By Ashon Ruffins
As I pushed shirt after shirt aside in my closet, I stressed over what color to wear to my interview. I’ve been out of employment for so long, I could hardly recall what was appropriate in a professional environment. As the minutes passed, I felt the stress of time ticking away and gradually becoming my adversary.
I have to drive on the other side of the city in fewer than 40 minutes to get there on time. I don’t have time for this, I thought.
Although it wasn’t my initial choice, I quickly chose a reliable white button-down shirt when the echo of the TV alerting of breaking news violated the tranquility of my bedroom. Something about a local woman missing for about three days now. Apparently, her name is Cynthia, and she is the mother of two boys. According to the broadcast, she was the fourth woman to go missing in as many weeks. I couldn’t focus on the details of the broadcast much as I ran back and forth from the bathroom getting ready.
I hurriedly put on my best suit, making certain my appearance was nothing shy of perfection. Thank God it still fits. I’ve lost so much since being out of work. Losing our home and our possessions was too much for my wife to handle. She became angry and resentful and her stress levels it eventually led to her untimely death. The loss of her brought me to a dark time. However, This is a tremendous opportunity for me. A chance to reclaim some self-respect, a little self-worth and force my way out of these dark times.
I stood in front of the body length mirror, which was mounted on the interior of the closet door, and gave myself one last look over. As I glanced across the room at the clock, I realized I needed to leave if I had any hope of getting to my interview in a timely manner. Tardiness is unforgivable in a professional environment, that much I remember. As I tried to close the door, it bounced back at me, obstructed by the dirty white shoe pressed against the door frame. My violent reaction to the seconds lost because of that obstruction caused me to kick the shoe and the leg attached to it as hard as I could manage. The desperate muzzled cry yelled out only irritated me further. I looked down at the tearful young woman and watch as she struggled in attempt to free herself from the tightly bound rope tied around her waist and hands, the unforgiving tape covering her mouth and obstructing her breathing. As she lay on the floor of the closet her tears smeared her make up as she disrespectfully wiped them on my clean pressed shirts above her head.
“That was very rude of you, Cynthia. You wouldn’t want me to be late now would you? Behave yourself. I’ll be back shortly. Anyway, wish me luck.” I said, slamming the closet door closed, as her muzzled screams could barely be heard. I grabbed my coat and ran out of my apartment, hoping for another chance at a better life.