Robin de Voh
writer, developer, nerd

Nanoprep 2015 Day 15: the Roof

By Robin de Voh on 2015-10-25

Will got home from work late and it was obvious something was bothering him. He slammed his front door shut and threw his coat at the coat rack. It wasn't a good throw and it slid to the floor. Will did not care. He walked into the living room and threw his laptop bag at the couch with a grunt. Only after letting go he remembered his laptop was in there. He shut his eyes and waited for a bang. It was more of a flopping sound, as the bag landed on the couch rather smoothly.

"Whew," he exhaled. He went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. He grabbed a beer, opened it and in seconds drank half of it.

The atmosphere in the apartment wasn't in any way different than other days, but Will still felt constricted. Like he was caught in something. He walked to the window and got onto the fire escape through it. He climbed up to the roof.

It was nice here. Not many people realized there was a usable space here, but for those who did, there were a couple of mismatched chairs and a very unstable table.

He leaned up against the railing and looked out on the city.

"It's bullshit! They've given him every single project since I started working there, and I'm supposed to be the senior. And the asshole's boasting about it, too! What the hell do they expect me to do? 'Yes sir, thank you sir, for this opportunity to realize my place'? Fuck that. And what's the difference between him and me, other than years of experience on my side? That he's the CTO's son!"

Will finished his beer and crushed the can.

"So quit."

Will turned around instantly.

He didn't recognize her.

"Sorry?" he said.
"Quit. If it's like you say, that job seems like it's mostly bringing you down."
"It's not that easy."
"Sure it is. You go up to your boss, tomorrow or whenever you're there next, and you tell him you quit. Then you find something better."
"I think you've got the order wrong."
"Do I?" she said, smiling. She walked up to the railing and leaned on it next to Will.

"How long have you worked there?" she asked him while looking him in the eyes.
"I don't know, a little over 3 years."
"And how long has this been a problem?"
"Maybe a year."
"So for a year you've felt crappy about this job, and after all that, here we are."
"Well, it's not easy finding another job!"

She smiled again.

"Maybe, but I have found that if I'm in a shitty situation, I usually find a way out easier if I actually find a way out. If I wait for something better to come along before quitting, then I'm, well, waiting. Passively. Let's look at it this way, if this was a relationship, would you wait until you've found the next girl before breaking up with your current one?"
"Guy," he corrected her.
"My point stands. Would you wait?"
"No, of course not. It wouldn't be fair to him, or to myself."
"So quit."

Will thought about it a while. She had a point. A good one, actually.

"I'll think about it. If I come to the conclusion that all hope is lost, I will."
"Who are you, anyway?" Will said while turning to the railing again.
"Just moved into apartment 8b. Celia."
"I'm Will. Welcome to the building, then. I'm 10a."

They shook hands.

"So what do you do, Celia?"
"I'm a bartender. It's surprising how much insight into these kinds of issues you get simply by listening to people."

Will laughed.

"I bet it is."