She woke with the gasping for air that she had grown accustomed to every night for the last two months. Her dream at night had been the same since her trip, always the same places, the same people, she would swear they were memories, but she had never seen them before. She knew that much. The feelings they brought were that of old friends, people she had known from long ago, but she knew their faces were that of strangers. She glanced at the clock as the red light blared across the room and was the only light source. It was 2:30 in the morning, she knew she had a choice to make on whether to get up and start her day very early or chance the dream again. It was her everlasting debate that she had every night and every morning for the past few months. She knew which she would choose and also knew the exhaustion later would lead her to believe she would have the dreamless night later. She never did though.
As she got up, out of her warm bed, she silently cursed herself for getting out of bed. It was the same every morning since her trip to Japan a few months prior. She didn’t know what happened, but it was like a reoccurring nightmare, but it wasn’t a nightmare. Her lack of sleep was becoming an issue, but she struggled internally, not to let it show. She flipped open her laptop to go ahead to check her emails and start her day as she skimmed over some articles that she would have to review. She was going to be busy on this day with three back to back interviews with a new person on her research team that she led. She was hoping that by the time they were done, she wouldn’t be asleep on the table. She began her regular routine of hopping in the shower, hoping to make herself look halfway decent and not some mad scientist looking person. Her hair in general often had a mind of its own, and no matter what she chose to do, it would be half down by mid-day. Her colleagues said it made her look like Einstein; however, she thought it made her look crazy. She was crazy. So today would be like any other day as she would have dark circles under her bright blue eyes. The gentle lines around her eyes would be more prominent as she tried to smile her way through the day, still maintaining that she was completely and utterly normal and not tormented in her sleep.
She wasn’t normal, even on her best day, so for her to entirely try to be was amusing for some of her dearest friends and co-workers who knew her well enough. At seventeen, she had been recruited by the army to head a joint service mission the following year when she would be eighteen. She knew many others probably should have been chosen in front of her, but it was the break that every good scientist would need ever to make it in that world. She knew how lucky she was for that, and she was grateful for it. Now she was in her late twenties and was a world-renowned expert in her field. She was called into help with cases all over the country and the world as she had two different fields to explore. The time spent on either some other’s would see as a waste, but she was determined to make a name for herself even bigger than it already was. She had something to prove, if not to herself, but to a person that was no longer on the earth, the one person who never really believed in her or her abilities, her own mother. She died thinking her youngest child ran off instead of listening to her advice for an excellent safe desk job that she could crunch numbers or something ridiculous as that when all she wanted to do was see the world and help people. She was the one of the children, the only one in fact, that ever questioned their mother’s authority. Instead, she watched her brothers and sister hate their daily jobs and never thought of doing something that could or would make them happy. She was determined not to have the same fate even if that meant her mother died hating her, which she did. The tiny doctor had made her peace with that over the years.
That sadness hung over her as only it could as she started thinking of her mother on what was destined to be yet another dreadful day because of her lack of sleep. It was going to be a long day regardless as she slowly shoveled food into her mouth without tasting it, and the slurping of coffee was the only sound in her house as she began to pack up her things for the day. She knew the drive over to the office building, which was really a giant warehouse of different labs in a maze of hallways, would be clear at this time of the morning. She started her car, hoping that the heat would quickly be on at the time of year it was the mornings and nights were cold still. She huddled up for the drive and took off to start the day in her office instead of waiting for a more normal hour when other people would be there.
She hoped that the interview process would yield a new candidate for the project, but she wasn’t all the sure today would be the day as she mentally went over the three individuals’ resumes. She was looking for just one person to fill the spot, but they had to have the ability to have knowledge of three different fields. It was going to be a long and drawn-out process. She already knew that finding such a person would be finding the correct person would be like seeing and finding the correct needle in a colossal needle stack. She hoped the project would get a green light, but she had to find that person first. If not, it may never get off the ground, and she would have just an idea but no real proof her theory was real, that was the problem with her job. The people she worked for listened to every weird or crazy idea she had and then tried to make it real. She didn’t think her intentions were revolutionary in any way, just crazy thoughts that would be leftover from the day of doing autopsies or viral research. In those quiet moments, she would let her mind drift, and these ideas would pop in. It was like that since she was a child dreaming of going to the moon or visiting a star. Instead, now it was how to cure this disease or why did this person really die, she loved her work, but sometime her crazy ideas could take over. She wished she could be normal also. An average female with a life and maybe a family, but she doubted that would ever happen as she had found that most men seemed intimidated by the fact she was the way she was, stubborn and smart.
She had long since given up when it came to men. She couldn’t remember the last time she went out on a date. Life was quiet and lonely at times. Those times were the ones that she wished for something more.
She made her way through the maze of hallways to her office with a bright blue door. She always wondered why they had painted the door when she took over in here, she had always thought it was because she was the lead blue shirt in the area, but her boss had told her it was something entirely else and maybe one day she would realize it on her own. As of yet, after nearly ten years of working in the building, she hadn’t. She didn’t understand the distinction though as she always had like that speck color anyway and it was easy to tell people to look for the blue door when they had signed in to find her, otherwise no one would ever be able to see her office as they were lost in the maze of hallways. She had always thought whoever designed the building really hadn’t been considering of any people who might visit the building. It was somewhat overwhelming to all the new people who came in and would take a few weeks for even those who swore they were good at navigating. She herself had basically started working here as a high school student, and as it grew, so did she. She could go through the halls ascendingly and still end up where she wanted to be.
She sat at her desk reviewing the day’s work and the five reports she would go over on things happening worldwide and answer all her thousands of emails that requested her help in solving a mystery. She had often been the last-ditch effort to close a case only for her to see something that no one else did and blow a case wide open again, she enjoyed doing that as she felt it was her way of communicating with the dead. She was also good on the stand for some instances, the fact she was small and slight and very well educated clashed with the idea that she didn’t use all the scientific jargon that would often confuse a jury, she had made talking about science into everyday terms that anyone could understand. She had been told if this job ever failed or closed, she should be a teacher, and though the idea had flitted through her mind at some time, she knew that wasn’t for her. She enjoyed the freedom that had been built into to this job for her as she evolved into whatever she decided to do that day. It was a freedom that not many people would ever have in any position, but then again, she had this job tailored right to her from the beginning. When she was done answering most of the inquiries of the morning, she looked up at the clock, and it was nearly mid-day already. She also noticed her boss standing there in his three-piece suit staring at her through the window she had looking into the hallway. He was smiling at her; she knew that probably was not a good sign as most people would understand if they knew him, he never smiled.
As she stood and readied herself for whatever he was going to bring to the table right now, she probably wasn’t going to like it. He looked at her as she popped out of the office. “Ready to go do this, kid?” he asked.
“Ready to do what exactly? The interviews start in two hours,” she asked back.
“You didn’t get the memo?” he asked surprised at her lack of planning for something like this.
“What memo?” She hoped he would get to the point soon. Otherwise, they both were going to be there for a long time and probably miss whatever it was that they were supposed to be doing.
“The parent company that owns this one was bought out.” he started,” Don’t worry, our jobs are secure, and you still have all your grants in place, it was a condition of the sale. However, we have to go and meet the new boss.”
She didn’t even know about the sale or even that the company was up for sale. She hoped this new boss would okay her projects a little faster than the older one had. She plastered a smile on her face as she walked into the higher levels of the building alongside her boss. He looked at her and laughed, “Kid, you look like you might bite the new owner instead of greeting them.”
“Thanks for the idea, I might.” She replied. As the pair walked into the main reception hall for the higher up office types, who ran the company as a business instead of what it really was, which was a lab for all the rejects who thought thinking outside the box was more important than coloring in the lines.
A handsome man stood in the center of the room with another standing directly behind him, both men turned and faced the newcomers into the office which was already filled to the max with the other science nerds and geeks that she called co-workers. Somehow, she was utterly underdressed as it seemed that everyone was dressed up a little too much for the first impression of the new boss, her button-up shirt and jeans were not her best attire but the ones she felt most herself in, except right this second. She definitely felt like taking a bite out of everyone, so her stressed smile would fit in. Somehow, she had the idea that this would not go the way she hoped it would when the man in the middle locked eyes with her and started moving closer to greet the pair.