This can’t be happening. Not today. Please, please, please, I’m begging you, not today.
I’m not even sure who I’m pleading with. God, the universe, fate . . . anyone and everyone who might take pity on me and make my damn engine turn over.
But fate is a fickle witch—no one knows that better than I do—and so is the universe, apparently, because all Suzanne does when I turn the key for the fifth time in as many minutes is wheeze a little. Then cough. Then die all over again.
Of course she does. Of f***ing course. Why wouldn’t my ten-year-old piece of shit Corolla choose today to die? It’s not like it’s my first day at work, not like I need to make a good impression. And it sure as hell isn’t that I need this job or anything.
Oh, right. I do. I really, really do—at least if I want to avoid going into default on my student loans. Not to mention pay my rent. And eat. I mean, sure, my ass can stand to lose five pounds, but actual starvation’s not the way I want to accomplish that. Just saying.
“Please, please, please, Suzanne.” It’s my mantra as I turn the key again. And again. And again. All to no avail.
“God Bless!” I grab my bag, then slam out of my car in a rush. A quick glance at my phone tells me I’ve got exactly twenty-three minutes to get to work. Which, if an Uber magically appears at this very second, I just might make. But since my fairy godmother has been taking a break for pretty much ever, I doubt that’s going to happen.
For a second, I think about calling my best friend, Sage, but at this hour she’s probably in the middle of teaching a yoga class at her mom’s studio.
So, in the end, I pull up the app and order an Uber anyway—a guy named Rajiv accepts the fare. I can’t afford it, but if I lose this job, I won’t be able to afford anything. And desperate times call for desperate measures. It says six minutes to arrival, which is six minutes too long, but again, it’s not like I have a choice. As usual. Lately my whole life has been one lack of choice after another.
It’s getting really, really old.
I spend the next eight minutes pacing back and forth in front of my apartment complex, willing the damn Uber to just get here. It’s drizzling out—because why wouldn’t it be—and already I can feel my curls frizzing as they escape, one after another, from the tight ponytail I slicked them into this morning. I consider running back to my apartment for an umbrella, but I’m afraid I’ll miss the damn Uber if I do.
How is this my life? I mean, seriously, how is this my life?
I’ve always been a success, always managed to do whatever I put my mind to. At school, in relationships, in life . . . at least until I graduated from college with an art degree ten months ago and got stuck in the real world. Now I feel like I’m floundering almost all the time, and those times when I’m not floundering . . . it’s only because I’m drowning.
I gotta say. Adulthood sucks. It really, really sucks.
Another glance at my watch says it’s ten minutes and counting.
Stupid, late Uber.
Stupid, temperamental Suzanne.
And most of all, stupid me for not leaving earlier . . . considering what my hair probably looks like right now, I really shouldn’t have bothered spending all that extra time on it today.
The Uber finally shows up at twelve minutes and counting, and I pretty much throw myself into the car. “Go!” I all but shout as I slam the door and reach for my seatbelt all at the same time. “I need to be at work in eleven minutes!”