CW: Cursing/mild language.
Nadia winces while her phone goes off. Without lifting her head or moving her body, she reaches over to grab her phone from the stand, declining the call with one click of the side button. She groans into her pillow, the migraine already pulsating from the back to front of her skull. Dread and self-hatred consume her mind, already regretting the bottle of tequila she completed last night. She feels little, tiny paws climbing up her spine, and then a fat plump hits her lower back as Torrington curls up on her, his way of reminding her that it is also time to get up.
Nadia doesn’t move. Every muscle and nerve in her body will re-awake in a fiery storm once she moves an inch. She already feels the naked feeling on her left ring finger, confirming that the events of last night were in fact no nightmare. Before she even opens her eyes awake, she can feel the tears that have already slipped out. The alcohol has already left her system, forcing her to deal with her emotions head-on.
Her phone rings again, but she doesn’t move to pick it up. She leaves it to go to voicemail, not ready to deal with the pity of her friends and family just yet.
Forcing herself to finally get up, Nadia counts to ten in her head and prepares herself to feel the rest of the hangover effects. Adjusting to the newfound heaviness of her body, she grabs her phone and slides her feet toward her bathroom. She checks the time and sees that she is already late for work.
“Fuck!” she yells.
Suddenly alert, she starts rushing through her morning routine. Putting her hair up in a bun instead of the usual blowout. Washing her armpits instead of going through her normal morning body shower. She dabbles on foundation and mascara instead of the usual full face she does. While applying mascara on her left lash, her phone goes off again, it’s the same person as the last two times: her mother. She jabs her eyelid while glancing at her phone screen, causing her to run a streak of black gel from her upper eye to her forehead.
Nadia frustratingly groans at the mirror and frantically wipes away the black smudge on her face. Her phone continues to ring. She picks up the phone in anger and denies the call. “Stop calling me!” she yells at it in her hand.
While looking somewhat presentable, Nadia rushes to her closet and grabs the first thing available, a black form-fitting dress that desperately needs to be dry cleaned. She hopes the humid summer heat will help ease the creases and wrinkles on it.
Rushing into her kitchen, Nadia zips up her dress and opens a can of Torrington’s breakfast, placing it directly onto the floor. Her cat's tail swings happily and lightly purrs while grazing his meal, absolutely contempt with the state of his affairs. Nadia checks Google Maps to see how bad the traffic is while grabbing a water bottle and readying her bag to leave for work. While typing in her office’s address, her mother’s face pops up once more on screen, receiving another incoming call from her.
Desperate to know how bad the morning rush is, Nadia denies the call once more. Her patience is now running thin with each and every call she gets. For once, she cannot appease her mother’s noisiness and desperately craves that will give her the space she desperately needs.
Once Nadia knows her ETA, she turns her phone into airplane mode and throws it into her bag. Silently she curses at technology for being the root of her misfortune. It’s the reason why she found out about the affair, and it’s now the reason why her mother can reach out to her instantly, no matter the difference in time zones.
Nadia contemplates leaving her phone at home, but then soon discards the idea. She cannot listen to the morning radio shows while driving to work, just the cheerful upbeat voices of the morning show hosts will drive her to swerve the car over the bridge. She will need the soulful voice of Beyoncé to help get her through this day. Besides, what if her car finally decides to break down while en route to work? She will then have no way to reach out for help.
As much as she hates that small rectangle device that controls her life, she does in fact need it to survive.
Nadia rushes into her car and blasts the AC on high, feeling the warm stale air inside the car slowly cool off. She opens Spotify and hits shuffle on her Beyoncé playlist. Naturally “Single Ladies” starts to play when she was hoping to hear “Sorry” come blasting through the speakers. Annoyed with the universe taunting her, she turns the volume down low, too low to hear it at all. She changes the car’s gear into reverse but doesn’t release the brake just yet. Instead, she stares straight ahead out the windshield, clutching onto the steering wheel. The reality of her situation suddenly hits her in one full force, forcing her façade to finally break down.
Tears start to run down her cheeks once more. She lets go of the steering wheel with shaky hands and shifts her car back into park. Nadia looks out the window, watching her neighbors make their way to work or school. Envy courses through her, as she knows that their world hasn’t been turned upside down. To them, it is just any other Wednesday. But to her, her life as she has known it is now over. The love and happiness she thought she could never lose, are now gone forever. How could she go on like nothing is wrong when everything is wrong?
After a few moments, Nadia takes a few deep breaths, bringing herself back to the moment.
Flipping down the sun visor, she wipes away the black smudges under her eyes and forces herself to smile, as if she could shove her pain back into the deep dark corners of her heart.
After her fifth fake smile, a gasp of pain and sorrow cries out of her. Looking down at her shaky hands, she closes her eyes and takes shallow breaths.
“Why me?” she says out loud. “Why does it have to be my life that gets ruined?” She leans her head back on the headrest and shakes her head side to side, “It’s not fair. What have I done in my life to deserve this?” she says out to the universe, even though she knows she will only get silence.
Nadia looks at the empty passenger seat and then glances down at her phone. She never had to hear such heavy silence before. She never had to feel such loneliness.
The one person she could run to is gone. The one person she thought she could always rely on betrayed her.
Nadia sits with the uncomfortable silence, letting it settle into her body. She knows that there is nothing she can do that could fix this. But here, and now, she knows that this exact moment will change her life. And it all hangs on a choice she must make.
A choice to either hate and fight the silence or welcome it with broken, fragile arms.