“Haaah,” Monika sighed in relief as she threw herself onto her desk chair. Her contract work was finally complete and sent out. The past few days had been a bit of a rush because of that, the deadlines always looming over her. Now that it was all over with, she had earned herself some peace and quiet. Maybe she could even read a book again for once.
She picked up her fresh cup of coffee and sipped on it. It was late afternoon and the spring sun was still shining gently into her room. It wasn't very warm out yet though, especially in the mornings. Since their home wasn't very well heated either, Monika was wearing some thick pullovers and socks that probably were at least five sizes too big for her. She looked over her desk, which was in quite a bit of disarray. Brushes, pens, ink bottles, and papers were strewn about, with some loosely stacked folders and sketches in several places.
Monika picked up a sheet and admired her handiwork. Compared to the work she had done in university, this pleased her a lot more. It felt like it had some kind of purpose to it, and it looked like she had advanced in skill quite a bit as well. As she glanced over the illustrations some more, she slowly started to frown in confusion. Her brain had tried to tell her something important for a while, but it only now finally hit her. She silently let the sheet fall out of her hand as she stared into the distance.
“Sh-” she began, before she stopped herself from swearing. That sheet she had been holding should have been part of the package she had sent out. She put the cup of coffee down onto the table and ruffled her hair as she tried to work out what to do next. The first idea she could come up with was to shout “Anna!” and wait for a reply. However, none was to be heard. Not surprising either, as Anna was currently out on errands. Monika frowned, picked her cup up again and shuffled out into the hallway outside her room. She called for Anna one more time, only to be disappointed again.
Another curse tried to escape through her mouth, but didn't quite make it. The heat started to rush to her head as her brain raced with a mix of stress, embarrassment, fury, and fear. Monika pounded down the stairs and almost slipped on her long socks, which caused her to spill some of the coffee onto the floor. “Aaaaugh,” she complained and slammed the cup onto the nearby cupboard, ignoring the stains on the floor for the time being. Furious now, she stormed into the kitchen and ripped the calendar from the wall. Sure enough, the next day was circled in red and marked with “Send It In!” There was no time left anymore. Monika quickly glanced at the wall clock, but it would not give her much relief either. It was already too late to make it down to the post office and send out a second package.
Monika ruffled through her hair some more and tried to make out some kind of coherent thought as to what to do next. She couldn't really think straight, all sorts of useless and distracting thoughts were all simultaneously trying to fight for her attention. She slammed the calendar onto the wall, missing the nail by quite a bit. The calendar just quietly fell to the floor again, but Monika had already blended it out of her mind. “Ok, ok. I have to… I have to tell them somehow. Hopefully I can still fix this,” Monika murmured to herself as she circled around aimlessly in the kitchen, not really watching where she was walking.
After a while longer of mumbling, she found herself standing in front of the telephone. She reached out for the receiver but hesitated. She'd have to call the company, which meant talking to that secretary she didn't like. Her hand made some forward and back motions as she battled with herself. Finally she gave herself a push and picked up the receiver.
A dial-tone later, she was finally connected. “Hi, this is Monika Kalan, I just wanted to-” Monika started hurriedly, before she realised that the answering machine's standard reply was being thrown at her. “Ah, for fuck's sake” it finally escaped her. She quickly covered her mouth and hoped that that part hadn't been recorded yet. Moments later she heard the answering machine's beep tone. At least that meant she had one mishap less to worry about.
“Hi, uh, this is Monika Kalan. I- uh, the deadline for my contract work is tomorrow and I sent out a package today containing my finished illustrations. Well- I mean, it would, if I hadn't accidentally forgotten to include one of them. It's just one, though! The rest should be in there. At least I'm pretty sure they are. Anyway, uh, I'll try to send out the missing page the earliest thing tomorrow. I hope that that's ok. I'm really sorry about this! I hope it isn't too much trouble… Ok, bye.”
Monika gently put the receiver back onto the base and just stood there for a while, before breathing a big sigh of relief. She slumped into a nearby chair. She wiped across her brow and let a few rays of sunshine tickle her cheeks. Her mind was completely blank now, and she didn't really care to think about anything either.
Slowly energy returned to her and she got back up. She calmly walked over to the calendar, put it up to the wall all proper-like, moved on to the sink, grabbed a rug, and went to the stairs to clear up the mess she caused. She emptied her mug of coffee, and instead prepared some lemon balm tea. Before heading back upstairs, she grabbed another post envelope and enough postage stamps to pay for express delivery. Back upstairs again, she set down her cup, gently slid the missing paper into the envelope, carefully put on the postage stamps, and finally sat down to sip on her tea.
The hot liquid filled her insides and warmed her up. Sensation returned to her body and she could feel her cold hands. Her mind began to defrost and slowly she was able to think properly again. The first thing Monika thought of was:
“it sure is a lovely day out, isn't it.”
Written by shinmera