Well, hello there Armoury!
Welcome to the fifth and final part of Preeti’s story! I was inspired to write this series for my city, the people in it, and to challenge my writing style. This direction is new to me, and I want to thank all the people who have taken the time to read even a couple of lines of Preeti’s story. (Excitedly) it’s time to move onto a different character from Crowds, so look out for the next character, next week. For now enjoy the last of Preeti!
Preeti sat in a bathroom stall at Smithton and Parks and sobbed into her lap. Usually she wouldn’t break down like this; but today had thrown her over the edge. Fat tears split from her puffy eyes and cascaded down her wrinkled business shirt. She could care less if anyone heard her in the spotless women’s toilet; it was so chic with its freshly ironed hand towels and hand creams and soaps and vases of lilies. She ran a hand through her hand and loosened her pony tail so that hair tie fell into her palm. Her thick thirsty hair fell around her like a blanket of fried cotton. How could have she been so stupid? She shook her head and looked up at the ceiling. Instantly her phone began to buzz. Shocked to hear it alive, Preeti reached inside and pulled out the crumbling beeping thing. Opening it up carefully she cleared her throat, “Hello?”
“How did it go Preet?”
“Who is this?”
“It’s Saanvi, your sister?” The voice on the other end said, her voice thick with frustration, “I’m on my lunch break. How did the interview go?”
“Oh horrible,” Preeti said, sniffing mucus back up her nose, “I barely lasted five minutes in the interview room.”
“You should have tried harder Preet, we were really counting on you.”
“Well I tried Saan,” Preeti explained, rolling up some toilet paper, “I did the best I can. They didn’t want me, they said that I didn’t have enough experience.”
“Well you don’t, they are right,” Saanvi said clearly, the phone then went crackly.
“Saan the phone’s going weird, I think it’s broken.”
“No I’m just unwrapping something in till foil, calm down.”
Preeti stared at the door as tears continued to stream down her face. She dropped her bag on the ground and took her shoes off.
“I really tried Saan, I did.”
“Well I believe you, but Mum and Dad are doubtful,” her voice went quiet, “They really want you to stop mooching off them.”
“Mooching?!” Preeti screamed down into the phone, “Mooching? What is that even? Do people even use that word anymore?”
“Yes,” Saanvi hissed, “Look, I’m not going to continue talking to you about this if you want to act immaturely, so I’ll just see you when you get home.”
“Why are you being such a bitch Saanvi?” Preeti asked, the frustration and anger from the day rising inside of her like heavy bricks, “I want a job as much as everyone wants a job for me. It’s hard. Getting a job is not easy.”
“Right Preeti,” Saanvi spat down the phone, “Look I have to eat up my food, and I don’t want to have this discussion with you right now, people are coming into the tea room.”
“Okay fine Saanvi,” Preeti said slowly, she slipped back on her shoes and breathed in deeply.
“Oh also, I saw Arjun today, apparently he wants your number.”
“Arjun spoke to you?” Preeti asked, alarm thickening in her throat.
“Yeah, thanks Preet, you know that I had a thing for him the moment he was hired here. I’ll see you at home. Bye.”
Preeti sighed. She stared at the door for a moment, and then got up. Flushing her dried tears down the toilet, she opened the door, rubbed some of the balm through her parched hands and hair and then washed her face. The cool water cleansed the day off her face; she bucked her knees in and allowed the cold to absorb in and numb her. When she pressed the tap off and looked at herself in the mirror, the door behind her opened and Candice walked in.
Instantly the tension in the room tightened. Candice was dressed in a waist-cinching Chanel skirt and necklace, with her natural light blonde hair cropped into a fierce pixie cute. Softening the clinking of her heels, Candice stopped in the middle of the bathroom to intently observe Preeti. They stared at each other in the mirror for a small moment.
“Do I need to call security Pretty?” Candice asked.
Slumped over the sink, Preeti shook the droplets off her face and laughed dryly. She allowed the ugliness and dirt of the day to leave her as she turned to face Candice and gathered her emotions. Slinging her K-mart bought bag into her shoulder, she walked up to her and looked her straight in her sky coloured eyes. “It’s Preeti, not Pretty you ugly, uptight cow.”
She allowed the cheap frayed handbag to knock Candice’s Michael Kors tote as she left the bathroom with a smile of relief on her face.
* The next character profile for Crowds will be unlocked next week, [MON/04/JUL].
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