The day she came home, home being the small room where she’d moved into at the beginning of the year, to an email is the day everything changed. It was the best day of her life. When she tells of that day to friends at the local pub she speaks of this day fondly. She walks them through, detail upon detail, pausing once in a while to hold the tears back, and they all loudly drink to it. It is the day that separates her life into two.
Now she sits at the dingy pub, vodka in hand. Listens to the medley of the banter coated in beer. Wonders where she’d be if she’d never got that email. Emptying her drink in one draught, she grimaces. Fuck! She wasn’t always a drinker, neither was she one to curse. Now the pain in her heart needs to be constantly soothed away with a hard drink and a raw curse.
Luminata is the name she was given at birth; a name that people oh-ed and ah-ed over. A name that endeared people to whoever answered to it. A name that she shared with only one other person. It is because of this name that she now sits in a dimly lit pub surrounded by darkness.
Luminata worked an 8 to 6 job in the city. A job that she loathed; one that turned her into a perpetual complainer, she quit every evening. But one that she did for over one year. The day the email came had been her worst. She was ill the whole day but the boss wouldn’t let her go to the hospital. She spent the day staring at her computer in pain cursing her boss, his ancestors, his children, his dog and every other living thing who’d come into contact with that lineage. Probably not a good idea but one that made her smile a bit despite the pain. As she left the office she told herself a thousand times that would be her last day. Truth is she said that every single evening when leaving. That day however was different. Somehow she knew it would be her last.
She’d long given up looking for a job. At first she was motivated and sent out applications by the thousands. Day after day of unanswered emails saw her energy slowly wane and she stopped applying all together. This is why that evening when she got the email inviting her to take up the role of a creative assistant at a city advertisement firm she cried. Big salty tears that couldn’t stem eventually became soft sobs, and she laid on her thin mattress on the floor listening to her heartbeat.
If she had long given up applying for a job she had never for one minute given up looking for the other Luminata. She sent countless emails that were also left unanswered, sadly.
She wasn’t thinking about that the Monday that she reported for work in the new firm. Her mind was high on excitement with the present and the promise of the future. It didn’t even occur to her to check the firm’s profile online. What mattered is that she had a different job finally.
As she took the lift into her new office she wasn’t anxious, scared or frightened. She was confident, calm and collected. A picture of one who knew exactly what she was there to do; her job and she would be the best the firm had ever seen. She had been waiting her whole life for this.
A knock on the door elicited a hearty welcome from a voice that took the form of a man looking out of a large window to the horizons – her new boss. She smiled her way in. The man swiftly turned with a hand held out in greeting. She froze. He froze.
A spitting image of her.
‘Get the fuck out of my office!’ he screeched his face a combination of surprise, anger and hate for his bastard child.
Luminata stomped out and stomped into a pub.
She hasn’t left since.