Today is Tale Weaver #188 over at the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie blog. The visual prompt is the image below.

Nickie finally landed her dream job: associate editor at Eleganté magazine. Her hard work had paid off and a whole new world was about to open up. Her income would double, and the people she would be working and socializing with were the kind she’d only dreamt about. In a few months she’d be able to move to a safe neighborhood in a nicer part of town, and later, maybe even buy a car.

The new job started today — in two hours to be exact.

But Nickie was still in bed, curled up in a fetal position. Her stomach was in knots and she couldn’t stop crying. At time she’d start hyperventilating so hard that she was unable to breathe. Nickie’s heart was pounding so hard she could feel the skin on her chest twitching.

She knew she had to get out of bed and get ready, but she couldn’t. Her fear of the unknown, even though it was a good, positive unknown, wouldn’t let her. Every time she made a move to get up, a wave a fear slammed her like a tsunami:

She’d embarrass herself.

She wasn’t ready.

No one would like her.

She would be laughed at.

She wasn’t good enough.

They’d hired her by mistake.

Forty-five minutes had passed. She should be out of the shower and getting dressed by now. If she summoned her will, she could still make it downtown in time. But instead, Nickie watched the clock tick away the minutes from the safety of her bed.

She waited, unmoving, for another thirty minutes to pass. She told herself how grateful she was not to have given notice at her “real” job at Bob’s Mailing Center. She probably wouldn’t have liked working at Eleganté with a bunch of snobs anyway. No way would she have fit in. The job would prove boring…

Nickie repeated these erroneous excuses in her head until it was time for her to be at work.

She heaved a sigh of relief and got up to make coffee. The phone rang; no doubt it was Eleganté wondering where she was. Nickie just let it ring.

Another brilliant opportunity dodged.



SusanWritesPrecise/ Susan Marie Shuman


6 thoughts

  1. Wow Susan a great tale, you captured her fear so graphically and the sad reality of her situation and reasoning. Thanks so much for adding your thoughts this week. A new job can be a very daunting task. I recall starting at a new academic school and thinking for a number of weeks that soon someone would come up to me and explain they had made a terrible mistake in giving me the job and send me back to where I came from. Thankfully that thought stayed in my head and didn’t become a reality.

    Liked by 1 person

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