Although, at this particular moment, she didn’t feel any reason to be concerned or even worried. Logic had clearly stated this was a strange affair, but it didn’t seem to register in her mind.
Feeling a little sobered after the long walk, Josey poured herself a cup of tea before resting on the armchair that sat in her living room.
The room was lit only by the light reflecting off the snow outside her window and in the dark corner, she muttered, “It feels good to have a stranger care enough for my safety to walk me all the way home.” Josey wasn’t necessarily used to blatant kindness like that. It seemed way too foreign after spending three years in a company where the slogan is ‘survival of the fittest.’
Even in her personal life, people were never that nice. If they were, then they had to be hiding something.
From Josey’s previous experiences with love, there was not a single man who was safe from the accusation of dishonesty. There always had to be some ulterior motive otherwise, she’d ask herself why they’d even bother. Soon after a while, maybe the men she’d seen had started to question themselves as well. Although fitting at the start, even the nicest of guys found some way to corrupt everything. It was just inevitable for any man to lose hope in a woman who finds something wrong with everything. So, as a man, he goes straight for the route that helps him cope. Every man had a different way of dealing and Josey had been the object of it all. The pain of losing them all to her own insecurity was a void that burned deep inside her. Tired of asking questions asking why it always happened and how she could prevent it, she instead found an alternative form of fuel. Prescription pills seemed to fill her with some sense of artificial happiness, even if it only lasted a little while. Her other strategy was to stay away from relationships, or men altogether.
Unfortunately, it was a plan doomed to fail because she could never keep herself from an opportunity.
After everything she’d been through, it never once occurred to her that there might actually be someone worth all the trouble. That is, until tonight. It was strange that Ethan, awkwardly handsome as he appeared with his matted brown hair and soothing English accent, hadn’t felt any motive to take advantage of her little situation.
Josey continued to picture his nonchalant behavior before a voice in her head brought her back to earth.
“They always start out nice before things change,” she murmured before passing out in her chair.
Monday morning. It was a day that never breathed life into the hearts of the average American population. On this particular morning, Josey found herself awakened by the sound of a screeching alarm clock. Head thumping repeatedly from the aftermath of a late night drinking, she reached out groggily towards the snooze button. Just five more minutes and she would bear the strength to pick her self up and begin her morning ritual.
The memories of the night before slowly began to undergo a self-evaluation in her mind as she tried to remember why she felt so bewildered this morning. Sighing edgily, she slipped out of her bed and onto the floor, where she then stood up and headed towards the bathroom.
It took merely five seconds of looking into the mirror to realize that she looked and felt the same as she did on any other day of the week. There was no reason to feel anything other than the disappointment of spending Christmas with no one but a stranger.
“A very nicely dressed stranger,” she mentally added with a mocking smirk, before tugging the bottom of her sweater up and over her head.
She proceeded to strip off several layers of clothing before she stepped into the hot shower. Reflecting on the busy day that lied ahead, she plunged her face into the surging water in an attempt not to dizzy herself with thoughts about the inevitable. This was the life that she made for herself. That thought alone kept her melancholy at bay, even if it only lasted a little while.
As she finished up her shower, she shook her hair dry with a towel, cautiously keeping it from dripping on the floor. Layer by layer, she dressed herself for work. In the mirror, she overlooked her outfit. She wore a grayish blue business jacket with a pink dress shirt underneath and a pair of black dress pants along with a pair of sturdy black shoes for getting to and from her car through the snow.
“Time to start the day,” she said silently to herself as she began applying her makeup to her face. When she finally finished getting ready physically, she snatched a bagel from the kitchen before grabbing her car keys and heading out.