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FICTION on the WEB short stories by Charlie Fish

A Normal Day
by Olivia Campos

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She never thought about it before but tonight she would make up for every thought she missed. The tears began rolling, first with some effort, then just rain. What had happened? It wasn't really a mystery, time had just changed. Life had changed. There came a guy, the guy left, and then came a sucky job, that stayed. And friends, well, they were never here nor there. This particular day was not unique however, it comes around consistently, it just happened that today was different, the power had multiplied, or mutated.

The first bottle of wine was nothing, it went down easy and the buzz was just that. Then came the beer, it just woke her up from her wine-induced tiredness. Music was no consolation, as a matter of fact, it was annoying, a lie. She looked around her apartment and looked at every piece, the antique mirror which she carried by herself a rainy Saturday afternoon, bus and all. The art book she couldn't bring herself to sell on eBay because it was priceless. Things everywhere, even from the last weekend. Her things were accumulations of time the past. Perhaps her things were sending her a message, that she wasn't from this time, that she was placed in the wrong time. That would be one theory.

Another theory backtracks to 1974, when she was six and her mom said she was ugly, not to her specifically, but her mother, the grandmother, as if this was not the first time this had been discussed. At that moment the world ended and began again. But perhaps the most dramatic theory was love; she certainly had a lot of it, of the physical kind that is. All 78 of them were deeply remembered, no pun intended. Tonight they were being remembered past their due date; she felt like being generous.

For her it was torture, most were regrets and the rest were loves, some cliffhangers, some heartbreaks, and some actual hopefuls, as in husbands, two of them. She blames herself of course, who else. And this is why love is the best theory, because she kept blaming herself for never getting a marriage proposal until the time she took the pills.

She had finally surrendered to filling out the prescription six months ago, and without ever trying one, today she had them all. She smiled at the irony right before she swallowed. Exactly today she was a day away from getting her period. She had gotten wiser about it, she had singled out the cause of the outbursts, the irrational tears, the sensitivity, she knew, she just didn't know exactly when. By the time she solved the puzzle the pills awaited her to stop it all without even having to connect a piece. It was all so natural.

It was a normal day, then her boss snapped at her, or did she? It was a normal day, then the guy cut her off in the line, or did he? It was a normal day, then she missed her train, or did she? It was a normal day until it wasn't.

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