Victoria’s Secret [Part I]

Victoria stood at the window of her big corner office and gazed out at the view. It was days like these that made working in an office like this worth it – the sky was full of white, fluffy clouds that changed shape constantly, and the city gleamed in the rays of sunlight coming through the gaps between the clouds. A crow flew perilously close to the window and Victoria marveled at the way the bird stretched its wings and glided on the wind, seemingly without effort. She closed her eyes and imagined what it would be like to be that crow, free to fly on the currents and soar through the sky. The crow gave a loud caw and jerked Victoria out of her daydream.

She sighed, turned her back on the window, and picked up the cup of tea on her desk. Gulping some, she choked and spit it back out into the cup – it was stone cold. She sat down heavily in the big leather office chair that came with the big corner office and glanced at the open notebook on the desk. It was her daily planner, full of ink blots and cross-outs and arrows pointing to other dates and times. Being head of department was no easy job, Victoria had found out, and the useless secretary she had been given was more interested in fighting with his girlfriend on the phone than in doing his job, so Victoria found herself needing to check and double check all her appointments. Not to mention, of course, the constant changes caused to her schedule just because of last minute things that tended to crop up in the department.

Shaking her head to clear the haze that was settling over her, Victoria got up and pushed open the door to her office.

“Patrick!” she snapped. “I’m going out to lunch. Please make sure to answer the calls I get in the meantime, all right? And I beg of you,” she added as an afterthought, “to write them down and not try to remember them. That’s how I missed Michelle’s message yesterday.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” grinned the twenty-something year old. He looked like he could have been an underwear model, with his blond hair, blue eyes and the muscles bulging under his slightly too sheer white button-down shirt. Victoria had almost laughed outright when she’d first seen him, a few weeks ago when she’d started her new and improved position. Talk about a blast from the past, she’d thought then, as she tried to keep a straight face. Ever since, she’d felt a strange mixture of humor and exasperation towards him. The one person who didn’t seem to think of her as The Big Scary Boss was also the same person she needed most to help her out on a day to day basis, and his lack of fear or respect towards her or the office as a whole wasn’t helping his job performance.

“I mean it, Patrick,” Victoria yelled back over her shoulder as she walked down the corridor towards the elevators. “No forgotten messages, okay?”

“Totally, Ma’am!” he answered in his surfer-dude voice.

Better make it a quick lunch, then, thought Victoria as she heard the unmistakable sound of Patrick’s cellphone go off and the subsequent beginning of an argument with his girlfriend. She pressed the elevator’s DOWN button a few times impatiently, knowing it wouldn’t make it come any faster. There’s another annoying thing about working up in one of these big, cold offices – the damn elevators never seem to come all the way up here.

The elevator finally arrived with a loud “ding-ding” and Victoria entered, nodding politely to the man and woman already in there. The doors shuddered to a close after her and the elevator began to descend. All of a sudden, with an ominous thump and a disturbing creak, the elevator stopped jarringly and the lights abruptly went off.

The three in the elevator simultaneously cursed.

Rosy Thoughts

“Plink-plink-plink”
The metal chimes of the pretty mobile touched each other lightly in the almost nonexistent breeze. Rosy stared sullenly at them with her ice-blue eyes. The sound always bothered her immensely. Why have wind chimes when there was never any wind? The air was always as still as a boulder in the summer, and Rosy hated it.
As if the tiny breath of wind had heard her thoughts, it ceased to make even the merest attempt at cooling the stifling room, and the plink-plink of the chimes stopped. Rosy shifted her position a little bit so her neck wouldn’t hurt as much, and settled down again, closing her eyes. She let out a long, slow breath.
If anyone were to look at her at that moment, they would see a beautiful, sleeping girl, her shortish hair spread around her face like a chocolate-colored halo, lips slightly open and face perfectly calm. Little would they know the turmoil of thoughts and internal conversations that went through the mind of this silent angel.
Rosy felt as if her mind was filled with a whole crowd of people.
The part of her that was a little bit wicked was saying “Keep pretending to be sick, what do you care? All that matters is that Mama and Papa keep paying attention to you.”
Then the sensible part of her would interrupt with “But you can’t go on like this forever, and once you do get up, you’ll have to deal with them.”
The self-pitying part would meekly put in “It makes me sad to think of that though… Can’t you just stay in bed and have them keep feeling sorry for their poor daughter? You are their poor daughter after all, and you are very sad and tired now.”
Wicked would interrupt with an eager “Yes, exactly, that’s exactly right!” but not long after that, Self-Loathing would rear its aggressive head and yell “You disgusting, wicked, ungrateful little fiend, how can you be doing such a thing? You make me sick, you know that? What you’re doing is just so wrong and pathetic that-”
Sensible would then try to sooth everyone with soft words, “Come now, that’s a bit harsh, but yes, you must stop this, Rosy, because it’s not going to help in the end and you know it, dear.”
Wicked-self-pitying-sensible-self-loathing Rosy snapped her eyes open once more. It was no use. No matter what she did, no matter how hard she tried to sleep and look properly sickly, she couldn’t shut out the stupid voices in her head, nagging her about what she was doing or not doing all day long. All Rosy wanted was her parents to stop fighting. They had stopped, for the past couple of days, and she knew it was because they were worried about her complete and utter collapse that led to her staying in bed all the time since. Rosy also knew that the moment she seemed to be feeling better her parents would resume their bickering and their harsh conversations, filled with grim words like “lawyers” and “bank account” and “custody” – words Rosy was thoroughly sick of.
So now instead of hearing her parents fighting, Rosy had to endure the bickering inside her head and try to deal with it. She often dreamed, when she got tired of fighting with herself, of a day in the future when she would feel fine and dandy about everything, a day when things would feel normal, no matter where her parents were. She knew  a day like that, a day where all this was behind her, was somewhere in the future. Rosy waited impatiently for that day. She wanted the present to be all over and done with.
Whenever she lapsed into that dream for too long though, her voices would pick up their arguments and she would sigh, adjust her position, and live in the now in her mind. Occasionally the wind-chimes would clink against each other, puncturing her thoughts, and giving her something fresh to be angry with, but the air always stopped moving soon, and the dead air of the summer would grip Rosy’s heart in a vice-like grip, and her thoughts would continue in their turmoil.

I have no clue where this came from. I started writing it months ago, completed it tonight. I don’t even know if I should call it a short story or not. It’s just… something.