,” replied Robert with one of his charming smiles.
Brian just stared at the two of them. With the memories of them in school pouring through his head it made total sense. They were identical in personality so of course they would be together.
“I guess this is a good time to chat,” said Robert as he leaned against the wall. “We have been working for a while, but only say a word or two to each other.”
“Not much to talk about,” said Brian, looking down, praying the elevator wouldn’t drop. Probably wouldn’t cause much damage since they were only on the second floor.
There was silence for a couple of minutes.
“Do you think people can change?” Robert suddenly asked.
Brian looked up at Robert. “S...sure.”
“The way people are crucified for something they did countless years ago you would think not,” said Robert. “You see it all the time on the news of someone doing something stupid twenty or more years ago, and they are condemned all those years later. There is preaching of forgiveness, but there is none. Maybe only certain people can change?”
“Why are you talking about this?” asked Brian.
“Just am,” replied Robert. “We are stuck in the elevator so we need to talk about something.”
“How has life been treating you?” asked Jan, giving him a warm smile.
Brian looked at her. Why would she ask such a thing? Would she even care?
“It has been okay,” Brian replied. “Not a lot going on.”
“Sometimes that is better than having a life full of drama,” she said. “That could be worse.”
“I guess so,” remarked Brian.
He wasn’t sure what to say to these two people who seemed to be transformed. Every time he saw them he pictured the kids at school, but no longer.
Once again there was silence.
“Maybe one day we can go out for drinks,” said Robert.
“Y...yeah,” said Brian. “Sounds good.”
Moments later, the elevator started moving again.
Brian thought it was interesting for it to start up again after his thoughts of Robert and Jan were more positive.