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And it begins

Ray’s face was illuminated by the soft glow of the neon refrigerator light. She stared at the rows stacked with enough food to last a week. Her forehead folded in a frown was now due to lack of food but due to lack of any insight as to what to do with all those edibles. Hunger was definitely a prevailing crisis but for an average person what to cook for dinner was more stressful. It was definitely easier when mom cooked for the entire household. Now she could sympathize with her as to why she was irritated by their varied demands. Justin would be stuffing himself with junk as always so she was the only person she had to luckily decide for. Yet it seemed like a monumental decision at the moment. Maybe she was a bit more tired than usual today.

Taking out random objects from the refrigerator she made up her mind to decide what to make whatever the items laid out on the kitchen countertop would allow her to. She reflected on her day to trace back to what was so tiresome today. That’s when she recalled her meeting with her new boss from a few hours ago. It was so boring she had forgotten it had taken place. Or she was trying to avoid his words from resurfacing.

The moment she entered his office, he said to the air with his back to her and dropped the file in his hands on the desk. His voice echoing off the sleek interior.

“We must do something about the company’s performance, shouldn’t we Miss. Mconnell?” He then turned to Ray who was standing by the door and said lowering into his chair and loosening his tie.

“How do you propose we do it? Raise our company through the ranks I mean. Do you have any insight to share? How about this? Here me out.” He said tapping his fingers on the glass top of the desk, his voice laced with mock.

“Let’s start by cutting out incompetent employees.” He said sliding the file he was earlier browsing through towards Ray, encouraging her to take a look at it.

She tentatively moved forward and scanned the documents with a lazy eye, until her name on top of the file grabbed her attention. She then keenly read every line and soon discovered that this was her performance report of 5 the years she had worked here.

Reading the report and adding her boss’s previous statement she put the two and two together and gathered what was about to happen. The look of recognition dawned upon her and she said a bit too quickly for his liking, all the while wondering about the strange excitement that lingered within.

“I will be gone by evening.”

“Note that your salary for the month will be paid only for the days you have filled in. Also, don’t forget to take your retirement letter from the office on the first floor. It’s drafted and ready to print.” Said Francis with a smirk and bitterness imbued in his voice.

Ray had figured as much that this was one of the cases of corporate injustice and Francis had only done what he had done out of pure spite and to showcase his power. Ray hurried out of the room and was glad to be away from him and this place because the others were going to have a hard time under this dictator who had the empire given to him on a golden plate.

However the excitement of being free died down quickly when all of a sudden she had to think about where her income was going to come from and was going to have to keep a tab on her expenses even more than she used to.

Yeah she was fired and even though it wasn’t as big of a deal to her because she never loved that job anyway, she hated even more to be in this limbo, where everything was uncertain and she would have to again start thinking from the beginning about everything.

As Ray continued to glance at the raw materials on the countertop dazed, she saw in her peripheral vision the mail she had brought in two days ago. Bills to be paid. Raking a hand through her hair and sighing visibly, she picked up two out of the five items on the table and put them back in the fridge. She wasn’t broke, but she had no intentions to spend her savings either until compelled to.

Conceding atlast to her condemning thoughts she picked up everything she had taken out from the refrigerator and put it back, satisfying her hunger with a peanut butter sandwich. As she was heading into her living area with her sandwich, the doorbell rang and she said in a voice a bit louder so that it may be heard on the other side of the door.

“It’s open.” Assuming it to be Justin she plopped down on the couch and shouted with her mouth full of a bite of the sandwich. “Lock it behind you.”

Hearing for the click of the lock she thought it unusual that Justin hadn’t said anything snarky in return. But not minding it much she continued to munch on the sandwich and switched between TV channels. Settling on one channel with her favorite show, she placed the remote control on the coffee table ahead and slouched back and sunk into the comfort of the couch. That is when she felt a vague presence behind her head. Her body froze in response to this and all her senses perked up, her animal instincts to retaliate alert. She stayed oblivious on purpose waiting for the stranger to act because by now she was sure that whoever it was, it wasn't Justin.

The stranger then inched towards her and his hand began to reach out in front of her. Thinking they would wrap around her neck, Ray reacted quickly before the stranger could so much as move. She shot straight up, hitting the stranger's jawline and then getting a hold on his neck before he could recover from the blow she tilled him on the couch face down. She sat on him, to keep him from getting up and restrained both his arms with hers on his back and used her other hand to clasp on his hair and bury his head harder into the pile of pillows.

Heaving with rage, Ray muttered with her teeth clenched.

“Who the fuck are you?”

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