Setting the sun...

Crowds: Rachael Part Four

Hello Knight Life readers! Rachael’s day gets even more complicated in her fourth instalment, so enjoy! [Also] remember: the fact that you’re here reading is just incredible, but if you could pretty please give me some feedback regarding my lil’ stories: well, that would be just incredible! Enjoy!

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Rachael: Part Four

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“So we’re not going to Hawaii?”
“I don’t know, Matt,” Rachael huffed into the phone. “Can you hold on a sec?”
Rachael slowed down the speed on the treadmill and pressed an already wet towel to her forehead.
“Are we still going out to dinner then?”
Rachael then gasped, threw her hands into the air and sat at the end of the treadmill, the phone pressed to her ear, “Ah, I don’t think so Matt.”
“Rachael, do you realize that this is the third time that you’ve cancelled on me in a row?”
“Is it?” Rachael lifted head up in surprise. “No, seriously, I saw you last week.”
“No you didn’t, you had that soup account thing,” Matt said forcefully down the phone. Rachael could tell that his frustration was rising.
“Okay, look Matt,” she begun gently, “I’m really sorry. I’ll make it up to you this weekend.”
“You know I can’t do this weekend; it’s Ben’s bucks.”
“Oh,” Rachael bit her lip and stood up.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m not going,” he said quietly.
“What do you mean you’re not going? I love the fact that you and Ben are so close. He practically thinks of you as a brother.”
“Yeah, but his own sister isn’t even going to go to his wedding?”
Rachael could picture him, sitting at his desk after the last bell rang for the day. He would be marking papers of preparing for his classes the next day. He would have a bowl of cereal in front of him. Matt always ate cereal in the afternoon.
“I haven’t decided yet. Look today has been very stressful.”
“Yes, it’s always a stressful day for you,” Matt muttered crunching. Yes cereal. However, there was something else in his tone. Rachael put a hand to her forehead and tapped. His tone began to curl in a way that made her nervous.
“I’ve had a stressful day too, Rachael,” he continued as her stomach clenched. “Kenny, you know my kid in year eight who was almost going to get expelled but I convinced him to stay at school and finish his term paper for me? Well, he threw a chair at Nadia, the science teacher, and now he is expelled. We also have parent-teacher interviews next week and reports due by Monday morning before end of term. I also had to kiss my bosses ass to get the last week of term off for Ben’s wedding, so he’s making me work extra-” (crunch) “-hard.”
Rachael blinked her eyes quickly as her eyes darted from left to right, “So what are you saying?”
“That I’m not coming,” he said simply. She heard him set his bowl down and the chink of the spoon hitting the china.
“To the bucks?”
“Yep,” he said. “I might not even come to the wedding.”
“Oh Matt, you can’t be serious,” Rachael raised her voice, glancing around and making sure no one was in the office gym.
“Look, I don’t know, Rachael,” Matt breathed deeply down into the phone. “You’re always at work and when you’re not at work, you’re recovering from work. It’s all you talk about it, it’s all you do. I can’t even remember the last time I stayed over.”
“It’s just a busy period, Matt,” Rachael said, fear settling into her stomach like she had just eaten a bowl full of ravioli filled with sand.
“It’s always a busy period with you, Rachael!” his voice got louder as if she had turned the volume on her phone full blast. “I can’t anymore! I just can’t.”
She was speechless. She could hear him breathing as her mind became mush and her stomach settled on a washing machine spin. Her eyes felt as if they were about to roll down onto the yoga mat in front of her as she contemplated what she should do.
“I’m going to have to go,” Rachael finally said. “I will text you later.”
The line went dead and she stood there breathing in and out. She looked at the TV in front of her and just stared for a moment. She put her hands on the railing of the treadmill and began to cry. From exhaustion. From the position her job had put her under. From the distance she had put between her and her friends. Her family. Her boyfriend.
She screamed out, it was louder than she had ever screamed for a long time. It hurt her throat, it felt like crushed glass sliding down her gullet. Tears streamed down her face as her face tensed and turned shiny and red. She bashed her fists on all the little buttons and dials on the machine and threw her drink bottle across the room. She then dropped to the ground and put a palm to her nose to catch the snot that was dripping from her nose.
“Fuck,” she like to herself like a mantra. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.”

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  • Rachael’s story [Part Five] concludes on [MON/SEP/21].
  • This narrative was edited by my wonderful editor: Kayla Marie Murphy. Contact: kaylamariemurphy@hotmail.com for any inquiries.
  • Creative Credit for Racheal’s image goes to the wonderful and supremely talented Jinny Park, whose Instagram feed you can check out at: http://www.instagram.com/somethingpeach. Thank you so much Jinny for this wonderful collaboration!
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