It was the kind of day where nothing was going right.
Marie woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Literally. Her significant other was gone when she stirred, and the side she always sleeps on is the right. This morning, she had woken up on the left, tangled in the messy sheets. It felt wrong and almost like an omen, because the left belonged to Richie. She had felt disoriented and could only wonder where he had gone, as Richie was a heavy sleeper and had to nearly be dragged out of bed every single day.
When she went to the bathroom to get ready for the day, she knocked over the little cups for drinking water in the cupboard as she fetched her toothbrush. They fell around the toilet (thank God not in) but were scattered around the dirty floor. She regretfully tossed them away in the trash, reminding herself that they needed to clean the bathroom soon.
After brushing her teeth, Marie noticed that Richie’s plug for his electric shaver was dangling dangerously close to falling in the toilet. She had gone to pick it up and tuck it away into safety, but accidentally ended up pulling it down. Aghast, she watched the plug fall into the toilet water and she curses. Loudly.
Now, she’s picked up the plug out of the water and frantically dried it with single ply toilet paper which seemingly doesn’t do that much. Marie had begun to fret at this point, wondering if she had been cursed and what awful thing she had done to deserve this. For a moment, she considered not telling Richie about the incident – but the possibilities of him plugging in the cord and being electrocuted somehow run through her brain. Okay, so she had to tell him. Instead of texting him, she decided that she would let him know in-person during their dinner out later.
“Please, let that be the end of it,” Marie had said, praying out loud to a higher being that she didn’t fully believe in.
As Marie had got in her car to head to work for the day, she found herself being incredibly grateful that the car started without any issues. Knowing her luck so far today, the engine wouldn’t turn and she’d be stranded.
About ten minutes later with a flat tire on the side of the highway, Marie cursed herself.
It took about an hour and half to get everything situated with the towing company, and Marie was thankful that her boss was seemingly accepting of the situation. Once she finally arrived to work after calling an Uber (with a driver who liked to talk a little bit too much about weed), her co-workers had given her icy looks.
Confused, she sat at her desk and began the normal routine of checking her emails to see if there were any new team announcements. There is one, the subject line reading in all caps SALARIES REVEALED: GUESS WHO’S MAKING THE MOST IN THE OFFICE?
Now, this hadn’t seemed very kosher to Marie, but she still clicked on it. To her horror, her name was at the top of the list by a significant margin. She had to wonder how anyone even found out her rate of pay, as she had only mentioned it to one person – oh, goddammit.
There had already been rumors about her sleeping with the boss to get a pay raise, which was absolutely not true. She could tell this was going to exacerbate it and despite the logical side of her telling her not, she marched straight to her boss’s office from her cubicle with glares shooting her in the back the entire twenty-five feet.
“Sir?” She asked, knocking on the door to let him know she was there.
“Oh, Marie, come in!” Gary said, beckoning her closer. “Just who I wanted to see. Close the door, would you?”
She obeyed and took a seat across from him. “Sir, I wanted—”
“Now, now,” he interrupted, looking a bit perplexed. “Let me speak first. I received an anonymous email earlier today about the salary discrepancy in the office.”
“Yes, that’s what I wanted to talk about,” Marie said, relief on her shoulders. It was good that he knew, so the company would hopefully do something about it.
“Yes, well, about that,” Gary paused, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. “HR has alerted me that your salary will be decreasing to be in line with your co-workers.”
“What?” Marie stuttered, taken aback. Her pay information was disclosed and she was being retaliated against?
“Unfortunately, company policies dictate that employees cannot discuss salary with each other. It seems you violated this policy and since we cannot give raises to everyone, your salary will be reduced effectively immediately.” The man adjusted his necktie like he needed more room to breathe and proceeded to look everywhere in the room except at her.
“This isn’t right, we can legally discuss wages based on federal law,” she argued, standing up from her chair as red started to fill her vision.
“Don’t shoot the messenger, you’ll have to take it up with HR,” Gary raised his hands in surrender. Despite not looking entirely happy at being the bearer of this news, he didn’t seem entirely distressed, either. Probably because it wasn’t his paycheck on the line, the bastard.
“I absolutely will,” Marie snapped, and promptly turned around and left the office, doing everything in her power from slamming the door behind her.
The rest of the day passed relatively quickly through her anger and frustration. Her co-workers were pissy with her, being curt and ignoring her requests when they could, but she did her best to get through all of it by looking forward to dinner tonight with her boyfriend and hopefully a relaxing evening after a stressful day.
Once she arrived at dinner, she saw Richie sitting by himself at the table, blankly staring at his phone. Noticing her approach, he quickly turned the device off and put it in his pocket.
“Babe,” he greeted, giving her a light smile.
“Hey, Richie, I’m sorry I’m running late,” she apologized, hurriedly sitting down, “I’ve had such an awful day. I had a flat tired on my way to work, I spilled my little cups in the bathroom, I woke up on your side of the bed, and that’s not even the worst part!”
“Hm?” Richie distractedly prompted out of habit, fiddling with his hands.
“So, uh, I accidentally may or may not have dropped your razer cord into the toilet,” she quickly blurted out by stringing the words together, “and that’s still not the worst! I’m getting a pay cut from work because Susie shared my salary in an email thread with the rest off the office!”
“Wait, what?” He asked, his brain taking some time to process this information.
“I know, right?!” Marie complained, huffing and puffing. The server who began approaching turned around upon hearing a piece of their conversation to give them some more time.
“You dropped my cord into the toilet?” Richie repeated, starting to sound distressed.
“Yes, but it was an accident and I dried it off, don’t worry! It should be okay, I just wanted to let you know.” Marie wasn’t sure why he was focusing on that part.
“Well, I have something I want to tell you,” he abruptly said, tone turning flat and the look on his face was one of when he was steeling his nerves to say something he didn’t want to say.
“What is it?” Marie asked, starting to get worried. Anxiety filled up her stomach with beautifully devious little butterflies that uncomfortably tickle her in all of the wrong places.
“I want to break up.”
It really was the kind of day where nothing went right.