The End of an Era. Short Story.

Argh. Had some problems with my laptop today, apparently the battery isn’t holding a charge so I had to use another computer, with a tiny freaking keyboard, then switch back to my laptop to run it through spell check because the other computer won’t let me change it from US spelling to Irish/English spellings. I’m sure if I clicked around for a while I would figure it out again, but it was stressful enough trying to move documents back and forth in the right damn format. Well, at least it is over for the moment.

I plan to start week 2 of C25K today, my hip is slightly sore, think I slept funny on it, so I’m considering skipping the day. I think I’ll try it and if I have to stop I’ll just take a rest day and repeat it. I’m fairly tired too, which doesn’t help, at all. I went to bed at 11 P.M, woke up at about 12.30 P.M. this morning/afternoon and I’m still tired! And it isn’t oversleeping tired, before someone suggests that.

My arm is quite sore too, went for another stabbin’ yesterday. Didn’t hurt at the time, which as reassuring. I thought it would hurt, the last few times I got blood drawn it hurt, lots. Though I could feel the needle sliding out, it was a strange sensation. This will be weird, so bear with me, the pain was what I would describe as high pitched/sharp, which I find easier to deal with than the low pitch/achey/throbby pain. Constant pain is easier to deal with than pain that fluctuates. At least in my opinion.

I figure I should end this with something humourous! So, story of me making a jackass of myself number 24,671: Garda knocked on the door was chatting for a few moments, then asked my age.

Garda: How old are you?
Me:19….(thinking: Wait…what? The fuck?) 21 sorry…my brain just switched off there for a second.                                                                                                                                 Garda:…….(Gives me strange look, ignores it and continues on)*

god love me if I ever get in trouble with the Gardai for something. “Right, and where do you live?” “21” “…ok…and you’re address is?” “Oh! Sorry. It’s Alan Keogh.”

On with the show!


The End of an Era.

Mary sat on the bus, staring out the window. Shops and streets flashed by but she noticed none of them, she was completely focused on her own thoughts. She had been fired today, apparently the company was downsizing, though she was the only one that they got rid of. She didn’t know what she was going to do now. She’d have to tell Matt, they’d probably have to sell the house too, they were barely making the payments as it was. She would apply for other jobs of course, but she doubted getting another one in time to help. It’s not like it was her fault, getting fired. She didn’t have a say in the matter, she was a hard worker, never slacked off, unlike some people she could mention. But then she never really got on well with everyone in the office, she suspected that might be the reason they had chosen to let her go. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the people, she just didn’t really have anything to talk to them about. They were concerned with the latest episode of some reality TV show, shows which she had never seen, nor had any interest in watching. They also enjoyed gossip, never-ending factoids about people she had never heard of and had no desire to meet. She wasn’t hated in the office, far from it, but she hadn’t really joined the in crowd, they probably though she didn’t work well with others or some such nonsense. Of course she did, she wasn’t 5, she could separate personal life from work, she wasn’t the one who refused to do projects because of trivial office turf wars. Mary didn’t care who she worked with, as long as the job was done. Not like it mattered any more of course. All that was gone now. She didn’t really know if she would miss it or not, but she suspected she would, at least until she got another job. It wouldn’t be the people, or the work that she’d miss, it would be that feeling of importance, of contribution. It wouldn’t be left to just Matt to make money, to pay for things. She had some money saved up, just in case anything happened, maybe it was a good time to use it. After all, this was a kind of emergency. She could use it to help payments for the house, they might be able to keep it for another few months, but then what? What if she couldn’t get another job? Then it was just a waste of money. They could get rid of the damn thing, rent somewhere cheap enough, wait until they both built up some savings, then they could get a new house. She would prefer keeping the house they had now. She liked the neighbours, she liked the area. Still. It might have to be done. Moving out. Of course her sister would have something to say about that. Feigning sympathy, offering to help, never expecting that the offer would be taken up though. Her sister hated her for moving out first, Mary knew that. Alice was the oldest, she should have been the one to move out first, to move in with someone first. To do everything first, but Mary had beaten her to it. Something Alice had always resented, maybe always would. It was silly, Mary had never even considered such a thing when she moved out. Of course, if she had known Alice’s feelings, she would have moved out anyway. Alice had only moved out of their parents house recently, at 27, and only because their parents refused to support her anymore. She had been shocked and outraged and offended, but she still moved out. It was good for her, she seemed to be doing better but god only knew how things really were with her.

The bus stopped suddenly, jerking Mary out of her thoughts, she looked around, startled, then realised she was at her stop, getting up quickly she ran down the stairs and just in time she got off the bus. She stood on the path for a few seconds, behind her the doors hissed closed and the bus pulled into traffic, leaving nothing behind but the stench of diesel. The walk to the house was short, as she walked, she wondered if this was the last time she’d be making this walk, or one of the last times anyway. If they moved she’d be getting a different bus, maybe she’d get the car instead of Matt. If they moved they’d have to go somewhere close enough to his job. Sure he drove every morning but she couldn’t ask him to drive for an hour each way. He hated driving enough as it was. She began to walk, Matt wouldn’t be home for another two hours, she didn’t want to sit around the house waiting for him, maybe she’d cook something nice for dinner, something fancy. They could afford it at the moment, but after today it could be a long time before they would be able to afford it again.

She stood at the end of their driveway, looking at the house, remembering when they had moved in, wondering how she would feel when they had to move out. She tried to cast off the thought as she walked to the door, it was stupid, getting so ahead of herself, she might be able to get a job soon, there was no point in thinking about this until it was necessary. Tonight she would make a nice meal for herself and Matt, then she would look up jobs and start applying tomorrow. She’d take anything, shops, fast food, after all, she could apply for better jobs in the meantime. She didn’t care where she worked, as long as it brought in money. She opened the door and stepped inside, closing the door behind her. She stood for a moment, listening. The house was silent, she didn’t expect Matt to be home and found herself surprised to feel a slight pang. She didn’t really want to be alone. She took off her shoes and dumped her bag on top, then moved further into the house, planning what she should make for their last meal.




About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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