Little Bad Day
“Damn It! That’s the third comb this week!” I shouted at myself as I stared in subjugation at the broken piece of comb that was still attached to my thick Afro 4C hair.
I heaved a loud sigh, contemplating myself in the mirror as I tossed the broken comb in the bin next to my feet.
What should I do with my hair now?
I leaped but I remembered I wasn’t alone in my tiny apartment anymore.
“I have to pee!” my little sister shouted from the other side of the door.
“Hold on!” I shouted back and unlocked the door to let her in. She rushed for the toilet and did her business while looking at me.
“Bad hair day?” she asked when she flushed.
“Yep. Another one. And I broke another comb.”
“Wow, you’re going for the record,” she teased.
Judy was ten and I was twenty when we lost both parents in a fatal car accident one year ago. Judy was taken away by the state because they claimed that I wasn’t ‘fit’ enough to raise her.
As soon as I turned twenty one, I filed for custody and I had her with me ever since. She was the only family I had and I loved her dearly. I’d do anything for her.
“Lemme help you style it,” she said and I sat down quietly on a stool. She grabbed a brush and gel and began styling my hair. Lo and Behold, she did a better job than I usually does.
“Now hurry up or you’ll miss the bus to school!” I ushered her into the shower for her morning bath and I went to the kitchen to pick her cereal - her favorite Lucky Charms.
At 7:25 A.M, I waited at the bus stop with Judy until the school bus came. I made it my duty to make sure she got on the bus safely every morning before taking the train to my uptown job.
I worked as an 8:30 A.M to 4:30 P.M employee for a multi million dollar telecommunication agency. My daily task usually consisted of record entries and the answering the telephone.
I clocked in, said ‘good morning’ to everyone I met on the way to the elevator and headed up to the first floor, for my desk, to begin my day.
“Good morning Sacha, these are for you,” my coworker said as I sat down. Her desk was right next to mine and we always shared the work load given to us.
I enjoyed my job. Only few people could say so. My job was simple and basic and it paid well.
“Excuse me all employees on the first floor!”
I knew that voice anywhere. It was Tim. The first floor supervisor and a pain in the ass at times.
“There’s a very important meeting being held in the tenth floor. Please find yourselves there right now!” He finished.
We all stood up immediately and filed into the elevator like sardines.
The tenth floor was where the ‘higher ups’ were. The ones who called all the shots around here and the ones we never liked being in the presence of because our hearts wouldn’t stop racing with fear and intimidation.
Everyone walked into the board room.
Mr. Mackie was sitting at the head table, the man in charge of all operations. On his right, was Miss. Lena Ally, the COO, and on the left, sat Mr. Hollace Penys - we always made fun of his last name because it was pronounce as ‘Penis’. He was the marketing director and financial adviser.
Mr. Mackie cleared his throat and folded his arms on his chest. He looked down at a folder in front of him then back at us.
“The company would be making some cuts,” he got straight to the point.
There were gasps from us along with shocked expressions.
“We’ve ran into financial problems,” Mr. Penys inputted.
“Yes. So if I call your name, that means you’re cut,” Mr. Mackie said again and he began calling names.
“Mr. Jeremy Ashton. Miss. Lisa Lopez, Mr. Alex Payne, Miss. Jonna Smith, Miss. Jasmine White...”
Please don’t say my name!
Please don’t say my name!
Mr. Mackie continued calling out names and I continued hoping I wasn’t mentioned. I watched as the room got emptied from sad faces and teary eyes. All the persons already mentioned was given one final paycheck and had to turn in their badges before leaving.
“Mr. Keshon Thomas, Miss. Daisy Hopkins and lastly, Miss. Sacha Rish.”
“Huh?” I said.
“You’ve been cut. Please turn over your badge, collect your final payment and get out,” Lena Ally clarified.
I heard I was cut but I didn’t want to hear I was cut. I couldn’t afford to lose my job when I had a little sister to provide for.
Tears welled up in my eyes, my knees went weak and I thought they would give out from under me. My head spun and went light.
“Mr. Mackie, please. I can’t afford to be cut. I have responsibilities....”
“As do this company Miss. Rish!" Mr. Penys cut in.
“Miss. Rish, I’m sorry. But it must be done. It’s already decided. I wish you well with another employment,” Mr. Mackie said.
I nodded my head and with the bit of pride I had left, I handed over my badge, collected my final payment and left without looking back.
I took the train to a bank, cashed in my check and headed for home. I stayed weeping in the bedroom and feeling sorry for myself.
Almost one year! Almost one year I had worked for that agency. Never once was I absent or late and this was the thanks I get?
I was cut. In other words, I was fired.
That afternoon, when Judy arrived home from school, she found me curled up on the couch, stuffing my mouth with ice-cream.
“Hi sis, what’s the matter with you?”
“What make you think something is the matter?” I asked.
“Because you always eat ice-cream when you’re sad. Tell me, what’s wrong?”
“I was fired this morning,” I answered truthfully. Judy was a smart kid and she was bound to ask questions until she knew the truth.
“Fired? Oh man, that’s rough sis. What are we going to do now?”
"You would continue going to school and I would find myself another job. I don’t want you worrying about this Judy. We’ll be good.”
“Okay. I love you.” She came over and wrapped her skinny little arms around me.
“I love you too,” I said back. I placed the tub of ice-cream on the table next to me and hugged her back tightly.
I promise we’ll be good.