June 17, 1999
And How Was YOUR Morning?
She sat behind the gray wheel of the small black Escort, body tight and tense. Eyes flickered from the Indian Trails bus blocking the left lane in front of her to the clock set in the console. 10:58, and still two miles from her exit. Move, goddamn it. Get out of my way. As if the rest of the world was obligated to help keep her on time. The speedometer hovered at just below the speed limit, just below 70 MPH. For her to be on time, she'd have needed to go at least 80, all the way down the highway. But the left lane was full of good law-abiding citizens today, all determined to keep her law-abiding as well.
It was all her fault, of course. The alarm went off at 9:15, fifteen minutes earlier than it always did. She got up, wandered around a bit, then went back to bed. Never mind that the orders for the day were to 'spruce up' for the open house at work. Feh. 250 customers roaming around the company. Her eyes opened again at 10:00. Still time to get all cleaned up, if she got out of bed. Then again at 10:15. Okay, really have to get up now. Still nothing. Her eyes opened for the final time at 10:35, and with a muttered curse, she leapt out of bed. She should be leaving right now. Clothes were scrounged and thrown on. Hair was brushed back into a slicked-back looking ponytail. Seven minutes after leaping out of bed, she was in her car and on the road.
For all the good it did. No way was she going to be sitting at her desk at 11:00. Finally the expletive-deleted bus moved over to the right lane and she zipped past it, cranking the Ford's little motor all the way up to 90, peering into the rearview mirror to make sure there was no one behind her determined to keep her law-abiding as well. All clear. She turned up the stereo a little and sang along with the Misty Lackey tape at the top of her lungs; Heather Alexander singing about some unknown sci-fi heroine. She followed her brave spacer captain (whose eyes were fire and ice) all the way off the highway, down Baker Road and into the drive that led up to the office. There they parted ways, agreeing to meet later, in about nine hours.
With another muttered imprecation, she found an out of the way parking space and started the quick walk to her desk. Before she even sat down, her eyes went to the phone and the clock on the display.
11:03. Not bad. Not bad at all.