It’s quiet. All you can hear is someone’s agile fingers typing on a keyboard, an intense conversation going on in a far off bay, the soft snores of the guy dozing off in his chair next to you, a phone ringing in the distance that no one seems to want to answer. But otherwise, it’s quiet. Afternoons generally are.
You look outside the large window. The tips of the tall glass buildings disappear into the thick grey clouds enveloping the sky. A solitary train chugs on the railway track, which is lined on either side by lush green trees. You can hear the soft patter of rain drops on the window. It blurs your view of the scene outside.
Out of nowhere, the rain gets heavier. The sky gets darker. The weather gets gloomier. So does your mood. You’re looking forward to 6.30 pm. That precious moment on a Friday evening that signifies freedom. A gateway to 48 hours during which you don’t have to open your laptop. Or meet the very people who are sitting around you now. Or draft a workpaper. Or meet with clients. No, you don’t have to do any of these things. You think of all the things you can do. Catch up with family, grab a bite with friends, spend time with your special someone. There’s a new movie you’d like to watch, that suspense thriller you’ve wanted to read for a while, or maybe just sleep longer than usual. Of course! There’s a sale at your favourite store and you’d love to get your hands on that pair of blue skinny denims.
So you start making plans, to splurge, to feast, to diet, to socialize, to party. You think of how you’ll dress – an LBD lying at the back of your cupboard should do just fine, and those red heels to match. You decide to click a lot of pictures; you haven’t changed your Facebook profile photo in a while and your friend has a really fancy camera.
You imagine all this, excitement bubbling in your chest. Your sleepy neighbour wakes up with a jerk, snapping you out of your afternoon reverie. “I should get back to work,” he says, embarrassed, and starts typing frantically on his laptop. You do the same.