[Sammohini Arc] Gas Station Mascara

“Why’s this taking so long? It must be back to working order promptly.”
There was a haze around the office, lined with leather-bound wealthy books and well-traveled ornaments, as the computer repair technician averted her eyes away from the small printer on the desk that was not working to the customer, an older woman wearing dusty clothing.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, usually these things don’t take this much time.”

Mechanical chimes.


Early morning.

She rolled off the couch to turn off the alarm.

The sheets she’d kicked off in her sleep had all but padded her fall, except for her right leg, which shot out in pain. The alarm continued to go off. So she rolled onto her left side and sat up to turn off the alarm. There was barely any light filtering in from outside, through the sides of the pre-furnished plastic blinds, to the main room of her low-income studio apartment. Just enough to see the outlines of the room, cast in dark shade.

“Time to get ready for work…”

She’d started to get into the habit of waking up two hours before leaving to go to work in part so that she could get in a good breakfast, even though it was usually just a can of discount chili cooked on the stovetop, or some leftover pizza. It was also more useful to drink some bargain bin coffee, mixed with perpetually nearly-expired milk, and get used to being awake before heading into work and needing a Sneaker Energy Drink.

Time to apply cheap makeup to conceal some of it.

Perpetual restlessness. It was good to be working again, even if it was around the least she could legally get paid to do make sure furniture got from one part of town to the other, and usually right back, without getting damaged. That part wasn’t the worst of it. She couldn’t quite put a finger what the worst of it was, as she applied the some of the last of her gas station mascara, so she’d have to get some while on her first break.

She suddenly felt angry and restless.

A split-second vestige of a printer issue a while back pierced through her memory before a soft alarm chirped from outside of the bathroom and her consciousness returned to putting away the cheap tube in her petty collection of cheap makeup. She took one last look at the mirror to make sure she looked presentable before grabbing her cellular phone that was set to a friendly chirp, reminding her that she should get ready to go soon.

She put on her boots and was out the door.

Later, she and Jim, her frequent driver buddy, were at a gas station.
She had looked all over for mascara in the healthcare section.

“I have some headache medication if you need it…”
“Oh, I-uhh… was looking for… some makeup…”
“I’ll ask the wife if she has some… if that’s OK?”

Jane’s face went warm.
“Yes… thanks…”

Quotes: None.
Sources: Not quite my personal experiences.
Inspirations: Originally, this was going to be called “Precedent of Disrespect” but when I got to the titular section, I knew that was the title. This was also written last-minute to ensure I surpassed my 500-word writing minimum for today.
Related: Somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”
Picture: Random picture to save time
Written On: November 7th [50 minutes]
Last Edited: First draft; final draft
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.