It was early in the summer season; the weather was warm and the air outside smelled green and new. It had been a few weeks since I returned to work from maternity leave. My mother-in-law had kindly offered my sleep deprived husband and I a weekend of freedom. She would take the baby to her house and we could feel like a couple sans baby for a just a bit. We decided to make it a three-day weekend and took that Friday off as well. We would have blissful freedom, sleeping in, a leisurely Sunday breakfast with the paper, all ours for the taking. It was almost too good to be true. Then the phone began to ring mid-morning that luscious Friday, and I knew it really was too good to be true.
I was halfway out the door when I heard the house phone ring. Should I answer it? Instinct told me not to. I should have listened. When I answered the phone, a manager from my office immediately began speaking in full-on-panic mode. “Could I please come in? They really needed me! They needed me right now! It’s a major crisis!” They are in full on meltdown mode. I knew it.
What could possibly be so distressing I kept asking myself over and over? No matter what I said that manager kept begging me to come into the office. I made a quick call to my husband to inform him I would not be home and I angrily grabbed my stuff for work and hopped in the car. On the way to the office, I stopped off at a corner store to buy a pack of cigarettes. This is no ordinary thing. I haven’t smoked in years. Yet, there I was asking for my old favorites like it was an everyday occurrence. After making my purchase, I hastily got in my car and slammed the door, gunning the engine and furiously lighting my first of many cigarettes that day. I smoked and inhaled to my heart’s content as I drove to my office. A major traffic accident was clogging up the freeway. That should have been sign number two right there, but I drove on, ignoring it. Onward, I went to my office. As I squealed into the parking lot and jumped out of the car, I put out my cigarette and angrily marched into my building.
Entering the office, I noticed the strange quiet. The place was dark. Not a single soul to be seen. Where was all the commotion? Where were the people who needed me so badly just an hour before? I sat at my desk and logged on to my computer in the dark. I opted to leave the lights off as I felt it matched my mood perfectly. An hour ticked by. Then, another one. I placed numerous calls to the people I was supposed to be working with. Nobody picked up. I emailed the same people and anyone else I could think of. What was going here? Where was the emergency?